This Baptism

Profile PhotoBy Shelby Smith

On June 8th I was baptized by my home church, the Wilderness Way Community in Portland, OR. I was asked to reflect on why I was choosing to be baptized.

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”—Micah 6:8

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”—Phil 4:13

The Bible and its legacy is full of contradictions and conflicts and also beauty and strength. In 2014, when I came to Wilderness Way I found myself feeling dry and broken. That feeling was an extended phase that continued for some time. I had a relationship with God but Jesus and Christianity was completely off the table. Except the occasional times when I would pick up the Bible, read some passages—and feel disgusted or bored or confused and walk away again. I wrestled with a lot of shoulds, anger and fears. I struggled to do justice, to love kindness and the walk humbly with God. I struggled acutely with all three of these. Continue reading

Loving our Way through the Darkest of Days (Advent Week Four)

WWCFrom our comrades at The Wilderness Way in Portland, OR:

Week Four’s Skill of Loving is HONORING:

I honor your feelings and ideas. I recognize your right to think and feel as you do, as well as my own.

Connection with Christian Scriptures — Luke 2: 1 – 20

This text is the classic “Christmas Story” — the story of the birth of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. The practice of honoring in this story is captured by one simple sentence that comes near the end of the story. “But Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Continue reading

Loving our Way through the Darkest of Days

WWCFrom our comrades at The Wilderness Way in Portland, OR:

“They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart; get up, he is calling you.’ So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said to him, ‘My teacher,* let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.”–Mark 10:46-52

Week Three’s Skill of Loving is RESPONDING TO NEEDS:

“I will respond to your needs and be there for you, within the limits of my value system, when those needs are made known. I also take the responsibility to make my needs known.” Continue reading

Christ & Cascadia

Cascadia_LOGO@72by Matt Cumings & Emily Rice

This is the final post in our Friday Watershed Discipleship series.  Matt Cumings (Settler, Scottish) works on Eloheh Farm and attends Wilderness Way Community. He is finishing up an internship with EcoFaith Recovery which intends to explore intersectionality, both barriers and benefits, in social justice and ecological justice movements.  Emily Rice (Settler, Ikalahan, Philippines) is an organizer focused on the intersections of racial justice, indigenous solidarity, feminism and faith. She is a co-founder of the activist collective Killjoy Prophets and serves on the board of Evangelicals 4 Justice. Continue reading