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

Jesus Was Non-Binary

ChristA re-post from our comrades at Friendly Fire Collective (11/27/18):

“So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them male and female, himself.”

All people are made in god’s image. The vast variety of human souls are all a little reflection of rich, deep, complicated god.

In his piece “Is God Transgender?” Mark Sameth writes about the “highly elastic” language used to describe gender in the Hebrew bible. As an example, he describes how Adam is referred to as “them” and Eve is referred to as “he” in Genesis 3:12.

The first people, made in god’s image, switching between pronouns from sentence to sentence. 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

Blessed are you…

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New Hampshire Public Radio

By Rev. Anna Blaedel
(re-shared from Facebook circulation)

blessed are you who are raging.
blessed are you who are mourning.
blessed are you who feel numb.
blessed are you who feel sick. and tired. and sick and tired.
blessed are you who refuse to turn away.
blessed are you who need to turn away.
blessed are you who keep breathing deep.
blessed are you who are tending to your own needs.
blessed are you who are tending to the needs of another.
blessed are you who have been calling.
blessed are you who have been organizing.
blessed are you who have been testifying.
blessed are you who have been hearing.
blessed are you who have been resisting.
blessed are you who feel broken open beyond repair.
blessed are you who are raw beyond words.
blessed are you who are working hotlines and crisis care centers and bearing witness to the forces of violence and trauma unleashed and unloosed.
blessed are you who are marching.
blessed are you who are weeping.
blessed are you who preach and know that divinity resides in despised, abused, violated flesh.
blessed are you who know deep in your bones that you are good. and beautiful. and beloved. and sacred. and worthy. and believed. and held. and capable of healing beyond your
wildest imagination.
blessed are you who remind others they are good. and beautiful. and beloved. and sacred. and worthy. and believed. and held. and capable of healing beyond their wildest imagination.
blessed are we when we dare to dream of a world without sexual violence, without white supremacy, without misogyny, without police brutality, without anti-trans and
anti-queer violence.
blessed are we when we stay tender.
blessed are we when we stay fierce.
blessed are we when we dare to imagine repair, and transformation.
blessed are we when we labor together to make it so.

A Reflection on Mary Oliver

mary oliverThis 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

Mary Oliver spends her life offering her view of the world as a gift to anyone, and everyone. She has lived a poor and simple life, not seeing the interest in wealth or possessions, but finding her sustenance in the fruits of the ocean and the earth. Her spirituality and belief in the Creator is deep and wide. She is not framed in the specificities of theology or religion, choosing to see the reality of God in the natural world and through the words of Rumi, a similarly gifted seer. Her poems have reached millions. Continue reading

Why Did She Wait?

Ruby SalesAnother post from the front porch of Ruby Sales (September 17, 2018):

Republicans ask with hypocritical self righteousness that if Christine Ford’s allegation that charges Kavanaugh with sexual terrorism and attempted rape is true why did she wait thirty six years to go public?

She remained silent for the same reasons that thousands of women did not speak out. We lived in a White male patriarchy that blamed women and dismissed us as aggressive sexual predators and whores for sexual crimes against us. Sadly even women internalized this view and believed that we provoked men to commit these acts against us. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: What is a good wife anyways?

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Photo by Caitlin Reilley Beck

18th Sunday After Pentecost
Proper 20 (25)B

Proverbs 31:10-31

By Caitlin Reilley Beck

A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
Proverbs 31:10-11

This passage makes it clear who is writing Scripture and who isn’t. It reads like the vision board of the patriarchy, and capitalism for that matter, though it doesn’t originate in this economic system. According to this reading, the dream is to have a wife who will do a thousand different things – truly she is  one who works to “have it all.” Except, surprise, surprise, she only gets “a share in the fruit of her hands” (31:31). If this is the Bible’s job posting for being a wife in a straight, monogamous marriage, it could use some workshopping because it is not very appealing. Continue reading