So there’s that tendency, after something big has happened, for things to settle down into a new normal, same as after Easter and after Pentecost. Now we’re back to life as we know it, except things are different. We continue reading the book of Acts this week, chapters 8-14. I find it so interesting that the first book of the church’s life is called “Acts” and think that says something about how acting on our faith is at the heart of church life. And there’s a lot going on this month, a lot to act on and celebrate – not only is it still Pride Month (and the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, the watershed event out of which Pride became a thing, in which some of those outside of the cishet paradigm made the incredibly courageous decision to visibly stand up for their humanity); June 19th is also Juneteenth, the celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in United States, which in 1865 was the day that Union soldiers brought news to Galveston, Texas that the Civil War had ended and that slaves were now free! So there is much on which to celebrate and reflect this month.
This week we read Part 3, “Managing Your Fears,” Chapter 9, “Seven Success Tips” of the T+P+A Big Read 2019, The Lifelong Activist. The tips I have found most helpful are to have a schedule for the day ahead and break tasks down into small, manageable pieces. (How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! LOL). During those times in which I become overwhelmed and stymied, the best thing I have done for myself is to take a small break and then focus on one small task to do – which is sometimes all it takes me to become unstuck. Also, I cannot emphasize enough how having a plan – even if I don’t stick to it exactly – has helped me to not only do what I need to do, but also remind me in the midst of all else going on in the day, just what is important.
What are your strategies and tips for doing faithful and fruitful work in the midst of the chaos and busy-ness of life?
For June and July, in honor of Pride Month (and beyond) we are reading and praying over Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology by Pamela R. Lightsey. This week we read Chapter 1, “Black Women’s Experience and Queer Black Women’s Lives.” Lightsey discusses the unfortunate current reality that most scholars tend to talk more about Black LBTQ women than with them. “Black LBTQ women must play a more immediate role in liberation theology by writing what it means to be queer bodies shaped in the image of God, by writing of our conceptions of God, and by writing against the oppression we face daily. Otherwise we run the risk of the history and theology of our people being shaped primarily from the perpspective of our allies.” (p. 3)
What changes when people who have lived something tell their own story, rather than someone else speaking for them?
C’mon over to People of the Books, our online book club in which we discuss this book and whatever else is on your mind or heart!
Check out the Find Your FBCO Map to find your local faith-based community organizing affiliate and connect with the people who are working together to live out their dreams of a more just world! What’s going on in your living of the Gospel? Let us know in the comments, in our e-mail discussion group, or on social media.
- Aston, John. “Paraclete.” The Anchor Bible Dictionary 5.
- Bohache, Thomas. “Pentecost Queered.” The Queer Bible Commentary. Edited by Robert E. Goss, Mona West, and Thomas Bohache. London: SCM Press, 2011.
- Disciples Home Missions. “Juneteenth.” DHM: Disciples Home Missions, 2019. https://www.discipleshomemissions.org/congregations/african-american-congregational-nurture/resources/juneteenth/.
- Goss, R. Queering Christ: Beyond Jesus Acted Up, 2002.
- Guest, Deryn. The Queer Bible Commentary. Edited by Robert E. Goss, Mona West, and Thomas Bohache. London: SCM Press, 2011.
- Hall, Suzanne DeWitt. Transfigured: A 40-Day Journey through Scripture for Gender-Queer and Transgender People. D.H. Strategies, 2018.
- Hall, Suzanne DeWitt. Where True Love Is: An Affirming Devotional for LGBTQI+ Individuals and Their Allies. D.H. Strategies, n.d.
- Isherwood, Lisa. “Queer Theology.” Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
- Lightsey, Pamela R. Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology. Eugene: Pickwick Publications, 2015.
- Loughlin, G. Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body, 2007.
- Luther Seminary. “Enter the Bible,” n.d. http://www.enterthebible.org/.
- Rettig, Hillary. “Adopting the Three Productivity Behaviors: A Process for Creating Behavioral Change” in The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way. New York, NY: Lantern Books, 2006. http://lifelongactivist.com/part-iii-managing-your-fears/8-adopting-the-three-productivity-behaviors-a-process-for-creating-behavioral-change/
- “Stonewall Uprising.” PBS: American Experience, 11 June 2019. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/stonewall/.
- White, L. Michael. Scripting Jesus: The Gospels in Rewrite. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2010.
- Willimon, William H. Acts. Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1988.