Possibly Even Magic

Note: In the lead-up to the election, RD.net is prodding leaders to submit creative and concise pieces (500 words or less) on both hope and resistance.

Bree Newsome, June 27, 2015.

By Ric Hudgens

In the early 1980s, not long after the death of Steven Biko, I registered for an independent study on the nonviolent struggle in South Africa. I knew little of nonviolence or South Africa and wanted to learn more. Based on my semester-long research, I concluded that there wasn’t much chance without bloodshed for a peaceful outcome in South Africa. Of course, I was wrong. Academic research is linear, but real life isn’t. There were things below the surface and things about to surface in South Africa that I couldn’t predict.

Continue reading “Possibly Even Magic”

The Movement Must Begin Inside Each of Us

LewisA rare Sunday read. From Ric Hudgens. A reflection on the life of John Lewis. This is Quarantine Essay #58 from Hudgens, the Cal Ripken of RadicalDiscipleship.net.

When I want to understand the potential a human being might have or the difference that one person might make in this world, I don’t look to celebrities or billionaires. I look to John Lewis.

Someone who refuses to wear a face mask because it threatens their liberty doesn’t know the price of liberty. Their understanding of freedom is narrow and malignant. John Lewis understood. He paid the price, not once but time again, because freedom is not a one-time thing. Continue reading “The Movement Must Begin Inside Each of Us”

Pentecost as a Riot of the Unheard

MinnyBy Ric Hudgens

This Sunday, May 31, 2020, Christians celebrate the Day of Pentecost. It is a celebration rooted in the Hebrew “Feast of Weeks” (Shavuot). Christians around the world observe it on the seventh Sunday after Easter. The Biblical origin of the sacred holiday is the Book of Acts, chapter 2, which describes the “descent of the Holy Spirit” upon the earliest church. Continue reading “Pentecost as a Riot of the Unheard”

Teaching Eco-Ministry

RicBy Ric Hudgens (right)

I just finished teaching a class in Eco-Ministry at Garrett Seminary. My initial (and still favorite) title for the course was a play on John Wesley’s quote, “the world is my parish.” I wanted to call it The Earth is Our Parish. However, the formal title became “CL-621 Earth Ministry for Ecological Renewal.” CL-621 is one of the core courses in the Ecological Regeneration Concentration of Garrett’s new Masters in Public Ministry program.

I’m writing about it here not primarily to promote Garrett Seminary, but because this Eco-Ministry is a growing edge in contemporary ministry. It often has interfaith and eco-spiritual aspects, which are essential. But its placement in Garrett’s new Public Ministry degree gave it a distinctive social and political slant that is sometimes missing. Garrett’s version also featured radical discipleship resources that gave it a particular focused and practical impact. Continue reading “Teaching Eco-Ministry”

Never Forget

Deschutes National ForestBy Ric Hudgens, Quarantine Essay #22, originally posted to Facebook on April 18, 2020. Ric is posted all his essays to Medium

Every day for the past month, something has stunned me. I’ve been unable to respond. I’m astonished by the news stories I’m hearing. I see and hear horrifying things.

The world has never been an entirely pleasant place. Horrifying things happen all the time. But now perhaps I’ve slowed down enough to feel and see the full weight of them.

I’m not surprised by the inequalities revealed in this crisis. They have been there for anyone to see who wanted to look. The callous disregard for human life by those who claim to be “pro-life” doesn’t surprise me. Their understanding of “life” has always been very narrow, partisan, and racist. Continue reading “Never Forget”

AS THE WORLD SQUIRMS (Quarantine Essay #9)

mlkBy Ric Hudgens (originally posted to Facebook March 31, 2020). Ric is posting all of his quarantine essays to Medium.

In his 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. King wrote: “In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be…This is the interrelated structure of reality.”

The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is putting this perspective to the test and vindicating it once again.

If we attend to the virology of this moment our unity is dramatically highlighted. Within just a few weeks, this disease has traveled the globe, infecting thousands, regardless of race, color, or national origin. All are vulnerable, and it is a universal threat. Continue reading “AS THE WORLD SQUIRMS (Quarantine Essay #9)”

Thin Love

RicBy Ric Hudgens (right)

“Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”–Toni Morrison

I don’t want the thin love anymore.

So thin it needs a second coat.

Too thin
to be seen at a certain angle
to hold the weight
to pull us out of the ditch
to keep things connected
to grasp with both hands
to tie my life together
to nourish our souls.

Give me the thick love.

The love that is love.