Lying awake these nights

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By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

I lie awake feeling the weight of the world on my chest. Death haunting our country again. Fifty lives and hundreds wounded. All from guns. I can’t twist my head around any rational for guns. I don’t understand the safety argument. I think of the man in the window and the media argument that he fits “no mold” for motive or terrorism. They can’t say it. That he fits exactly the mold of the violent rampage that rules this country. White men. There is a violent disease filled with numbing, racist hatred. It is a disease that knows no empathy, no kindness, no vulnerability, no self-knowledge, no community. It is a lonely, despicable rotting disease. I lie there with tears in my eyes and rage in my belly at the patriarchy and white supremacy that rules.

And then…I think of these two baby boys that sleep soundly feet away from my bed. I love them more than anything. I love their laughter and their tears and the people they are becoming. I think of this disease that is ready to pounce and swallow them whole. What can I do? How can I mother in a way where they refuse the outstretched hand offered to them as white men? My heart gives in and weeps.

Sermon: Power of Names

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My Grandma Bea, me, my mom, and my sister Lucy

Preached by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann at the Day House Catholic Worker
August 27, 2017

Exodus 1:8-2:10
Matthew 16:13-20

As I read the opening piece of the text from Exodus, it feels like I am reading a script from the white men who marched on Charlottesville two weeks ago.

It begins with the Pharaoh naming his fear that the Israelites are becoming too numerous and powerful. He is scared they will out-number and over-take him. He orders that they be forced into labor and when that doesn’t work, he orders murder.

It echoes of the treacherous low-wage labor forced on undocumented folks living in constant fear.

It echoes of a prison industrial complex holding captive more black men today than were enslaved in the south. Continue reading

Pondering on Baptism

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Our pile of rocks beside the Detroit River.

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann, co-editor of http://www.radicaldiscipleship.net

After the service ended, the rocks began to pile up. Grandparents brought stones from beloved places far away and the kids waded into the water gathering rocks and adding them to the pile. We left that day, but the pile of rocks still sits beside the river as the waters pass through the Huron and toward Erie down the Detroit River.

We had just baptized Cedar Martin and his cousin Ira Cole. We read Joshua 4, where the Israelites cross the Jordan and Joshua tells them to leave a pile of rocks by the river because “One day your children will ask, “what do these stones mean?’ Continue reading

Sermon: Creations Groans: In the snow, the seeds, and our breath

IMG_1319(1)By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann, co-editor of http://www.radicaldiscipleship.net
Day House, Detroit Catholic Worker
July 16, 2017

Isaiah 55:10-11, Psalm 65,
Romans 8:18-23, Matthew 13: 1-9

This week I noticed some large scratchy leafed plant pop up on our driveway. It winded its way out of a narrow patch of dirt between a rotting log and the spot where we prop our gate open when we are driving in and out. It has unmistakable orange flowers, each day it is multiplying in size. The seed must have planted itself in the small bit of soil after rotting there from neglect after celebrating the season when the veil is thin. It has always been my dream to have a huge pumpkin patch. So, for now, I am cherishing this unexpected gift. I have dragged more logs over to protect it and will give it whatever space it needs. I can’t open our gate all the way and I drive into the driveway in the most peculiar way. It feels like a little miracle that I get to tend and delight in each day. Continue reading

Reflections from a Liturgical Seasons Geek

stationsBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann. Published in Geez Magazine.

“The rain. The dew. The dryness. And then rain again, and dew, and dryness. The story of the circling year. From the rabbis, mystics, and farmers of sixteen centuries ago we have a book that tells the story of the circling year. That teaches us what to do if the delicate machinery should stop.”- Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Seasons of Our Joy: A Celebration of Modern Jewish Renewal

I can’t deny it. It’s true. I crave the church seasons. I count down the days to Advent. I throw All Saints Day parties. I keep folders of poetry and reflections for each season. Honestly, I’m really not all that high churchy, but the seasons have become a rhythm that I feel in my body. They ground me when the world feels crazy. They keep me moving. They slow me down. They keep me acting in the midst of hopelessness. They are a way of keeping time that feels dramatically different than the fast-paced, consumer driven clocks that surround us. Continue reading

Sermon: Dinosaurs, Ascensions, and Hope: Believing in the Absurd

photo 1By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann
Day House Catholic Worker, May 28, 2017

Acts 1: 6-14

When I first looked at these readings, I couldn’t see past the ascension of Jesus rising from the ground into the clouds. What am I supposed to do with that? It felt so absurd. Continue reading