Abrihet Queen

picBy Lindsay Airey

This piece was developed during the second Bartimaeus Institute Online (BIO) Study Cohort 2016-2017.  These pieces will eventually be published in a Women’s Breviary collection.  For more information regarding the BIO Study Cohort go here.

Abrihet Queen, given name Valerie, was born on April 11, 1960, into the Core City neighborhood of Detroit, the sixth of nine children. Her parents worked hard and tirelessly to make ends meet. She soaked in beloved community, surrounded by a wealth of grandparents and parents faithfully watching over the neighborhood. At age three, she was rescued after being kidnapped. “I was snatched,” Valerie recounts, “but the community found me, and I’m still here.” Continue reading

Prayer in my Pocket

images“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you, and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
-Jeremiah 29:13-14

By Dee Dee Risher

Into my daughter’s pocket,
I slip two dollars to buy milk on her way home after school,
kiss her, and say a blessing over her.
This is our custom. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Awe

westlake1_0

Photo credit: NASA

Epiphany 5B
Isaiah 40:21-31

By Camen Retzlaff

Sometimes I am asked why the Bible, especially the Hebrew Bible, says that we should “fear” God, who is love. Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.

Have you not known, have you not heard?” says God in Isaiah this week. It is God who sits above the circle of the earth. We, the inhabitants of this planet, are like grasshoppers. God stretches a curtain of heaven for us, as a tent. God is reassuring here: this defeat, this moment in history, this war is not the big story. The story is so much bigger. God brings princes to naught and makes rulers of the earth like dead plants blown in the wind. Continue reading

Sermon: As One Who Was There

25299574_10214858114229862_8841640536640516071_o.jpgBy Rev. Denise Griebler
1st UCC Richmond, Michigan
January 28, 2018

Mark 1:21-28
Psalm 111

Well, I will tell you this: I went to worship that evening with the usual expectations – which is to say, I wasn’t expecting anything unusual.  It was just after sunset – which is when we worship. By our way of thinking, sundown is the beginning of the new day – a time to rest in God’s presence – a time to rest in the company of family and friends and neighbors. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: What We Do with Our Bodies

227350_659624815131_692849_nEpiphany 4B
1 Corinthians 8:4-6, 8

As to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.” Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth–as in fact there are many gods and many lords– yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

 “Food will not bring us close to God.” We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.

By David Pritchett

Fireflies and Feathers: Two Kinds of Farming

The summer of 2012 was hot in the Midwest. By the fourth week of temperatures over 90 degrees, and over two months without rain, the grass was brown and our crops in Northeastern Indiana were not faring any better. Continue reading

Ursula: ¡Presente!

UrsulaThe prophetic and passionate Ursula Le Guin (October 21, 1929 to January 23, 2018), excerpted from her 2014 speech at The National Book Awards:

Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality.

Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximise corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship. Continue reading