March 22, 2010
About a year ago, I led a Transmission focused on prayer. The scripture from the Daily Office happened to be Psalm 23, so as part of the ritual we created our own versions of of the psalm. I was really moved by the personal psalms that came out of this activity, so
I thought I would share. Without introducing Psalm 23, ask participants to write down answers to the following questions:
- What is your metaphor for God? Do you think of God as a father? a friend? a rock? the color purple? What image makes sense for you when you think about God?
- Where does your soul find rest?
- Where does God lead you?
- What are you afraid of?
- How does God comfort and protect you?
- How does God bless you?
Then give participants a paper with lots of space between the following lines:
The Lord is [blank]
I shall not want.
God makes me [blank]
God leads me [blank]
God restores my soul.
God leads me in paths of righteousness for God’s name’s sake.
Yea though I walk [blank]
I will fear no evil, for You are with me.
Your [blank] comfort me.
You anoint my head with oil.
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Each blank corresponds with an answer to the question prompts in order. Give participants some time to craft their psalm. Invite people to share aloud. If you try this with your faith community, let us know how it turns out!
September 5, 2009
A few conservative bloggers and podcasters recently critiqued my podcast and book for not giving enough recognition to the Psalm’s role as prophecy; apparently the fact that I don’t immediately look for Jesus in the Psalms means I’m not interpreting them correctly.¬† The thing is, I’m not entirely convinced that the Book of Psalms does prophesy Jesus, or that they were originally meant to be prophecy at all.
This has gotten me thinking about the nature of the texts contained in the Bible. The question of whether the Bible is the “inerrant Word of God” is such a hangup issue for so many churches – it’s used as a litmus test to determine whether a believer is a “true Christian” or whether a teacher is a “false Prophet.” When the final version of the Torah was put together (probably shortly after the Babylonian Exile), did the redactors suspect it’d be used as scripture? Well, yeah, they probably did. When Paul wrote his letter to Philemon, did he suspect that it’d be read in churches thousands of years later and declared “the Word of the Lord, thanks be to God?” No, he probably didn’t.
In Jewish copies of the Bible, the books are clearly separated between Scripture (Torah), Prophecy (Nevi’im), and Writings (Ketuvim). In Christianity, the lines between the three are much, much more ambiguous, whether we’re talking about the Psalms or the writings of Paul. Since I’m much more familiar with the Psalms, I’ll focus on them.
July 13, 2009
Musician and author Ana Hernandez discusses Psalm 89 and the difficulty of praying from places of sadness and anger. This episode also features her song, “Kosi R’vaya” from her album, Inside Chants, written by Shefa Gold and sung with Ruth Cunningham.
If you’re podcast savvy, the XML feed is here: http://www.isaaceverett.com/audio/emergentpsalterpodcast/podcast.xml
If you want to to listen to it on
iTunes: click here: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=322056809
If you’d rather just download it, the link is here: http://www.isaaceverett.com/audio/epp089.mp3
If you want to stream it from the site, click the big gray button below.
July 7, 2009
Well, we’re back with episode 2 of the podcast, and just because I’m posting it at 1:30 in the morning
on Tuesday doesn’t mean that I missed my self-imposed Monday deadline. Honest. It doesn’t.
In any case, this week we’re featuring Stephanie Spellers, author of Radical Welcome and pastor of the The Crossing, a very cool emergent community in Boston. We talk about Psalm 24, the idea of welcome, and the difficulties of trying to have an open table.
If you’re podcast savvy, the XML feed is here: http://www.isaa
If you want to to listen to it on iTunes: click here: http://itunes.apple.com/
If you’d rather just download it, the link is here: http://www.isaaceverett.com/audio/epp2.mp3
If you want to stream it from the site, click the big gray button below.
July 2, 2009
Hey, everyone – Renata, who’s back in NYC, has asked that we add her family to our prayers – they’re
going through some difficult times.
January 21, 2009
Here’s a copy of the Rt Reverend Gene Robinson’s opening prayer which kicked off the inauguration festivities.¬† Sadly, it wasn’t broadcast – HBO, for whatever reason, felt that it wasn’t worth putting on TV.¬† I think HBO is wrong, so I’m putting it here.¬† Enjoy!
The Gold Star, though, goes to Joe Lowery, who did get broadcast but is worth watching a second time:
January 8, 2008
One of the hats I wear as an “ecumenical Episcopalian” (my third “e” identifier would probably be “emerging”) is as a member of the standing committee for Christian Churches Together, the broadest ecumenical group in our nation’s history.
Today I arrived in Baltimore for the CCT Annual Meeting, which includes a day in DC addressing domestic poverty (see the CCT Statement of Poverty that was passed by consensus last year) and discernment about how we can evangelize together. Yup, you heard that right!
This meeting also has personal meaning for me, because it was at last year’s gathering in Pasadena that I met the Rev. Dr. Peter Heltzel, who lives ten blocks from me in West Harlem, and at whose party in April I met my (now) husband, George! Goes to show you never can tell.
Come to think of it, I also met Samir Selmanovic at last year’s meeting, who has since moved to NYC, is in the process of starting Faith House, an interfaith community in Manhattan.
I am also excited that two other women from exciting NYC organizations are here this year: Lisa Sharon Harper from New York Faith & Justice and Onleilove Alston from the Poverty Initiative at Union Theological Seminary.
Please read a little about this group on their website (www.christianchurchestogether.org) and keep us in your prayers this week.
Thanks and blessings, Bowie
June 20, 2007
The Simple Way is a New Monastic Community in Philly, PA, founded by Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistable Revolution. Isaac and I both heard Shane speak at Greenbelt last summer and were floored (I cried, maybe we both did). Various Transmissioners have also been deeply moved by his book and by the basic tenents (12 Marks) of New Monasticism presented online.
Please keep this community in your prayers and consider making a cash donation. Transmission does not ask it’s members to pledge, but many of us give generously to Transmission and do other spiritual giving as part of our tithe or giving back to God.
Official Fire Update from The Simple Way in Philly, PA
This morning, a 7-alarm fire consumed an abandoned warehouse in our Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia. The Simple Way Community Center at 3200 Potter Street was destroyed as well as at least eight of our neighbors’ homes. Over 100 people were evacuated from their homes, and 400 families are currently without power. Despite this developing tragedy, we are incredibly thankful to share that all of our community members and every one of our neighbors is safely out of harm’s way.
This fire will forever change the fabric of our community. Eight families are currently homeless, and in many cases have lost their vehicles as well as their homes. One of our neighbors, the Mahaias Family, lost their three cars as well as the equipment one family member uses for her massage therapy business. Teenager Brian Mahaias is devastated not because he has lost his belongings, but because he fears that this fire will force him to move away from this neighborhood that is his family as well as his home.
The Simple Way has lost a community center that was home to our Yes! And‚Ä¶ afterschool program, community arts center, and Cottage Printworks t-shirt micro-business as well as to two of our community members. Community members Shane Claiborne and Jesce Walz have lost all of their belongings, Yes!And‚Ä¶’s after school studio and library were ruined, and community member Justin Donner’s Cottage Printworks equipment and t-shirts were destroyed.
We are thankful that we are able to help each other during this time of need, and we will continue to keep your informed about today’s events.
We have established funds to support the families who have lost their homes, the Yes! And‚Ä¶ afterschool program, and the Simple Way community.
A fund to support the families has been established through a partner organization, EAPE. Tax-deductible donations can be made online here. Please make sure to put “Kensington Families Fund” in the memo section.
Donations to the Rebuilding Fund can be made via PayPal to email@example.com.
-The Simple Way Community
April 25, 2007
By Bowie Snodgrass
On the Euphrates, down by the river of Babylon,
they sat down and wept, and wept for you, Zion.
Held captive during Nebuchadnezzar’s reign,
they wrote scripture in the world’s largest city.
But even the most powerful human in the world
did a small good deed for the woman he loved.
As the story goes, Nebuchadnezzar, for his wife,
planted a World Wonder: hanging roof gardens.
I hear they’re thinking of green roofs for NYC;
what a great idea, I say, growing things here.
Imagine flying over that in a plane, a sea of green:
flowers, moss, vine, trees, birds, butterflies, bees.
Fruits of the earth to eat, natural cool and warm,
cleaner air and playgrounds for God’s creatures.
We best never forget the history that happened
nor the dreams that inspire human imagination.
* Read about the Green Roof movement
* Check out the Gaia Institute NY
“The Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the walls of Babylon (near present-day Baghdad in Iraq) were considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. ”
- Read more about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon
* Please say a special prayer for my brother, Peter, Ike’s brother, Joel, and all the military personnel currently stationed in Iraq. Please pray for all Iraqis, that they may soon have peace in their lands.
April 12, 2007
OK, so I’m a little behind the times. I just watched An Inconvenient Truth last night and whoa. It seems the effects of Global Warming will soon be of apocalyptic proportions. I beseech ya’ll to take an active step to reduce carbon emissions, or at least netflick the movie and experience the revelation for yourself. One place to start is climatecrisis.net. New Yorkers, Con Ed offers 100% wind power for your home.
As springtime blooms again, it’s time for us to start thinking about how we can renew the earth, as she renews us.
PS, while I have your attention, check out the Abstract of a paper my friend, Jackie, did at the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting in 2006.
Averting the Apocalypse: The Horrors of Global Warming and the Rhetorical Power of the End
Program Unit: John’s Apocalypse and Cultural Contexts Ancient and Modern
Jacqueline Hidalgo, Claremont Graduate University
In the Fall of 2005, Al Gore lectured in Los Angeles about global warming as part of the production of the new documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. Gore compared some of the horrible plagues imagined in John’s Apocalypse to the horrific repercussions of global warming around the world, repercussions which Gore demonstrated in a complex narrative of photographs, tables, and film clips. Through a focus on Gore’s rhetoric of averting the global warming apocalypse, this paper explores the enduring prominence and power of the Apocalypse as it may be encountered throughout the US political imaginary. It is often recognized that Conservative Christians in the U.S.A. have used the horrific imagery of the Apocalypse in combination with the promise of an imminent End in order to shape politics, identities, and cultures. Many occupying different parts of the political Left have likewise turned to narratives of impending environmental doom and/or political totalitarianism. Given that such a variety of groups deploy these counterpoised apocalypticisms, what does this suggest about the social power of apocalyptic narratives over the social realities of different people? Successful deployment of the Apocalypse, and specifically of its horrors and end-time imagination, has been a significant source of social power for those who pursue it, and those who perceive themselves to be in situations of social distress often invoke apocalyptic rhetoric. Gore serves as an interesting example against this backdrop. Although he is part of the political mainstream, his speech comes at a time when many on the political Left feel disenfranchised. Is apocalyptic rhetoric most popular with groups who perceive themselves as disempowered or is it just such a central part of the US cultural imagination that it is hard to conceive of a historical trajectory outside of the Apocalypse?