By Katie Hoogendam. This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 43, Fall 2016, The Collectivity Issue.
The following piece is rooted in my experience as a university student at the Oregon Extension, an intentional educational community based atop a mountain in Lincoln, Oregon.
The Oregon Extension was formed by a collective of independent Christian professors in the mid-1970s and grounded in the works of Thoreau, Dostoevsky, Annie Dillard, and Wendell Berry. It is known for its cultivation and examination of “big ideas,” and has been touted as a space for seekers of all stripes and disgruntled Christians alike. This article is an update of a story that originally appeared in catapult magazine [online] and in Road Journal magazine in 2008.
God, please help me not be an asshole, is about as common a prayer as I pray in my life. – Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastrix
The year is 2001. Professor John casts his gaze across the batch of eager new students and, pausing for dramatic effect, calculates the measure of our idealism on some internal register built upon years of guiding sanguine undergrads. “Community is bullshit,” he grunts, turning away without explanation. Continue reading
1 Timothy 1:12-17
By Rev. Dr. Victoria Marie
The words, “Your people… have acted perversely” could literally be stated today as “Your people are acting perversely.” Those words from Exodus are as applicable today as they were at the time that book of the Bible was written. Modern society has made idols of acquisition and consumption fed by greed for money and/or lust for power and prestige. Like Paul, in the first letter to Timothy, many of us “have acted ignorantly” in our complicity and support of these perverse systems that harm people and our relatives in creation. Continue reading
By Zoë Tobin Peterson
I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live. Deuteronomy 30:19
Growing up in Vancouver, a “green city,” I have been at the forefront of a shift towards choosing life. A shift towards environmental consciousness; but consciousness isn’t always enough. We can say we choose life all we want but until there is action behind it nothing is going to change. Our reasons for action matter as well, as they determine the proportions of the actions we take. If our intentions are to save the world for our generation alone, long-term changes just aren’t going to be made. Are we choosing life out of spite? Necessity? Validation? Love? Or are we acting because we see the Earth as more than just a witness?
Plowshares’ Motions Denied, Trial Set for October 21
Thank you for supporting the Kings Bay Plowshares 7. On August 27, 509 days after their arrest, a federal judge denied all the pre-trial motions by the our friends. Today, the judge set their trial date: Monday, October 21, 2019 with jury selection beginning at 9 a.m.
The Plowshares had urged U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood to dismiss their charges for numerous legal reasons as well as the fact that the hundreds of first strike nuclear weapons on the submarines based at Kings Bay Naval Base are illegal and immoral.
Vine and Fig Tree is an intentional Christian community in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia (http://vineandfigtree.wixsite.com/vineandfigtree). We currently have five households, but one of our units will be opening in the coming months. We are looking for persons who would be interested in exploring community with us. Our core commitments are: support of each other in our lives and vocations; common prayer; living simply and caring for creation; resisting the dominant culture, including our own addictions to militarism, racism, and other “isms”; providing hospitality for persons in need or transition; and fostering a spirit of celebration and creativity. Our community life includes a weekly meal together, regular optional prayer, bi-weekly house meetings, shared chores and gardening, monthly work days. The available unit has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, and would be ideal for two persons or a couple with a small child.
If you are interested, contact Will O’Brien at email@example.com.
Children learning about biodiversity and native plants at New Life Lutheran’s summer gardening camp. Photo by Greg McCord
Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost,
Proper 17 (22)
Luke 14:1, 7-14
By Carmen Retzlaff
14:11 For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
14:13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.
14:14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
In Central Texas, one of the signs that a local naturalist has slipped over the edge, into the rocky and nerdy social territory, is when they fall in love with native grasses. First they will just marvel at the indigenous bunch grasses. They’ll recognize a healthy grassland, where these compact plants take just the compact space they need, and allow for biodiversity, as opposed to invasive grasses, which blanket the earth and keep other things from growing. The grass-enamored naturalist will smile when they see patches of side oats grama or bushy bluestem, knowing how deep the roots extend into the clay and limestone, pulling precious rainwater into acquifers. They’ll be mesmerized by the sight of swaths of purple-tinged seep muhly. Continue reading
By Kelley Nikondeha, o
riginally printed in Geez magazine on Mothering.
A cry broke the early morning silence and interrupted the royal daughter’s bath.
Already knee-deep in the river, she knew instantly that it was a Hebrew baby. On the opposite shore a mother, exhausted from the crossing, dragged her wet body out of the river and collapsed – arms now empty.
As an adopted child, I grew up mesmerized by Moses with only a cursory interest in his mothers. Sunday school lessons didn’t help, offering a sentimentalized characterization of these women – the one who let go and the other who saved the boy through adoption. But as I grew, so did my understanding of the mothers. I learned their story existed against a socio-political backdrop complete with hard edges and harder choices. Continue reading