Saturday, February 4, 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.

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 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.

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!”

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. "

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.".

“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.

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.

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."

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.”
What They Wrote - CFT Book Club Logo (graphic of a bunch of books on a shelf)

Untold Volumes Poetry

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Biblical Feminists, Meet Anthrosophia!

For Gabriel, Sophia is a threefold Goddess who rules the past, present, and future. As the sevenfold Goddess, she rules time and the planets in the solar system as well as the seven organs in the human body. And as the twelvefold Goddess, She is the collective consciousness of humanity...

Feminist Bible Studies and Related Material

A Vineyard of Friendship—John 15:1-17

Lesson 36 - “Agape love, of course, does not have to mean liking another person—it is wanting the best for them as you want the best for yourself. It is taking others on their own terms and accepting them the way they are, understanding that hurtful behavior can come from personal insecurity or even mental illness. It may sometimes mean confrontation and ‘tough love’ that can easily be misinterpreted. Agape love demands a lot of humility. It is not surprising that Jesus called this kind of loving a ‘command’ (v. 17)—something you do rather than something you necessarily feel.”

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."

True Inclusion: Creating Communities of Radical Embrace

Unfortunately, many Christian churches have made marginalizing others into an entire theology. “The . . . evangelical theological paradigm depends upon patriarchy,” which must, therefore, be “completely deconstructed” (p. 68).

Biblical Interpretation: Can We Get It Right?

Lesson 1 "This new series of lessons in Reta’s Reflections will not be a book study, as earlier studies have been. Rather, it will deal with the broader issue of hermeneutics, the science of interpretation as it relates to how we understand our Scriptures. The question of how we interpret authoritative texts becomes acute when current social, economic, or political issues divide believers who look to these texts for answers."

There Is No Justice for Philando Castile

June 17, 2017 Police officer Jeronimo Yanez "was cleared Friday in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, a black motorist whose death captured national attention...

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."

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.

Most Recent Book Reviews

It’s Not All About Millennials!

"As I witness all this hand-wringing about the millennials and their place in the church, the explanations and apologies and deconstructions, I can’t help but wonder why we assume that middle-aged folks attend church for the inauthentic worship experiences, seeking only an artifice to carry them through Sunday morning. And that the elderly are more intrigued by style than by substance."