God is Not Dead. And God is Not Small Either.

istock cross on rope

If you have seen the new movie, God is Not Dead, then you probably have strong opinions about it one way or another. In fact, all the reviews bear this out. Either people loved it and think it may just be what saves Western Civilization as we know it, or people are deeply offended by it and think it is one of the worst movies they have ever seen. This movie lives on stereotypes: the atheist academic who tried to make his entire class in his image; the Muslim father with an obvious Middle Eastern accent and appearance who beat… Read the full post

Wondering, Wandering, Witnessing

Picture taken by Wandering Home Participant, Dana.

They came from north, south, east, and west. From Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana. From families, from isolation, from margins, from mothering, from grieving, from working, from wilderness, from thresholds, and from dreams of beloved community. This circle of women who found their way to Avila Retreat Center for the first Wandering Home Retreat brought with them the kind of wisdom, yearning, and openness that can give rise to life-giving community. Throughout our time together we explored the contours of what it could mean to live into the Body of Christ–a body dis-membered by betrayal and injustice, a body instilled… Read the full post

Wandering Home: A Retreat for Women

iStock wandering home image decreased size

There are many practicing Christians today who wonder where we fit into the world of church. More and more people understand themselves as on a spiritual journey, but don’t understand institutional religion as a helpful part of that journey. Maybe you are exploring these questions in your own faith walk. Maybe you are involved in the life of a church and want to feel more resonance with its practices. This first time retreat for women may be a place you’d like to come and explore these and other questions.  There are still a few spots available for this event. Scholarships available. .

A Sojourn in Antartica

snowy_landscape

This is an excerpt from my latest post on the Feminism and Religion blog.

Ok, so it’s not Antarctica, it’s Indiana, but it sure feels like Antarctica lately.

At least it’s what I figure Antarctica must feel like: bone chilling wind that can cause hypothermia and frost bite in a matter of minutes; everything as far as the eye can see white—sometimes no horizon, or blue sky, or any distinction between the celestial world and ours.

I am figuring in Antarctica the animals are masters of knowing how to hunker down and generate their own heat, and how to turn from the wind and be still, and how to burrow into deep snow and gear down into a suspended state until the storm passes… Read more

A Poem: Sister Love

This is a reprint of my latest post on the Feminism and Religion blog.

This post will
never be complete
it can only house the fragments,
the remains
of days at my sister’s hospital bed

the vortex of medical labels
“critically ill”
“brain aneurism”
the singular attention to
fragile body chemistry
sodium, potassium, blood sugar, magnesium

and the waiting,
the watching
the night sentries
my sisters and me
drawn there by love

and held there by devotion
wrapped in the blood histories
the oxygen we have always shared
a common womb that formed us
growing up in proximity to
each other a witness to things
only we understand

my sisters, we clung
to her
to each other
and we each brought
the lifelines we have learned

sister pain is like no other
yes, like no other
deep aquifers of collapsed
genetics
flowing through memories
of common experiences that we
each hold uniquely
with our own distortions
and our own aspirations

All of us
we loved and mothered one another
we despised and admired
we adored and sought each other out
we missed each other
we wanted more
settled for less
hoped for better
emulated, deviated
and delighted in
and loved that we were, we are
sisters

by that bed
“Come Lord Jesus,” my prayer
my instincts
tuned to the love
to her sweet ways of understanding and caring
to her tenderness as a mother
and as a sister
to her keen mind
and her strength
I asked for mercy, mercy

amidst prayers of groaning
and embraced bodies
washes of tears
peace and
sisters
ghosts and present and accounted for

me became we
and we became new
and she found
her way back
to us

and our
regenerating cells and new pathways
and a history
with old/new ways
together