How Making Friends with Indigenous People Changed My Life

By Joshua Grace, originally posted at Red Letter Christians

I’m a Polish-American settler. I didn’t choose the conditions of my birth or my original family. However, I do choose to actively undermRandyine the systems and lies beneath those conditions of various levels of privilege.

Ignorance of our nation’s history, and the systems that our national narrative myth supports, only perpetuate injustice and maintain roadblocks to our greater healing. I was fortunate that in the process, my own Western worldview got challenged and I realized it needed to be overcome. I could not and probably would not have put the work in without supportive community — the Indigenous friends, teachers, and relatives who offered a healing sense of belonging. Continue reading

Saying Hello and Goodbye

542ad78c3b0cd.imageBy Linda Johnson Seyenkulo

Culture is a funny thing.  You do not know it is there, until it is not.  What I mean by that is the culture to which we are born is so much a part of us that we are not aware.  Someone said, “It is the air we breathe.” Or if we were fish, it would be the water we swim in.  Culture allows us to live and move without having to think about everything we do.

I’m a white, educated, western woman living in a West African country where many people do not have much education.  Me being white, educated and western is part of my culture and my privilege.  I do not think about it much, but in being all that, I carry with me an expectation that the way I live and move and have my being is normal; how things should be.  I often function that way not thinking about what it means for those around me. Continue reading

In The End, It’s Not Perfection

20181215_122508 (1)By Rev. Dr. Victoria Marie 

*This is part of a series of posts from contributors all over North America each answering the question, “How would you define radical discipleship?” We will be posting responses regularly on Mondays during 2019.

When I think about the definition of “radical” discipleship, the first thing that comes to mind is there is only discipleship. In other words what has come to be known as “radical discipleship” is discipleship. All else is “nominal discipleship.” That is not to say that disciples are perfect, as Peter clearly demonstrates. Rather, it is aspirational and made concrete through actions in accordance with what Jesus taught. It is not enough to call oneself a Christian, a disciple. Nor is it enough to be able to quote scripture. Rather, the measure of our discipleship is our capacity to love as Jesus commanded, including our enemies. Discipleship calls us to love and seek justice for the poor and marginalized among us, especially the vulnerable, which in our time includes the very Earth and her endangered flora and fauna. Continue reading

Fourth Helpings

talitha4By Talitha Fraser

We live in times where the focus is on those things that divide rather than connect us but as Chappo (Peter Chapman) says “You should share communion together, it has a unique power to unite beyond words.

For many years I was a co-ordinator for a local community project called Sharing Abundance, the idea behind the project was food sustainability through food rescue and food redistribution.  If we noticed a home in our neighbourhood had produce growing, especially if they didn’t seem to be using it, we’d knock and ask if we could pick it and donate it on to people in need: through our local church foodbank and outreach projects offering a community meal. Mostly people were happy to get rid of it seeing the produce as something that attracted lots of birds and bats or made a mess on the lawn below. Continue reading

With a heavy heart

51018208_1652852181527529_5162391080217346048_nBy T. Tackett

Dear beloved family,

I write this with a heavy heart. In the last couple months we have lost a lot. The towns are flooded. The cities are on fire. The air is thick, toxic, and unbreathable. Most of the water, if there is water, is not potable.  Which leaves us thirsty and breathless.

We have lost a lot of people. All by murder in my opinion. If not by direct assassination, then by the insidious hand of the systems that be.

In these times of resistance and working towards radical transformation; grief and trauma collect in creases of our being. There is no way around it. Battle wounds become battle scars, which become evidence of our fight.

In our work, we are often reminded that grief is a call to action, yet it is difficult to move forward without fully understanding what is happening to us, to our children and to the outcome of all life on earth. It feels all to much. The pain. The burden weight on our soul, trying to sink us. We try to listen, but the sound of our hearts breaking is just to loud.

Don’t get me wrong, most of us understand death, we have had intimate relationship with it. But from this death, life often begins anew. So here in this deep grief we are met with life again. And in this new life, we bare the grief of our old life; a death which we have not yet accepted, and a death which hurts our hearts to bare.

I have always held the belief that we can change this world and we can heal ourselves in the process. But this is hard. This is painful. This is unthinkable. It has never been done before and at the same time it has been done for generations. These two truths are not opposite or contradictions. They are of the same and live within each other.

It was Charity Hicks, one of the great martyrs of the Detroit Water struggle, who called us to “Wage Love”. This idea is not a passive act, but a call to be courageous. A call to heal, but  not forget. To remember our grief. To hold it in our pursuing of justice. And to also remember one can not do this alone. That the possibility and opportunity to heal lays in the foundation of the beloved community. And that every member of the beloved community never truly leaves us. Even in death, They live in the home of our hearts and that in each step towards justice, they continue to walk with us forever.

I finish this letter to say that It is together we will continue to fight, it is to together we will grieve and it is together, we will live again.

In struggle and love

Your brother,
-T. Tackett

T.Tackett is a Community organizer, Activist ,Water Protector, and Land Defender. Born and raised in the Great Lakes region.