The Deeper Hope

SNGBy Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin (right), Salt and Light Lutheran Church (Portland, OR), Sunday, November 29, 2020, Mark 13:24 – 31

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the service this week. For the season of Advent, the plan was to have a storyteller for each Sunday of the season…one story each Sunday to go along with the theme for the week: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. Well, when I reached out to folks this week I found stories of Peace, Joy and Love, but hope…? Hope was a little harder to come by. Now, maybe not. Maybe I just didn’t happen to reach out to the people with hope stories! Or maybe, as I ultimately discerned, the Spirit was inviting ME to tell a hope story because hope has been a little hard to come by FOR ME. And I admit it! I have struggled with the whole notion of hope for a long time now, and I actually think I am not alone in this struggle. Continue reading “The Deeper Hope”

Rosa Parks: Presente!

Today is the 65th anniversary of the arrest of Rosa Parks. When she was forty-two years old, she refused to give up her seat on an Alabama bus after working all day as a seamstress at a department store. Many Black folk had done the same thing before. They were arrested, kicked off or killed. Her act of divine disobedience sparked a successful bus boycott that lasted 381 days. But her co-workers refused to speak to her and she got fired from her job. She received constant death threats. When she moved north to Detroit a year later, the threats and intimidation continued. In 1965, a conservative organization plastered huge billboards along the Selma march that depicted Dr. King and Rosa Parks as “Communists.”

Continue reading “Rosa Parks: Presente!”

Welcoming Illegal Life: Disciplines of Readiness

adventA compelling Advent offering from radical disciples in the Bay. 
Somewhere in this country–out in the desert or under a freeway or in some cramped tenement apartment–an illegal baby is being born, brown-skinned and beautiful and trailing the wisdom of the ancestors that we need for this time. We can’t tell you where this birth is happening; if we did, Herod would deport mother and child, or worse. But it is happening. It is always happening.
And wherever new life is being birthed, it is vulnerable and under threat. New life, if it is genuinely new, is a danger to the systems of deathliness amidst which we live, and so new life is endangered everywhere. Women are being subjected to forced hysterectomies in immigrant detention camps while the right of any woman to have sovereignty over her birthing capabilities is under siege throughout the country.
How do we ready ourselves to welcome and protect illegal life–in the world and within ourselves? What are the disciplines of readiness? This is what we will attend to in this four-session Advent series. 
Something is being birthed in you and in us. Let’s prepare together:
Tuesdays, December 1-22
7:30-9 ET/ 4:30-6 PT
By donation to support the work of the facilitators
About the facilitators
Rev. Lynice Pinkard is a Black writer, teacher, healer, pastor, and public intellectual operating at the intersection of Christianity, economics, and social change. Her current work is dedicated to decolonizing the human spirit and freeing people from what she calls “empire affective disorder.” Her commitment is to inspire and nurture a new generation of Spirit-filled servant leaders dedicated to the remediation of day-to-day suffering, the building of collective resilience for transformative change, and the pursuit of structural and systemic justice in the world.
Nichola Torbett is a white spiritual seeker, recovering addict, gospel preacher, racial justice podcaster, nonviolent direct action trainer, and petsitter. She is committed to helping other white people recognize their own trauma and discontent as catalysts for the dismantling of systems of oppression that are killing us all, and killing Black and Brown people first. She is grateful to First Congregational Church of Oakland and Second Acts as her primary communities of accountability.
Lynice and Nichola have been teaching, writing, and fomenting communities of recovery and resistance together for eleven years. Forged by mutual longing, love, and shared risk, their cross-racial friendship forms the basis for the transformative work they do with others.

Peace on Earth and the Politics of Christmas

An online offering from Will O’Brien of the Alternative Seminary in Philly. December 5 at 10:30amEST.

Much of the Christian church in the United States has been co-opted by an American gospel of prosperity, racism, violence, and militant nationalism. The celebration of Christmas is a victim of that co-optation: It is often wrapped in innocent, feel-good. Hallmark-card imagery. But in fact the biblical texts describing the coming of Jesus are making powerful assertions about the politics of the Bible that speak very much to our contemporary global crises. This online gathering will explore the “nativity narratives” in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke to see how they express core biblical themes of justice and liberation. We will try to “un-domesticate” these tales of liberation and reflect on how they are truly challenging us in terms of our allegiance and our discipleship. A perfect event for Advent.

Continue reading “Peace on Earth and the Politics of Christmas”

Confession & Call to Action: White Supremacy & the 2020 Election

Today, once again, all eyes are on Michigan as the State Board of Canvassers votes to certify the election results. This is a statement written by white radical disciples in Detroit. Click on and sign to be in solidarity.

We are speaking in this moment as White people.

We join our voice with others.

Continue reading “Confession & Call to Action: White Supremacy & the 2020 Election”

Pillar of Fire- An Interview with Joyce Hollyday

Almost eight years ago, I meandered around the house with a bulging belly waiting and waiting for labor to begin. As I waited, I listened to Joyce Hollyday rattle off newly learned facts about weapons in the Middle Ages. At night, I would try to relax my body and she would read the early chapters of this beautiful book I now hold in my hands.

Joyce has written an incredible novel that is healing salve for our hearts in this moment. It is a page turner that takes you into a world and a character who sits in the midst of a harsh world and somehow manages to find a fertile faith, a loving community, and incredible joy.

It is the kind of book you might want to read in the candlelit darkness of Advent or gift to all your friends under the tree. Here are some words from Joyce about the book. I hope you enjoy! – Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

Continue reading “Pillar of Fire- An Interview with Joyce Hollyday”

Clare Grady’s Statement at Sentencing

Three of the defendants in the Kings Bay Plowshares were sentenced last week in court. You can find updates on their cases HERE.

Photo credit: Ellen Grady

Below is the sentencing statement from Clare Grady.

Good afternoon, Judge Wood, Mr Knoche and Mr. Gillully, and greetings to all the women and men who work in the courtroom there in Georgia. Also, greetings to all those who are listening in to these sentencing hearings on your phones, your presence as attendants and witnesses to this procedure as we work together to seek justice is essential. Without your participation, we might lose sight of the nature of a government of the People, for the People, and by the People.I come before the court today ready for sentencing. May my words and spirit today be rooted in truth with love, the two elements of non-violence.

Continue reading “Clare Grady’s Statement at Sentencing”

This is Repentance

By Tommy Airey

I believe that a higher Power sews everything into a fabric of belovedness. As a result, we belong to everyone else. I also believe that it was this divine love and belonging that beckoned Jesus to break rank from well-worn supremacy ideologies that use race, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status or national citizenship as a litmus test for greatness. Jesus knew that supremacy destroys belovedness and belongingness—and that supremacy can only be broken when people break rank together. He called this transformative process “repentance.”

Continue reading “This is Repentance”

Time for a Retreat?

On offering from our dear comrade Marcia Lee (right) dialing in from eastside Detroit.

As Grace Lee Boggs reminds us, in the Chinese word for chaos, there is both opportunity and danger.  These times can be especially difficult to navigate when you are in leadership.  To support you in your leadership and to grow a community of leaders, we invite you to join us for a series of retreats for your soul and role and to have a community with which to grow and learn together for a year. 

Continue reading “Time for a Retreat?”