Sermon: Sacred Stones

17991880_1356210924426880_4541864573151262921_n.jpgKaterina Friesen, Rooted and Grounded Conference,Chapel Message, April 21, 2017

At one time, the confluence of two powerful rivers churned with such energy that they created smooth, spherical stones. The Lakota people named one of these rivers the “Stone-Make-For-Themselves River,” (‘Íŋyaŋwakağapi Wakpá) because of the round stones the river formed, which they call Iŋyaŋ Wakháŋagapi Othí. Sacred Stones. These stones are used in prayer and ceremony, and are seen as enspirited, part of all our relations, like the river, plants and animals. Continue reading

Sermon: Stories of Salt and Light

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Anna Jansz

By Katerina Friesen, February 5th, 2017, Fellowship of Hope Mennonite Church

Matthew 5:13-20

In recent sermons and reflections here at Fellowship of Hope, we’ve pondered how Jesus’ wisdom teachings and the way of the cross are foolishness to the world. Foolishness, to love our enemies. Foolishness, to be persecuted and blessed. Foolishness, that those who hunger and thirst are the highly favored ones. Yet this foolishness is the wisdom of God that we are given to chew on, the bread of life. Today, we draw our attention to a crucial ingredient in bread baking, the seasoning of our dough: salt. Continue reading

The Doctrine of Discovery and Watershed Conquest

doctrineOn November 3, 524 clergy went in solidarity to Standing Rock as part of a call for clergy to join the struggle. As part of the action, the clergy repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery (which coincidentally is 524 years old). They presented a copy of the doctrine to an elder who burned it.

Below is an excerpt from Kat Friesen’s chapter in Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith and Practice where she explores the Doctrine of Discovery.

The Doctrine of Discovery and its resulting “Watershed Conquest” provide an exceptionally relevant case study of the harmful outworking of Christendom theologies. Any work toward reconciliation as mission must take into account these exploitative theologies, and begin with repentance as metanoia. Metanoia, translated from Greek as repentance (e.g. Mark 1:4), carries a connotation of changing both mind and action. Thus, repenting of the theologies of placelessness that persist today means recognizing their error and actively changing direction. Continue reading

New Book- Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith and Practice

wd book.jpgRadical Discipleship is excited to announce a book hot off the press that is an anthology exploring watershed discipleship. Many of the contributors are regular writers for radicaldiscipleship.net. We hope to have a review coming, but for now check out the book. And let us know if you want to review it!

Edited by Ched Myers
Foreword by Denise M. Nadeau

Contributors: Katerina Friesen, David Pritchett, Jonathan McRay, Lydia Wylie-Kellermann, Erinn Fahey, Sarah Thompson, Matthew Humphrey, Sarah Nolan, Erynn Smith, Reyna Ortega, Sasha Adkins, Vickie Machado, Tevyn East, Jay Beck, and Rose Berger.

This collection introduces and explores “watershed discipleship” as a critical, contextual, and constructive approach to ecological theology and practice, and features emerging voices from a generation that has grown up under the shadow of climate catastrophe. Continue reading

Mennonite delegation shows solidarity at Standing Rock encampment

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Photo by Maria Thomas

Published on October 10, Indigenous People’s Day at themennonite.org.

Katerina Friesen is a recent graduate of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana. She is a writer and community builder, and currently serves as the interim pastor of Belmont Neighborhood Fellowship in Elkhart.

The largest gathering of Native American tribes in over a century is happening near Cannonball, North Dakota, about a mile from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Tribes that were once divided are finding reconciliation and unity in a movement of nonviolent resistance to protect the sacred lands and waters of the Lakota Sioux.

From Sept. 16-23, I traveled there with a delegation of Mennonites from the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition to show support and solidarity with the thousands of people resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), slated to carry over 450,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the Bakken shale of North Dakota to refineries in Illinois, over 1,100 miles. Our delegation included Anita Amstutz, John Stoesz, Ken Gingerich, Maria Thomas, and I, stayed at the Sacred Stone Camp, the first of the three main camps where between 5,000–7,000 people were estimated to have camped during the week we visited. Continue reading

Prayer for the Tortured Earth

KaterinaBy Katerina Friesen

Katerina wrote this for a chapel service on Sept 1, 2015 at AMBS on “Crying out with Creation.” Pope Francis declared Sept. 1 as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, as the Orthodox Church has done since 1989.

O Lord of mercy,
We pray for Your tortured Earth.
For forests scorched by drought-fueled wildfires out west.
For island nations drowning in rising ocean waters:
Fiji, Palau, Cape Verde, Kiribati, Micronesia.
For the sinking boats of refugees,
fleeing resource wars and famine.
Continue reading

Watershed Discipleship: A People’s History of Elkhart, Indiana

This piece, by Katerina Friesen, is part of a series of Friday posts on watershed discipleship. Katerina hails from central California, and is currently a student in theology and peace studies at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. She lives in the Prairie Wolf Collective, a co-housing community in Elkhart, with five friends, a cat named Zip, and the newest resident: a skunk that just made its home in the woodpile.

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On a sunny afternoon in late September, I joined a group of neighbors and friends for the 6th annual People’s History tour of Elkhart, Indiana. The tour, in the tradition of Howard Zinn’s classic subversive book, A People’s History of the United States, highlights the often unheard stories of local folks, their memories of south-central Elkhart, the struggles here that must not be forgotten, and people’s ongoing work for change (above: Participants in the tour begin with recognition of the Potowotami peoples whose ancestral lands we inhabit). Continue reading