Tuesday, October 25, 2016

pinned: links to 'uncertain and declared spaces' resources

Read the full article on uncertain spaces, with additional examples and stories.

Watch the introductory video on uncertain spaces.

Read my article on exploring uncertainty and embrace at your church.

Check out all "uncertain spaces" posts on this blog.

interest convergence

Man says to woman, "I'm against interest convergence..." Woman replies, "Did you know that it will give you an excuse to change your mind?" Man replies, "Oh really? Alright, I'm all for it." Interest convergence cartoon by rob goetze.

Interest Convergence means that you will support something that previously you were against or uninterested in, if it benefits you to do so.

Warren Blumenfeld writes this:
The late Dr. Bell of New York University Law School forwarded the theory of “interest convergence,” meaning that white people will support racial justice only when they understand and see that there is something in it for them, when there is a “convergence” between the “interests” of white people and racial justice. Bell asserted that the Supreme Court ended the longstanding policy in 1954 of “separate but equal” in Brown v. Board of Education because it presented to the world, and in particular, to the Soviet Union during the height of the cold war, a United States that supported civil and human rights.

In like fashion, I posit that evangelicals and other conservative Christians, as they see more and more people supporting and more states passing civil and human rights protections based on sexual and gender identity and expression, and more and more people are leaving those religious institutions that have not caught up as welcoming congregations, evangelicals seemed to have “evolved” somewhat from dictating policies to at least debating varying perspectives. Whether they will eventually soften their stands is another matter.

Quote from: Can LGBTQ people ever forgive Christian evangelicals for their sins?
Author: Warren Blumenfeld

Thursday, October 20, 2016

[from john pavlovitz: the church beloved]

The Church Beloved: A Manifesto of LGBTQ-Affirming Christians. Image from John Pavlovitz
In a recent post, John Pavlovitz presents:

The Church Beloved: A Manifesto of LGBTQ-Affirming Christians

Here's an excerpt:
A new Church is coming, or rather with each passing day it is becoming; person by person being renovated.

Heart by heart it is waking up.

For a long time we have been shamed into silence, relegated to the periphery of the faith community, believing in quiet. But these days demand volume and today we raise our voices so that there can be no mistaking our intentions.

We are unrepentantly, unwaveringly LGBTQ-affirming Christians.

We will continue to make the Church and this world a more open, loving, and safe place for the queer community and their families.

Read the rest of the manifesto:

Monday, October 17, 2016

unknown embrace (a poem)

in this church, that synagogue, in this Edmonton of ours
arms open wide to embrace all who enter

yet mouths do not proclaim
signs never tell, websites omit

are welcome letters
in these spaces hidden in our city

poem by rob goetze

Poet’s comment:

Edmonton has places that are known to be welcoming to all people, and places that are known for being excluding. This poem is about places that are embracing yet few people know, because these places do not clearly articulate that they value and embrace diverse people, and hoping that these places will make themselves known….

I submitted this poem to the Fall 2016 Poetry Route poem competition which was part of the 2016 Edmonton Poetry Festival. The theme was "unknown Edmonton". Submissions were limited to a maximum of ten lines of ten words each, to ensure that the poems will fit on bus posters.

The competition received 156 entries. While my poem was not one of the four winners, it did make it into the shortlist of twenty four.

More info on Poetry Route competition.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

not so white after all?

I love Angélica Dass’ photographic project Humanae!  (see previous post)

So I decided to see how white I am…
… and clearly, I am not so white after all.

Picture of rob goetze done in the style of Angelica Dass' Humanae project; I am Pantone 7618 U. Photo by A.G.; edits by rob g.

Ms. Dass’ method is a bit complicated, so I did this the simple way:
I had one of my daughters take my picture.
I resized a copy of the photo to be really small, so that the colours would consolidate into an average colour.
I opened the photo in Paint (yes, good old fashioned Paint) and used the eyedropper to sample that colour.
I painted the entire background in that colour.
I looked at the RGB value for that colour, and used an online service to convert it to Pantone. That’s so I know what Pantone colour I am, to put under my picture.
In my case, I am Pantone 7618 U.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

[what colour are you?]

Brazilian photographer Angélica Dass is working on a large project which she calls "humanae". She takes portraits of people and then matches their skin tone to a Pantone colour, The portrait is then printed with that Pantone colour as the background. This challenges how we consider skin colour and ethnic identity,..

Watch her TED talk:

Alternate video link.

Check out Angélica Dass' website:

Thursday, October 06, 2016

[an orthodox rabbi walked into a gay african-american bar…]

The tragedy that took place in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando has affected many people. In this article, Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld shares how his Orthodox congregation responded.

I love this true story for a few reasons:
  1. It shows that differences do not have to be barriers
  2. It gives an example of how we can cry with those who cry and laugh with those who laugh
  3. It shows how we can be Christ-incarnate in the midst of others’ lives
  4. It reveals how, when it comes down to it, we often have far more connections with others than we first expected.

Here's the beginning of the story:
When our synagogue heard about the horrific tragedy that took place at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, it was at the same time that we were celebrating our festival of Shavuot, which celebrates God’s giving of the Torah.

As Orthodox Jews, we don’t travel or use the Internet on the Sabbath or on holidays, such as Shavuot. But on Sunday night, as we heard the news, I announced from the pulpit that as soon as the holiday ended at 9:17 p.m. Monday, we would travel from our synagogue in Northwest Washington to a gay bar as an act of solidarity.

We just wanted to share the message that we were all in tremendous pain and that our lives were not going on as normal. Even though the holiday is a joyous occasion, I felt tears in my eyes as I recited our sacred prayers.

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld June 15, 2016

Read the entire article here...

Friday, September 30, 2016

purity committee

purity committee cartoon by rob goetze. Picture of a hillside with pigs, tombs, and a man with torn clothes. Jesus has just arrived in a boat and stepped onto land. Three of his disciples are blocking his path forward, saying, "Stop, Jesus, stop! The purity committee has denied your request to associate with this man due to the triple threat of demons, dead bodies, and swine!" Jesus replies, "Shucks, it would have made such a good story for the Gospels.!

Here's the real story...

Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man

26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.

30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.

38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

Luke 8:26-39 New International Version (NIV)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

[“Nobody is ever just a refugee”]

The Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie addressed the United Nation’s World Humanitarian day in regard to the refugee crisis, saying, "Nobody is ever just a refugee".

She also said,
In my language, Igbo, the word for ‘love’ is ‘ifunanya’ and its literal translation is, ‘to see.’ So I would like to suggest today that this is a time for a new narrative, a narrative in which we truly see those about whom we speak.

Let us tell a different story. Let us remember that the movement of human beings on earth is not new. Human history is a history of movement and mingling. Let us remember that we are not just bones and flesh. We are emotional beings. We all share a desire to be valued, a desire to matter. Let us remember that dignity is as important as food.
Watch the complete 8 minute video:

Click here if video does not appear above.

Friday, September 16, 2016

things god forgot to put into the Bible (#7)

things God forgot to put in the Bible #7. Cartoon by rob goetze. Picture shows God and Jesus sitting on clouds, taking in the sunset. God says, "Here's an important one I missed somehow: 'Do not offend the high priests!'" Jesus replies, "So it's do what God says but not what Jesus does??"

Matthew 15:11-13 New International Version (NIV)

What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.