A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used, to utter fully human speech as possible. Powerlessness and silence go together.
– Margaret Atwood
19th Sunday after Pentecost
By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson
When you tell the story of your, your family’s, or your community’s journey, what role does the land and its nonhuman creatures play?
Central to God’s promise to ancient Israel was a land to call their own, both as a people and as local families. In this week’s reading, Psalm 106 presents one of several biblical summaries of Israel’s relationship with YHWH, the land and its peoples. It is framed by “praise YHWH,” although the core of the psalm laments the people’s constant disobedience and forgetfulness. Throughout the psalm, the land is close at hand, beginning with deliverance from Egypt via the Red Sea, and continuing into the wilderness struggles. Continue reading
From the conclusion of The Mennonite blog post “Nonviolence Against White Supremacy After Charlottesville” by Tim Nafziger and Mark Van Steenwyk:
We are both Christian pacifists committed to creative responses to white supremacy that step outside the myth of redemptive violence.
Pacifists are at their best when they commit to strong solidarity and are willing to lay their lives on the line for the ones they love. It can be a pure expression of compassion–suffering with the oppressed in such a way as to magnify the full humanity of the oppressed while, at the same time, showing love for the oppressor as well. Continue reading
By Joyce Hollyday
Circle of Mercy: October 1, 2017, World Communion Sunday
1 Samuel 25
We held a sheep-shearing day every spring at Swan Mountain Farm, where I used to live. Mark, the chief shearer, always started with the rams because, he explained, they “come with handles.” Mark grabbed Charlie by the horns and wrestled him over on his side. Charlie, like all the sheep, began that morning as a massive ball of fluff, as wide as he was tall, his wool discolored a dingy brown by dirt. By the time the clipping was done, he was a skinny thing, and the thin layer of wool left on him was shockingly white. As soon as he could get his feet under him, Charlie escaped into the pasture. Mark then repeated the process with Chip. And when he ran into the pasture, the two rams, not recognizing each other with their new haircuts, aimed their horns, charged at each other, and butted heads repeatedly. Continue reading
By Tommy Airey, a poem for Indigenous People’s Day
Five hundred years ago,
Bartolomeo de las Casas warned:
god is the One who always
remembers those whom history has
forgotten. Who the hell was he? The
only white male Christian who got
saved, gave up his slaves
and gold and then advocated
for the Original Americans,
those Columbus deemed “savages.”
What the hell did he mean by
“remembers?” The exact opposite
of “dismembers.” What the hell
does that have to do with now?
Everything. The choice is
constantly standing right in
front of us: de las Casas
or de las Columbus?
Only one was really
Making America Great
From from Amy Goodman’s interview with Naomi Klein on DemocracyNow (Sept 18, 2017). This is Klein’s response to Goodman’s question: When a disaster strikes, how is it dealt with, and what is it used as an opportunity for?
We need to respond to crises like this. They’re messages. They’re messages telling us that something is broken with the system. You know, these are not just natural disasters. These are disasters that have become unnatural, that have become unnaturally catastrophic, because of the impacts of climate change, but also because of the impacts of deregulation, because of inequality, of racial injustice. Continue reading