Advent 1 Sermon

Advent-1.pngAdvent marks the beginning of a new church year. Radicaldiscipleship also begins a new tradition for the year of posting sermons following the lectionary readings. It is a chance to honor the work of pastors who are part of this circle of radical disciples who spend each week examining the readings and the times.

Sermon by Bill Wylie-Kellermann
Advent 1 November 27, 2016, St. Peter’s Episcopal, Detroit

Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:36-44

Advent is certainly the favorite liturgical season in our family. My own as well. We embrace the holy in candle-lit darkness as in our Taize services beginning tomorrow evening. In fact, in our household we light the wreath and sing on the eve before – kind of like a Jewish Shabbat service beginning the day at sundown. It’s the hour of prophetic promise. We anticipate the dawn and wait. There is a wakefulness in the dark, like a stiff cold breeze on the face. The stripped down sparseness of the season is so welcome a counter to the commercial shopping season of frenzied anxiety. Not to denigrate gift giving, but to deepen the gift, I commend it more as a season of gift making, than gift buying. In those crafts and constructions are a place for prayer. Continue reading

The Doctrine of Discovery and Watershed Conquest

doctrineOn November 3, 524 clergy went in solidarity to Standing Rock as part of a call for clergy to join the struggle. As part of the action, the clergy repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery (which coincidentally is 524 years old). They presented a copy of the doctrine to an elder who burned it.

Below is an excerpt from Kat Friesen’s chapter in Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith and Practice where she explores the Doctrine of Discovery.

The Doctrine of Discovery and its resulting “Watershed Conquest” provide an exceptionally relevant case study of the harmful outworking of Christendom theologies. Any work toward reconciliation as mission must take into account these exploitative theologies, and begin with repentance as metanoia. Metanoia, translated from Greek as repentance (e.g. Mark 1:4), carries a connotation of changing both mind and action. Thus, repenting of the theologies of placelessness that persist today means recognizing their error and actively changing direction. Continue reading

#NoDAPL Day of Action at Army Corps of Engineers- A Call to be a Visionary Engineer

defend-the-sacredToday people across the United States are standing in solidarity with the water protectors at Standing Rock demanding that the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the federal government halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. To find an action in your city, go here (https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/nov-15-nodapl-day-of-action-at-army-corps-of-engineers).

Today is a day for engineers to listen and heed their call as one which honors indigenous voices, protects the waters and earth, and upholds justice in our communities. Below is an excerpt from Erinn Fahey’s chapter in Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregionalism Faith and Practice which discusses her vocation to become a “visionary engineer.”

“Engineers have an opportunity to be visionary: to reimagine our work as a craft that manages the human footprint while also restoring right relationship with the earth; and to create opportunities for people to engage in self transformation. In the Next American Revolution, Grace Boggs calls people to be visionary organizers: Continue reading

People and Prayers

laurel-dykstraBy Laurel Dykstra, Salal and Cedar
I am home again in Coast Salish Territory praying about how to be an accomplice to the work of Indigenous Water Protectors at Standing Rock, to speak only for myself but centre Indigenous and traditional voices. Greg, of the Cheyenne River Sioux was my host at Oceti Sakowin Camp. When I asked what I should tell people at home, he said, “Pray, keep praying.” And when I asked what they needed he said, “More people and more prayers.”
I am a priest but I have never been any place where they prayed so much—I averaged 5-6 hours per day in prayer and ceremony here doing things that most people think of as prayer—with special words, objects and actions. But prayer here includes healing dance on a critical river crossing that held off police and security, a sweat lodge on the pipeline path, sacred pipes in front of armored vehicles. Prayer is not a limp sending of good feelings that excuses your absence it is practical and concrete. So as Greg is calling for more prayers and you can send them from your wallet here http://www.ocetisakowincamp.org/donate you can bring them with bike locks to your financial institution that funds DAPL, you can head to your centres of government and law enforcement and invite them to sit down and pray with you and refuse to leave until they do.
Greg also called for more people, and to his call out I will add these words from Kelly Sherman, Oglala Lakota: “If you visit Oceti Sacowin please remember you are a guest. Please remember it is not about you. Please remember the traditions and ceremonies you are welcomed into are sacred. Please remember your visit is not a vacation. Please remember some moments are sacred and do not need your camera.Please remember that sacred moment, that sacred time, will be a picture embedded on your soul. Not on your phone. Donations are helpful, social media sharing is helpful. But what Standing Rock needs is your physical presence. However when you are there please remember if you do not know what to do first you listen. Secondly you listen. Thirdly you listen. And if you do not know how to do that…stay home.”
For more information on solidarity and allyship-

Solidarity at Standing Rock

Oil Pipeline Key PlayersOn Thursday, November 3rd, 2016, over 400 clergy will be in North Dakota, hosting a multi faith solidarity circle for Standing Rock. We all cannot be there physically, but we can be there spirituality. We urge everyone around the country to take a few minutes at 9am Central Time to pray with them.

We offer this prayer, written by Lyla June Johnson (a descendent of Diné (Navajo) and Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) lineages) to say:

We pray for our family at Standing Rock.
We pray for Our Sister Water who is our life.
We pray for the healing and safety of the Water Protectors. Continue reading

Standing Rock: A Clergy Call to Action

WaterIsLife1.jpgA message from the United Church of Christ:

To the broader church:

As Christians, we, the undersigned clergy, are conditioned by the gospel to stand on the side of the persecuted and the jailed. As such, we are compelled by our faith to stand with the water protectors of Standing Rock, who have pricked the conscience of a nation and the world. In opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline that would carry oil from North Dakota to Illinois, they have resolutely declared that they are not protestors but protectors and defenders acting out of a sacred obligation which affirms “water is life.” Continue reading

Mennonite delegation shows solidarity at Standing Rock encampment

kat

Photo by Maria Thomas

Published on October 10, Indigenous People’s Day at themennonite.org.

Katerina Friesen is a recent graduate of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana. She is a writer and community builder, and currently serves as the interim pastor of Belmont Neighborhood Fellowship in Elkhart.

The largest gathering of Native American tribes in over a century is happening near Cannonball, North Dakota, about a mile from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Tribes that were once divided are finding reconciliation and unity in a movement of nonviolent resistance to protect the sacred lands and waters of the Lakota Sioux.

From Sept. 16-23, I traveled there with a delegation of Mennonites from the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition to show support and solidarity with the thousands of people resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), slated to carry over 450,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the Bakken shale of North Dakota to refineries in Illinois, over 1,100 miles. Our delegation included Anita Amstutz, John Stoesz, Ken Gingerich, Maria Thomas, and I, stayed at the Sacred Stone Camp, the first of the three main camps where between 5,000–7,000 people were estimated to have camped during the week we visited. Continue reading