Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
By Rachael Bullock
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
If you haven’t noticed, the conversation around fossil fuels can often be a fairly tense one. This is especially true as political discourse in North America becomes increasingly polarized. As I’ve listened most recently to arguments about Kinder Morgan’s pipeline, oil sands in Alberta, the future of environmental policies, I notice that the general arguments in favour of nonrenewable energy rests on the assumption that there is not enough – in general, not just economically. This makes sense given that when discussing “environmentalism” or any other subject, it is never simply a conversation “about the facts”. Rather, it becomes a dialogue in which participants are often not even aware that underlying life experiences, societal messages, and driving ideologies are brought into play. Continue reading
Proper 10(15) B
By Tevyn East and Jay Beck
Some were saying, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead.” Mark 6:14
No shape. No symbols. Everything fluid. Everything wind and water.
God created chaos.
Swirling swamp potential of formlessness.
Only out of this swirling chaos can any creation be born.
I feel. Continue reading
Photo credit Holly Rockwell
Proper 9 (14) B
7th Sunday after Pentecost
By Holly Rockwell
Jesus left that place and went to his hometown . . . he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon. Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
“Where did this man get all this?”
The townspeople hear and comment on Jesus’ wisdom, note his healing power, and are “astounded.” And still they are blinded by what they think they already know. Continue reading
By Ragan Sutterfield
I have a small garden in my front yard, a smattering of plants, haphazardly planted–perennials and annuals, flowers and herbs and vegetables, “weeds” that I’ve welcomed and cultivated for their benefits to the soil and small wild things that make my yard their home. I water infrequently and mulch heavily–a plant must do well here or I take it out for something that won’t be too much trouble to grow.
On the Road to Golgotha
Proper 6 (11) B
4th Sunday after Pentecost
By Anne Ellis
The day was beautiful, the strangely liminal day that is Holy Saturday. Good Friday had come and gone and we awaited the Good News of the Empty Tomb. Knowing it would come made the day of waiting oddly anticipatory, there was an air of excitement and without realising it we instinctively moved towards joy. We don’t like to feel the pain and suffering of Good Friday any longer than we absolutely have too, so it’s easy to slip and forget that those alive and grieving on that first Holy Saturday so long ago had no idea how the story would continue. Continue reading
1 Samuel 8:4-20, 11:14-15
By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson
Then Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have this day bought you and your land for Pharaoh, here is seed for you; sow the land. And at the harvests you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and as food for yourselves and your households, and as food for your little ones.” They said, “You have saved our lives; may it please my lord, we will be slaves to Pharaoh.” (Gen 47.23-25) Continue reading
Second Sunday After Pentecost
By Victoria Loorz
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Psalm 139:6, 13-14
These are the words of a human in awe, trying to respond to an ecstatic encounter…with a reality much larger, an ineffable beauty… It is an open-hearted exclamation of joy, evidence of a moment of mystical glimpse into What Is that can only be expressed through poetry and singing and jumping up and down howling at the moon. These are the words of an ancient ancestor experiencing something from a totally different worldview, experience, culture, orientation than mine, and yet…and yet it deeply resonates. Buildings and jobs and culture and landscapes and governments have evolved and changed. But the embodied sensual ecstasy, the explosive awakening that happens when you are able to somehow have magical eyes that see, a heart that feels, a peek into what Jesus was talking about when he said “I’ve come to bring LIFE and not just life, but LIVES LIVED FULLY ALIVE life.” (John 10:10)…THAT never changes.