Latin-X Discipleship

Josh LR2By Rev. Josh Lopez-Reyes (right), Pastor and Community Life Specialist at The Loft in Los Angeles, California

*This is the 15th installation of a year-long 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.

What is radical discipleship? As I reflect on this question, the image of deep-dirty soil comes to mind. As many contributors have reminded us via this wonderful online community of resisters, the word ‘radical’ comes from the Latin radix or radic meaning roots. Therefore, radical discipleship is the inherit, deep and primary essence of apprenticeship concerning the brown Palestine prophet and peasant. As the Rev. Dr. Miguel De La Torre reminds us in, The Politics of Jesús: A Hispanic Political Theology (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), this is nevertheless saying “no” to Jesus.[1] That is, it is the rejection of a comfortable, gnostic, white supremacist savior. Radical discipleship is about going to the roots of our tradition, to recover the profoundly deep solidarity of Creator’s love demonstrated in the one who was crucified on Good Friday in unity with the crucified communities of our world.[2] However, it is also about going deep into the roots of who we are. It is about revealing the beloved community as the unique creation that the Creator birthed us to be. In my case, it is about being Latin-X. Continue reading

The Evidence is Clear

Rhiana GunnFrom Rhiana Gunn-Wright, policy director for the nonprofit New Consensus, one of the lead policy writers for the Green New Deal. She was interviewed on DemocracyNow.org and asked about the connections between racial wealth disparity and climate change and how the Green New Deal will address them.

There’s a couple reasons that we see [racial wealth disparity]  connected to the Green New Deal. One is, of course, a moral argument. A lot of the people who are dying from fossil fuel pollution or who are carrying the heaviest burden are people of color, and they’re poor people of color. And likely, when climate change picks up and we see more disasters, more deaths, those are the first people who are on the line. People like to say climate change will kill us all, but the truth is climate change will kill some people first. And so, there’s a moral imperative to make sure that in the green transaction the same people who bear the brunt of our reliance on fossil fuels are not the same people who the green transition is being built on their backs. So that’s one. Continue reading

Responding to a Deep, Insistent Sense of Call

Chava Redonnet (1)

PC: Lisa, a guest at the Catholic Worker

By Chava Redonnet (right), from the bulletin of Oscar Romero Inclusive Catholic Church in upstate New York (4th Sunday in Lent)

Something I really do not enjoy doing is arguing. It’s one of those character traits that can be seen as either a virtue or a fault, but whichever it is, it’s me. Live and let live is more my style. We don’t all have to agree.

So in recent years I have found myself less and less interested in trying to convince anyone why women should be priests. I figure my priesthood is my argument for women priests. If someone can look at my ministry and say it’s not valid simply because I’m female, I don’t think anything I could say would change their mind. 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.

 

 

On The Floor

Rev Spaet (1)By Rev. Erika Spaet (right)

*This is the 14th installation of a year-long 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.

I learned to cook from the kitchen floor.

As a kid, while the evening rituals unfolded in our suburban New Jersey home–the nightly news, the coming in from traffic, the smell of onions in the skillet–I would get onto the linoleum floor and recline under the kitchen prep table that held my mother’s cookbooks. From there, I watched her rock back and forth, from stove to fridge, and make our meals. She, my unknowing teacher; me, her odd, lackadaisical student. Something about the canopy of that table made it my favorite place in the house. It’s also where our labrador, Max, used to hang out. Continue reading

Interconnectedness & Intimacy

Friendly FireA message from our friends at the Friendly Fire Collective:

Another church is possible!

Global systems of domination keep us isolated.  Capitalism, white supremacy, cisheteropatriarchy, ableism, and christian hegemony violently tear our communities apart. The church has for too long perpetuated these power structures—but we will not. Continue reading

KICKED & PRODDED by the SPIRIT

Descending, Front CoverBy Oscar Cole-Arnal (Oz)
A review of Descending Like A Dove: Adventures in Decolonizing Evangelical Christianity By Tommy Airey

As of April 4, 2018 I have lived a half century pilgrim’s existence hounded, kicked and prodded by the Spirit through weird and wonderful emissaries thereof.  Of course, she had to act this way, precisely because I am of that abominable character best described as a white old fart privileged male—you know that demographic who helped give our world the gifts of Donald Trump and Doug Ford.  So I say to the Spirit and her visitations to me—bring em’ on and more of the same.  Yes, as a young Lutheran pastor well on the road to pastoral and academic success in my first pastorate near Pittsburgh, my world became upturned by martyr’s blood, not my own, but that of Martin Luther King Jr.  With his shed blood pouring from Memphis into my heart, my family and I vowed to disdain our privileges and realign our lives after his model.  So we became civil rights and antiwar activists, strong supporters of Cesar Chavez’ boycott—going to jail, facing baton-wielding cops, having anonymous life threats and ending my paid vocational career in Waterloo, Ontario teaching Church History at the Lutheran Seminary there.  Since retirement, I remain active in a local group called the Alliance Against Poverty. Continue reading