Friday, September 30, 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.

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.

Friday, September 09, 2016

[ally or accomplice?]


I read a very challenging article recently. I don't know enough about the topic to make intelligent comments, but it does make me think about motives. Here's the introduction:

The ally industrial complex has been established by activists whose careers depend on the “issues” they work to address. These nonprofit capitalists advance their careers off  the struggles they ostensibly support. They often work in the guise of “grassroots” or “community-based” and are not necessarily tied to any organization.
They build organizational or individual capacity and power, establishing themselves comfortably among the top ranks in their hierarchy of oppression as they strive to become the ally “champions” of the most oppressed. While the exploitation of solidarity and support is nothing new, the commodification and exploitation of allyship is a growing trend in the activism industry.

Read the rest of the article at:
http://www.indigenousaction.org/accomplices-not-allies-abolishing-the-ally-industrial-complex/

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

self-styled jesus


heading: self-styled jesus in a post-orlando world. Drawing of preacher at front with large screens on either side. He says, "in the tradition of Jesus, 'you have heard it said, 'God takes no joy in the death of the wicked...' But I tell you, 'This is a day for rejoicing!'". Cartoon by rob goetze

After the massacre in Orlando, one pastor in Sacramento was happy about the killings. Here's what he said in a sermon:

"Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today? No, I think that's great. That helps society ..."

Can you imagine Jesus saying something like that?? I sure can't, but tragically, in some "Christian cultures", this is what happens....


Reference in cartoon is to Ezekiel:

Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’ Ezekiel 33:11 NIV

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

[these beautiful photos set trans and gender queer people free]


"An Australian photographer [Emma Leslie] created a breathtaking photo series that shows gender diverse and transgender children exactly how they want to be seen. The images are meant to give these children a voice, as transgender and gender queer people as a whole are often misunderstood."

Taleem 9 yrs & Sister Nim. Photo  by Emma Leslie


Read the whole article and see more pictures at:
http://www.attn.com/stories/7606/photo-series-trans-gender-queer-kids

Monday, August 01, 2016

[how to tell if your church is welcoming for transgender people]


Related to my exploration of declared spaces and uncertain spaces, an article on queertheology.com asks,
Is your church welcoming of transgender people? And if it is, does anyone know?

Lots of churches declare their “open and affirming” status on their websites. Or they will put a rainbow flag on their church sign or website homepage. But those symbols often don’t tell the whole story. Many churches that have done a lot of work on gay and lesbian issues haven’t bothered to study anything about transgender people. They have outdated language on their websites or don’t mention transgender issues at all.
Read the rest of the article...


Getting personal:

Callan Williams shares about her own experiences with various churches as a transperson, making it clear that the "transgender experience is essentially different than the lesbian, gay and bisexual experience in a number of ways."

Read the rest of the story at:
https://callan.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/welcoming-trans/

Monday, July 11, 2016

one vote short - for less than a day


Tonight was the vote on changing the Marriage Canon of the Anglican Church of Canada to include same-sex marriage. It passed the house of laity and the house of bishops, with over 2/3's majority in each. But in the house of clergy, it was one vote short of passing.... 

And then the next day, an error was discovered which shifted the motion into passing!!



"But will we be addressing root causes of homelessness among lgbtq youth?" wonders someone attending the 2016 General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada.

That's a good question. If ending homelessness is not just about providing housing, the root causes  behind the homelessness of many people should be addressed, or we will just be treating the symptoms....

Yet is is much easier to provide some housing than it is to recognize and acknowledge that we are complicit in causing the problem. Let's take homeless lgbtq youth, for example. We are complicit because for years, the church has preached and acted against those who are part of sexual and gender minorities. Complicit because for years, the church has closed its heart to the least of these. Complicit because churches that are progressive in regard to their understanding of Scripture often still seem ashamed of the sexual and gender minorities in their midst, not offering a full and public welcome.

Read more here. 

And read more here.