Queen Lili’uokalani of Hawaii

220px-liliuokalani_of_hawaiiBy Grace Aheron.

This piece was developed during the first Bartimaeus Institute Online Cohort (2015-2016), aka “The Feminary.”  These pieces will eventually be published in a Women’s Breviary collection.  For more information regarding the Feminary go here.

80 million years ago, the earth opened up in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, liquid land bubbling up through the ocean to cool into a jade island chain. Through the intricate folding of land, sea, wind, and the breath of creation, life came to the islands and flourished in the rich volcanic soil. A few hundred years after the death of Christ, using only the stars and the sea to navigate in their outrigger canoes, master navigators from the West crossed thousands of miles of water to find paradise. In the Kumulipo, the creation chant sacred to native people in the Islands of Hawai’i, the story tells of the intimate linkage between people, the gods, the earth, and plants and animal indigenous to that place. Veneration of the `aumakua (ancestors) and gods weaves the story of present-day Hawaiians into the fabric of history— it is impossible to speak of the origin of native people without telling the origin of the sacred land that provided life. An extensive portion of the Kumulipo is dedicated to enumerating the lineage of the monarchs and royal family of the Kingdom of Hawai’i, and, fittingly, the chant was first translated into English by the kingdom’s first, last, and only sovereign queen, Liliu’okalani. Continue reading

Marcella Althaus-Reid

indecent-theologyBy Grace Aheron.

This piece was developed during the first Bartimaeus Institute Online Cohort (2015-2016), aka “The Feminary.”  These pieces will eventually be published in a Women’s Breviary collection.  For more information regarding the Feminary go here.

 “Only in the longing for a world of economic and sexual justice together, and not subordinated to one another, can the encounter with the divine take place. But this is an encounter to be found at the crossroads of desire, when one dares to leave the ideological order of the heterosexual pervasive normative. This is an encounter with indecency, and with the indecency of God and Christianity.”

– Indecent Theology, 2000

While the drum beat of the purity cult of Christianity rings through our bodies and bones, causing our feet and hands and desires to fall in step, there are voices— high and descant, low and elemental— that waken us from the single-file lines of decency. Marcella Althaus-Reid was one of those voices. Continue reading

Collecting Healing

This WomanBy Grace Aheron

I address the crowds within me:
Rustling robes of people I know only from dreams,
Childhood friends with small hands,
My parents–
One who left his body behind.

When I take steps in this world,
They slosh within me.
Sometimes, a bit of my mother
Spills out
When I take a turn
Too quickly.
The heart of a beloved
Sails forth through a cage of ribs
When I raise my arms in praise. Continue reading

Introducing: The Feminary

Grace ABy Grace Aheron

This winter, five young women and myself are embarking upon an online adventure of alternative theological education. We’ve been dubbed “the feminary” and will be participating in a study cohort following the Bartimaeus Institute’s five-month online series. The seeds of the feminary were planted by a few voices crying out in the wilderness— crying for a radical feminist space where we could study scripture, history, and bible at a low price point and in community with like-minded people— and Ched and Elaine’s faithful response.
Continue reading