Wild Lectionary: She Saw a Well of Water

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Desert Well by David Winnie, Creative Commons, 2008

Proper 7, Season After Pentecost

Genesis 21:8-21

The biblical portrait(s) of Hagar include surrogacy, power, African identity, patriarchal family, enslavement, physical violence, pregnancy, migration, wilderness, water and the naming of God as one who sees. These are hard subjects and it would be easy to preach on another text. But when migrant bodies, mothers and children, are dying of thirst in the Arizona desert; when African refugees drown by the thousands in the Mediterranean; when corporations like Nestle, Kinder Morgan, and Dakota Access trample Indigenous women’s teaching that Water is Life; when the story of Isaac and Ishmael is used to normalize the Israeli occupation of Palestine; when overt acts of hatred against Muslims are escalating; and when white women’s complicity in criminalizing black bodies and exonerating murderous police is all but invisible, we cannot side-step this heritage that so profoundly speaks to our present. Continue reading

Blessing of the Bicycles

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Photo credit: Bayne Stanley

By Laurel Dykstra, Salal and Cedar

On May 29, Salal and Cedar and Fossil Free Faith organized “bike to worship week” and a blessing of the bicycles. Below is an article written by Laurel Dykstra for the Diocese of Westminster. Following the article is the order of service and intercessions.

Vancouver’s Christ Church Cathedral has a new bell tower but the bells ringing in the 120 year old church on May 29th were attached to the handle-bars of bicycles. With sacramental chrism oil, bicycle chain oil, holy water and prayers, Anglican Bishop Melissa Skelton, two priests, and a United Church Minister blessed bicycles, transit passes, and a host of people who are making an effort to reduce the environmental impact of their commute to worship.

While light from the stained glass windows colored their faces, a congregation of about twenty-five listened to a passage from Ezekiel about the prophet’s vision of a wheel within a wheel and they prayed for the safety of cyclists, fossil fuel divestment and the victims of climate disasters and wars for oil.   Led by a cross and banners and the bishop with miter, crozier and cope, cyclists and pedestrians processed out of the church to a hospitality station on the street where they offered coffee, snacks, bike maps and “ride-by blessings” to commuters on the bike route outside. Continue reading

Book Announcement: Where the Water Goes Around: Beloved Detroit

dads bookNew book by Bill Wylie-Kellermann. Where the Water Goes Around: Beloved Detroit is a biblical and political reading of Detroit over the course of three decades by an activist pastor.

Detroit is a place where one can take the temperature of the world. Think on the rise of Fordism and auto-love, the Arsenal of Democracy, the practice of the sit-down strike, or the invention of the expressway and suburban mall. Consider more recently the rebellion of 1967, the deindustrialization of a union town, the assault on democracy in this Black-majority city, the structural adjustments of municipal bankruptcy, and now a struggle for water as a human right. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: The Eagle Shared Its Strength

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Canon Ginny on the shores of the Yukon River. Credit The Rev. Belle Mickelson.

Aboriginal Day, June 21 (Canada) Aboriginal Day of Prayer, Anglican and Second Sunday after Pentecost

Exodus 19:3-6
Isaiah 40:25-31
Psalm 91

By Ginny Doctor

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence;
he will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
or the arrow that flies by day
Psalm 91:2-4

those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

I met Mark MacDonald (National Indigenous Bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada) in the mid 1980’s at an Urban Indian ministry meeting in the States. He brought out his guitar and started playing this song called “On Eagle’s Wings,” written by Michael Joncas. I had not heard it but really liked it. It is based on Psalm 91 but the chorus from Isaiah goes like this: “and he will raise you up on Eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn; make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of his hands.” That song became the national anthem of Indian work in the Episcopal Church and was also know as “Mark’s song.” I was at another meeting and requested “On Eagle’s Wings” but was told, “That’s Father Mark’s song, we can’t sing it without him.” Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Beware the Cataclysm!

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Photo by Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson, Abide in Me

For readers of Wild Lectionary, there is hardly a Scripture passage more fitting than Genesis’ account of the Flood. The powerful, terrifying narrative is often reduced to a kids’ story, replete as it is with “cute” animals in the Ark. But, of course, beneath the surface is a story of divine near-omnicide, revealing a deep rift between the Creator’s vision and humanity’s response to God’s gift of the earth. In combination with the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 7.21-28), this week’s texts offer a sobering reminder of the cost of human violence to the earth and its creatures, including sapiens. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: The Harmony Way

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Randy and students at Eloheh Farm. Credit: Patricia McSherry

Trinity Sunday
Genesis 1:1-2:4a

By Randy Woodley

As a follower of Jesus from a Keetoowah Indian heritage, my “canon” consists of Scripture, creation, and the “Native American Old Testament” (God’s revelation to Native People through generations of culture and tradition.) Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: The Coming of the Holy Breath

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Djordje Alfirevic – Breath of Earth, CC 3.0 License

Pentecost

Acts 2:2-21
John 7:37-39
Psalm 104:25-35, 37

By Ragan Sutterfield

They were gathered for a festival of word and wheat, the harvest of plants grown from soil–breathing carbon, exhaling oxygen. Beneath the soil, the plant roots had spread a sugar feast for microbes who in turn gave their bodies for the wheat’s growth.  Those plants had now gone to seed, passing on their life to another season’s crop and in their abundance there was a harvest of bread for people and seed for birds and field mice and the life upon life that lives close to the ground.  It was at a festival for all these interactions, joined with a celebration of the coming of the Torah, those books that offered the story of a God who gives life to soil and cares about every detail of the material world.  The festival was Shavuot, Pentecost.  Continue reading