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

Bathed in the Warmth of Stories

fireBy Joyce Hollyday, a facilitator of the upcoming “Heart and Hearth: A Writing Retreat for Women.”

During Advent many years ago, I preached in the morning chapel service at a Pennsylvania college. The chaplain’s five-year-old son, Kyle, had memorized the Gospel of Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus, and he was eager to recite it at lunch. He was flawless until he got to the part about the angels announcing to the shepherds, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace!” Forgetting the last phrase, Kyle concentrated for a few moments. Then he confidently launched in again, enthusiastically attributing these words to the hovering heavenly host: “Glory to God in the highest…and I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down!” Continue reading

Rooted in Story and Struggle

BindingFor our final Sunday installment celebrating 30 years of Ched Myers’ Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus, radical disciples weigh in on both Ched and his book. 

From Jennifer Henry, the executive director of Kairos Canada, reflecting on the viral image from Ossie Michelin’s cell phone in 2013 (left), portraying resistance to fracking led primarily by indigenous women:

OssieWhat I have learned from the witness of Ched Myers is that we can bring kairos moments like these into conversation with biblical moments, in ways that deepen understanding of the present day struggle and inspire prophetic action. His life’s work does not just demonstrate that we can build this bridge, but that we must, for the integrity of our faith and its call to justice. It is an intersection that enriches both our grasp of the historic texts and our commitment to current struggle. In Ched’s hands this process is never theoretical, but embodied, wading deep into the bible, but just as deeply into social change movements so that we’re grounded in, both rooted in story and struggle.

Continue reading

Every Goodbye Ain’t Gone

Aireys, Early 20s.jpeg (1)By Tommy Airey, a homily for Day House, a four-decade Catholic Worker experiment wedged between casinos and stadiums a stone’s throw from downtown Detroit

I am new to the traditions of Celtic Samhain and Christian All Saints. I grew up in the world of white suburban Evangelical Christianity. I attended a private Christian school that was part of the movement sparked a decade earlier as a response to the Civil Rights Movement and the racial integration instituted by the Supreme Court (and resisted by Governors who were enabled by Presidents). My pastors and teachers taught me that Catholics were going to hell and that Halloween was the devil’s holiday. Continue reading

In Winter

winter.jpgBy Kate Foran
With an invitation to Word and World’s Heart and Hearth: A Writing Retreat for Women.

The nights are getting chillier and the ground is covered in frost by morning.

On days like this, even getting out of from under the warm covers to start the day requires deliberate intention. There’s a choice to be made. You have to ready yourself. Same with stepping outside in the cold—you have to attend to the transition between the cozy heat inside and the bite of cold on the other side of the door. One by one, the layers pile on. Continue reading

Rebels and Saints

indexBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

For the last two weeks, Isaac has asked me to read the same story every night- The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter. It is the story of Alia Muhammad Baker who saved all the books from her library just before the library was burned to the ground during the US bombing of the Iraq War. It ends with her dreaming of peace from her home filled with books from floor to ceiling. Each night, Isaac asks what happened to Alia? What happened to the books? We finally looked it up and they re-built the library and she is the librarian again with all the books and stories she held safe from our mass destruction. Continue reading