Learning from Laughter and the Trees: What do these stones mean?

IMG_2028

Stone tower on Block Island

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

I’ve started an altar of stones beside my desk. With each death, birth, or marriage that passes, I write the name upon the rock and let the rock hold the memory and the prayer.

This fall, our family went to Block Island for the first time in many years. We used to stay in Dan Berrigan’s little cottage beside the ocean every summer. Stepping back on that ferry with my kids felt like introducing them to a piece of my heart- a piece nourished by beauty, where my mom’s hair blew fiercely in the wind, where my imagination learned to soar climbing on rocks and pulling clay from the cliff. Continue reading

Christ the King Sermon: Bossy and Beautiful

momBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann
November 26, 2017, at Day House Catholic Worker in Detroit

“Let me show you how to fold this, Grandpa,” Isaac said after he picked up a dish rag off my dad’s kitchen floor. He carefully folded it just as he had learned at school. At night, we’ve been reading The BFG and it is slowed down by the fact that Isaac pauses regularly to point out all the words he can read on each page. It’s incredible! I love watching all these incredible things he is learning and knowing that I am not responsible for it. I just get to delight it in. Continue reading

Learning from Laughter and the Trees: Under the Apple Tree Again

IMG_2463

Grandpa, Cedar, and Isaac digging the hole for Scatters under the apple tree.

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

The rain is pouring down with periodic rumbles of thunder. It is cold and the sun has set, but we can tell that there is a need in Isaac’s heart to make this trek. We put on hats and shoes and give into the rain as we walk down the street and into the backyard of my dad’s house.

It’s too dark to see the loosened soil, but we bend down low and Isaac says, “This is where we buried Scatters.” Cedar, who is almost two, bends down too and after a minute looks up at Erinn and says “Meow” and points to the dirt. Erinn says, “Is this where Scatters is? Did he die?” Cedar responds, “Meow die.” Continue reading

Lying awake these nights

f81577b34538e8b41467c5b32d5a2dc7--black-sky-black-and-white

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

10576925_10203724502133713_5217887874462831456_n

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

IMG_1027

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