Friday, August 12, 2022

How to Do Nothing

August 2022 Poetry Selection
Give yourself permission to sit this one out—
not everything needs to be fixed today.
Your sofa is the destination of the route.

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.

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! 

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.

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.

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."

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?"

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

“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.
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...

Intersectional Theology: An Introductory Guide

I was particularly appreciative of the book’s historical narrative of intersectionality theory because it seems that, in the manner in which feminist history is taught in the United States, intersectionality theory is frequently identified as “third-wave” work. Kim and Shaw’s work demonstrates why the “wave” model of feminist theory is insufficient...

Feminist Bible Studies and Related Material

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.

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.'"

There Is More than One Christian View on Homosexuality

"But when it comes to homosexuality, many people have the impression that there is only one religious or biblical view – only one way to consider the question of equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. That view, in the minds of many, is that any and every same-sex sexual expression is sinful in the sight of God."

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.

Silenced/Unsilenced: My Christian Feminist Journey

While I broadly perceive my calling as helping others, particularly marginalized others, to find and use their authentic voice—to become unsilenced—if my actions, in whatever manner God sees fit, can contribute in any way toward the building of God’s kingdom here on earth, then I am all in.

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."

1 Corinthians 16—Can Money Create Unity?—and Other Earthy Details

Lesson 18 - "Actually, this collection is a big deal for Paul. He devotes two whole chapters in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 and much of Romans 15 to the collection he wants to take “to the saints in Jerusalem.” Paul manipulates his audience as well as any door-to-door salesman or telephone fund-raiser. He encourages his audience to put aside any extra money they make each week so he won’t need to hassle them when he gets there (1 Cor. 16:2). In 2 Corinthians 8:1-7, he tells them how very generous the Philippian and Thessalonian churches in Macedonia have been—they were 'begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry'(!). Then he piles it on by reversing the situation in 9:1-2—how he boasted to the Macedonians, 'saying that the people of Achaia [Corinthians] have been ready since last year!'”