Desert Well by David Winnie, Creative Commons, 2008
Proper 7, Season After Pentecost
The biblical portrait(s) of Hagar include surrogacy, power, African identity, patriarchal family, enslavement, physical violence, pregnancy, migration, wilderness, water and the naming of God as one who sees. These are hard subjects and it would be easy to preach on another text. But when migrant bodies, mothers and children, are dying of thirst in the Arizona desert; when African refugees drown by the thousands in the Mediterranean; when corporations like Nestle, Kinder Morgan, and Dakota Access trample Indigenous women’s teaching that Water is Life; when the story of Isaac and Ishmael is used to normalize the Israeli occupation of Palestine; when overt acts of hatred against Muslims are escalating; and when white women’s complicity in criminalizing black bodies and exonerating murderous police is all but invisible, we cannot side-step this heritage that so profoundly speaks to our present. Continue reading
By Naomi Shihab Nye, Palestinian-American poet and author of fiction, essays and children’s books
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know Continue reading
Photo credit: Bayne Stanley
By Laurel Dykstra, Salal and Cedar
On May 29, Salal and Cedar and Fossil Free Faith organized “bike to worship week” and a blessing of the bicycles. Below is an article written by Laurel Dykstra for the Diocese of Westminster. Following the article is the order of service and intercessions.
Vancouver’s Christ Church Cathedral has a new bell tower but the bells ringing in the 120 year old church on May 29th were attached to the handle-bars of bicycles. With sacramental chrism oil, bicycle chain oil, holy water and prayers, Anglican Bishop Melissa Skelton, two priests, and a United Church Minister blessed bicycles, transit passes, and a host of people who are making an effort to reduce the environmental impact of their commute to worship.
While light from the stained glass windows colored their faces, a congregation of about twenty-five listened to a passage from Ezekiel about the prophet’s vision of a wheel within a wheel and they prayed for the safety of cyclists, fossil fuel divestment and the victims of climate disasters and wars for oil. Led by a cross and banners and the bishop with miter, crozier and cope, cyclists and pedestrians processed out of the church to a hospitality station on the street where they offered coffee, snacks, bike maps and “ride-by blessings” to commuters on the bike route outside. Continue reading
Another short and sweet book review-summary from legendary pastor Vern Ratzlaff, posting up on the Canadian prairies, pouring his heart and mind into anti-imperial theology and soul-tending. Vern turns 80 this week. As Ched Myers noted a few days ago: “in his long ministry he has opened so many new ways of being Anabaptist in a pluralistic world, ways that many of us try to walk with him.” We honor this elder for his service and way-of-Being in the world–a model of radical discipleship.
Parables as Subversive Speech: Jesus as Pedagogue of the Oppressed. William Herzog, Westminster, 1994.
Herzog focuses on the parables from the social/cultural analysis of Freire, Brazilian educator, whose work with the poor brought new attention to what could help people accept a perspective that would move beyond the immediate poverty and loss of hope. Herzog traces carefully the shifting interpretation systems of Jesus ‘the Parabaler’ and presents an interpretational approach that compares it with Freire’s methodology. Continue reading
By Neil Gaiman
Listen hear read by Amanda Palmer
Science, as you know, my little one, is the study
of the nature and behaviour of the universe.
It’s based on observation, on experiment, and measurement,
and the formulation of laws to describe the facts revealed.
In the old times, they say, the men came already fitted with brains
designed to follow flesh-beasts at a run,
to hurdle blindly into the unknown,
and then to find their way back home when lost
with a slain antelope to carry between them.
Or, on bad hunting days, nothing. Continue reading
New book by Bill Wylie-Kellermann. Where the Water Goes Around: Beloved Detroit is a biblical and political reading of Detroit over the course of three decades by an activist pastor.
Detroit is a place where one can take the temperature of the world. Think on the rise of Fordism and auto-love, the Arsenal of Democracy, the practice of the sit-down strike, or the invention of the expressway and suburban mall. Consider more recently the rebellion of 1967, the deindustrialization of a union town, the assault on democracy in this Black-majority city, the structural adjustments of municipal bankruptcy, and now a struggle for water as a human right. Continue reading