May 31, 2007
I had thougth about posting this poem by Fanny Howe (who wrote a collection of essays that I included in a “Best Contemporary Theology” meme), but then hedged, doubted, waiting. Today, I checked into Faith House’s blog and saw their recent Sabbath Poem by Neruda and thought this must be a sign… these poems are cosmic kissing cousins.
Mad God, mad thought
Take me for a walk
Stalk me. Made God,
Wake me with your words.
Believe in what I said
Shadows on sheets
Grass, seed . . .
Push my anguish down‚Äï
Coffee, smokes & creams‚Äï
To scare compulsion away
Compulsion to die
from The Quietist (1992)
May 26, 2007
We’ve got five Wednesdays, this month, but we don’t want to go three weeks without seeing each other, so we decided to double up instead. This week, we’ll be going to a screening of The War Tapes at the Cathedral of St John the Divine. Afterwards, we’ll either head to the Hungarian Pastry Shop for coffee and carbs or we’ll come back to my place for wine and munchies, depending on the mood.
If you haven’t heard about it, The War Tapes is an amateur documentary made by three soldiers who took a camcorder with them to Iraq. It won Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival and has been getting a lot of attention. Go watch the trailer here: http://thewartapes.com/trailer/
Since a few of us have family who are serving in Iraq, this seemed like a good activity. I hope you can make it!
The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
THE WAR TAPES
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The Cathedral House
(enter drive btwn. 111th and 112th Streets on Amsterdam Avenue)
Read the rest of this entry »
May 26, 2007
My friend Lillit frequently writes for Beliefnet, and she just put up a story chronicling the Top Ten Religious Moments on American Idol. It’s pretty amusing.
My favorite part says:
Often when the group of Idols is rounded up and asked questions from the audience, one of the topics that comes up is how much training each singer has. The most common answer: “I learned to sing in church.”
And it’s true – the church is pretty much the only cultural institution in America which still fosters and nurtures amateur musicianship. Music forms identity, it forms community, and it forms culture. As fewer and fewer people explore music post-high school, I’m worried that American music will eventually be completely commercial. I’m suddenly very glad that we spent the last Transmission sitting around a coffee table, singing in harmony. We should do more of it.
May 25, 2007
WED, May 30th – Is the fifth Wednesday and we’ll be doing something fun or educational… but haven’t quite decided yet. Look out for more info in your inbox – or send us your suggestions!
WED, June 6th – John and Elizabeth are planning the ritual, which promises to include readings about “Drastic Monastics”, O my! We’ll be back at Bowie’s place after a long hiatus (please email us if you’d like directions). There will be yummy food and some celebration for John (5/28), Isaac (6/4), and Bowie’s (6/6) birthdays. Please let us know if you are a gemini too!
Plus, Ian Mobsby, a friend of Bowie and Isaac’s, who hosted us at Greenbelt last year, will be coming from the airport to join us on Wednesday night – so get ready for a double-header because the next night…
THUR, June 7th ‚Äì Come hear an amazing and long-time Emerging leader in the UK, Ian Mobsby, talk about “Trinitarian Mysticism and Mission” at Trinity Wall Street. Just how can Rublev’s Icon and a Trinitarian ecclesiology enable us to be emerging, experimental, and do mission?
Ian is a founding member of Moot, an emerging church community in London, UK and has been doing emerging church stuff in the UK for the last 14 years, is sweet, and totally rad. Also, here’s an interview between Johnny Baker and Ian about his new book.
Refreshments and fellowship begin at 6:30 pm; the workshop begins at 7 pm ‚Äì FREE ‚Äì To sign up, please email us, Ali Lutz at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-602-0800.
He’s doing a bit of a tour around the country. Spread the word and check out his schedule, which includes West Coast and PA gigs.
MON, June 11th – Curious about other “Emerging” folks in NYC? Come to Cohort!
This month, various musicians will have about 10 minutes to play a couple of original songs (live or recorded) and share a little about how their music creation jives with their emerging understandings of worship. Shoot us an email if you’re a musician and would like to play!
May 24, 2007
here’s a mix by my bro, TJSnodgrass. I’ve been listening to it a lot lately and wanted to share the playlist for your musical pleasure…
Building a Religion
A Limited Edition
1. The Doors : Whisky, Mystics and Men
2. Bo Didley : Who Do You Love?
3. Buffy St. Marie : Starwalker
4. Kermit the Frog : The Rainbow Connection
5. Elton John : Circle of Life
6. Hava Nagila : Dick Dale
7. Stephen Schwarz : On the Willows
8. Stephen Schwarz : When You Believe
9. Neil Diamond : Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show
10. Eddie Kendricks : Going Up in Smoke
11. The Pixies : In Heaven
12. Tom Waits : Jesus Gonna Be Here
13. Cake : Building a Religion
14. Sangeeta : Pyar Ka Hai Bairi
15. Sting : Desert Rose
16. Prince : Paisley Park
17. The Flaming Lips : Do You Realize??
18. The Doors : The Soft Parade
May 21, 2007
Help sow seeds of hope with natural healing products from Thistle Farms, the cottage business of Magdalene House in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Rev. Becca Stephens, Episcopal chaplain at Vanderbilt University is the founder of Magdalene House. I’ve heard her preach and had the pleasure of visiting her in Nashville a few years ago. Becca is an inspirational woman who helps nurture goodness in this world.
And the Thistle Farms projects are great too! I’ve got a tub of lib balm at home. Be sure to check out Lot’s Wife Salt Scrub, Balm of Gilead (comes in five scents), Lavender Mini-Sachets, and the Moses line for men!
Named for the only wildflower that grows along the roads that Nashville prostitutes frequent, Thistle Farms is the cottage business of Magdalene ‚Äì a two-year residential community for women with a criminal history of addiction and prostitution. Magdalene was created to provide a sanctuary in Nashville for women in need of a safe, discipline and compassionate community.
May 21, 2007
hello trans-curious out there,
did you know we have not just a gmail list, but two?
* one for weekly updates
* & one for periodic special events
email us at email@example.com if you’d like to be added to a list (please specify which one).
we’d love to let you know what we’re up to!
May 19, 2007
We had a lovely Transmission this week – due to a last minute change of plan, we ended up sitting around and doing shape-note singing in three part harmony for about forty-five minutes. There’s something really wonderful about making music in a home, and there’s something even more wonderful about hearing your voice blend and harmonize with other people in the community. Although it wasn’t the most complicated ritual we’ve ever done, it was a very moving worship experience.
I’m really interested in upping the amount of music at Transmission. We’ve got a few in-house song writers, several singers, and lots of music lovers. Maybe we could make musical jams be a semi-regular thing.
In any case, in celebration of good Spring weather, I’d like to share the latest Isaac Everett & j. Snodgrass concoction – a setting of the Canticle of Brother Sun by St Francis of Assisi.
During Francis’s life, there was a movement called the Cathars who preached a strong disparity between the spiritual world and the physical world. For the Cathars, the world was an evil place created by a demon and the goal of Christ was to free us from it so that we could be spiritually reunited with God. Francis, a monk who I think of as half-way between Jack Kerouac and Dr. Dolittle, opposed this point of view and wrote lots of poetry about seeing God in creation. This particular poem praises God by honoring and personifying the sun, moon, and stars, the four elements, and, ultimately, death. It also happens to be the first piece of Italian vernacular poetry.
The poem was metricized brilliantly by John, and sung by Dara Centonze (who many of you heard at Easter at Avalon). Enjoy!
PS We’re releasing this to the world, so feel free to download it, pass it around, etc. If you love it, buy the next album, to be released in August.
May 14, 2007
This Wednesday we’ll be gathering up at Katherine’s place (193rd and Fort George) for some good old-fashioned house church (and home cooking). Paul and I will be leading the ritual, which will be a hands-on experiment in the variety of ways people experience worship – you don’t know liturgy until you’ve seen it through the eyes of a blind man. Katherine’s place is just a tad hard to find, but take the 1 train to 191st and call me once you get there (917.306.2442)
If you’re interested in playing with ritual, by the way, Paul and I will be meeting Monday at noon at Strictly Roots to plan the service and drink moss smoothies. No, seriously, they really make smoothies out of moss at this place. Join us.
Oh, and as a bonus, there’s a good chance that we’ll be following the ritual with a screening of Labyrinth, starring David Bowie’s pants.
Hope to see you there!
May 10, 2007
I Loved What I Could Love
I had a natural passion for fine clothes, excellent food, and
lively conversation about all matters that concern
the heart still alive. And even a passion
about my own
Vanities: they do not exist.
Have you ever walked across a stream stepping on
rocks so not to spoil a pair of shoes?
All we can touch, swallow, or say
aids in our crossing to God
and helps unveil the
Life smooths us, rounds, perfects, as does the river the stone,
and there is no place our Beloved is not flowing
though the current’s force you
may not always
Our passions help to lift us.
I loved what I could love until I held God,
for then‚Äîall things‚Äîevery world
* From Daniel Ladinsky’s Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West (New York: Penguin Compass, 2002), page 292.
* Read at May 8 Graduation Party / House Blessing Ritual for Katharine Lee
* More about St. Theresa of Avila (1515-1582)