Wild Lectionary: Until there is room for no one but you

kContinued from yesterday’s reflections on the lectionary for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost

Isaiah 5:8-23

By Ched Myers

Isaiah articulates the contemptible socio-economic disparity in Israel. A series of prophetic “woes” (howy) commences in verse 5:8 that extend through 5:23, and the first one summarizes starkly and succinctly all that will follow. The image of  “joining house to house and field to field” specifically refers to the phenomenon of “latifundialization,” the economic process by which large landowners increase their holdings by foreclosing on indebted small farmers. Theologians Urich Duchrow and Franz Hinkelammert point out that the 8th century BCE saw history’s first wave of “privatization” spread throughout the Mediterranean world, including Israel: Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Ecological Theology of the Vineyard

kj

Old millstone, Palestine

Proper 22 (27)
18th Sunday after Pentecost

Isaiah 5:1-7
Matthew 21:33-46

By Ched Myers

The 18th Sunday after Pentecost this year comes on the heels of the “Season of Creation,” a contemporary liturgical and lectionary movement celebrated during the four Sundays in September prior to St Francis of Assisi Day (4 October). Today’s haftorah—Isaiah’s famous “Song of the Vineyard”—continues this vein of ecological theology. Continue reading

Sing about it until it can be realised

IMG_0655.JPGBy Talitha Fraser

“Sing about it until it can be realised” said Ched Myers at the Kinsler Institute, a call to write, play and sing the songs of freedom until freedom is won . This is not a new idea, we sing in the tradition of so many justice movements: civil rights, suffragettes, apartheid, slavery… What songs are we singing that are calling us forward and giving us courage along the way – in this place, at this time, in this context? Continue reading

Discipulado de la Cuenca

JoLo, GreyReyThe following is the first page of a new primer on Watershed Discipleship that has just been translated into Spanish and published by the Universidad Biblica Latinoamericana in Costa Rica. Josh and Grecia Lopez-Reyes (right) are in San Jose, CR today making a presentation at a public event debuting this publication. The booklet will soon be available through www.ChedMyers.org and https://watersheddiscipleship.org/espanol/.

Discipulado de la cuenca*: Una introducción a la fe y la práctica biorregionales

By Ched Myers

Resumen. Este manual básico introduce y explora el discipulado de la cuenca (drenaje natural), un nuevo (y antiguo) paradigma para la teología y la práctica ecológicas que, en mi opinión, es la clave para hacer frente a una nueva (y antigua) crisis que enfrenta la civilización humana.1 Este enfoque es radical en su crítica de los paradigmas políticos, económicos y culturales predominantes, es contextual en su práctica, y es constructivo en sus propuestas alternativas. Continue reading

From Immigrant to Immigrant Justice Organizer

moisesTomorrow night in Santa Monica, CA, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity will celebrate of the work and witness Moises Escalante (right), legend in the work of immigrant justice and immigration reform.  This is an excerpt about Moises’ life from “From Immigrant to Immigrant Justice Organizer: Moises Escalante,” in Our God is Undocumented: Biblical Faith and Immigrant Justice by Matthew Colwell and Ched Myers:

In 1988, Moises was asked to come to the Salvadoran village of Morazan to observe the pastoral work taking place in that impoverished war zone. When he first received the invitation, he thought this was crazy. “You want me to go to a place where guerillas control the area and are under attack?” As he thought it over, he recalled the words from Ephesians that God wants the church to “awaken!” Reluctantly, he agreed to travel to Morazan for a ten-day trip. Getting there was no easy feat. After flying into San Salvador, he was put on a bus and told to wait until a person came up to him and asked, “How’s your house?” That person would be his next contact. Continue reading

Types of Violence

AOR2Current events make these  excerpts from Elaine Enns & Ched Myers’ Ambassadors of Reconciliation, Volume II (2009) all the more relevant:

In Spiral of Violence (1971), the Brazilian liberation theologian Dom Helder Camara explained that various forms of violence plaguing communities of the poor—from addiction and crime to rioting and guerilla warfare—were all reactions to fundamental experiences of injustice and violation.   He called these “Violence #1”…Typically, the conditions of Violence #1 are woven into the fabric of society, and thus widely accepted as “normal,” “inevitable” or “beyond our capacity to change.” But human beings sooner or later react to violation, Camara argued. Continue reading

The Flesh

AORAn excerpt from Ambassadors of Reconciliation, Volume I by Elaine Enns and Ched Myers of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries:

Therefore, from now on we regard no one from a human point of view. Even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away. See, everything has become new! (II Cor 5:16-17) [1]

The apostle urges disciples to view the world no longer “from a human point of view”—literally, “according to the flesh.”   The “flesh” (Gk sarx) does not refer to our bodies or our sexual passions, the widespread misunderstanding of Christian pietism. [2] Rather, it is one of Paul’s favorite metaphors for the deeply-rooted, socially-conditioned worldview we inherit from our upbringing. It is the sum total of personal and political constructs and conventions that define what it means to be a member of a given culture—in other words, the way most folk think and act. A key example of the perspective of the “flesh” that we raise throughout this project is the dominant assumption that the “moral” response to violation is punishment. To challenge this cultural conviction quickly engenders passionate and often irrational resistance that is both broad (i.e. the majority opinion) and deep (welling up from the core of individual psyches). This is the power of the “flesh” in Paul’s sense. Continue reading