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Showing posts from October, 2016

When the Body of Christ is Fat

Within a very short amount of time, two people whom I love were called "fat ass". One of these slurs occurred in the church building and the other occurred in the same building and within the context of worship. Both incidents were the result of a person with already impaired judgment lashing out at the person who was in front of them, perceiving them to be unhelpful or denying aid or service. Regardless of the "why", the reality is that the name was uncalled for, hurtful, and aimed to be a deep cut.

The reality is that a person who is under the influence of legal or illegal substances and often displays impaired judgment can still tell that body shaming- comments about shape, appearance, or size- is a way to lash out at someone who is frustrating you. That means those words and that way of using them are deeply rooted in our culture. An additional truth is that when we, as a congregation, attempted to console and listen to those who had been hurt in this encounte…

Decolonize16: First Debrief

As soon as the #decolonizeLutheranism hashtag began to be used on Facebook and Twitter, I was in and involved. It was like jumping into a river and realizing that I could swim better than I thought I
could. The impetus behind the movement is to separate North American Lutheranism from being considered interchangeable with Mid-Western, primarily imported Scandinavian, culture and cuisine. By "decolonizing" or separating Lutheranism from that context, the people in and behind (and ahead of) the movement hope to release and refine our theological and biblical commitments toward inclusion, welcome, understanding, and embracing the height and depth and breadth of the love of God in the world.

The initial conference of this movement was on 10/23/16 at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. It's a long way to for an Alaskan, but I couldn't stay away. Once some of my friends knew I was coming, they signed up too. Thus, I had reunions, reconnections, and reformation (of…

Achiever

A few weeks ago, I found out that many people who know and love me had worked for a long time to
nominate me as one of the YWCA's Women of Achievement in Alaska. I started getting congratulatory texts and emails before I officially found out about the award. Due to my personality (but not my essence), I am primarily a do-er and thinker, so it was not unusual that I didn't know how to feel about this great honor and recognition.

My first reaction in text to a good friend was that there was no way I could accept this. Responding to her "Why not?", I said, "Because [the woman who watches my children] isn't getting one and I can't do anything without her." This is true and not merely self-deprecation. I am immensely grateful for Carolyn and for all who have the vocation of childcare, which help so many people work other jobs. 
When I found out that the award is only given to 10 women each year and the nomination process is extensive and requires many l…

Say it! Say it! Say it!

A couple years ago, I was discussing politics with a man I know and love. I mentioned that I was no longer going to vote for anyone who didn't clearly distance themselves from sexual assault, rape,
molestation, or abuse.

He replied, "It goes without saying."

No.

No, it does not.

In a baptismal service, we specifically RENOUNCE the devil and the forces that oppose God. We don't throw a little water around and say that everything else "goes without saying." We SAY the things that we believe because WORDS have POWER.


Therefore, I would like to update my position. I will not support any candidate who does not clearly state that they are opposed to sexual assault, rape, abuse, racism, violence and/or social isolation and/or denial of rights to anyone based on sexual preference, gender identity, or gender expression, religious bias, religious favoritism, bias based on skin color or body type, the limitation of reproductive choice, and (my personal bugbear) the p…

Litany for Loosing

This was written for a prayer service in Anchorage, Alaska in response to a significant rise in reported homicides and other personal crimes. It has a partner in the Litany for Binding.

Holy God of all creation, you are always moving toward resurrection, restoration, and reformation. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we are open to this work.
We truly welcome this.
God of love and light, you have provided us with diversity in race, creed, sexuality, experience, gender, and spiritual gifts- all of which can be used for healing and peace. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we are open to this work.
We truly welcome this.
God of peace and hope, open our eyes and ears to see and hear stories of pain and promise that we might hold space for one another and move toward reconciliation. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we are open to this work.
We truly welcome this.
God of consolation and mercy, those who grieve need accompaniment not only in the hours after death, but in the weeks, months, and …

Litany for Binding

This was written for a prayer service in Anchorage, Alaska in response to a significant rise in reported homicides and other personal crimes. It has a partner in the Litany for Loosing.

Holy God of all creation, we know that violent death and mindless destruction do not come from you. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we bind and reject these things.
They have no place here.
God of love and light, revenge and aggressive retribution are not tasks you have given to us at any time. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we bind and reject these things.
They have no place here.
God of peace and hope, glorifying violence and denigrating other humans violate every commandment you have given. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we bind and reject these things.
They have no place here.
God of consolation and mercy, desecration of creation and division between people are not possible in the true way of Christ Jesus. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we bind and reject these things.
They have no place …