To Fight With Unrelenting Passion

ransbyAn excerpt from Barbara Ransby’s “Revolutionary Musings,” originally posted on Huff Post two years ago.

When I was a teenager growing up in Detroit in the 1960s and 70s, I thought we were on the verge, if not in the midst, of a revolution. Increasingly, I have come to view revolution as a process, not an event, as a journey, not a final destination. In fact, there is no ‘promised land’ in my revolutionary imagination, just a beautiful eternal promise that we make to one another (and to the planet) to fight with unrelenting passion for a more just, humane and sustainable world.

Barbara Ransby is the Distinguished Professor of African American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, and History at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

Risky Midrash: The Jubilee Pertains to Our Enemies Too

NaamanHappy Birthday, Ched Myers!!! 

To honor Ched, we feature this piece he wrote three years ago on Luke 4:22-30. Behold, the lectionary cycle always comes back around! 

Also, we’ve got 48 hours until registration closes for the 2019 Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute. Join Ched and others conspiring for indigenous justice and Christian faith. Click on and sign up!!!!

The audience reaction to Jesus’ inaugural sermon in Nazareth is somewhat ambiguous (4:22). Though they “witness to him” (the Gk emarturoun with the dative is usually positive), they also “wonder” about him (ethaumazon, which can connote surprise in a negative sense; see Lk 11:38), no doubt skeptical about how such eloquence can come from a humble construction worker’s son. This explains Jesus’ immediate move to the defensive, then quickly to the offensive. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Post 2016 Faith, Hope and Love

img_2625333Fourth Sunday After Epiphany
1 Corinthians 13:1-13

By Mark McReynolds

Since the 2016 US elections, I have found environmental news both sad and enraging. I’ve been angered by the near theft of public land for extractive use and how “natural resource” industry lobbyists are now in charge of our federal land. Drilling for oil off the coast of California and in the middle of critically needed Sage Grouse habitat (surely messing up both) to enrich already rich oil companies is approved without even a nod to our changing climate. Reading of such news leads me to unloving thoughts.

Continue reading

God’s Way of Whispering to Me

blockq (2)On June 18 2019 as part of the “40 Days of Action,” the Michigan Poor Peoples Campaign: of a National Call for Moral Renewal, undertook a series of direct actions in and around Campus Martius, center for the development priorities of Dan Gilbert and the administration of Detroit Mayor, Mike Duggan. Gilbert owns some 100 buildings downtown, is constructing a $billion skyscraper (over 60% in taxpayer expense, including school funding), is currently under indictment for predatory loans, is responsible for 1800 mortgage foreclosures (half of which are abandoned or demolished), co-led the Blight Task force selecting building (and neighborhoods) for demolition, and for some is the darling of the city’s comeback narrative – Making Detroit Great Again. The cities footprint is being concentrated and downsized at the expense of poor and Back people who are literally being expelled foreclosures, water shut-offs, school closures, and transit infrastructure withdrawal. Seven people, of the 23 arrested that day, are currently on trial for blocking the QLine (a three-mile streetcar name for Gilbert’s Quiken Loans and built at a cost of $146 million). The “Gilbert 7” did not deny their actions but testified to their reasons and justification for the action, naming the price of racism and poverty. At this printing, the jury has been out three days and is currently deadlocked with half the group committed to innocence by moral necessity. Dan Gilbert has plans to demolish the room in which the jury is deliberating, along with Circuit Court and Wayne Co. Jail, all of which will be rebuilt far from the now largely white downtown. What follows is the closing argument of Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann who defended himself in the case.

In my opening statement I thanked you for serving on the jury and underscored my conviction of importance of what we do as one. So again, thanks.

You’ve been instructed by the judge not to read any press accounts of the trial. It would actually be pretty hard to find any. You heard Charles Wilson of Rock Security, Dan Gilbert’s security operation testify that they have a whole unit, a room full of people who do nothing all day but scan the media for reference to him. We’re talking about the landlord of the Detroit News and Free Press here. Continue reading

Sermon: Gathered Body

footprintsBy Rev. Denise Griebler at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
January 27, 2019

Epiphany 3C    Annual Meeting Sunday

Luke 4:13-21, 1 Corinthians 12-20

Get comfortable in your body – best you can – as we begin – feet grounded – sit on  your bottom and let your back be straight but relaxed and just breathe – sometimes that’s enough! – you don’t have to do or think anything right now – just be here – relax your shoulders – relax your jaw – relax your cheeks and your eyebrows – and just keep breathing – enjoy being in your body as it is  – and staying relaxed and present, notice the people who are around you. Breathing.  Here. Continue reading

One of the Flawed and Ragtag Band

dee deeBy Dee Dee Risher (Philly, PA)

*This is the fifth 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.

Discipleship is hard enough without the “radical” word in front of it. Often when I hear the phrase unpacked, there is a focus on radical (“root”), and what it entails. In our current context, community, and point of history, how should the taproot of our faith look?

That is a beautiful and rich question, but I find myself grappling with the word “discipleship” instead, pondering that ragtag band of twelve that followed the bold, enigmatic teacher around the backwaters of Galilee in Palestine. Continue reading

The Nazareth Sermon as Jubilee Manifesto

Nazareth 2By Ched Myers, on Luke 4:14-21, for the 3rd Sunday of Epiphany (originally posted Jan 24, 2016)

Note: This post was part of a series of Ched’s occasional comments on the Lukan gospel readings from the Revised Common Lectionary during year C, 2016.

The setting of this famous story is significant. The obscure village of Nazareth has already been well established in Luke’s narrative as the home place of Jesus’ childhood, from Gabriel’s annunciation (1:26) to the Holy Family’s comings and goings (2:4; 39; 51), to the phrase in this week’s lection “where Jesus had been brought up…” (4:16a). Continue reading