Empire Cracking: Reflection from Open Door Community

the open doorThis interview was taken by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann as part of a writing project for Geez Magazine entitled “She is Breathing: Listening for Another World and an End to Empire.” It was published in the Winter Issue.

Lydia Wylie-Kellermann: Where are the moments for you where you are beginning to see a crack in the empire? Where is resurrection alive and being practiced? What is the story that lingers on your heart and keeps you moving forward? Is this the moment we’ve been waiting for? Is another world being birthed before our eyes?

Terry Kennedy:  I believe that one of the many great things that we do here that is counter to this revenge oriented society is our stand with those who have been condemned to die. Here at Open Door we visit those who are on Death Row, we write letters and vigil at the capitol when there is an execution. Continue reading “Empire Cracking: Reflection from Open Door Community”

Empire Cracking: Reflection from Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

jonathanThis interview was taken by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann as part of a writing project for Geez Magazine entitled “She is Breathing: Listening for Another World and an End to Empire.” It was published in the Winter Issue.

Lydia Wylie-Kellermann: Where are the moments for you where you are beginning to see a crack in the empire? Where is resurrection alive and being practiced? What is the story that lingers on your heart and keeps you moving forward? Is this the moment we’ve been waiting for? Is another world being birthed before our eyes?

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove– One of the young people who’s led the Black Lives Matter movement here is running for City Council. I see hope every time I talk to him. Continue reading “Empire Cracking: Reflection from Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove”

Empire Cracking: Reflection from Sarah Thompson

sarahThis interview was taken by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann as part of a writing project for Geez Magazine entitled “She is Breathing: Listening for Another World and an End to Empire.” It was published in the Winter Issue.

Lydia Wylie-Kellermann: Where are the moments for you where you are beginning to see a crack in the empire? Where is resurrection alive and being practiced? What is the story that lingers on your heart and keeps you moving forward? Is this the moment we’ve been waiting for? Is another world being birthed before our eyes?

Sarah Thompson: Two words: Compost toilets!
I love food justice, and I think I’m called to work on the “backside” of it. What I mean is, think it is the epitome of western hubris to crap in our most precious resource, potable water.  Finding ways to help people deal with their own shit (both literally and metaphorically) is a liberating process. A lot can come up when we are faced with the “mess” we create daily. What we have learned to call “waste” can actually be returned to the ecosystem where the nutrients came from.  Through a process it can become humanure and nourish the area where the local food came from.

Empire Cracking: Reflection from Joanna Shenk

joannaThis interview was taken by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann as part of a writing project for Geez Magazine entitled “She is Breathing: Listening for Another World and an End to Empire.” It was published in the Winter Issue.

Lydia Wylie-Kellermann: Where are the moments for you where you are beginning to see a crack in the empire? Where is resurrection alive and being practiced? What is the story that lingers on your heart and keeps you moving forward? Is this the moment we’ve been waiting for? Is another world being birthed before our eyes?

Joanna Shenk: This spring and fall our congregation is engaging in a two-part learning process. In the spring we took a couple months on the theme of Recognizing Structural Sin/Injustice. Continue reading “Empire Cracking: Reflection from Joanna Shenk”

Empire Cracking: An Interview on Spiritus Christi

spiritusThis interview was taken by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann as part of a writing project for Geez Magazine entitled “She is Breathing: Listening for Another World and an End to Empire.” It was published in the Winter Issue.

Lydia Wylie-Kellermann:What is Spiritus Christi’s story?

Michael Boucher: What happened at Spiritus Christi in 1998 is often narrated as the community of then Corpus Christi Church moving away from the wider church teachings.  The question always arises, however, “Who moved away from the tradition?” Continue reading “Empire Cracking: An Interview on Spiritus Christi”

Empire Cracking: Words from Ruby Sales

ruby sales geez

This interview was taken by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann as part of a writing project for Geez Magazine entitled “She is Breathing: Listening for Another World and an End to Empire.” It was published in the Winter Issue.

Lydia Wylie-Kellermann: So, where are the moments for you where you are beginning to see a crack in the empire? Where is resurrection alive and being practiced? What is the story that lingers on your heart and keeps you moving forward? Is this the moment we’ve been waiting for? Is another world being birthed before our eyes?

Ruby Sales: Even if we don’t recognize empire cracking, it is. With Black Lives Matter and brown folks responding to the bigotry of immigration, suddenly we are seeing what has always been there. We are putting words to it again. The more we put it in words, the more empire loses its grip. Which has its downside because the more it loses its grip, the more repressive the empire gets. If you want to see where hope is manifested, it’s in African Americans. We have been getting up and doing the work even with no evidence of making a difference- that is hope. The reason we are so feared is that our very essence and resistance threatens white supremacy. We have to ask the question, “Why would the police shoot someone 137 times?” Saying that black people have rights in a society that says only white people have rights threatens the security of empire.

Empire Cracking: An Interview with Wilderness Way

wildernessThis interview was taken by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann as part of a writing project for Geez Magazine entitled “She is Breathing: Listening for Another World and an End to Empire.” It was published in the Winter Issue.

Lydia Wylie-Kellermann: Biefly, what is Wilderness Way’s story? How did it come to be? What was it in response to? What was it a calling away from and a calling to something different?

Solveig Nilsen-Goodin: Wilderness Way began with a friend of mine coming over one day in 2006 saying he was feeling led to start an alternative church at the margins of Christianity, and something inside of me immediately responded, YES!  We spent the next six months listening for what “at the margins of Christianity” meant to us, and gathering others to join us, and soon the name, Wilderness Way Community, emerged.  The name signifies the particular place we are planting ourselves.  Biblically, the wilderness is the place outside the walls of empire, the place where prophets are called and fed, the place where manna is given and enoughness is taught, the place where John the Baptist initiated those who were defectors from and dehumanized by empire; the place where Jesus was tested and prepared for his prophetic, spiritual leadership.  Wilderness also signifies the wild spaces that emerge and exist without human control.  Within the context of Western civilization (particularly urban contexts) most of us are profoundly cut off from the “natural” world – a disconnection that is having devastating consequences for the planet, the poor, and our very souls.  The values we seek to bring forward are, in fact, values found deep in the wilderness of both scripture and nature: the values of Sabbath, jubilee and shalom. When manifested, these values look a lot like what Jesus called the Kingdom of God, and that’s the new (old) world that is emerging. Continue reading “Empire Cracking: An Interview with Wilderness Way”