Earlier this month I was preaching at Jeff St. Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, at long last visiting this congregation I'd heard so much about from friends Susan Taylor and Andy Loving of Just Money Advisors. During the potluck after the service, and before a workshop on Climate Catastrophe and Watershed Discipleship, I was captivated by a tatoo on the arm of a young woman of the congregation.
It was a reproduction of the image shown above, by Guatemalan artist and photographer Daniel Hernandez Salazar. When I asked her about it, she explained she'd worked in Guatemala with those trying to document the massacres and disappearances of thousands of people during the war in the 1980s. The tatoo was a reminder to bear witness. //more
Note: Eduard Loring of the Open Door Community in Atlanta sends out occasional reflections; I thought this one was particularly interesting.
July 26 was the birthday of English author Aldous Huxley (above) , born in Godalming, Surrey in 1894. He was the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, a scientist and man of letters who was known as "Darwin's bulldog" for his defense of the theory of evolution. Huxley wrote a few novels that satirized English literary society, which established him as a writer. It was his fifth book, Brave New World (1932), which arose out of his distrust of 20th-century politics and technology, for which he is most remembered. // more
"A Mississippi Freedom Summer Pilgrimage: An Atrocity We Must Never Forget," by Marian Wright Edelman and Julia Cass
This guest post is by Marian Wright Edelman (above), with whom I spent a week in mid-July at the Proctor Institute in Tennessee, and Julia Cass. Edelman is President of the Children's Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities (see www.childrensdefense.org). Edelman's Child Watch Column appears each week on The Huffington Post. Julia Cass is a Pulitizer Prize-winning journalist on assignment for the Children’s Defense Fund.
The site in the photograph below, along a back road near Philadelphia, Mississippi, was the final stop on our step-by-step journey through the final tragic day of Freedom Summer volunteers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. Our guide was Leroy Clemons, a longtime local leader and activist whose family was involved in the civil rights movement in Neshoba County and who is prominently featured in the excellent documentary “Neshoba: The Price of Freedom.” //more
(Recorded June 22, 2014). View this recorded webinar at your convenience.
This webinar consists of two parts. In the first 40 minutes, Ched reports on his just-completed five week speaking trip (June-July 2014), talking about the various communities and events he engaged with across the U.S. and Canada (note: the Powerpoint comes up at 0:14:50). You’ll hear stories of those living out watershed discipleship and solidarity with the marginalized, including the “Moral Monday” movement in North Carolina and the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School in Tennessee. In Part Two, which begins at 0:44:30, Ched looks at the Elijah cycle (I Kg 17 - II Kg 2), covering four archetypes of wilderness prophecy and how this can contribute to our own theology and practices. In the final 10 minute we hear from Detroit theologian Jim Perkinson on his analysis of water justice struggles in his hometown, and his reflections on Jesus’ work as part of a resistance movement rooted in justice, sustainability and wilderness. Upon purchase you will be emailed a pdf with a link and directions on how to view the archived webinar.
Fifty years ago in his Kentucky hermitage, Thomas Merton wrote:
"Let me say this before rain becomes a utility that they can plan and distribute for money. By "they" I mean the people who cannot understand that rain is a festival, who do not appreciate its gratuity, who think that what has no price has no value, that what cannot be sold is not real, so that the only way to make something actual is to place it on the market. The time will come when they will sell you even your rain. At the moment it is still free, and I am in it. I celebrate its gratuity and its meaninglessness." --from “Rain and the Rhinoceros” in Raids on the Unspeakable
Stick with me here, friends. Rain is a gift of grace, falling on the just and the unjust. Its waters are also a necessity of life. In the 1990’s under structural adjustment imposed by the World Bank, water was privatized in Cochabamba, Bolivia. When Bechtel corporation tripled the water rates, people began collecting rain water off their roofs and in cisterns. Whereupon Bechtel claimed all the water belonged to them and tried charging people for the rainwater. This sparked an uprising that drove out the corporation. A decade later the General Assembly of the United Nations declared water to be a human right.
In Detroit at present Governor Snyder through the Emergency Manager has hired dozens of private contractors to shut-off water to120-150,000 homes - any that are more than $150 in arrears. Several things are at work. This is clearly an attempt to make the Water Department cash rich, altering quickly its bottom line, so as to make it more valuable for sale or regionalization. The Water Department is a public trust serving a human right and cannot, must not, be sold to service the banks. Water is the emblem of the commons, not to be privatized and commodified. //more
The purpose of chedmyers.org is to provide one-stop access to writing and talks by Ched Myers.
Ched is an activist theologian, biblical scholar, popular educator, author, organizer and advocate who has for 35 years been challenging and supporting Christians to engage in peace and justice work and radical discipleship.
Learn more below about Ched’s:
- Life and Activism
- Writing (including a full bibliography)
- work as part of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries