Class During COVID: A Modest Proposal

CLASSROOMBy Kim Redigan 

I am a garden-variety high school teacher who has spent the better part of the summer trying to get back on my feet after wading through the weeds of a semester marked by the COVID crisis.

Most teachers would probably agree that stepping over the demarcation line between the classroom and COVID country last March was traumatic for everyone involved. Most of us found a way to do it – and we did it well – but throughout the semester my gut was screaming that this way of doing school was brutal, untenable, unhealthy.

Most teachers work harder than people know. Our classrooms are sacred centers of hospitality. Places of grace and, on most days, gratitude. Continue reading “Class During COVID: A Modest Proposal”

Book Review: The Cross and the Lynching Trees

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Petra Zantingh, “Hospitality Tree (Zechariah 3:10),” 2018, water based media on wood panel, 24 x 24 inches, Private collection.

By Tommy Airey, This article first appeared in Geez magazine, Summer 2020, Geez 57: CO₂conspirators: Communing with Trees.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously clarified that a law cannot make a man love him, but it can keep a man from lynching him.

King knew that it would take both a change of heart and a change of policy to create a world no longer built on what he called “the giant triplets of evil”: racism, materialism, and militarism. White Christians have long obsessed over the heart. One major theological underpinning of this trend is an abstract, sentimental interpretation of the death of Jesus that sidesteps the giant triplets by spiritualizing and futurizing salvation. While Black folks are catching hell on earth, white Christians counterfeit the cross by turning it into a VIP pass to heaven. Continue reading “Book Review: The Cross and the Lynching Trees”

This moment in history- from a trauma therapist

96266986_10100523422419312_5235973391940321280_oBy Erika Fox, shared on facebook June 16.
Shared with permission

Social media is not my platform (flip phone user here) so I have not mastered the art of articulating myself with fewer words. But the words keep rising up and waking me in the middle of the night, calling me back from a decade-long break from writing I was sure was permanent, and this seems a place to share some of them despite their length.

As a trauma therapist, there is so much I could say about this moment in history, about the relationship between trauma and oppression and the intergenerational transmission of trauma. And while I will continue to hold space for the trauma (and resilience and brilliance!) of Black bodies, Indigenous bodies, and bodies of color, those are not my words to share. My deep love compels me to share these words with white bodies – because addressing our unconscious racial conditioning and patterned responses from our unhealed traumas is necessary for the work of racial justice and restoring our humanity. Continue reading “This moment in history- from a trauma therapist”

The Trees are on Our Side

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Zyanha Bryant, change.org , “‘Black lives matters’ sprayed on Robert E. Lee statue in Lee Park, Charlottesville, Virginia.

By Grace Aheron. This article first appeared in Geez magazine, Summer 2020, Geez 57: CO₂conspirators: Communing with Trees.

The cypresses exult over you, the cedars of Lebanon, saying,
‘Since you were laid low, no one comes to cut us down.’
– Isaiah 14:8

On August 12, 2017, the largest white supremacist gathering in the last 50 years occured in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia – my home. For many white people, that day was a revealing of the ugly, shuddering underside of this country’s normally “palatable” racism. For many Black folks and people of colour, it was a concentrated version of daily realities. Continue reading “The Trees are on Our Side”

I Asked the Redwoods

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The face of the Redwood. Alameda, California, January 2015. Pussreboots CC.

By Nichola Torbett. This article appeared in Geez magazine, Summer 2020, Geez 57: CO₂conspirators: Communing with Trees.

A couple weeks ago, walking in the redwoods with a dog, at the suggestion of adrienne maree brown, I decided to ask the trees about COVID-19.

Basically, what I heard from the trees is that even this virus has a message for us if we are willing to hear it. No, they were not saying that “God created a virus to punish us” – trust me, I checked, because I have not forgotten the 1980s. But they were clear that there was a message. Continue reading “I Asked the Redwoods”

Geez Calls for Advent Reflections

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Bioregional Advent Wreath Credit: Sarah Holst

Geez magazine’s
Call for Submissions: Advent Reflections

Due July 1, 2020

Could you use a little quiet? Some darkness and stillness? Maybe some candlelight? In this moment, as summer heats up, amidst pandemic and now the street struggle against police violence and white supremacy, quiet and prayer seem like a welcome thought.

This year, Geez magazine will be publishing a daily Advent reflection book. We are looking for reflections, poetry, prayers, and whatever else you can think of that fits in 200 words. Continue reading “Geez Calls for Advent Reflections”

Frida Berrigan’s Statement at Liz McAlister’s Sentencing

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Liz with her kids Kate, Frida, and Jerry

Liz McAlister, the eldest of the King Bay Plowshares 7, was sentenced on Monday via video to time served, three years supervised release and for a portion of the restitution for the seven of just over $30,000.

Frida Berrigan offered the statement below before her mother was sentenced.

Good morning, friends, My name is Frida Berrigan and I am here to speak on behalf of my mom, Elizabeth McAlister, one of the co-defendants in the Kings Bay Plowshares. I’m here in New London, Connecticut with my husband Patrick and our three kids, Liz’s grandchildren- Madeline, 6; Seamus, 7; and Rosena, 13. My brother Jerry is also here, with his wife, Molly and Liz’s other 3 grandchildren, Leah, 10; Jonah, 13 and Amos, 16. My sister Kate and her partner Karen are also here, they are now Liz’s roommates and live up the street a few blocks.
Continue reading “Frida Berrigan’s Statement at Liz McAlister’s Sentencing”

Blessing Liz McAlister

LizMcalisterArrest2001This morning at 9am Elizabeth McAlister will be the first to be sentenced for her action as part of the Kings Bay Plowshares.

The sentencing itself will take place with a video conference at 9am tomorrow. An audio link is provided by the court for public to listen. Dial 1-888-684-8852, enter the call access code 2296092 and enter the security code 1234.

Last night community gathered over zoom to hold a blessing and liturgy in preparation. Here is the closing blessing for Liz by Bill Wylie-Kellermann.

In the name of the One who creator and sustainer of life; the One who is Lord and servant of all creation; and the Spirit that calls us together as one, let this blessing be. Continue reading “Blessing Liz McAlister”

No churchbells here

94240524_246901160023028_5591200460431163392_oa poem for Day House in these days of missing our Sunday evening living room mass
By Kateri Boucher

No churchbells here
this morning
but a doorbell,
yes,
and it sure is
ringing

No wafers,
but hands outstretched
and the five-buck
refrain:
“yeah we got it”
“oh god bless”

And don’t you
smell that Holy
smoke drifting
down the stairs?
Continue reading “No churchbells here”

The Wrong Question

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By Deb Watson, flickr, cc

By Kate Foran

“The pandemic has got me thinking a great deal about how the vulnerability our species is experiencing could be an opening to imagining the threat and constriction that is the reality for so many other species and often at our hand. What about the grief in the chestnut blight or salamander epidemics?”
– Robin Wall Kimmerer

At the height of the viral bloom, our travel circumscribed,
we wander with our girls to the patches of woods that still remain
between the housing tracts and industrial parks of our neighborhood.
In the scrubby, choked lot behind the schoolyard where children never go
even when school is in session, the path winds and we stop short

as the leaf litter gives way to green-gold

spring ephemerals, trillium and jack-in-the-pulpit preaching Continue reading “The Wrong Question”