40 Birds of Lent: A Siege of Herons

DoveBy Laurel Dykstra

I was beyond excited to discover that the Aberdeen Bestiary (right) has been digitized and is available online. In recent years there has been, among a certain set, a revival of Herbals—illustrated volumes for the identification and medicinal use of plants, with an emphasis on women’s and Indigenous knowledge traditions. But the faunal analog, the Bestiary has seen no parallel resurgence. Composed in medieval monasteries, these often anecdotal sometimes allegorical, encyclopedias of animals were the height of scientific

Rock Dove

Rock Dove

learning. Perhaps such “facts” as weasels giving birth through the mouth, deer eating poisonous snakes as a restorative, and the dove’s eye color indicating their maturity and discernment, dissuade modern would-be champions of the genera. Continue reading

The 40 Birds of Lent: Observe

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

By Laurel Dykstra

Observe a holy Lent—the prayerbook enjoins, then spells it out with this austere prescription: self-examination, penitence, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and reading and meditating on the word of God.

I am someone with a Lenten disposition. My own natural reserve, saying “no” for its own sake, and avoiding extravagance, were honed by my family and by my participation in certain discipleship traditions. Whatever the liturgical season, I engage in above average quantities of penitence, fasting, almsgiving, and no shortage of (critical) self-examination. But there are places where rigor can’t take you, and the 40 Birds of Lent is one of those places. Continue reading

The 40 Birds of Lent

Eagle WMMBy Laurel Dykstra

Several years ago I participated in the Wilderness Way Community’s Lenten challenge: to spend 10 minutes each day outdoors in prayer or meditation. Due both to my own inclination and the fact that Lent falls where I live during spring migration, mating and nesting season, this experience, which I described to others as “going outside and paying attention,” quickly turned into going outside and paying attention to birds. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Let All Creation Praise

Wild Lectionary: Let All Creation Praise

Christmas 1B
Psalm 148

By Laurel Dykstra

The first Sunday after Christmas with the annual reading of Psalm 148, marks Wild Lectionary’s first anniversary: 51 blog posts, from diverse watersheds, reflecting on land, creation and indigenous justice themes from the readings of the Revised Common Lectionary. Continue reading

Radical Recommendations for Gift-Giving

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Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann and his recent releases

Because Christmas has become so central to the American economy and American consumption is so central to global capitalism, this festival of ‘Holy Days’ has become a central expression and embodiment of American imperial domination, an imperial religion. 
Richard Horsley, Religion and Empire (2003)

Truly, this Season signals a major tension for North American radical disciples.  We resist and reclaim.  Whether it is our love language our not, we give.  But some forms of giving are far more redemptive than others.

It is in this Spirit that we offer gift ideas from more out-of-the-way, up-and-coming, long-suffering and open-hearted thinkers and artists.  Links to their work are provided here and will eventually be added to our now-pemanent “STORE” tab up top.  We hope this list is an Advent-instigator: please add your recommendations to the comments below or email us so we can add them to the store!!!

From the Poor People’s Campaign, coming to a watershed near you in 2018:

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A beautiful 2016 publication from Philly-based pastor-parent-activist about using the difficult and challenging parts of life as a way to deepen your spiritual path and become more authentic.
The Soul-Making Room by Dee Dee Risher
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There are two new releases from this Detroit-based pastor-activist who has been hauling the sanctuary on to the streets since the early 70’s.
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From the dry creek-beds of Southern California comes this deep collection of young practitioners experimenting with place-based radicalism…
And a older-yet-timely offering…
….and yet another teaming up with a SoCal-based pastor.
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Truly, it is a time of exile for those of us on the left.  Let’s set the clock back to the early Bush years with this re-examination of the Exodus from a Vancouver-based pastor-activist.
And More from Dykstra:
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From two U.S.-based Filipinas displaying a celebration of the beauty, richness, and diversity of indigenous ways.
Back from the Crocodile’s Belly by Lily Mendoza and Leny Mendoza Strobel
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This one takes Jesus out of the over-spiritualized heart and over-futurized heaven and places him right where he was in the Gospels: the street!
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From the foot of Tiger Mountain in Washington State comes a vital perspective on early church history (aka, “the roots of why Christians want to make America great again.”).
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And lest we think gift-giving is only for adults, the executive director of the Center for Prophetic Imagination in Minneapolis tells this St. Francis-inspired tale for our young ones.
A Wolf at the Gate by Mark Van Steenwyk
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This year, Charlottesville exposed us all to some of the most vicious forms of American white supremacy.  But far less known, C’Ville is home to some radical experimentation, including sweet sounds from a young singer-songwriter.  Perfect for people defined by death-and-resurrection.
Claire Hitchins, These Bodies
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And this!  From a Minneapolis-based artist and PhD candidate releasing her first album, a powerfully rich blend bursting with beauty, grief, creativity and prophetic wisdom.
Katherine Parent, The Wait for Green
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Probably the most unique musical contribution of the movement is from Philly-based Holy Fool Arts, a voice of and for the wilderness that combines poetry, theatrical masks, ancient rhythms, traditional and modern dance forms, with a heavy side of the blues.
Beast, Groan
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And for those who prefer dance as their desired form of resistance: this Detroit-based DJ dubs in Rev. Barber to raise the roof off the White House.
Peter Croce, Revival
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For much of our own graphic inspiration RadicalDiscipleship.net heads north to Duluth to be captivated by beauty and truth on paper.
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Lastly, a recommendation from author-activist Wes Howard-Brook fair-trade, organic chocolate from Mama Ganache.  From WHB:

They are THE BEST! As we all know, corporate chocolate production is  both a human and environmental horror show. The folks at MG use their profits to support farmers in West Africa in many ways, as explained on their website. I’ve been ordering from them for years!

 

Wild Lectionary: Who Is My Neighbor?

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Sacred Earth Camp youth catalogue species at Coleman Creek Credit: Devin Gillan

Proper 25 (30)
Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost

Matthew 22:34-46

By Laurel Dykstra

In today’s Gospel when asked about the greatest of all the commandments, Jesus’ reply is simple, “love God, love your neighbor.” In Luke, this same exchange is followed by the question, “who is my neighbor?” which Jesus answers with the parable of the Good Samaritan. The story of upstanding citizens who fail to respond to suffering after an assault has obvious parallels for first world Christians confronted by climate crisis, species extinctions, and environmental racism. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Judgment and Joy

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Photo credit: Laurel Dykstra

Proper 24(29)
20th Sunday after Pentecost
Psalm 96

by Calvin Redekop

I love to return again to the Scriptures, to those visions seen by the prophets and apostles and singers of Israel about the “peaceful reign of God.” There is a strange concatenation of judgment and celebration in some of the Psalms, especially Psalms 96 to 99 and 104. Psalm 99 beings, “The Lord is king; let the people tremble!” In many Christian circles it is today politically incorrect to speak about God as king, as reigning, as judging, and instead God is portrayed as a morally nondiscrimination, indulgent Santa. Such and attitude represents the deliberate denial of a theme that runs through the Bible from beginning to end. “The Lord is king,” and one of the functions of a king was to be a judge, to dispense justice.

Continue reading