The Political Reality at the Heart of the Gospel

LukeBy Pádraig Ó Tuama, comments on the Gospel reading for the second Sunday of Advent (reposted from Spirituality of Conflict)

Luke’s gospel is an extraordinarily political one. Over and over, the writer mentions the names of people in power, referencing their eras, areas of governance and even some of their policies.

The readings for the past two weeks have been filled with warnings about signs of the times. Now, rather than talking about signs, Luke’s gospel text drops us into the actual events, describing in detail the political landscape of the times. Even a casual acquaintance with the gospel texts brings some familiarity with the complicated dynamics of conflict in the politics of the day — names such as Herod, Pilate, Judea, Pharisees, Scribes, Samaria, Syrophonecia, Gentile, Rome, all trip off the tongue, even though our knowledge about these geographies, groups and geopolitical realities might be patchy. Continue reading

An Opportunity to Network and Be Inspired

 

Two Bulls

Wowasake kin slolyapo wowahwala he e (“Know the power that is peace”)  Diptych icon of Black Elk by Robert Two Bulls.

Come join RadicalDiscipleship.Net at the 2019 Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute in sunny Southern California Feb 18-22, 2019.

The 2019 BKI theme is “Indigenous Justice and Christian Faith: Land, Law, Language.” The week will feature a great line up of indigenous resource people, the acclaimed theater production “Discovery,” workshops, art, music and more.

Registration is now open: Registration and Accommodation Package Details

Registration includes, accommodation (most packages), all study materials and 11 meals (Mon dinner-Fri breakfast).

Early bird registration closes: Dec 16th, 2018
Registration deadline: Feb 3rd, 2019

Click on HERE for more information!!!!

World on the Scales: The Apocalyptic Season of the Church Year

King CrimsonBy Ched Myers

Note: These thoughts were shared on the 26th Sunday after Pentecost at Farm Church to give context for the readings and theme of the service. They are germane to this long but informative issue of the BCM Enews.

Yesterday Elaine and I attended the memorial service for my oldest friend’s mother. She was the last of the parents of our tight-knit neighborhood group to cross over during the last year, a string that began with my mom’s passing. We gathered at the venerable old St. James Episcopal church in South Pasadena, where I was baptized as an infant. The memories shared yesterday were about the halcyon days of our little suburban community—and it was by all means a very privileged and insular context in which to grow up. But as I listened, I was mindful of the fact that actually, from puberty onward, I was a pretty alienated kid. In 1970, I was 15, a vegetarian, and already marching against the Indochina war, to the great exasperation of my father, a veteran of two wars. This was on the heels of the 60s, and my older brother was stuck in Vietnam, sending me coded antiwar letters—in Elvish script! Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Word of God in the Wilderness

hill country of Judea.jpg

Photo Credit: Hill Country of Judea by Ferrell Jenkins

Advent 2C

Luke 3.1-6

By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson

Just as the CNN and MSNBC cameras turn their lenses to the president and his people, God’s Word comes to an obscure group of folk whose hope is elsewhere.

We who read the pages of Radical Discipleship hardly need to be told that our hope is not in Trump or the Democratic Party or any of the professional purveyors of the imperial status quo. So it is not surprising to us to hear that in Luke’s time, the Word of God was heard not in Rome or Judea or elsewhere in the corridors of worldly power but in the wilderness.

Continue reading

Robin Wall Kimmerer

indexThis piece was developed during the third Bartimaeus Institute Online (BIO) Study Cohort 2017-2018.  These pieces will eventually be published in a Women’s Breviary collection.  For more information regarding the BIO Study Cohort go here.

By Kristen Snow

Robin Wall Kimmerer is an acclaimed writer, professor, mother and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Her home is in the Oswego River/Finger Lakes watershed, where she has spent many years learning and writing about Sugar Maples (Acer saccharum), Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculata), Cattail Plants (Typha latifolia), and Sweetgrass (wiingaashk, and Hierochloe odorata), to name just a few. She is the founding director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment as well as a distinguished professor at the State University of New York at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. She is a botanist, teacher, counselor, and restorer. A weaver of worlds, Kimmerer pulls strong strands of indigenous wisdom in with a deep appreciation for western sciences and the latin names of plants, teaching and collaborating with people from all nations, countries and backgrounds. She speaks with an awe and adoration for the earth, always acknowledging the relationship we as living beings have. Her view of the planet is familial, embracing the mystery and gift of turtle island. She works hard to weave modern science in with the wisdom she has received from her indigenous ancestors, and present that joining in a digestible way to the often-times disconnected, immature, concrete cultivated, plastic addicted reader of our age. Continue reading

Sermon for First Week of Advent

Advent 1

First week of Advent. Bio-regional wreath by Sarah Holst

By Rev. Denise Griebler
St. Peter’s Episcopal
Dec. 2, 2018
Advent 1C & Homecoming

An earthquake in Alaska, fires in California, hurricanes, flooding, draught, the wars – especially the war in Yemen – refugees at the border, people living under constant threat of deportation or eviction or water shut-off or exorbitant rent increases and more auto plants being shut down. The Rev. Karen Kerrigan (who was just ordained a Roman Catholic Woman Priest here at St. Peter’s) observed that we don’t even need to read the gospel this week – we could just read the newspaper! Continue reading

The Politics of Christmas

From our comrades at the Alternative Seminary in Philly…just in time for Advent:Adbusters

In an age of Trumpism, can we liberate Christmas from its cultural captivity and rediscover the truly prophetic story that speaks to the crises of our world today?

Peace on Earth and the Politics of Christmas

Saturday morning, December 8
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Project HOME, 1515 Fairmount Avenue

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. We will reflect on 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. A light breakfast will be served. A $5 donation is requested to cover costs.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Will O’Brien at (215) 842-1790 or wobrien@alternativeseminary.net by December 5.

The Alternative Seminary is a program of biblical and theological study and reflection designed to foster an authentic biblical witness in the modern world. For more information, see http://www.alternativeseminary.net.