Queen Lili’uokalani of Hawaii

220px-liliuokalani_of_hawaiiBy Grace Aheron.

This piece was developed during the first Bartimaeus Institute Online Cohort (2015-2016), aka “The Feminary.”  These pieces will eventually be published in a Women’s Breviary collection.  For more information regarding the Feminary go here.

80 million years ago, the earth opened up in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, liquid land bubbling up through the ocean to cool into a jade island chain. Through the intricate folding of land, sea, wind, and the breath of creation, life came to the islands and flourished in the rich volcanic soil. A few hundred years after the death of Christ, using only the stars and the sea to navigate in their outrigger canoes, master navigators from the West crossed thousands of miles of water to find paradise. In the Kumulipo, the creation chant sacred to native people in the Islands of Hawai’i, the story tells of the intimate linkage between people, the gods, the earth, and plants and animal indigenous to that place. Veneration of the `aumakua (ancestors) and gods weaves the story of present-day Hawaiians into the fabric of history— it is impossible to speak of the origin of native people without telling the origin of the sacred land that provided life. An extensive portion of the Kumulipo is dedicated to enumerating the lineage of the monarchs and royal family of the Kingdom of Hawai’i, and, fittingly, the chant was first translated into English by the kingdom’s first, last, and only sovereign queen, Liliu’okalani. Continue reading

CAN THESE BONES LIVE? PRACTICING SANCTUARY IN A VALLEY OF BONES

santuaryLeo Guardado, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary—chapel talk
February 28, 2017

Ezekiel 37:1-6: The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath[a] to enter you, and you shall live. 6 I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath[b] in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

Friends,

At the U.S.-Mexico border there is a group of faithful people called Samaritans—some religious and some not—who daily journey into the Sonoran desert which has become a valley of dry bones. There you find bones of children, of women, of elderly men. About ten years ago, a group of students and I came across bones that were later identified as belonging to a teenager. Sometimes you only find a few bones, for coyotes—the animal kind—and other wild beasts have already been at the scene of death. Continue reading

Save the Date: Beyond Vietnam as a Lenten Devotional on RadicalDiscipleship

mlk3.jpgBeloved Community,

RadicalDiscipleship invites you to journey with us through the 40 days of Lent by reading and reflecting daily on Martin Luther’s King’s “Beyond Vietnam.”

March 1-April 16 Continue reading

The Doctrine of Discovery and Watershed Conquest

doctrineOn November 3, 524 clergy went in solidarity to Standing Rock as part of a call for clergy to join the struggle. As part of the action, the clergy repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery (which coincidentally is 524 years old). They presented a copy of the doctrine to an elder who burned it.

Below is an excerpt from Kat Friesen’s chapter in Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith and Practice where she explores the Doctrine of Discovery.

The Doctrine of Discovery and its resulting “Watershed Conquest” provide an exceptionally relevant case study of the harmful outworking of Christendom theologies. Any work toward reconciliation as mission must take into account these exploitative theologies, and begin with repentance as metanoia. Metanoia, translated from Greek as repentance (e.g. Mark 1:4), carries a connotation of changing both mind and action. Thus, repenting of the theologies of placelessness that persist today means recognizing their error and actively changing direction. Continue reading

People and Prayers

laurel-dykstraBy Laurel Dykstra, Salal and Cedar
I am home again in Coast Salish Territory praying about how to be an accomplice to the work of Indigenous Water Protectors at Standing Rock, to speak only for myself but centre Indigenous and traditional voices. Greg, of the Cheyenne River Sioux was my host at Oceti Sakowin Camp. When I asked what I should tell people at home, he said, “Pray, keep praying.” And when I asked what they needed he said, “More people and more prayers.”
I am a priest but I have never been any place where they prayed so much—I averaged 5-6 hours per day in prayer and ceremony here doing things that most people think of as prayer—with special words, objects and actions. But prayer here includes healing dance on a critical river crossing that held off police and security, a sweat lodge on the pipeline path, sacred pipes in front of armored vehicles. Prayer is not a limp sending of good feelings that excuses your absence it is practical and concrete. So as Greg is calling for more prayers and you can send them from your wallet here http://www.ocetisakowincamp.org/donate you can bring them with bike locks to your financial institution that funds DAPL, you can head to your centres of government and law enforcement and invite them to sit down and pray with you and refuse to leave until they do.
Greg also called for more people, and to his call out I will add these words from Kelly Sherman, Oglala Lakota: “If you visit Oceti Sacowin please remember you are a guest. Please remember it is not about you. Please remember the traditions and ceremonies you are welcomed into are sacred. Please remember your visit is not a vacation. Please remember some moments are sacred and do not need your camera.Please remember that sacred moment, that sacred time, will be a picture embedded on your soul. Not on your phone. Donations are helpful, social media sharing is helpful. But what Standing Rock needs is your physical presence. However when you are there please remember if you do not know what to do first you listen. Secondly you listen. Thirdly you listen. And if you do not know how to do that…stay home.”
For more information on solidarity and allyship-

Solidarity at Standing Rock

Oil Pipeline Key PlayersOn Thursday, November 3rd, 2016, over 400 clergy will be in North Dakota, hosting a multi faith solidarity circle for Standing Rock. We all cannot be there physically, but we can be there spirituality. We urge everyone around the country to take a few minutes at 9am Central Time to pray with them.

We offer this prayer, written by Lyla June Johnson (a descendent of Diné (Navajo) and Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) lineages) to say:

We pray for our family at Standing Rock.
We pray for Our Sister Water who is our life.
We pray for the healing and safety of the Water Protectors. Continue reading