Celebrating The Resurrection – Pittsburgh Style

fpDMSscrap ironBy Oz Cole-Arnal, former professor emeritus at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary

My wife Marian, my oldest boy Bill, three friends from my first parish (George and Julie MacLeod and their daughter Stacy) and,I chose to celebrate Christ’s resurrection at Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This congregation shares with East Liberty Presbyterian 
Church the distinction of being the church of the prominent, wealthy and respectable. At Shadyside Presbyterian worship some of Pittsburgh’s leading banking and steel magnates representing such corporate heavyweights as Mellon Bank, United States Steel and Dravo Corporation. There is an Alice in Wonderland quality to this neighborhood and church. The lawns are
manicured and spacious, the houses made of stone and surrounded by trees and shrubbery which bear the mark of the finest in professional gardeners. And the church? It too has the stamp of breeding – large, reddish brown stone, an usher in tuxedo waiting to lead the stylish worshippers to their pews. Continue reading

The Zeitgeist of Grief

By Lane Patriquin, originally printed in Geez 54: Climate Justice

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Grief Rituals Credit: Molly Costello (link below)

Tolstoy believed that every generation has a zeitgeist – an emotion that acts as the unspoken guiding force of a time in history.

^Lane Patriquin reads their piece as part of Geez Out Loud. The audio is an exact reading of the written article.

For those of us coming of age in the climate-changed world of late-capitalism, it could be said that the predominant guiding force of our generation is grief.

With the news media surrounding us every day, we are steeped in images of grief. Whales washing up on shores with stomachs full of plastic. Pollinators dying off. Climate change records surpassed decades before predicted, and neo-fascist governments suppressing environmental conservation efforts around the world. Continue reading

A Hole in the Roof or a Whole New Roof?

Chava

PC: Lisa, a guest at the Catholic Worker

By Chava Redonnet (right), from the most recent bulletin of Oscar Romero Inclusive Catholic Church.

In July of 2017, when we were trying to buy the house that is now Serenity, the man who came to inspect it had good news for us. Although there were some holes in the roof at the back of the house, and some water damage, his opinion was that if we could get those holes mended we could wait five years to replace the roof. Yay! That was good news. Chuck and Mike did a lot of work that first year and got those holes fixed and the water damage repaired. It was one of our many miracles, that getting the house useable happened without a huge expenditure of funds, thanks both to the volunteer work of Chuck and Mike, and to the damage being fixable.

When we hit the two year mark this summer, realizing that we were just three years away from replacing the roof, we talked about starting a roof fund for the $10-15,000 it is likely to cost. Continue reading

Deep Love

Kings BayBy Tommy Airey

Lindsay shot me a text last Friday afternoon. KingsBay7 all found guilty of all the charges. She concluded with crying emojis. The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 is a motley crew of older white Christians who, on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination, broke into a Naval base in Georgia with hammers, crime scene tape, baby bottles containing their own blood, and an indictment charging the U.S. government with crimes against peace. ¡Personas peligrosos!

The Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base is home to at least six nuclear ballistic missile submarines, each of which carries 20 Trident thermonuclear weapons—possessed with 3,800 times more destructive power as the weapons that were used on Hiroshima. Hammers? They were literally following the prophet Isaiah’s command to “beat swords into plowshares.” They discerned the action after two years of prayer and practice. This was a deep symbolic action designed to penetrate souls. Continue reading

Prayer for Wednesday

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By Kateri Boucher

Do you remember when
all that time ago
last Sunday
you asked to be held
in the
tension?
Said yes, I will stay in
the tension
And the wine and pita
and big old
orange moon
were your friends
and witnesses?

Well now it’s almost Thursday
and you haven’t even looked
for the moon all week,
much less
seen it,
and the tension feels lonelier
tonight than you remembered
and half the power’s out
and the mice have found the rice
and left a little trail
down to the basement

But even now I suppose
it isn’t too late to crack
a smile at the whole damn
mess,
light a candle in the kitchen,
sweep up the rice,
remember that you asked
to be held because you
already are,
and anyway
it’s just
3 more days now
til next Sunday

 

No Brady Bunch Mom: A Tribute to “Saint” Julia MacLeod

JulieBy Oz Cole-Arnal, former professor emeritus at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary

In Catholic parlance a saint becomes a singled out role model to emulate, but in terms of Scriptural usage the term applies to all the baptized who took on the name of Jesus the Christ. Rather than argue such a point, I would suggest that Julia MacLeod, my dear friend and mentor, whose loss we now mourn and whose life we honor, fulfills both above definitions. We have bid fond adieu to a sister who has role modeled for me what it means to love and follow Christ over against the common and easy definition of the term. Rather than define what this means in abstract terms, I choose instead to underscore her and her “hubby” George’s impact on my life and how they both shaped my Christian faith in maturing and radical ways. In other words, as feminists of the 1970s put it, “the personal is political”. This is and was Julia’s profound impact on my life. Now, on to some illustrations! Continue reading

Community is Bullshit

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redit: James Darling, https://flic.kr/p/8MvB4k

By Katie Hoogendam. This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 43, Fall 2016, The Collectivity Issue.

The following piece is rooted in my experience as a university student at the Oregon Extension, an intentional educational community based atop a mountain in Lincoln, Oregon.

The Oregon Extension was formed by a collective of independent Christian professors in the mid-1970s and grounded in the works of Thoreau, Dostoevsky, Annie Dillard, and Wendell Berry. It is known for its cultivation and examination of “big ideas,” and has been touted as a space for seekers of all stripes and disgruntled Christians alike. This article is an update of a story that originally appeared in catapult magazine [online] and in Road Journal magazine in 2008.

God, please help me not be an asshole, is about as common a prayer as I pray in my life. – Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastrix

The year is 2001. Professor John casts his gaze across the batch of eager new students and, pausing for dramatic effect, calculates the measure of our idealism on some internal register built upon years of guiding sanguine undergrads. “Community is bullshit,” he grunts, turning away without explanation. Continue reading