Sunday, August 7, 2022

Jesus and Women: Beyond Feminism

At the heart of Middleton's new book, "Jesus and Women," is a call to reclaim Christianity from the stranglehold of the patriarchy.

The Woman Who Refused

July 2022 Poetry Selection
Xerxes was drunk, no other way to say it.
For six months, he strutted, bragged,
showed off his riches. For a full week,
he feasted and drank with princes

This month’s recommended reading features some of our favorite music reviews. These recommendations from our editors are sure to help you select just the right vacation tunes for all your end of summer travels! 

The Beautiful Not Yet by Carrie Newcomer

My first listen to this album was during the commute between my hospice patients’ homes. I was reminded that there are many points of light and joy in a world that seems so dark and inhospitable to the people of God. We hold on to "The Slender Thread" of our faith and hope, because love always calls us back. Always.

Vision – The Music of Hildegard Von Bingen

Hildegard's words are in Latin, and translated I can glimpse a little of her philosophical genius. But for me, I find the magic in her melody. It's a soft stream flowing over rocks and roots, carrying leaves and tiny insects along, sparkling in sunlight, reflecting the sky.

but Joy Comes in the Morning – Margaret S. Meier

This quilt of text and music is not a warm, cozy listening experience, though. It is very challenging music and painful text, richly expressing the anger, despair, and, ultimately, courageous healing and hope of survivors of child sexual abuse.

Keepsake — Women’s Voices Blending in Song

This is singable, listenable hymnody that would be appropriate in traditional or contemporary worship services as much as in women's spirituality gatherings. The language and images are inclusive; the melodies are delightful, and the harmonies rich.

Feeling Good and Healing with Tiana Marquez

"Sometimes you need a strong, positive message—repeated with an insistent beat. That’s what the title song on Tiana Marquez’s latest album brings. “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me, and I’m feelin’ good.”

Earth Transformed with Music! Inclusive Songs for Worship

This collection brings timeless melodies, made sacred by years of being sung in worship, and places them firmly in the present with words that make sense and relate to today’s issues. When the words make sense, the message easily rides on the breath right to the singer’s heart.

Tender Songs for Tough Times by Mary Ann V

"'Be Kind to Strangers' begins with an upbeat rhythm followed by three notes... which echo later after the words “Be kind” in the chorus. What better message for times like these, even as we interact behind masks?"

“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.

Growing into God — CD by Kathryn Christian and Poetry by...

All of the tracks are superb, but our favorite is "Come Holy Mother" (inspired by Julian of Norwich) which profoundly evokes an image of God's motherly tenderness, as does "Gather Me Under Thy Wings."

Before and After – Carrie Newcomer

Singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer's newest album, Before and After, features a collection of thirteen original compositions—including many contemplative, midlife songs that have grown out of Newcomer's reading and conversations with other spiritual people like Parker Palmer.
Click here to donate to the Nancy Hardesty Memorial Scholarship
What They Wrote - CFT Book Club Logo (graphic of a bunch of books on a shelf)

Untold Volumes Poetry

Lynn Horan is the 2022 NAHMS recipient

You Might Have Missed...

Titus 1: 5-16—Harsh Words for a Church in Chaos

Lesson 20: “Amid all the polemic, it is hard to miss the brutal insult against all the inhabitants of Crete in 1:12: ‘Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons.’ They are acting more like animals than human beings! It is true that Americans today are hearing similar racist attacks on Mexicans as rapists and drug dealers, on lazy immigrants from Central America, or on people of color from ‘s---hole countries.’ But do we expect to hear such rhetoric from our Holy Bible?!”

Feminist Bible Studies and Related Material

The Power of a “Last Will and Testament”: 2 Timothy 1:1-18

Lesson 23: "Second Timothy [is] the final letter attributed to the apostle Paul, and one which appears to unite and authenticate his entire corpus of thirteen epistles. But If you have followed the lessons of 1 Timothy and Titus, the other two of the three letters known as the “pastoral epistles,“ you become aware of a different tone or flavor as this letter begins.”

Coming Back from Coming Out

"Coming out ruined my life. At least, that’s the way it seemed. To claim my identity as a lesbian meant sacrificing everything on the altar of my own selfishness, of my need to be “true to myself.” To come out as a 43- year- old woman meant walking away from a tolerable twenty- year marriage, leaving behind a career in church ministry, and learning to negotiate custody arrangements and a new solo life. To come out, for me, meant walking away from God."

Precious God, Forgive Them, Because They KNOW What They’re Doing

With all the LGBTQ people courageously coming out in conservative Christian settings, with all the information available freely on the internet and through print and broadcast media, with our new host of educators and speakers (both LGBTQ people and allies) reaching out to conservative and evangelical Christians, it would be impossible for someone to miss the obvious wounding of our people.

Equality as a Multiple Choice Test

I'd like it if everyone was very well aware that equal is equal, that anything else is greater than or less than. Because I want to believe that in my life I will experience at least a little time in which I am equal, not less than. But actually, how things are? Equality is more like a multiple choice test. And some people will circle every single answer, and some people will, miraculously, manage to circle one or two.

An Analysis of Systemic Oppression in Film

"These women deserve to be at the very top of their organization due to their intelligence, fortitude, brilliance, and internal power. But instead, they live in a world that forces them to fight for their positions in a place stained with institutional racism."

A Charleston Lament – #BlackLivesMatter

I am convinced that this is the lesson of Gethsemane / Not Jesus crying humanly about his own impending suffering and death / But rather Jesus's awareness of the depth of the intractable ruin of us / The universal suffering of the other who threatens the status of the entitled just by being

Some Thoughts on Modesty

We need to stop allowing Augustine and the flawed theology of other early Church Fathers into our hearts, minds, and society, because they have nothing good for women except slut-shaming and blaming women for all men’s lust and sin.

Most Recent Book Reviews

The Stars in April

"Wirgau uses sights and sounds to convey experiences: the oppressive heat on the train rocking through India; the agonizingly slow maneuvering through the Suez Canal by the ship, the gorgeous view as the ship passes Morocco, and the first blast of cold wind on the faces of passengers arriving in Southampton, England."

Man Meets Woman at a Well—John 4:1-42 (Part I)

Lesson 8 - The Samaritan woman is neither shepherdess nor virgin, and Jesus is no wife-hunter. We don’t know if the woman ever gave Jesus a drink from the well, but we do know that he reversed gender roles and offered her a drink instead. Once again, the author draws from the Hebrew Bible to portray Jesus not only as a prophet in the tradition of his people, but as the “One from Above” who relives Hebrew history—and then breaks its mold in shocking new ways.