Friday, November 20, 2020

Lined Up


“You can’t fix what you can’t see, it’s the soul that needs a surgery. “—Beyonce 

On the 1st day of Fall, we facilitated a lectio divina circle around a backyard fire in Central Oregon. It was just five of us, socially distanced and sharing our hearts. On the 50th day of Fall, the city of Detroit charter commission voted to recommend a clean and affordable water plan. We were in Lawrence, Kansas and we got a call from Monica Lewis-Patrick asking us to get on the four-hour Zoom call to bear witness to the brutality of water shutoffs during public comment. For the seven weeks wedged between those two scenes, we followed the scent of Spirit to swing state Michigan for election season. There were more backyard fires and more Zoom calls. There was so much more too!

Friday, October 9, 2020

Back on the Road

Lawrence, KS

“Social change happens from the ground up and from the inside out.”—Charity Hicks

On Monday night, we rolled into Michigan, traditional land of Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Ottawa and Huron peoples--where the FBI just charged a white militia group plotting to kidnap the governor. We drove here (2500 miles) to soak up this beloved swing state for a month-long stint in the lead-up to the election. For the past year, we've been paying attention. Specifically, we've been tracking the massive voter suppression orchestrated by Republicans. In some states, voter rolls have been purged. In other states, polling places have been eliminated. Some conservative organizations are recruiting "poll watchers" to show up on election day to intimidate voters. Now, in a pandemic, their focus is on mail-in ballots and a defunded postal service. This is all soaked in the script of a lying, deceiving president who, on many occasions, has refused to assure a peaceful transfer of power.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Taking It In

We were floating on a mountain lake, a few steps off the Pacific Crest Trail. That’s when the dragonfly showed up. For most of her life, this exquisite Being is just an aquatic nymph without wings. She lives just below the surface of the water. She breathes out of the gills in her rectum. Most of human life is also stuck on the surface, pursuing legacy projects and building brands. Our ego games make about as much sense as breathing out of our butts. Like Spirit, the dragonfly hovers over the waters. She is adaptable and flexible. What it takes to transform. She was beckoning us to lighten up like her. To stop taking ourselves so seriously. So we, too, can fly. 

Physical, economic, emotional and spiritual pain continue to proliferate from the collateral damage of a coronavirus pandemic which came for a country totally unprepared. We lack the safety nets of “socialist” countries and “indigenous” societies scripted by a collective mentality that seeks to protect and serve everyone. Over the past five months, we’ve talked to many friends trying to figure out what to do in the wake of losing jobs, mental and physical health, unemployment benefits, home, school, health coverage, childcare, social connection while coping with these (and more) with denial, distraction and/or addiction. 

Thursday, June 25, 2020

MRI

Rev. Roz on the spiritual front-lines in Detroit
"Normal is overrated"--Rev. Roslyn Bouier

Rev. Roz zoomed into our digital church service from Detroit a few weeks ago to bear witness to what's been going on in the Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit where she serves as a community pastor and the executive director of Brightmoor Connection Food Pantry. Joblessness. Illegal home foreclosures. Water shut-offs. Infant mortality. Rev. Roz was describing life before the pandemic. It's only gotten worse, with high rates of Covid-19 and a city leadership lagging (and lying) about restoring running water to long-time, low-income residents. There is a re-connection fee and Rev. Roz has raised more than $25,000 to help her neighbors pay.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A Portal

Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.
Arundhati Roy

Greetings from Central Oregon. Three weeks ago, we moved across town into a one-bedroom cottage a couple blocks from what the Northern Paiute people called Towarnehiooks ("Deschutes River"). Our place is small and we are sheltering in. For the past six years, we have been working together while consistently navigating new contexts. Now a pandemic. We really are stuck with each other! We are learning firsthand the unique challenges that couples face in this new, indefinite season. And we are deeply grateful that, if indeed this pandemic is a portal into Another World, we get to walk through it together. Almost impossible to fathom it otherwise!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Cocoon Time

San Clemente, CA
Look closely at the present you are constructing: it should look like the future you are dreaming.
Alice Walker

Two weeks ago, Lindsay flew to Orange County to get six days with her mom, sister and the nephews. Those six days doubled in length and quadrupled in intensity. She suddenly found herself quarantining and homeschooling. Meanwhile, Tom drove to Portland to pick up his mom. No way in hell she was getting on a plane flying out of the Pacific Northwest! They road-tripped down to Orange County as businesses shuttered and residents sheltered.

We are grateful for the resources and flexibility to be able to connect with family during this dramatic shifting of heaven and earth. We drove back to Bend on Saturday and facilitated our first Zoom church gathering on Sunday morning (left) with Storydwelling, a faith community of belonging, ritual and resistance. At the beginning of March, we began a four-month stint as the interim pastors while their pastor Erika is on parental leave. For the Zoom gathering, we spent time with seniors in full quarantine mode and parents with little ones out of school and workers on sick leave, some with pay, others without. We will host this digital faith community every other Sunday at 10am, in addition to facilitating a virtual lectio divina gathering on the other Sundays at 7:30pm.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Shimmering

Towarnehiooks ("Deschutes River")
A circle of lovely, quiet people becomes the ring on my finger.
Rumi

We love facilitating spaces that cultivate what our deepest selves yearn for: the nurture of soul, the strengthening of community and the amplification of hope. Most of this kind of creative experimentation seems to be happening outside the walls of “institutional” churches. We desperately need fresh wineskins for the new wine fermenting inside us and around us. We feel commissioned to create new kinds of containers that can hold what is good, beautiful and true.

Lined Up

“You can’t fix what you can’t see, it’s the soul that needs a surgery. “—Beyonce   On the 1 st day of Fall, we facilitated a lectio divina...