To Combat Deportation: A Day of Prayer

Christians for SocialismThis Monday, April 15,  Christians For Socialism is proposing a day of prayer for all those in the States facing deportation (see below for more specifics). Consider joining them.  

On Tuesday, April 2, a court ruled that hundreds of Assyrian/Chaldean people in the Detroit area detained by ICE could be deported to Iraq after a legal battle carried out by the ACLU. The Assyrians/Chaldeans are a regional minority who have been targeted and brutalized in Iraq. The deportation would be especially dangerous for Assyrian/Chaldean Christians. Continue reading

To Walk in Love and Not Fear

Kings BayFrom Clare Grady, a member of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, in an interview with Amy Goodman this week on Democracy Now, explaining why they risked twenty-five years in prison for their nonviolent action on the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination:

The weapons of empire are always the threat of death and torture and incarceration and dehumanization. And so, when we undertake this, as white people of privilege, we are just adding a little tiny bit to what is ongoing of the struggle of people, where the Doomsday Clock has already hit midnight for them and their children and their grandchildren and the Earth where they live.

But I think that what we want to do…is be invitational to other people with similar privilege to say that we enjoy these privileges. But we’re not really enjoying it. There’s just tremendous cost that comes with all this. But in stepping over that line and taking that hammer and actually hammering a dent in some of these weapons system, they give you this 25-year threat, but you don’t know what the outcome is. The whole process is to encourage each other to walk in love and not fear.

Wild Lectionary: No Peace in Heaven, No Peace on Earth

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Vincent VanGogh’s Starry Night

Liturgy of the Palms Year C
By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. (Luke 3.1-2)

Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! (Luke 12.51)

As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, 38 saying,
“Blessed is the king

who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
and glory in the highest heaven!
(Luke 19.37-38)

In imagining ways to hear Scripture from the lens of “wild lectionary,” we tend to jump to details of life on earth: water, trees, animals, mountains. This focus on earth is challenged by this week’s passage from Luke, as Jesus and his disciples enter Jerusalem for what we’ve come to call “Holy Week.” For Luke tells us that “the whole multitude of disciples” proclaimed as Jesus came down the Mount of Olives, not “peace on earth,” but “peace in heaven.” What can they be thinking? What is the relationship between heaven and earth when it comes to making peace? Continue reading

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

Journey Into Restorative Justice

ElaineBy Elaine Enns

* This article appeared in Rock! Paper! Scissors! Tools for Anarchist + Christian Thought and Action (Vol I, No. 3). Check out the entire issue for more passionate and in depth writing like this. 

Exactly one hundred years ago as I write, during Christmas 1918, in the community of Osterwick, Ukraine, my maternal grandmother Margreta survived a two-week home invasion—one episode in what one historian called “a continuous climate of violence, plundering, rape, mass killing and extensive bloodbaths” endured by Mennonites (and others) during the Russian Civil War from 1917-1921. The men of the house had fled into the forest while thirteen-year-old Margreta and her older sister and girl cousins had been hidden in the attic. My great-grandmother Anna fed and bandaged the wounds of rough, demanding peasant soldiers in the rooms below, trying to respond to violence with courage and hospitality. It is difficult to believe that she escaped sexual violation, as claimed by family stories passed down; my studies with descendants of other Mennonite women who experienced similar depredations suggests their stories were lost, silenced, or suppressed. Still, Anna’s non-violent actions may have warded off the worst. Some months later, for example, her sister and three relatives were brutally murdered in their basement, and Margreta would lose more family members and friends in the following years. So my grandmother experienced severe trauma yet also witnessed her mother’s profound trust in God and in her religious tradition of nonresistance.

Click HERE to read the rest of Elaine’s piece at Rock! Paper! Scissors!

Elaine Enns, DMin, a Canadian Mennonite, is an educator, writer, facilitator and trainer in conflict transformation. She focuses on how restorative justice applies to historical violations, including issues of intergenerational trauma and healing. ​Elaine has been working in the field of restorative justice since 1989.  For the first 15 years of her career, she was part of the pioneering generation of contemporary restorative justice practitioners whose focus was on the Criminal Justice System. Elaine facilitated victim-offender dialogues, provided training and worked to apply restorative justice principles and theory to conflict issues in schools, communities and churches.  Born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, she lives in Oak View, CA, where she is co-director of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries (www.bcm-net.org).

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

Wild Lectionary: Affection vs. Effectiveness

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A tree that the author’s family visits weekly.

Lent 5C
John 12:1-8

By Ragan Sutterfield

The current level of atmospheric carbon is just above 411 parts per million–a level that is catastrophic and rising. While little has been done, the efforts of most institutions both governmental and non-governmental have treated the problem like a math equation. Cut fossil fuels by X amount. Increase forest carbon sinks by Y. Problem solved. But the problem has not been solved any better than the problem of a person who counts calories but does not trust in the goodness and value of their own body. We have failed to recognize that carbon is not the problem; that it is only the symptom of an underlying disease of our habits and hearts, a matter of our affections more than arithmetic.

Continue reading