Learning from Laughter and the Trees: What do these stones mean?

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Stone tower on Block Island

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

I’ve started an altar of stones beside my desk. With each death, birth, or marriage that passes, I write the name upon the rock and let the rock hold the memory and the prayer.

This fall, our family went to Block Island for the first time in many years. We used to stay in Dan Berrigan’s little cottage beside the ocean every summer. Stepping back on that ferry with my kids felt like introducing them to a piece of my heart- a piece nourished by beauty, where my mom’s hair blew fiercely in the wind, where my imagination learned to soar climbing on rocks and pulling clay from the cliff. Continue reading

Radical Recommendations for Gift-Giving

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Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann and his recent releases

Because Christmas has become so central to the American economy and American consumption is so central to global capitalism, this festival of ‘Holy Days’ has become a central expression and embodiment of American imperial domination, an imperial religion. 
Richard Horsley, Religion and Empire (2003)

Truly, this Season signals a major tension for North American radical disciples.  We resist and reclaim.  Whether it is our love language our not, we give.  But some forms of giving are far more redemptive than others.

It is in this Spirit that we offer gift ideas from more out-of-the-way, up-and-coming, long-suffering and open-hearted thinkers and artists.  Links to their work are provided here and will eventually be added to our now-pemanent “STORE” tab up top.  We hope this list is an Advent-instigator: please add your recommendations to the comments below or email us so we can add them to the store!!!

From the Poor People’s Campaign, coming to a watershed near you in 2018:

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A beautiful 2016 publication from Philly-based pastor-parent-activist about using the difficult and challenging parts of life as a way to deepen your spiritual path and become more authentic.
The Soul-Making Room by Dee Dee Risher
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There are two new releases from this Detroit-based pastor-activist who has been hauling the sanctuary on to the streets since the early 70’s.
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From the dry creek-beds of Southern California comes this deep collection of young practitioners experimenting with place-based radicalism…
And a older-yet-timely offering…
….and yet another teaming up with a SoCal-based pastor.
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Truly, it is a time of exile for those of us on the left.  Let’s set the clock back to the early Bush years with this re-examination of the Exodus from a Vancouver-based pastor-activist.
And More from Dykstra:
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From two U.S.-based Filipinas displaying a celebration of the beauty, richness, and diversity of indigenous ways.
Back from the Crocodile’s Belly by Lily Mendoza and Leny Mendoza Strobel
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This one takes Jesus out of the over-spiritualized heart and over-futurized heaven and places him right where he was in the Gospels: the street!
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From the foot of Tiger Mountain in Washington State comes a vital perspective on early church history (aka, “the roots of why Christians want to make America great again.”).
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And lest we think gift-giving is only for adults, the executive director of the Center for Prophetic Imagination in Minneapolis tells this St. Francis-inspired tale for our young ones.
A Wolf at the Gate by Mark Van Steenwyk
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This year, Charlottesville exposed us all to some of the most vicious forms of American white supremacy.  But far less known, C’Ville is home to some radical experimentation, including sweet sounds from a young singer-songwriter.  Perfect for people defined by death-and-resurrection.
Claire Hitchins, These Bodies
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And this!  From a Minneapolis-based artist and PhD candidate releasing her first album, a powerfully rich blend bursting with beauty, grief, creativity and prophetic wisdom.
Katherine Parent, The Wait for Green
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Probably the most unique musical contribution of the movement is from Philly-based Holy Fool Arts, a voice of and for the wilderness that combines poetry, theatrical masks, ancient rhythms, traditional and modern dance forms, with a heavy side of the blues.
Beast, Groan
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And for those who prefer dance as their desired form of resistance: this Detroit-based DJ dubs in Rev. Barber to raise the roof off the White House.
Peter Croce, Revival
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For much of our own graphic inspiration RadicalDiscipleship.net heads north to Duluth to be captivated by beauty and truth on paper.
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Lastly, a recommendation from author-activist Wes Howard-Brook fair-trade, organic chocolate from Mama Ganache.  From WHB:

They are THE BEST! As we all know, corporate chocolate production is  both a human and environmental horror show. The folks at MG use their profits to support farmers in West Africa in many ways, as explained on their website. I’ve been ordering from them for years!

 

Prayer: Where We Begin

dark_path_field_path_pathway_tree_organic_agriculture_outdoors-1338816.jpg!dBy Dee Dee Risher

It is the time of gathering in,
pulling lightly the earth,
turning under,
of looking out at dusk
from the door lintel
at the long road,
beckoning or wearying,
and offering gratitude for
every home space;
and every setting forth.

Oh Spirit Holy,
wrap us in silence this one
fragile moment of prayer,
and set us into our day, attentive.

Burn in us, and make us new-born,
newly-woke, resting in you.

Somewhere in this day before us
lies the pearl of great price;
the single, gleaming coin.

Somewhere in this day lies also
the wounded one by the road;
and the second touch,
ready to heal us again.

We draw to you now,
Beseeching.
Our hearts are not proud.
Our judging hands are spread open,
knowing that of which we are capable.

Draw us to our deeps,
O Spirit Who Is, and Who Is Coming,
And let our deepest yearnings
Be joined with yours.

 

Starting today, we will be posting prayers on Mondays on radicaldiscipleship.net. Please send your prayers or recommendations to lydiaiwk@gmail.com.

Mary’s Song

Tax CutsA [re]post from Margaret Anne Ernst, Associate Student Pastor at Brookmeade Congregational Church, UCC:

An intertextual reading of Luke 1:45-55 aka Mary’s Song and “Winners & losers in the Senate GOP tax bill.”

And Mary said,
My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Continue reading

sheep and goats, meat and drink

Valerie Jean

PC: Valerie Jean (Detroit, MI)

by jim perkinson (St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Detroit, 11-26-17)

the sheep and the goats
the goats and the sheep
the left
the right
the day
the night

nothing here about church
but the good fundies all say
you must believe with your heart
have the word on your lips
insist jesus is lord
or you will have no part Continue reading

Artemisia Gentileschi: A Hero Among Women

picThis 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.

By Lola West

To appreciate the significance of the female artist Artemisia Gentileschi, 1593-1653, we must first understand the men who helped mold her. Such is true of many of the female artists during the pervasive, unyielding patriarchy, as seen in the Italian Renaissance. Growing up in the 17th century, Artemisia Gentileschi spent much of her early life being defined as the daughter of celebrated artist, Orazio Gentileschi. The senior Gentileschi was a pupil and follower of Caravaggio, a renowned male artist who was known for capturing emotion through his biblical renderings.  Caravaggio was to the 17th century art scene as Leonardo Dicaprio was to every adolescent girl in the 1990’s- a big deal. His revolutionary style encouraged the movement of artistic realism based in biblical narrative. In an era when written word was directed exclusively to the highly educated, the realist movement also appealed to the illiterate, breathing life into viewer’s emotions and stimulating a devout religiosity amongst Italians. Continue reading