Sunday, January 29, 2023

Opening a Pomegranate

January 2023 Poetry Selection
Surely this is the fruit
That Eve once plucked—
Not a bright, wholesome apple
With thin skin and pale flesh...

Do not tell me God is light

December 2022 Poetry Selection
Do not tell me God is light
My God is dark
She slithers through the crevices of night
and kisses pain with love...

This month’s recommended reading spotlights a number of pieces to help you start the new year off right! Take a look at the titles below to inspire new energy in this new year.

A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself...

"A Year of Biblical Womanhood" is not just for women. Dan Evans is characterized in the book as a partner who trusts, supports, and respects his wife. Dan’s example is a reminder that one does not enact “biblical womanhood” in a vacuum; it is always a performance in relationship and community.

“A Permeable Life” by Carrie Newcomer

It’s like a sweet cup of a caramel macchiato. The silence of the first snowfall. A porch swing on a perfect spring day. A breeze carried from the surf across your beach blanket. These are the inviting images that came to me as I listened to Carrie Newcomer’s newest album, A Permeable Life. This is Newcomer’s twelfth album, and it will not disappoint those of us who enjoy her music.

New Heaven, New Earth: The Final Vision: Revelation 21:1–22:5

Lesson 35: “The city is also the people, gathered from all over the world, collectively to become the wife of the Lamb. And a tender, motherly God says, ‘I will be their God and they will be my children’ (Rev. 21:7). No wonder this passage is so often read at funerals!”

The Word Became Flesh and Lived among Us

Lesson 16 - "Perhaps one reason I find this analogy meaningful is because I relate to Jesus more as a human and less as a divine figure whose feet rarely touch the ground. Becoming flesh is the point of 'Immanuel—God with us.' Too often Christians see primarily the inaccessible divinity of Jesus, and thus cannot follow him in life. As a result, they miss the point of the downward thrust of Incarnation."

A Year of Anti-Racism Work

"We lose our zeal for justice as (our) lives return to normal, and we get busy with jobs, families, and our own (real) problems. But anti-racism work needs to be ongoing if it is to be effective. We must be in this for the long haul, even when the issues don’t dominate our newsfeeds, and for that, we must pace ourselves, educate ourselves, work on ourselves, and take concrete action."

Thanksgiving Day For Christians, Jews, and Muslims

"The time for enmity is over... few non-Muslims know that Islam considers reconciling with people to be better than many acts of worship. "

Women and Transitions: A New Year’s Reflection

"Change often involves chaos, the abyss of not knowing, an emptiness, an awareness of loss —and can include intense emotional drama, grief, and fear. But change can also (thankfully) involve release, a new way of experiencing ourselves and the world, and can open us to a new sense of hope and meaning. "

Elizabeth Nordquist shares“wisdom by starlight” for the new year.

Yesterday, many churches celebrated Epiphany, marking the 12th day after Christmas and the visit of the Wise Ones who followed a star to the newborn Jesus. In this reflection from her "A Musing Amma" blog for the Progressive Christian channel on Patheos, Elizabeth Nordquist shares what she calls “a template of questions by which to navigate the fresh, new days ahead.”

My Fifty Year Journey with Women and Ministry…

The Pauline (as one of my students once said: “I have had enough of Paul; I want to meet Pauline!”) vision of Galatians 3:28— the text used in the ordination sermon of Antoinette Brown in 1853, the first woman ordained in the USA in a recognized denomination—continues to be a critical beacon light of and for the gospel.

Personal Transformation and a New Creation

By shifting our concept of the universe as static to “an unfinished universe in the act of becoming,” we gain hope. We see a way forward “to an ultimate evolutionary convergeance of consciousness and love.".
What They Wrote - CFT Book Club Logo (graphic of a bunch of books on a shelf)

Untold Volumes Poetry

You Might Have Missed...

What Should Philemon Do?

Lesson 2 - How did such a personal letter become Scripture? We know some of Paul’s letters could be lost (1 Corinthians 5:9 refers to one). Perhaps the original readers enjoyed the humor and a chance to see another side of Paul. If the Onesimus mentioned in Colossians 4:9 as Paul’s faithful co-worker is the same person, that indicates Philemon did what Paul requested. Perhaps it is only a coincidence that the bishop of Ephesus at the end of the first century, mentioned by the church father Ignatius, was named Onesimus.

Feminist Bible Studies and Related Material

To Revere the Image of God in Every Person

It is my prayer that all of us will eventually learn to recognize and revere the image of God in every person of every conceivable gender identity, along with the many other diversities of appearance, belief systems, preferences, and whatsoever differences may occur to us.

Bathroom Legislation: Unconstitutionality Is Only Part of the Story

In this article, I explain why HB2 is clearly unconstitutional. But I will also stress that constitutionality is always only one small part of understanding why legislators do what they do. A hostile feeling (or animus) toward transgender people becomes an important part of the legal discussion.

Christian Feminism and LGBT Advocacy: Let’s Move Away from Slippery Slope...

"The call for change is about acknowledging and honoring the dignity of whole categories of people who have been regarded as 'less than' or 'lower than' or 'unequal to' the privileged groups that determine who benefits from a society’s social arrangements and rewards. In other words, justice movements form in order to challenge the hierarchies that have been set up to keep whole groups of people 'in their place.'"

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

"I’m Still Here" clearly articulates that Christians are called to seek justice, and compellingly argues that systemic racism, white fragility, and the myth of “nice” white people means that true racial reconciliation has not been realized.

The Gracespeak Lexicon

"So if you will please permit me a silly metaphor with a serious point: If sexism is rotten eggs, and racism is curdled milk, and homophobia is expired cheese, a Black lesbian woman will not experience oppression as if eggs, milk, and cheese were all slopped together in her bowl as batter; instead, she will experience casserole. Not delicious casserole, this is poison."

Immortal Moral Reminders of Henrietta Lacks

One might ask how differently Lack’s story would have gone if the social injustices that disregarded her as a person with agency had long ago been undone. The science and healthcare industries must help address unjust socioeconomic structures that deny the basic humanity and rights of disempowered groups of people before any lasting changes in care can be expected.

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