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Tag: Personal Spirituality
On Love and Mercy: A Social Justice Devotional
"Mattson calls us to expand our definition of neighbor to include all humanity regardless of income, education, background, religious affiliation, race, gender, and sexual orientation or expression."
Stirring Waters: Feminist Liturgies for Justice
"These rituals are meant to prod, to push, to force action rather than provide a passive “church lady” response. From issues facing our world (the environment, hunger, sex trafficking) to those borne of the need for personal healing, participants will find new sources of hope and healing."
The Moon Within
Aida Salazar has created a work of art that touches the soul in writing the story of Celi, as Judy Blume did so many years ago with Margaret. The two stories connect in the shared growth and personal development of both girls during a time of life known for its challenges, as each character becomes more wholly herself.
The Last Stone
December 2018 Poetry Selection
I will not cobble together
a defense of myself
with lines from your holy book.
I will not cobble together
a defense of myself
with lines from your holy book.
Book of the Heart: A Personal History of Seeing
What makes this book so extraordinary is that the author is not only humble and patient and curious enough to allow herself to explore what lies beyond and within the events of her life, but she is also articulate enough to allow the reader the opportunity to witness this internal process
Changing Denominations — Never-Changing God
A strong connection to a specific church or denomination can give us a feeling of comfort, heritage, and belonging, but in a culture that demands we categorize everything, defining oneself by a denomination can also get in the way of centering our identity first and foremost in Christ...
Is Being Constantly Busy a “Disease” or a Way to Measure Our Worthiness?
January 16, 2017 As the new year gets underway and we start filling in the blank spaces of our new calendars, it’s a good time...
Bridge to the Sacred: A Collection of Interfaith Prayers
Lisa has this to say about prayer: “Prayer provides a venue that gives voice to our concerns and sufferings . . . can reassure us, clear our minds, and reconnect us to a higher power. What a surprise it can be to sometimes find the words of prayer spoken in another faith might perfectly address our own longing or anguish.”
The Beautiful Not Yet: Poems, Essays and Lyrics
Her essays in this volume are thought provoking, the golden prize being her commencement address this past June at her alma mater. She offered three lessons for life: “be kind, be true, and pay attention.” In her essay “Miracle, Light and Considerable Magic” (p. 70), she refers to “the mysterious nature of the Sacred,” the Light that appears in daily moments.
Returning to Yourself
Returning to ourselves is not some huge, life changing decision or action. It’s not a one-off, or something that happens to you after some kind of crisis, though there’s nothing like a good crisis to shake us out of our complacency. Returning to ourselves is something that must happen over and over again. If we are brave enough, we make it a practice.
Toward an Inclusive Incarnation: Easter and Male Divinity
Don’t question what it means that a man saved us from sin; don’t question what it means that it was a man who died for humanity; and don’t question why it is a man who promises to raise us all in the same way.
A Testimony: God’s Kindness to Me
God has been really merciful and kind to me. She has supplied real-life experiences just when I needed them most, in order to help me feel something I otherwise could not have grasped. Lately I have been sensing that before I die—after all, 84 is a pretty ripe age—I should acknowledge God’s kindness to me, and do it in writing. So here goes!
The Inscrutable Sacred Thread
“Everyone Is Welcome,” announces a small sign over the door of the gothic brick edifice. It was first placed there to make sure people of color knew it was safe to enter in the sixties; later it served as an indication that people with AIDS were welcome too. Now it whispers carefully to me each time I enter. If the sign were any larger I’d be spooked.
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."
Abounding in Kindness: Writings for the People of God
Elizabeth Johnson’s marvelous last chapter, “Peace over an Angry Sea,” is a sermon preached in 2002 for her colleagues at Fordham University who had recently lost family members... Christian faith focuses us not simply on the letting go but on a divine catcher. Lovely, I say, and a nice coda to this theological volume.
Faith & Feminism: Ecumenical Essays
The common connection is that each of the authors originally presented the content of these essays at the Phyllis Trible Lecture Series at Wake Forest University School of Divinity between 2003 and 2013. Another commonality is that they all identify themselves as feminists.
Scarcity vs. Abundance: Moving Beyond Dualism to “Enough”
"Author and speaker Brené Brown emphasizes that scarcity and abundance are actually two sides of the same coin. They are not opposites. She says that the opposite of scarcity is, in fact, 'enough.' Scarcity and abundance work together as a positive feedback loop..."
Just the Rhythm of My Blood and Breath
My partner, my friend in recovery, and my therapist all tell me that anger doesn’t have to look like yelling and shaming and ruining things. That there’s no chance mine ever would. But the anger I’ve seen wrecks things and people, and explodes into so many sharp little pieces that you can never hope to clean all of them up from inside you.
The Jesus I Need — An Easter Reflection
They say it’s all one thing, the suffering, shaming, crucifixion, resurrection, and later appearances. You can’t lose the end parts without changing the meaning of the whole thing.
The Real Emergence
I became aware how scared, how cruel, how utterly detached from Spirit’s compassion human beings can be. I became aware that shades of genocide play out every single day in much less sweeping terms, as well. A woman stoned, a trans* person beaten to death, a black man shot down in the streets.
And Be Thankful
November 27, 2014 Click image to view larger version. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in...
In Search of Life-Giving Christian Symbols
For many years I have also believed that a symbol other than the cross should be at the center of Christianity. The emphasis on the cross leads to the glorification of violence and death rather than the love and abundant life that Jesus taught.
It’s colder now. The stars look brighter. The air is crisp and tastes clean. I’ve started wearing a coat when I go out to walk and pray at night. Orion, my bow tie friend, is no longer hugging the edge of the sky. He’s ascended high overhead, because it’s his time now. And I have begun to let this in.
Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most
[Borg's] concise and ordered way of doing theology gives me words and concepts to better explain moves I’ve made in my own faith and theology. I was also pleased to read about his mystical experiences, which adds another dimension to his obvious critical abilities."
To Welcome Her Stillness
So much of this must be naked trust, walking away from the stack of tasks, walking into the stillness. This is not a responsible choice. This is not a logical choice. This is not the right choice. If we are to belong to Her, this is not a choice at all.
Wild Goose – Where Anything Can Happen
It's not about following the rules or joining a club. It's about how I can be a better companion to my fellow human beings while we share this time on earth together. It's about how I can spend less time thinking about myself, and more time thinking about how I can be more loving and compassionate toward others.
Truth With a Capital T and Most Christians
When most Christians see their faith being portrayed as something so fragile that it is threatened by other spiritual practices and belief systems, when most Christians see their faith being used as a hammer to bash the souls of LGBTQ people, maybe it's time for most Christians to get off their butts and do something about it.
The film Higher Ground is a story about a rational woman, Corinne Walker, trying to find some solid footing within the context of being literally immersed (baptism is the strong opening image in the film) within the subculture of evangelical fundamentalism.
Forgiveness and Boundaries
by Le Isaac Weaver "If I can learn to forgive— if I can learn to say, “I will no longer carry this suffering in my hands. Today I will set it down”— I will then free myself from anger and pain and make the space to move into understanding and compassion. Likewise, when I make and enforce effective and appropriate boundaries, I am making it more likely that peace and love will flow freely in and through my life, and thus out into the world."
Carolyn Briggs: Pressing on to Higher Ground
As we talked, I mentioned that so many women who have left fundamentalism are extremely bitter because they have been so hurt, and their anger comes across almost as a “fundamentalism” of its own—as though they want to “de-convert” people away from faith. “Exactly,” she responded. “And I have received many emails from people who want me to join them in that bitterness. I’m just not going to. I’m not going to go there. . . ."
Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
Lamott is not pious at all. And yet, she has a deep, abiding faith and strong sense of God's presence in all the parts of her life. She leans on God. She talks to God all the time and asks God for what she needs.
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter
Much that Sue Monk Kidd writes about her journey from complicity as a "good daughter" of patriarchal Christianity to her rebirth as a daughter of the Feminine Divine resonates with me. I have traveled much of the same path as she.
Sabbath Sense: A Spiritual Antidote for the Overworked
Just as Sabbath Sense provides a "spiritual antidote for the overworked," this prescription, if taken to heart, could bring healing not only to our own lives, but to a society which is also desperately in need of renewal.
25 Years in the Garden
All the way back in 1981 Stokes recognized that "Women in ministry have two perpetual problems with work. The first is finding work. The second is not letting the work kill us." She goes on to say, "I used to think that when work did not hurt, it was play. Wrong. Work is still work even when it does not hurt."
Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community
Bass is telling us two stories. As she describes it, it's "the story of intertwined journeys -- how one woman observed and experienced the shifts and struggles of mainline religion as she lived her own journey in eight Episcopal congregations over two decades. And it is the story of each congregation at a particular moment in its history" (p.18).
A Woman of Salt
Three threads of this story [there are many] seem especially powerful to me: (1) the conflict with the mother that starts when Ruth enters puberty; (2) the attempt through much of Ruth's life to pretend that her body doesn't matter; (3) the struggle to discover the life of the spirit through the mind alone.
The Secret Life of Bees
Now the content of her previous books has become the air breathed by Sue's fully-drawn characters. My favorite is May, a woman so vulnerable that she builds her own private wailing wall where she can tuck in scraps of paper from her wounded life and suffering world.
In the Land of the Living: Prayers Personal and Public
I have just retired from college teaching, but I wish I had had this book earlier to read prayers to my Bible classes. Each professor, teacher, worship leader, and preacher who cares about justice and contemporizing our scriptures could enrich their own tasks by using this book of prayers.
The Call to the Soul: Six Stages of Spiritual Development
Soulwork is an engaging concept at the present time, attracting numerous authors and popularizing the field of spiritual direction across denominations. This book is an invaluable contribution to the discussion.
Friends for All Seasons
by Linda Bieze and Alena Amato Ruggerio (Ed. note: This article is a departure from the usual organization of our Christian Feminism Today feature articles....
Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians
If we prepare adequately and are confident in our experience of God and God’s love for each of us, then we never need defend ourselves. Instead we can be representatives of God’s enduring love for all people by having “gentle and reverent” conversations with those who would condemn us.
God’s Motherly Care for Us
"I have been blessed with many images of the Divine which have helped me to pray and find comfort. But the one image that I return to, that I cling to when I am in my most desperate moments, is Mother. 'As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you,' God says in Isaiah 66:13."
Answering God’s Call to the Soul: Marjory Zoet Bankson
by EEWC Update editor Letha Dawson Scanzoni I see ‘call’ not as a vocational choice but as a special way of understanding what we are...
After the Locusts: Letters from a Landscape of Faith
"What is life worth living for in troubled times? When the locusts come and eat away at everything we hold dear, when the fires tear through our hearts, what makes it worth going on? What I liked best about After the Locusts was the author's honesty.
Growing into God — CD by Kathryn Christian and Poetry by Edwina Gateley
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."