Don’t Be So Careful

BayoBy Bayo Akomolafe (originally posted to social media on June 28, 2020)

Don’t be so careful. Don’t be so calculating about where you place your feet. Don’t be so logical. The beckoning horizons do not dip into a merciless abyss, from which nothing can be salvaged. You will not fall if you reach the abominable edges – where the ground stops abruptly; you will fly. Yes. There’s much more room than our fondest ideologies and contrived evidences could possibly apprehend. So, dance with the sensuous decadence that comes with knowing that you are larger than your containing spaces, that your most outrageous obsessions and drunken fantasies are just as inconsequential as the most popular fads and the most accurate heavens. And in the heat of your glorious performance, toss away those interrupting preoccupations with outcomes, with how you appear in the eyes of public scrutiny, or with how well you are doing – for you are not a crease in the fabric of things, you are the fabric of things…exploring the intense and forlorn beauty of a crease. Life is a dance, and dancing wasn’t invented for destinations.

We Vow to Break the Yokes

FloydBy Grecia Lopez-Reyes, an L.A.-based community organizer. This was written for a memorial for George Floyd in L.A. (right) a few weeks ago.

Jesus of Nazareth, you who were wrongly accused and crucified by the state, break the bonds of injustice.

We have gathered here today in pain, grief, and anger demanding justice. We gather remembering the life of George Floyd, who as Jesus of Nazareth was crucified by the State. The murder of George Floyd and the wrongful killings happening in our black communities has shaken this nation. You have woken us up Lord, because justice demands it! Continue reading “We Vow to Break the Yokes”

I Asked the Redwoods

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The face of the Redwood. Alameda, California, January 2015. Pussreboots CC.

By Nichola Torbett. This article appeared in Geez magazine, Summer 2020, Geez 57: CO₂conspirators: Communing with Trees.

A couple weeks ago, walking in the redwoods with a dog, at the suggestion of adrienne maree brown, I decided to ask the trees about COVID-19.

Basically, what I heard from the trees is that even this virus has a message for us if we are willing to hear it. No, they were not saying that “God created a virus to punish us” – trust me, I checked, because I have not forgotten the 1980s. But they were clear that there was a message. Continue reading “I Asked the Redwoods”

Geez Calls for Advent Reflections

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Bioregional Advent Wreath Credit: Sarah Holst

Geez magazine’s
Call for Submissions: Advent Reflections

Due July 1, 2020

Could you use a little quiet? Some darkness and stillness? Maybe some candlelight? In this moment, as summer heats up, amidst pandemic and now the street struggle against police violence and white supremacy, quiet and prayer seem like a welcome thought.

This year, Geez magazine will be publishing a daily Advent reflection book. We are looking for reflections, poetry, prayers, and whatever else you can think of that fits in 200 words. Continue reading “Geez Calls for Advent Reflections”

A Sustainable Culture Built Around Anti-Racism

resmaaAn excerpt from an interview Kristen Moe did with trauma therapist Resmaa Menakem, originally posted on Medium (May 24, 2020).

…we will not fix the problem of structural racism and racial violence in this country unless we heal the ways that racial trauma lives in our bodies. It will not happen. One thing that white people and white justice leaders are starting to understand is that there’s work to be done among white people — and that work has to be embodied. White people have got to start to lean into how to create culture around the abolition of white body supremacy. Not workshops, not book clubs, but culture. There’s been a culture built around segregation and assimilation; but there has not been a sustainable culture built around anti-racism. Not yet. How do we build a culture in which white people name their children in the tradition of anti-racist heroes? What are the stories of that culture? What are the rules of admonishment and rules of acceptance? What does the elderhood process look like in an anti-racist culture? How do we teach our white children about race in a way that is open and honest but doesn’t center them as the standard? How do we leverage our white body currency to make lives for our children less arduous? How do we develop the ability to notice when we’re taking up too much room, or when we’re hiding because we’re uncomfortable? Continue reading “A Sustainable Culture Built Around Anti-Racism”

Pride: 51 Years After Stonewall

Stonewall InnFrom Richard Cleaver in Know My Name: A Gay Liberation Theology (1995):

I believe that almost any passage of scripture could be used to show that lesbians and gay men have a vital place in the body of Christ. I believe this because of an article of my faith that I hope I can lead you to share. It is this: if Jesus, in his passion and death, freely chose to become a victim of injustice, his sharing of our oppression entitles those of us who are still victims of injustice to demand that any pronouncement of scripture or ecclesiastical authority be judged by whether it helps or hinders our liberation, our becoming subjects of history, not victims only.

 

You Corrupted Wisdom for the Sake of Splendor

KenBy Ken Sehested

I will likely be considered antiquated, maybe maniacal, even apoplectic when I say we in the US (with derivative outbreaks elsewhere) are under the spell of the demonic, of those who worship death’s malicious craving, specifically the sacrificial scalp of dissenters, of those who do not genuflect in its presence, of any and all who stand in the way of imperial designs, who claim authority to divide the world into makers and takers, to shape all reality in service to the ruthless pursuit of power’s conceit, arrogance being the elixir of indefinite, everlasting rule of the strong over the weak, the privileged over the disdained, the worthy over the maimed. Continue reading “You Corrupted Wisdom for the Sake of Splendor”

Running and Reckoning

caitBy Cait De Mott Grady, kicking off the virtual Peter De Mott Peace Trot, an annual race in Ithaca to honor the late Plowshares activist on Father’s Day

Greetings from Detroit!

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Cait De Mott Grady. I’m Peter De Mott and Ellen Grady’s second daughter. I live in Detroit, MI where I work as a felony public defender and organizer.

It’s so good to be with all of you virtually tonight, though I long to be with you all in person. Continue reading “Running and Reckoning”

It is Time to Wake Up

gethsemaneThe following devotion was offered by Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin during the weekly online gathering for ELCA leaders on “Being Church in Times of Crisis,” Wednesday, June 17, 2020 (The Commemoration of the Martyrdom of the Emanuel 9). See video here.

On Maundy Thursday of 2020 I posted about praying like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Today, as tens of thousands take to the streets daily demanding racial justice and systemic change, Jesus’ call to WAKE UP couldn’t be more urgent. Dear fellow white Christians, the hour is upon us. It is time to WAKE UP! Continue reading “It is Time to Wake Up”

White Folks, Relationships are Key for Movement Building

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Demonstrators at a June 14 nonviolent assembly and vigil supporting the Movement for Black Lives and in honor of loved ones killed by police violence in Grays Harbor County, Washington. Photo credit: Chaplains on the Harbor, chaplainsontheharbor.org.

By Tim W. Shenk

Part 2 of “Don’t Delete Your White Friends.”

I wrote a short piece recently, encouraging my fellow white people not to delete our white friends who post hurtful or misinformed opinions, especially around race and racism.

Lots of people have read this piece. Many have gotten what I was trying to say, but I don’t think I was clear enough. It’s not about penance or doing hard things out of guilt about our whiteness, and it’s not about staying friends with white supremacists. Here’s a second attempt to say more about what I was driving at.

I want to be clear that the “don’t delete white friends” proposal applies to people we’re actually friends with — in real life! Not just on social media. “Don’t delete” is less about curating a Facebook profile and more about an orientation for our actual lives. The friends I’m talking about are people that at some point have shared something significant in common with us. People who have some reason to care about us and what we think, and vice versa.
Continue reading “White Folks, Relationships are Key for Movement Building”