Tommy Airey: ‘Resistance and Recovery’

“Our communities of discontinuity aren’t rearranging pews on the Titanic. We are striving for what Parker Palmer calls “circles of trust.” In short, we pledge ourselves to resistance and recovery.   We actively resist red-state austerity dreams, blue-state mediocrity memes and neoliberal prosperity schemes.  However, until we take our own inventory and commit to the long process of inner healing, we simply project our own predatory ways on to them. They become convenient scapegoats. Meanwhile, nobody really gets saved. We keep drowning spiritually andemotionally, just stubborn great whites devouring those most dear to us.”–Tommy Airey, “Intimacy and Inner Work

Rev. Graylan Hagler: ‘What Does Mr. Trump Bring to the Public Altar?’

Rev. Graylan Hagler, Washington, D.C.
Rev. Graylan Hagler, Washington, D.C.
Rev. Graylan Hagler has a good response to navigating the waters of the call to “heal.” Worth reading.

“How can one be healed when the rhetoric targeted at one group or another attacked the humanity and very lives of those groups? I would like to be healed but the damage has already been done, and so how is the damage undone? The call for healing right now is as if you still have the disease or infirmity in your body but choose to ignore its presence and the damage that it is doing or has done. We cannot be healed while still being ravished by the destructive elements of the disease. We cannot be healed while the disease is still in the body. I cannot be healed right now because the one who brought the disease, exploited the disease, and advanced the disease has done nothing to eradicate the disease.

In scriptures, when people came with a sin offering, a thanksgiving offering or the first fruits offering it was without blemish and it was significant. It was such a significant offering that is meant something economically and psychologically to the offerer.

I have heard the rhetoric of Trump and I have to believe him at his word, and so since his words threatens me and many of my friends in their personhood and humanity I have to ask what will he bring to the altar of the public arena that there might be healing.”–Rev. Graylan Hagler, America Needs to be Healed!

Abbot Philip: Beauty Forms Us in Beauty

Ceiling of LightsAbbot Philip lives at Christ in the Desert Monastery in New Mexico (left), but has been on retreat in Hawaii for the last few months:

“As far as I can tell, this will be my last Notebook from Hawaii this year. I am ready to leave later today and return to the mainland. It has been a wonderful time of renewal and restoration for me. One of the aspects of my life here and at Christ in the Desert is to live in incredible beauty.

I remember almost 35 years ago when a Trappist abbot commented to me that it is nearly impossible to lead a deep spiritual life in an ugly place. Monasteries that are founded in ugly places have to change them into beautiful places or they have to relocate. Part of our spiritual life has to include some awareness of our surroundings and an awareness of how those surroundings affect us. This is another aspect of living the incarnation.

Continue reading “Abbot Philip: Beauty Forms Us in Beauty”

Video: Lana Finikin and Women Doing Serious Theater


Lana Finikin, 59, from Jamaica is an activist using theater to address violence against women. “The saying is, when women and girls are safe, then everybody else will be safe,” she says. Watch her 3-minute video above.

In 1977, Finikin co-founded the Sistren Theatre Collective, which uses performances to explore problems concerning poor women in rural and urban communities in Jamaica – issues include violence, HIV/Aids, domestic work, housing, land tenure, environment and unemployment.

Finikin uses drama as a tool to share experiences and to empower communities on a grassroots level so they can resolve their own problems. Sistren develops the stories for its plays out of people’s experiences and narrations. At a recent UN conference in New York on the status of women, Finikin showed her approach in a two-hour-long condensed workshop.

According to the UN, globally 7 out 10 women will be beaten, raped, abused, or mutilated in their lifetimes with most of the violence is taking place in intimate relationships.

Healing Prayer: Our Bodies’ Intricate Design

by Shawn Lovell
by Shawn Lovell

I’ll be posting sporadically in February while I’m off work recuperating from surgery. (Nothing serious.) During my Sabbath recovery time at home, I hope to have daily prayer at 6 p.m. each evening in February.

I’ll be using the daily gospel reading and the prayer below and invite you to “join” me (through the Holy Spirit internet) each evening.

Healing Prayer

Blessed are You, God of All Creation,
who has made our bodies in wisdom.
It is You who created openings and arteries,
glands and organs, bone and blood,
marvelous in structure, intricate in design.
Should one part be blocked or fail to function
it is difficult for us to praise You properly,
difficult for us to serve Your people with humility.
Wondrous Fashioner and Sustainer of life,
Source of our health and our strength,
bring complete healing to all of our wounds.
You who blessed our ancestors and who
gave healing power to Jesus, send your angels
to accompany [insert names here] and all who are
sick. Let the healing river flow over and
through them. Let the leaves from the Tree
of Life—the tree with medicine for the healing
of nations—fall gently upon them.
May the occasion of their healing
be an opportunity for all of us to be healed,
so that we might more properly praise You.
In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

by Rose Marie Berger (February 2010). Please reprint freely.

Holy Health Care! Laying Hands on the Whole System

healthcarecartoonDebates on our national system of providing health care are raging in political and corporate offices around the country. Traditionally, however, churches and faith centers have been the sites of healing, health, and wholeness for a community.

In the 1970s, many churches in the U.S. experienced a resurgence of “healing ministries” that accompanied a renewed charismatic movement. Healing services, laying on of hands, anointing with oil, healing prayer, and many other manifestations all spring from the healing ministry of Jesus. It’s what he did: He healed. He taught. He saved.

This “making people whole again” was a way Jesus prepared those he met for receiving the good news into their lives. Karin Granberg-Michaelson wrote in her article The Healing Church:

In considering the healing miracles of Jesus and the profound emphasis he placed on wholeness, we must ask what Jesus wished to communicate through his healing works in people’s lives. That is best answered in the context of more basic assumptions about the meaning of Jesus’ overall ministry in and to the world.

While many churches are deeply faithful to their healing ministry, it sometimes doesn’t make it past the church doors. It doesn’t flow into a social concern for how we as Christians can serve the common good. “If the church is to reclaim its healing ministry, it must ask the question ‘what constitutes wholeness?’” writes Granberg-Michaelson.

Wholeness is not just for the individual or the community of Christians; it is a gift God gives to us and through us for the larger society. It is part and parcel of how we move as a society “toward healing and reconciliation,” as Granberg-Michaelson puts it.

If healing and wholeness (spiritual, physical, and emotional) is a gift that God gives to the church, then it is our responsibility to find ways to share the workings of that gift in service of the common good. Granberg-Michaelson says:

Whole person health care [the treatment of a person as a unity of body, mind, and spirit] is, therefore, the heritage of the church. We must reclaim our function as the primary mediator of healing in society.

One important way that we as Christians can “reclaim our function as the primary mediator of healing in society” is by educating ourselves on the nitty-gritty of the health-care debate and working to craft a system that allows healing to flow throughout our land.

We want to craft a health-care system that honors a fair exchange of money for services, that redistributes our social capital toward the health and healing of all over the long-term, and that allows for philanthropy and generosity of heart by those who can give freely for the betterment of all.

A generous health-care system that reflects a commitment to healing and wholeness for the sake of securing human dignity is a priority. It’s one way Christians can extend our healing ministry toward our national body.

You can read Karin Granberg-Michaelson’s whole article here.

This article first appeared on Sojourners’ God’s Politics blog on 07-21-2009. Rose Marie Berger, an associate editor at Sojourners.

Jesus and the ‘Victorian Bushfire Tragedy’

From www.abc.net.au/news/photos
From www.abc.net.au/news/photos

David MacGregor, a pastor the Uniting Church in Australia, recently posted a wonderful sermon on Jesus touching and healing the leper (Mark 1:40-45). He used a spirituality column I wrote in January 2005 called The Sense of Touch to examine the experience of touch alongside the powerful images of people embracing each other amid the Victorian bushfire tragedy. Please continue you prayers for all those affected by the fires.

David serves at Indooroopilly Uniting Church in Brisbane and serves on the UCA’s National Working Group on Worship. Below is an excerpt from David’s sermon:

When the leper approaches Jesus, he is, in fact, going against the Law. This said that he should have called out to warn Jesus and the disciples that he was unclean and that they should keep away. Instead, in desperation, he comes to Jesus and speaks directly to Him. In his wretched state, he has seen in Jesus someone who could heal him – the question was did Jesus want to heal someone who was ritually unclean – who, some said, was leprous because of some sin?

Jesus, of course, wants to and reaches out and touches him – strictly speaking, making Himself unclean in the process. At once – immediately (how often do we hear that word in Mark’s gospel?! the leprosy leaves the man and he is healed. Jesus reaches out and touches him …

This past week, night after night on our TV screens we’ve watched footage of devastated bushfire victims hugging another victim close, folk – Kevin Rudd included, placing a comforting hand on the shoulder of a bushfire survivor. There’s something about touch.

Read David’s whole sermon here.