ACRS Monday Morning Breakfast with Doug Hostetter

Where Northlawn, West Dining Room

Duration 1 hour 30 minutes

On MONDAY morning, October 8, 7:30 – 9:00 in EMU’s West Dining Room, Doug Hostetter will share parts of his many-faceted life with us. Harrisonburg can claim Doug as a native son. Yet each time he comes “home” I hear strange echoes of Simon & Garfunkel’s “My Little Town.”

After graduating from Eastern Mennonite College (EMU) his first assignment—an unusually formative and transformative one—was with MCC in Tam Ky Vietnam in the midst of the war years. In this highly volatile and fluid context, organizing and directing a literacy program and cooperatives to serve refugees, Doug bonded with the political and cultural “strangers” around him. In 1970, five years before the American “pull-out,” he traveled to Hanoi and Saigon to advance the People’s Peace Treaty with North and South Vietnamese. (Cf. Mennonite Church USA Archives.)

From 1971 to 1980 Hostetter was resource specialist on peace at the United Methodist Office for the United Nations, promoting programs and strategies in Asia and Latin America. From 1980 to 1987 he directed the New England Regional Office of the American Friends Service Committee where he provided leadership in criminal justice programs, peace education, youth and militarism, native American issues and disarmament. (He was an occasional guest in several of my EMU peace-and-justice classes.) Doug then moved to Nyack, NY, where he joined the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) as Executive Secretary and later became FOR’s International/Interfaith Secretary. In 2003 Doug was ordained as Peace Pastor at Evanston,IL, Mennonite Church. And since 2007 he has directed the Mennonite Central Committee’s United nations Office in NYC.

This is a pale etching, a fragile chronological outline, of Hostetter’s life. Doug is a master story-teller. The subjects of his stories are not fantasies, but lived experiences. If you want to gain a more in-depth version of Doug’s life you must come to Monday Morning’s ACRS Breakfast where you can experience a more three-dimensional version. Doug is a person of profound Christian faith, but it is not traditional Christianity. Doug is an inter-religious believer, but he shares little with fadish “toleration” and profoundly transcends modern “pluralism.”

Join us Monday morning for both an informative and spiritual hour of fellowship. If you wish to eat a full breakfast please go through the cafeteria line, then join us with your food in the West Dining Room. Coffee and pastries will be provided. Please share this announcement with your friends and others interested in Doug’s life and times—his extraordinary commitment and perseverance. Next month’s presenter and story-teller is Jonathan Larson currently living in Atlanta.

Intended Audience Students, Faculty, Staff