Just Community

Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries will, once again, be hosting its annual Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute (BKI) next month in Southern California. See below for details. See this for BKI Covid-19 protocols.

“Just Community”

Begin your 2023 Lenten journey with kindred spirits at the 2023 BKI

Registration closes Feb 3rd, 2023

February 20-23, 2023, in person at Camp Forest Home (Ojai), Oak View, California

See our Featured Resource People including Elders and Indigenous leaders

Why: We are mindful that political and personal landscapes have changed since we last convened in the
Ventura River Watershed… What hasn’t changed is our deep need for ekklesia—kindred spirits
committed to faith and justice who gather for discernment and reflection, support and solidarity,
nurture and remembering, courage and joy… [more]

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A Dark Virgin’s Magnificat

Working at the intersections of Abolition, Black Spirituality, and Scholarship, Johari Jabir (Black Studies, Univ. of Illinois Chicago) taught the course, “Black Lives in Historic Context” at three sites concurrently; on campus as an undergraduate course, Covenant UCC in South Holland, Ill, and Stateville Penitentiary outside Chicago. Students at Stateville enrolled in the course through the Prison Neighborhood Arts Project (PNAP), of which Johari is an ongoing instructor. The course focused on themes of Slavery, Abolition Democracy, and Citizenship in the 19th Century. A concluding colloquium brought these three learning communities together in person, with PNAP students joining by zoom. “The Urgency of Abolition and Ethical Futures” was the writing and discussion prompt for the group. When PNAP students were finally able to sign on the greeting between these three populations was a kind of advent miracle, a flash of God’s light. 

The event inaugurates something Johari has founded called, The Faith and Abolition Network, a radical ecumenical network of people in support of grassroots anti-prison activism. This is the context Johari crafted this poem on Mary’s Magnificat. 


I wish I had been there
when Mary got the news
Hark the herald the angels sing
but Gabriel sang the blues

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Gifts of Beauty

From Dr. Lily Mendoza, a professor and prophetic voice.

“Indigenous rituals during this time (of Winter Solstice) are about acknowledging the largeness of the Holy in Nature, a reminder—despite all our human struggling to survive—that Life is not primarily about us, but about the larger Community of Life whose maintenance demands ritual feeding and reciprocity, and whose food is beauty. Beauty in our way of walking, speaking, and relating with all our relations; eloquence and courtesy in our courting and asking for permission any time we take from Her, and lavishness of praise and exquisiteness, when, in tears and sorrow, we endeavor to compost our grief and suffering into gifts of beauty.”

Prisoner Solidarity Holiday Postcards

A great opportunity to support incarcerated people. From Critical Resistance, a national grassroots organization casting a vision to create genuinely healthy, stable communities that respond to harm without relying on imprisonment and punishment.

Each year, CR sends postcards to over 8,000 of our imprisoned comrades across the country as a way to send encouragement, strength, and solidarity to folks across prison walls and let them know we’re still out here fighting alongside them for PIC abolition. Please spread the word to support this lift FAR AND WIDE using the events flyer and RSVP Form

Use the RSVP form to sign up for one of the many virtual or in-person events our chapters are hosting, and to request your postcard packet w/ instructions, stamps and all the materials you need to participate in-person or from home (postcard pickups and the option to receive your postcard packet by mail available). 

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On Winter’s Wings: An Advent resource

In this season, when our hearts are heavy
and we oscillate between rage and despair,
we pause and look close.
We are washed over by the wind in the white pine,
startled by the stars in the night sky,
and saved by the cardinal standing in the snow.
These are the days to nestle in
when we need to remember
how gloriously small we are
in the ecosystem of creation.
Let us fall in love with the wisdom and beauty
of creatures who could not help
but turn us all into poets.

Dear Radical Discipleship community,

It has been one of our great delights to have stumbled upon making daily Advent books with Geez magazine. This tradition has roots with the Radical Discipleship community since we made a version or two with this beautiful circle. We have loved feeling the hunger and resonance in our community for such a resource. It has been good for our souls and we feel connected knowing that hundreds of folks far and wide have been reading them together.

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Take Up Your Red Nose

Image: Matilda’s Debut, Summer 2014, Photo by Joshua Sage.

by Veena Vasista. This first appeared in Geez 64: The Holy Fool.
I arrived to my forties wonder-full.

Wondering how to love. Wondering, as a long-time human rights activist, how we can possibly create liberation when we continually replicate the oppression we claim to be dismantling. Wondering how to be free from suffering.

I’d been journeying along life’s spiral with neck tensed, shoulders curved, and legs weakened from bearing a heavy cross of beliefs: Vulnerability is shameful. I am repulsive and disgusting.

Continue reading “Take Up Your Red Nose”