It’s My Turn to Listen & Learn

Posted by on Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

I’m in Washington DC attending the Sojourner’s Summit at Catholic University. We start tonight with dinner and a casual reception with all the attendees and Senator Elizabeth Warren. Don’t freak, even though we are in DC, it’s not a political conference. Not sure I could handle that. Each year Sojourners invites 300 men and women from around the country to attend the Summit. The goal is to have people who fight for justice to meet, connect, listen, and learn from each other. It’s one of those times when I secretly think, “Why did they invite me?” I don’t ask, I’m just glad to sneak in under the radar. The first night always starts with a person from the House (Senator or Congressman/woman) speaking on a particular justice issue. Right out of the gate my mind is broadened and my eyes opened wider. Sometimes when I attend conferences like this I can start to wonder why Jesus just doesn’t put an end to all this evil and destruction. Just come Lord Jesus come. It’s hard to listen to the injustices of the world over and over again. And yet, we must otherwise we become numb and complacent. We have to keep going to the well and hear what breaks the heart our Savior. It’s here Jesus will join me as I sit, listen and learn – and he will speak to me – personally. About me. About how I live. About how I give. About The Marcella Project. And about his heart. I love these times with Jesus. I thought you might like to see just a few of the classes he and I will be attending. Implicit Bias – where we’ll explore the historical, theological, and structural impact of implicit bias in society and in the church. The Implicit Biases of Our Theology – how might we help churches, seminaries and Christian organizations see that the witness of Scripture points away from the logic of empire to an indigenous and communal way? We Will Speak Out – joining together to end the silence around sexual and gender based violence. The Art of Story – We will be discussing how to embody our message of justice, equality and spiritual wholeness within the art of story. A Holy Alliance – Women and men against gender-based violence. The Mask You Live In: A film screening and panel discussion about the messages boys face that encourage them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify and degrade women and girls and resolve conflicts through violence. I’ll keep you posted on how my time with Jesus...

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What’s Your Angst?

Posted by on Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 in Blog | 3 comments

What’s your angst?  aNG(k)st,äNG(k)st/ noun a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general. Angst. We all have one. This thing we can’t quite quiet in us. It can be a negative thing or a positive one – either way it nags us. I’ve been reading Ronald Rolheisers’ book, Sacred Fire – something he said accurately communicates mine. He writes: Jesus’ human  origins lie in Judaism, and he stood and taught within their prophetic tradition of charity and justice. Hundreds of years before his birth, the great Jewish prophets had already coined this mantra: ” The quality of your faith will be judged by the quality of justice in the land; and the quality of justice in the land will be judged by how the weakest and most vulnerable groups in society (‘widows, orphans, and strangers’) fared while you are alive.” … Jesus’ invitation that his disciples be both charitable and just is commonly misunderstood, or perhaps more accurately stated, is under-understood. How so? What Jesus asks of us here is not just that we be generous of heart and give in charity to the poor, though he does ask for that. He asks for more. Charity, as we know, can sometimes operate independently of justice, especially of social justice. Jesus does not just ask us to give in charity to the poor, he also asks us to work at correcting all the social, political, and economic structures that disadvantage the poor and help keep them poor. Charity seeks to give directly to the poor so as to help alleviate their poverty; Justice seeks to correct the structures that help create that poverty. And Jesus asks us to do both. (Rolheiser, 49.)  My angst is: Do I care enough to live radically enough to fight the structures that disadvantage the poor and help keep them poor? If so, then how shall that look? I think Jesus’ life, words and call was to do so… but sometimes I struggle with the cost and the application. There lies my angst. What’s...

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Just Charitable

Posted by on Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

“Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Shout aloud! Don’t be timid. Tell my people Israel of their sins!      Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me.  ‘We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!’ “I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers. What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord? “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.  “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. “Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. (Isaiah 58:1-10 NLT) I’ve noodled on the above Isaiah passage on and off for several years. I thought I understood. I didn’t. It’s just now hitting me that God is calling us to be both charitable and just. (Something I fear I fail sorely at.) Consider what you read in Isaiah in light of what Rolheiser says in his book, Sacred Fire.  Jesus’ invitation that his disciples be both charitable and just is commonly misunderstood or, perhaps more accurately stated, is under – understood. How so? What Jesus asks of us here is not just that we be generous of heart and give in charity to the poor, though he does ask for that. He asks for more....

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A Date With Jesus in Washington D.C.

Posted by on Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 in Blog | 4 comments

This Wednesday I’m going someplace I have no right being. Whenever I find myself in places (or with people) I have no right being, I know it’s a God thing. More specifically, it’s a date with Jesus thing. I know it’s his way of asking that I mark my calendar for date with him: “Jackie we’re going to meet on June 18th -21st in Washington D.C. at The Summit.” The Summit is a gathering of three hundred international leaders committed to conversation and collaboration on how to bring world change through faith and justice. Invite-only. Like I said, I’m in a place I have no right being. And I’m not being humble, just honest. These folks have credentials, books, and experience that makes me look like a little child. THEME During The Summit we’ll be committed to discussing big questions while also making practical applications to a variety of justice issues. Based in the historic commitments of Sojourners and through dozens of one-on-one interviews with a variety of leaders we’ll be including a focus on, but not limited to the intersections of: The exciting thing about being green behind the ears is you’re a sponge. I’m just stoked to hear from Jesus. I know how this works – I sit and listen to these men and women, and Jesus will lean in and whisper what he wants me to know, hear, see, think, and do. For four days I get to hear the lover of my soul share what he’s excited about and what he’s grieving over. I plan on spending time with Jesus during the discussions on: -The Stained Glass Ceiling: Women’s Leadership in the Church -Pulpits and Perpetrators: The Church and Domestic Violence -Preaching Workshop with Tony Campolo -Subconscious Subjugation: Theology, Ethics, and Implicit Bias We’ll spend time in class, then at dinner over wine and food. I love these times because I walk away assured, reminded and resolved. I love dates with Jesus. I think I’ll get gussied up for Wednesday, after all – I’ve been invited on a date with the...

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I Was Asked And I Answered

Posted by on Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 in Blog | 2 comments

This past weekend I spoke at a women’s retreat. One of the sessions was an hour of Q & A. Many of the questions asked were about my extended family, forgiveness, parenting, and such but one woman asked the following: What’s the prayer you’ve been praying for the women of our (the next) generation? Where do you see God moving the most on (in & through) His women? It’s a great question. Before I share my answer I’d like to hear yours. What are you praying and where do you see God...

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