The Deeper Hope

SNGBy Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin (right), Salt and Light Lutheran Church (Portland, OR), Sunday, November 29, 2020, Mark 13:24 – 31

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the service this week. For the season of Advent, the plan was to have a storyteller for each Sunday of the season…one story each Sunday to go along with the theme for the week: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. Well, when I reached out to folks this week I found stories of Peace, Joy and Love, but hope…? Hope was a little harder to come by. Now, maybe not. Maybe I just didn’t happen to reach out to the people with hope stories! Or maybe, as I ultimately discerned, the Spirit was inviting ME to tell a hope story because hope has been a little hard to come by FOR ME. And I admit it! I have struggled with the whole notion of hope for a long time now, and I actually think I am not alone in this struggle. Continue reading “The Deeper Hope”

Welcoming Illegal Life: Disciplines of Readiness

adventA compelling Advent offering from radical disciples in the Bay. 
Somewhere in this country–out in the desert or under a freeway or in some cramped tenement apartment–an illegal baby is being born, brown-skinned and beautiful and trailing the wisdom of the ancestors that we need for this time. We can’t tell you where this birth is happening; if we did, Herod would deport mother and child, or worse. But it is happening. It is always happening.
And wherever new life is being birthed, it is vulnerable and under threat. New life, if it is genuinely new, is a danger to the systems of deathliness amidst which we live, and so new life is endangered everywhere. Women are being subjected to forced hysterectomies in immigrant detention camps while the right of any woman to have sovereignty over her birthing capabilities is under siege throughout the country.
How do we ready ourselves to welcome and protect illegal life–in the world and within ourselves? What are the disciplines of readiness? This is what we will attend to in this four-session Advent series. 
Something is being birthed in you and in us. Let’s prepare together:
Tuesdays, December 1-22
7:30-9 ET/ 4:30-6 PT
By donation to support the work of the facilitators
About the facilitators
Rev. Lynice Pinkard is a Black writer, teacher, healer, pastor, and public intellectual operating at the intersection of Christianity, economics, and social change. Her current work is dedicated to decolonizing the human spirit and freeing people from what she calls “empire affective disorder.” Her commitment is to inspire and nurture a new generation of Spirit-filled servant leaders dedicated to the remediation of day-to-day suffering, the building of collective resilience for transformative change, and the pursuit of structural and systemic justice in the world.
Nichola Torbett is a white spiritual seeker, recovering addict, gospel preacher, racial justice podcaster, nonviolent direct action trainer, and petsitter. She is committed to helping other white people recognize their own trauma and discontent as catalysts for the dismantling of systems of oppression that are killing us all, and killing Black and Brown people first. She is grateful to First Congregational Church of Oakland and Second Acts as her primary communities of accountability.
Lynice and Nichola have been teaching, writing, and fomenting communities of recovery and resistance together for eleven years. Forged by mutual longing, love, and shared risk, their cross-racial friendship forms the basis for the transformative work they do with others.

Peace on Earth and the Politics of Christmas

An online offering from Will O’Brien of the Alternative Seminary in Philly. December 5 at 10:30amEST.

Much of the Christian church in the United States has been co-opted by an American gospel of prosperity, racism, violence, and militant nationalism. The celebration of Christmas is a victim of that co-optation: It is often wrapped in innocent, feel-good. Hallmark-card imagery. But in fact the biblical texts describing the coming of Jesus are making powerful assertions about the politics of the Bible that speak very much to our contemporary global crises. This online gathering will explore the “nativity narratives” in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke to see how they express core biblical themes of justice and liberation. We will try to “un-domesticate” these tales of liberation and reflect on how they are truly challenging us in terms of our allegiance and our discipleship. A perfect event for Advent.

Continue reading “Peace on Earth and the Politics of Christmas”

Advent is coming

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

While fires still rage in our forests and our streets, it is time to start looking towards that season when we slow our bodies down, when we welcome in the darkness, when a single flame is enough. While the work of resistance never ceases, Advent is the liturgical season where we find more time for the quiet, waiting hours to prepare our hearts. Prepare our lives for the transformative power of story and its ability to turn the powers that be upside down. It is time. 

Continue reading “Advent is coming”

Geez Calls for Advent Reflections

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Bioregional Advent Wreath Credit: Sarah Holst

Geez magazine’s
Call for Submissions: Advent Reflections

Due July 1, 2020

Could you use a little quiet? Some darkness and stillness? Maybe some candlelight? In this moment, as summer heats up, amidst pandemic and now the street struggle against police violence and white supremacy, quiet and prayer seem like a welcome thought.

This year, Geez magazine will be publishing a daily Advent reflection book. We are looking for reflections, poetry, prayers, and whatever else you can think of that fits in 200 words. Continue reading “Geez Calls for Advent Reflections”

Joseph

Rembrandt_Dream_of_Joseph
Rembrandt, Dream of Joseph, 1645, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

By Ken Sehested

Obscured brother
consigned to the margins
of Incarnation narrative.
Carpentry-calloused hands
now shield the shame
of sagging face, drooping, disgraced.
Chiseled lines prematurely sculpting
age in youthful countenance.
Thoughts of Mary smudge the heart
as tears smear the face.
Mary. Beloved. Betrothed. Betrayed?
Mary. With child. Whose? How, and why?
Joseph, companion in confusion
over God’s intention.
No multi-colored coat for you as for
your scoundrel namesake of old.
But who dares answer, much less complain? Continue reading “Joseph”

Looking for our Advent store?

Advent 1
By Sarah Holst

Dear RadicalDiscipleship readers,

For the last several years, we have been putting out a RadicalDiscipleship store in November full of advent reflection books, kids’ calendars, greeting cards, and books. We have loved putting it together and the ways it felt like we were physically in touch with communities who read and contribute to this space.

This year we do not have a store up through RadicalDiscipleship, however that energy and creativity of making resources for radical Christian communities has not stopped, we are simply turning it over to Geez magazine’s website where there is much better capacity and technology to accommodate such things. Continue reading “Looking for our Advent store?”

Mary’s Promise: God’s Gonna Trouble the Water

Windsock
The Windsock Visitation by Mickey McGrath, OSFS

By Kim Redigan, an Advent reflection on Luke 1:39-55 for the Faith Outreach Committee of the Detroit Peoples Water Board

For a very long time now, I have been on a mission to liberate the white porcelain hands of Mary from clerics and capitalists who have turned our tough sister into little more than a cooing dove. A saccharine symbol of passivity. A willing tool of the patriarchy. A voiceless virgin who is venerated but never listened to, much less followed.

If I had a dollar for every time I squirmed in church pews and internally screamed, “No, no, NO!!!!!” as Mary was hijacked in homilies that completely denied her humanity and political-cultural context, I could pay for several of the exorbitant water bills that have resulted in shutoffs for so many of our neighbors. Continue reading “Mary’s Promise: God’s Gonna Trouble the Water”

Loving our Way through the Darkest of Days (Advent Week Four)

WWCFrom our comrades at The Wilderness Way in Portland, OR:

Week Four’s Skill of Loving is HONORING:

I honor your feelings and ideas. I recognize your right to think and feel as you do, as well as my own.

Connection with Christian Scriptures — Luke 2: 1 – 20

This text is the classic “Christmas Story” — the story of the birth of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. The practice of honoring in this story is captured by one simple sentence that comes near the end of the story. “But Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Continue reading “Loving our Way through the Darkest of Days (Advent Week Four)”

Journaling on the outside of the Jail

20181211_192911By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

This Advent my dad, Bill Wylie-Kellermann, spent 10 days in jail for an action he was part of in the spring with the Poor People’s Campaign. Each night I journaled and shared them on facebook. It was a practice that held my heart steady in a rather chaotic week and a half.

Day 1 of Dad in Jail for Advent
“But who will….”

My morning was crappy. Both kids with tantrums leaving it almost impossible to get everyone where they needed to be on time. On the way to school, I pulled a completely unnecessary turn around, scraped a log next to someone’s driveway which pulled off my bumper.

So, I am driving down 96 to concerning sounds of things scraping against my tires and wind rushing through the exposed mechanics of my car. I am running late, but trying to still make it to see my dad and Tommy Tackett turn themselves in at court today. I want to get video statements. I want to help alert press releases with on the ground information. I want to say thank you to my dad and hug him goodbye. Continue reading “Journaling on the outside of the Jail”