From One Vibrant City to Another
Geez magazine, founded in Winnipeg by by Aiden Enns, is a niche, socially progressive Christian publication concerned with all forms of justice and taking both prophetic and provocative stances against the institutional church. Its recent move to Detroit, Michigan led to greater gender diversity and stronger roots in community and activism.
Podcast: Messy Jesus Business – Episode 6
In episode six, Sister Julia speaks with guest Kateri Boucher from Geez magazine.
Together they discuss contemplative cultural resistance, prophetic voices, composting, urban gardening and how the United States is an empire.
Podcast: Uproar – Season 2, Episode 8
Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellerman and Will See join Lydia and Kateri from Geez Magazine for a discussion around disobedience and faithful action against evil in the world.
Podcast: The Magnificast – Episode 167
Wow, there are a lot of magazines out there, but the best and most important is Geez Magazine. This week, we’re talking about the new Disobedience issue of Geez Magazine with their editor, Lydia Wylie-Kellerman. In this ep, we discuss, Christianity and the left, disobedience, efficacy, parenting and more!
Founder glad magazine in good hands; Geez moving to Detroit this year, but new boss vows to honour its roots
Geez! Is the cheeky alternative Christian magazine of the same name really leaving Winnipeg?
The answer is yes. Geez magazine is moving to Detroit this year, where it will be led by a new team of socially progressive Christians.
Founded in 2005 by Winnipegger Aiden Enns, Geez set out to protest the “unholy alliance between church, state, market and military” while celebrating the “spiritual dimensions of biking, energy efficiency and canning pickles.”
Its audience was the “over-churched, out-churched, un-churched and maybe even the un-churchable.”
For Enns, 57, reasons for the change include wanting to make space for younger leaders with new ideas and visions, and also because he’s tired — it’s not easy publishing a magazine these days.
Since Geez sells no advertising, circulation is the main source of revenue. With only about 900 subscribers, it wasn’t sustainable without fundraising. Keeping salaries low helped, but it took a toll as people left for better-paying jobs. It was also tough on Enns himself.
Canadian magazine turns to Detroit, millennial women to help save it
In the cramped quarters of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church’s Peace and Justice Hive in Corktown, three young women are trying to create a miracle, turning to the little they have to publish a magazine into a media form that will reach a multitude.
Geez — an irreverent Canadian publication that focuses on religion, social justice and progressive politics — recently moved to Detroit, more specifically, Corktown, in an effort to save it from financial collapse.
“Everyone is pretty sober about the fact that print media is struggling and lots of print has gone under,” said Lucia Wylie-Eggert, the quarterly’s art director. “It has to partly be a passion project. We are hopeful and we have a lot of youth and energy and we hope will find some creative solutions.”
Canadian activist magazine moves to Detroit
Geez Magazine, a progressive Canadian quarterly that focuses on spirituality, social justice and politics, is moving to Detroit.
After 13 years publishing out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the magazine will move its operations to a church in the city’s Corktown neighborhood under new leadership.
Southwest Detroit native Lydia Wylie-Kellermann will helm Geez in its new home at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Detroit at 1950 Trumbull Ave. She’s been editing the magazine’s Catholic Worker section for five years.
Moving to Detroit places Geez in “the belly of the U.S. empire beast” and will likely change its identity, said Wylie-Kellermann, 32, but it’s aiming to maintain its activist slant. It’s also just across the river from its birth country.
Faith conference embraces the unconventional: Editor uses critical words for positive change
Unconventional ideas abounded last week at the King’s University College interdisciplinary studies conference on economics and faith, entitled You’re Richer When You Think.
Inside a packed, humid King’s University College classroom, Aiden Enns’ session on spirituality and simplicity turns to poop and flush fees.
Host of CBC’s The Sunday Edition, Michael Enright, interviewed Geez editor Aiden Enns on the occasion of the magazine’s 5th anniversary.
At birth, Geez, was a hip, new, sort of edgy spiritual magazine that hoped to spread “holy mischief in an age of fast faith.” Designed in Oregon (by Darryl Brown of Newberg) and published in Canada, Geez (rhymes with “cheese”) is celebrating its fifth anniversary by taking on technology.
Born in Winnipeg five years ago, Geez uses progressive Christianity as a starting point for cultural critique. Occasionally, the cumbersome language of a sociology essay slips into the copy, with phrases like “systematic ideologies of capitalist-consumerist disposable behaviour.” But for the most part, it speaks with a half-angry, half-joyful voice that condemns the impact of the oil industry on watersheds in one breath and celebrates the fun of racing a bike downhill in the next.
When things were going extremely well for Geez magazine in 2007, its banner year, subscriptions shot up to 2,000. Readers were so in love with the cheeky, contrarian “post-Christian” quarterly that many were paying more than the annual $35 subscription to ensure its survival.
While some see Winnipeg as drab and grey, Aiden Enns sees the subtlety of a vibrant community of artists, activists and people with stories to be told.
Geez! Has it been five years already?
It was 2005 when Aiden Enns launched Geez, a self-described “cheeky” magazine for the “over-churched, out-churched, un-churched and maybe even the un-churchable.” Back then, Enns told me his goal was to counter the rise of the religious right by creating alternative Christian messages, to protest the “unholy alliance between church, state, market and military,” and celebrate the “spiritual dimensions of biking, energy efficiency and canning pickles.”
Leave it to some Canadians to come up with a magazine for the overchurched, out-churched and unchurched under-40 set. It’s called “Geez,” an exasperated exclamation derived from Jesus’ name that some Christians consider to be blasphemous. The Canadians running “Geez” see it as a way to enter the realm of religion “more like Saturday evening over beers than Sunday morning with its strictures,” says an editor’s note upfront. Aiden Enns, 47, its Mennonite publisher, calls it being post-Christian.
The magazine’s tongue-in-cheek approach goes well beyond mischief: the editors of Geez are responding to an urgent call to play whistle-blower in their own fold. Critical of the unchecked affluence dominating the North American Church, the magazine has created an ad-free space for voices which promote the social gospel and a concept of Christ as radical reformer, all with measured grace and easy humour.
As a magazine that claims to camp “in the outback of the spiritual commons,” Geez may have felt a little out of place at the Western Magazine Awards ceremony in downtown Vancouver this past July. Remarkably, however, the Christian quarterly not only took the Best New Publication and Best Magazine honours for Manitoba, but was also named Western Canada’s Magazine of the Year. While the awards thrilled publisher Aiden Enns, the success also raised a flag: “Maybe we’re getting too mainstream,” he chuckles.
Sometimes there’s a small reward or two on Earth for making a bit of heavenly mischief. Geez magazine, the Winnipeg-based Christian activism quarterly, won three honours recently at the Western Canadian Magazine Awards, gaining recognition for its unique combination of satire, critique, social consciousness, and just plain quirkiness.
National Post arts review
Rare is the religious magazine whose presentation could be called intriguing. Behold Geez, which recently scooped the Best New Publication and Magazine of the Year at last month’s Western Magazine Awards. Conceived by former Adbusters editor Aiden Enns, its mission is to “untangle the narrative of faith from the fundamentalists, pious self-helpers and religio-profiteers.” Geez!
Geez is drawing rave reviews in North America’s mainstream and alternative media, from the Dallas Morning News and Maclean’s to This Magazine and The Utne Reader (where it was this year nominated for best spiritual magazine and best new magazine.) Like a true prophet of old, Enns, despite his cheerful demeanor, has a way of irking people from all over the religious and social map as he stretches the boundaries of what it means to be evangelical.
… Geez has a bias. That’s not, the editors insist, a bad thing, especially when you’re out to change popular attitudes toward materialism, energy consumption, the environment and an institutional church that is committed to making its members feel good. And you’re determined to do it all in the name of Jesus, without accepting any paid ads in the process.
CBC Radio’s Tapestry
It’s not every day you open a magazine that tells you how to circumcise your Scriptures, or create your own home altar. But that’s exactly what you’ll find in Geez. It describes itself as “a bustling spot for the over-churched, the out-churched, the un-churched and maybe even the un-churchable.” Mary Hynes speaks to Will Braun and Aiden Enns, the two editors of Geez, about what they call holy mischief.
Describing itself as a “cheeky new magazine of spirit and social action,” Winnipeg-based Geez is a surprisingly hip, bold take on Christianity. It hearkens back not to any recent tradition of right-wing fundamentalism, but to Christianity’s roots of social change and revolution, with Jesus as a rebel protesting against the Establishment and taking his message to the streets and the harlots, poor and dispossessed who dwell there.