Wild Lectionary: Insect Armies and Fearful Soil

37661337_684148725265061_5398280923315699712_oProper 25(30)C

Joel 2:23-32

By Laurel Dykstra

In the Christian bible the book of Joel is three chapters long, in the Jewish bible four.

Joel describes a years long plague of locusts in military language. The people are exhorted to fast, pray and repent from ambiguous transgressions. An oracle of consolation—divine promise of restoration–is followed by a raw prayer of revenge equating Israel’s restoration with the defeat and humiliation of surrounding empires.

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Watershed Eucharist

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Salal + Cedar outdoor altar Credit: Laurel Dykstra

By Laurel Dykstra, printed in Geez 54: Climate Justice

Salal + Cedar is a Wild Church community in the lower Fraser Watershed. Our Eucharistic prayer and our outdoor worship are active reminders that we do not practice our discipleship and celebrate our sacred meal in First Century Palestine nor on “England’s pleasant pastures” but among a little lifeboat of companions on the territory of the Coast Salish People at a time of global climate crisis.

Our Eucharistic prayer names the creatures – plants, animals, waterways, of our bioregion. Under our creative-commons-take on liturgy as the work of and for the people – you are welcome to borrow and adapt this prayer to your work and biome. In return please credit us, note that you have made changes, and make a financial contribution to Indigenous land defenders near you. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Trembling Birds

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 Pigeon Pair by Hal Trachenberg, Creative Commons

Proper 13(18) C

Hosea 11:1-11

By Laurel Dykstra

Today’s lectionary passage from Hosea is a potent cocktail that mixes parental love and anger with political violence and nature imagery. More broadly and more problematically, the prophet’s oracles:

  • imagine religious fidelity and commitment to justice, as sexual fidelity within patriarchy
  • conflate non-monogamy and sex commerce
  • assume that sexual violence (reparative rape) is a husband’s prerogative
  • equate military violence and invasion with divine judgement.

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Pastoral Letter

8699828939_8a53b785ab_bBy Laurel Dykstra

in those days before the flood
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage

My scarred and raging
weary-eyed beloveds

ordinary defiant
with your teaching-outfit selfies
purple hair
fancy waistcoats
songs in a new range
carpentry projects
surfboards
magic card tricks
raspberry canes

You are magnificent Continue reading

Mary and Martha

Mary-Martha-Lazarus.jpgBy Laurel Dykstra, on Luke 10:38-42

*Note: this Radical Discipleship classic was originally posted in July 2016.

I don’t like the story of Mary and Martha.

Most of us already know if we are more like Mary, who sits at Jesus’ feet, or more like Martha, who is distracted by her many tasks. And it seems to me that no matter how nice they try to be about it, most of the sermons and commentaries on this passage seem to say, “Yay Mary and Boo Martha” Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Sheep, Gazelle and Rock

45073825842_789e1c317b_bActs 9:36-43
Psalm 23

By Laurel Dykstra

On this Good Shepherd Sunday, our annual engagement with the repeated biblical assertion that both kingship and divine-human relations resemble sheep husbandry, the lectionary illuminates two key aspects of the emerging Wild Church Movement. Connected to both Watershed Discipleship and Contemplative Ecology, Wild Church is nothing more than Christians who intentionally worship, or seek to experience holiness, outside of buildings. In forests, deserts, city parks, beaches, urban vacant lots we reassert the strand of our tradition where wilderness is the place of divine encounter. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Thomas, Bodies, Touch, and Violence

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Hold Fast by Thor (Creative Commons License)

Easter 2(B)
John 20:19-31

By Laurel Dykstra

“Doubting Thomas” it’s the name we call someone who demands hard evidence, who won’t accept what we say or who doesn’t share our beliefs.

There are all kinds opportunities in the church use that name against someone. All sorts of differences in the beliefs of faithful Christians: angels, auras, miracles, marriage, dinosaurs, women disciples, Adam and Eve, Noah, what prayer is, what happens during a sacrament, what salvation means, what parts of the creeds we say with confidence and, perhaps most pertinent here, how we understand the resurrection. Continue reading