Mothering as Discipleship

58373625_10109215327077547_3301167968863387648_nRe-shared from Bartimeaus Cooperative’s newsletter.

At Farm Church on Mother’s Day, Charletta Erb talked with Erin Hakim, mother of Gabriel (5 years) and Lucia (4 months),about mothering as discipleship, as part of our occasional “biography as theology” reflections.

Is motherhood a spiritual act for you?

Since Lucia’s birth my space has been physically grounded, happily reclusive, narrow, and defined by the predictable cycle of a baby’s needs. At times I find myself fighting it, or wanting my own space, but then I release (often with the help of nursing) and can relax into it as I remember this is such a short season. Then I just stare in wonder at my children. Mothering is a discipline, like training for a century or iron man, or like sitting in meditation for hours: painful and repetitive, yet so rewarding, with fleeting moments of nirvana or bliss. Continue reading

Pentecost: Bellies in the Mud

20190608_144453By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann
Reflection offered at Day House Catholic Worker in Detroit on June 9, 2019

Psalm 104
Acts 2:1-11
John 20: 19-2

I admit that I come to these readings today carrying my own fear and anxiety. The kind of fear that can force you to lock yourself in a room. I’ve been scrolling through too many headlines these past few weeks that make it hard to breath. Continue reading

Thoughts on an Imperial God

CPIBy Mark Van Steenwyk of the Center for Prophetic Imagination (Minneapolis, MN)

This piece was originally posted on Patheos.

Ours is a civilized god. He is distant, floating high above the world, refusing to be dirtied by it. He is the Supreme Hierarch, the Ruler of All. The Great Architect, looking down over all of creation and ordering it according to his Divine Blueprint. Of all of the things he’s created, he likes human beings the best. Sometimes he communicates to some of these humans, revealing to them part of his Divine Blueprint. Our primary relationship with this god is one of obedience; we are to do his will so that things can work according to the Blueprint. Continue reading

Changing Out Our Western Lenses

Randy WoodleyFrom the introduction of Randy Woodley’s May 2019 Sojourners Magazine piece “The Fullness Thereof.”

CHANGE YOUR LENSES, please. Okay, maybe you can’t simply change lenses right now, but would you at least notice the lenses you are currently wearing? If you are like, say, 99.9 percent of us in the U.S., you have been influenced by a very particular set of perspectives that interpret life from an Enlightenment-bound Western worldview.

All of our lenses have various perspectival tints, but Western worldviews seem to have several in common, including the foundational influence of Platonic dualism, inherited from the Greeks. This particular influence absolutizes the realm of the abstract (spirit, soul, mind) and reduces the importance of the concrete realm (earth, body, material), disengaging them from one another. In dualistic thinking, we are no longer an existing whole. Continue reading

God’s Blessing to the Weak

RachelThe benediction given by the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber at the funeral of Rachel Held Evans (re-posted by Diana Butler Bass on social media).

Blessed are the agnostics. Blessed are they who doubt. Blessed are those who have nothing to offer. Blessed are the preschoolers who cut in line at communion. Blessed are the poor in spirit. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

Blessed are those whom no one else notices. The kids who sit alone at middle-school lunch tables. The laundry guys at the hospital. The sex workers and the night-shift street sweepers. The closeted. The teens who have to figure out ways to hide the new cuts on their arms. Blessed are the meek. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you. Continue reading

Dad’s “Heart Shield” Bible

By Ken Sehested

Pictured below is my Dad’s “Heart Shield” Bible, a copy of the New Testament on to which a metal plate front cover has been attached. The engraved cover, now smudged by corrosion, reads “May this keep you safe from harm.” It was sold by the Know Your Bible Sales Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, manufactured by the Whitman Publishing Company, Racine, Wisconsin, and was designed to fit into a soldier’s uniform shirt pocket. Multiple stories exist of soldiers reportedly spared serious injury when bullets struck this tiny piece of body armor.

Dad's _Shield and New Testament_

An inscription inside the cover indicates that Dad’s sister, my Aunt Juanita, gave him this gift. No date is listed, but it was sometime before Dad landed with the first wave of soldiers storming Omaha Beach in the June 1944 Allies’ D-Day invasion on the French coast in World War II. Dad was among the fortunate survivors, though he carried for the remainder of his life a piece of German artillery shrapnel embedded in bone behind his right ear. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Pentecost

20190221_073837Pentecost, Year C
Acts 2

By Wes Howard Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson

“In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young people shall see visions, and your old people shall dream dreams.” (Acts 2.17)

Late this past winter, we had to remove a big, old spruce tree from the south side of our little house here in the Issaquah Creek watershed. The City had replaced a sewer line adjacent to our house a few years earlier, and it had severed a major root of the tree. We knew it was only a matter of time for that old spruce. It finally gave up and down it came to protect our house from the risk of it falling on the roof. Continue reading