“But people have no idea what time is. They think it’s a line, spinning out from three seconds behind them, then vanishing just as fast into the three seconds of fog just ahead. They can’t see that time is one spreading ring wrapped around another, outward and outward until the thinnest skin of Now depends for its being on the enormous mass of everything that has already died.”
By Ched Myers, a sermon to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Goleta Slough Watershed/Chumash Territory, CA, 5th Sunday in Epiphany, Feb 6, 2022
Luke 5:1-11 powerfully stitches together two gospel traditions: the miraculous catch of fish also found at the end of John (21:1-14), and the call of the fishermen which also occurs at the beginning of Mark (1:16-20). Let’s look at both themes, each so important to the vocation of followers of Christ.
Jesus’ encounter with working fishermen on the shores of Lake Galilee is typically romanticized in our churches: Oh, how quaint, fishermen! But this is a trivialization. No, this scene communicates defiance and delight, resistance and renewal—the same energy that fueled the painting of that new mural of the Goleta Slough here at the church, just completed by our friends Dimitri Kadiev, Rufo Noriega and Joshua Grace (right), which we are celebrating today.
By Ériu Erin Moran Martinez (Detroit, MI), re-posted with permission from Facebook
Calling my kin who are in need of a strong dose of wonder, connection, and mystery…
Please come birding in the alleys with me. I walk the alleys in my neighborhood a few times a week, and it is a deeply nourishing experience. Yes, there is unsightly business back there, and vigilance is required. But the birds (and other kin) I encounter there remind me that we are surrounded and supported by our non-human relatives, all the time and everywhere, even here in the heart of the city. Our alleys, in their “weediness”, are a secret oasis for the birds, where they feed on seeds, insects, and rodents. It’s in the alleys where many birds shelter in the overgrown brambles and bushes from harsh weather. It’s there where so many secret away to mate, nest, and raise their young.
The end of an era is over. The beehive that started it all did not survive the summer. This hive barely made it through the winter, revived itself, and then swarmed twice. This led to two ‘new hives,’ but the bees did not leave a queen for the bees that were left behind. So many lessons from the bees for these times. I made so many small and large decisions throughout the time, many of them probably not the best. But here we are.
Yesterday one of the beehives in our backyard was robbed by other bees, wasps, and insects. When we went to look today, we found that the hive had been decimated. There was no more honey in the cells and the bodies of dead bees littered the floor of the hive. The hive was going to die one way or another, because, without a queen, a hive cannot survive. The honey went to other bees and wasps and it will help them to survive another winter. However, if I had pulled the honey, could the bees have died a softer death? Continue reading “A Beekeepers Musings”→
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.
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”→
I just finished teaching a class in Eco-Ministry at Garrett Seminary. My initial (and still favorite) title for the course was a play on John Wesley’s quote, “the world is my parish.” I wanted to call it The Earth is Our Parish. However, the formal title became “CL-621 Earth Ministry for Ecological Renewal.” CL-621 is one of the core courses in the Ecological Regeneration Concentration of Garrett’s new Masters in Public Ministry program.
I’m writing about it here not primarily to promote Garrett Seminary, but because this Eco-Ministry is a growing edge in contemporary ministry. It often has interfaith and eco-spiritual aspects, which are essential. But its placement in Garrett’s new Public Ministry degree gave it a distinctive social and political slant that is sometimes missing. Garrett’s version also featured radical discipleship resources that gave it a particular focused and practical impact. Continue reading “Teaching Eco-Ministry”→
By Bill Wylie-Kellermann, January 25, 2020
This was the closing sermon to the United Methodist Global Water Summit at Cass United Methodist Church in Detroit. His opening sermon was posted on February 12.
In the summer of 2013 as the Water shut-offs spiked under Emergency Management, St Peter’s Episcopal became the first water distribution station of We the People of Detroit. The first contribution was a truckload borne across the Ambassador Bridge by the Council of Canadians. It didn’t have all the necessary paperwork, so the Border Feds had to decide whether to halt it and cause an international press incident or just allow I through irregularly. The latter wisdom prevailed. We received it at St Peter’s with a small ceremony, carried it in brigade-style and stored it along the outside isles of the sanctuary. But mostly we grouped the bulk of it around the baptismal font which is the first thing you see as you enter. At one point we had 1500 gallons of water there. We hung a banner behind the font which said St. Peter’s Water Station, making the very same connection as this summit. Continue reading “Sermon- By this Authority.”→
In the name of the One who breathed across the face of the waters in creation; the One who is Lord and Servant of all; and the Spirit militant that summons, fills, and holds us together as one, let all of this be.
I am a former pastor of this congregation, so I’ve preached many times from this pulpit; I was married in this sanctuary, my daughter was baptized here, and still I confess to feeling the burden of bringing a Word to this important summit. I’ve been asked to “lay a theological foundation” for these conversations. In that, I’m mindful that the charism we need in this moment is less one of speaking than of listening – especially to our guests from the African continent. Continue reading “Sermon “By Water and the Spirit: A Global Water Summit””→