(Recorded Mar 24, 2015). View this recorded webinar at your convenience.$0.00
Lutheran pastor Kim Erno sends this reflection from Cuernavaca, Mexico about how Golgotha reflects the marginalization of the urban poor and oppressed pushed into the urban peripheries.
We were headed downtown for Saturday comida (midday meal) and were met with large numbers of people walking away from the city center. They were somber and for the most part silent as if they had just witnessed something unpleasant. We rounded a corner and saw people running across the central plaza of Cuernavaca. At about the same time the air carried the acrid scent of tear gas. //more
Note: Nisly (above) is a retired Mennonite pastor. He is spending 5 months at the Collegeville Institute of Saint John's Abbey writing stories from pastoral and peace ministry. This is a reflection on his time in Iraq with CPT last fall.
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest. Isaiah 62:1
Jesus came near and saw the city, he wept over it saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes.” Luke 19:41f.
Isaiah sees injustice and invokes Jerusalem, refusing to keep silent. Jesus sees Jerusalem and laments our refusal to see what makes peace. Jerusalem, a central and symbolic place whose name embraces peace -- salaam/shalom – embodies violence reverberating around the world.
Note: We have also received many requests for this amazing sermon, given at the Ash Wednesday worship service of the Festival of Radical Discipleship, Feb 18, 2015. Jennifer Henry (above) is the Executive Director of Kairos Canada.
Isaiah 58:1-12, Mark 1: 1-13
You and I, we are standing on the edge of the wilderness with Jesus; you and I, on this first day of Lent, driven by the Spirit; you and I, on this Ash Wednesday, made of earth and water. Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return. Today, whatever our justice ministry, we are invited, reminded, compelled, driven to enter into the wilderness to confirm our identity, to remember our names, and to reclaim our integrity, finding each other along the way. //more
We've received lots of requests to make this available, so below is an excerpt from Ched’s opening comments at the Bartimaeus Kinsler InstituteFestival of Radical Discipleship here in Oak View on Feb 16, 2015. (Above: A surprise appearance of the “Rt. Rev. Arch Squishop of the Ventura River Watershed” at the Carnival performance on Wednesday.)
What this week is really about is to commemorate 40 years of the Radical Discipleship movement. Radical Discipleship is NOT a dope slogan, or a mobilizing soundbyte, or a hip brand, or an ironic twitter handle. Hell, these terms aren’t even cool anymore. “Radical” is a term as unfashionable today as it was trendy in the 1960s. The notion of “discipleship,” meanwhile, is entirely shrugged off in liberal church circles, and trivialized in conservative ones. So let me explain why this is the handle of this Festival, why we insist on using the phrase. The etymology of the term radical (for the Latin radix, "root") is the best reason not to concede it to nostalgia. If we want to get to the root of anything we must be radical. No wonder the word has been demonized by our masters and co-opted by marketing hucksters, and no wonder no one in conventional politics dares use the word favorably, much less track any problem to its root. //more
At least once a month I get a call from a journalist looking for stories on food and faith.
Just last week a guy from the New York Times Magazine called looking for stories on faith-based agrarian communities. After getting over my initial jealousy that I wasn't the writer pitching that very story to the New York Times Magazine, I told him where he might look. After all, I spent three years writing a book on that very topic. It's called Soil and Sacrament. The story I told in that book was partly my own "agrarian conversion," as I called it, but most of the book was a profile of different actors in the faith-based food movement. After researching dozens of such communities, I narrowed it down to four: Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, and Jewish.
“Easter Webinar: How Do We See the Risen Christ? An Interview with Theologian Thorwald Lorenzen"$9.50
(Recorded February 17, 2015). View this recorded webinar at your convenience.
In this “live look-in” to the 2015 Kinsler Institute: A Festival of Radical Discipleship, Ched interviewed John (right), Carol, Sierra and Sydney Hirt, who joined us from Sydney, Australia.$9.50
Note: Today is the anniversary of Gandhi's assassination and tomorrow marks the 100th birthday of Thomas Merton. I came across this compelling article about Merton's reflection's on Gandhi which is an important and insightful read. These two men have greatly influenced countless people, including me, to follow the way of nonviolence, to live in accordance with the truth of God's commands and to be rooted in the Gospel of Jesus. They are among the holy cloud of witnesses now advocating for us! --Art Laffin
"Thomas Merton’s Reflections on Mahatma Gandhi," by Rasoul Sorkhabi (November 5, 2008), www.gandhifoundation.org.
Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in New Delhi 1948 (now sixty years ago) and Thomas Merton, a renowned Trappist monk and author, was killed in a tragic accident in 1968 (forty years ago). These anniversaries are valuable opportunities to reflect on the legacies, works and teachings of these two great men of peace. Gandhi has influenced many minds and movements of the twentieth century. In this article, we review Merton’s impressions of Gandhi and how they are helpful for our century and generation as well.
Archived Webinar: “Sun & Moon, Raven & Dove: A Conversation with Tevyn East and Jay Beck on Art, Politics and Faith.”
(Recorded January 20, 2015). View this recorded webinar at your convenience.
Ched talked with the founders of the amazing Carnival de Resistance about their vocation as performers/dancers/musicians, the ideals and history behind the Carnival, and their respective journeys that brought them together and inspired a whole community of ‘Carnivalistas’.$9.50
“If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s a new definition of greatness. And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”
These well-known words are from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sermon “The Drum Major Instinct,” delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church on February 4, 1968. Dr. King was explaining that we all start out with the ingrained instinct to be “drum majors”: everyone wants to be important, to be first, to lead the parade. Watch a group of children try to form a line and right away you’ll see this instinct in action. But Dr. King said too many people never outgrow this instinct—and by constantly struggling to be the most powerful or famous or wealthiest or best-educated, we forget one of the Gospels’ and life’s largest truths: the real path to greatness is through service. //more
It strikes me that having a national MLK holiday is a little like having Bibles in our church pews. A lot of struggle and work went into preserving and making these sacred, transforming memories and stories available. But that doesn't mean that most folk actually bother to read, engage and understand them, much less enact them anew. There's a certain comfort in having Bibles sitting around, or commemorating King--Google's front page simulating the Selma march today--that doesn't upset the status quo. more//
Note: Because this is the centenary of the famous “Christmas Truce” during World War I, below is an abbreviated version of a piece by retired physician and activist Kohls, which appeared on Dec 18 in the Duluth Reader. We urge you to take a moment this Christmastide to read about this amazing event (to learn more watch the resources listed at the end of the piece).
One hundred years ago this month one of the most unusual aberrations in the bloody history of the organized mass slaughter that is war occurred – never to be repeated again. “Christian” Europe was in the fifth month of the world war that finally ground to a halt four years later, with all sides exhausted and most sides financially and morally bankrupted.
British, Scottish, French, Belgian, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, German, Austrian, Hungarian, Serbian and Russian church pulpits in those nations back home were doing their part in contributing to the patriotic fervor that would result in a holocaust that destroyed four empires, killed upwards of 20 million soldiers and civilians and resulted in the psychological and physical decimation of an entire generation of young men.
Note: Ruby Sales (above) is a veteran of the Civil Rights movement past and present, who directs the Spirit House project. I highly recommend following their "Breaking the Silence on Modern Day Lynching" Facebook page, where they are relentlessly documents police murders of young people of color. Her thoughts on the deep history of this issue are below.
Movement building is serious business that demands an understanding and knowledge of who are our friends and who are our foes. The Movement is not a place for ahistorical thinking or emotional decisions that are devoid of hindsight, insight and foresight. The powerbrokers build and maintain their power on the backs of our collective dis-memory and our uncritical acceptance of official narratives as well as our desire for a sound analysis of the world while refusing to read!
Published in the Conrad Grebel Review, Vol. 32, NO. 3 Fall 2014, pp 250-275.
In this article Ched explores how our theology might be re-placed in light of the arrival of glocbal ecological crisis:$0.00
(Recorded December 9, 2014). View this recorded webinar at your convenience.
In our Annual Advent webinar, Ched spoke with two priests, Myra Brown and Mary Ramerman about their journeys with the amazing “holey, roamin’ catholic” parish of Spiritus Christi in Rochester, NY.
Upon purchase you will be emailed a pdf with a link and directions on how to view the archived webinar.$9.50