A circle of womxn/women is forming this summer to create community and sacred space together. We’ll gather to connect over Shameless, the latest book from Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber. This circle is an invitation to sip and snack with new friends as we discuss sex, sexuality, queerness, bodies, reproduction and the cultivation of a faith that might free, rather than shame, us.
We gather on Tuesday evenings from 7-9 pm from July 9-August 27. Meet outside Bright Place Gallery under the tent on the south side of the building. Look for the friendly women-types in the garden! Sips and snacks available (but always optional) from nearby Bevel Craft Brewing and campus food carts.
Suggested donation of $0-$80 for the round, including the book. Sign up by July 2 if you’d like us to order your book; otherwise, just show up! No RSVP necessary. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up or for more information.
The book and our leadership emerge from the Lutheran tradition, but all perspectives are invited and encouraged. This circle is rooted in the Storydwelling community, and you can learn more about our welcome and our values here. Trans, non-binary, queer, lesbian, cis, hetero and all beautiful varieties of womxn are warmly invited. The more perspectives around the table, the more wisdom available to us.
Musician in Residence stipended position
$250 per week, approximately 10 hours a week
The Musician in Residence will be the curator and innovator of all things music for the Storydwelling community. Storydwelling is an ecumenical and affirming community of faith committed to love, liberation and relationship. We are rooted in the progressive theology of the Lutheran and Methodist traditions, and we long to explore the beautiful and creative edges of what is possible as we curate new theological vocabulary and spiritual imagination. We are committed to taking action for justice and peace in our neighborhoods and world.
The primary responsibility of the Musician in Residence is to craft new music for this community and to curate a tone and spiritual vocabulary that aligns with our values and commitments. We imagine the MiR working among us as she/he/they do the creative work of putting our commitments to music. These need not be master compositions; simple tunes and chants are our speed!
A secondary responsibility will be to lead our community in music at our regular gatherings and at special events, but these tasks should contribute to the creative work of the MiR rather than distract or consume too much time.
Of course, the MiR is welcome to be a part of our community in whatever ways feel right, but participation in all gatherings is not required. We are a community rooted in Christianity, but we love and honor all perspectives; in fact, the more perspectives the better!
Musical skill insomuch as one can craft new music for a community as well as lead music for a community
Willingness to cultivate the musical gifts of others in the community
Flexibility and adaptability
A sense of humor
Openness to exploring theological and spiritual language and practices insomuch as they connect with the community’s musical expressions
Availability on most weekends and some holidays
Story Dwelling expects all of its staff and community to commit to our core values:
Y’all means all: we affirm the identities, backgrounds, and perspectives of all people
God is a relational experience, and so relationship–rather than doctrine or dogma–is of primary value; we cultivate relationship through listening and sharing our stories.
Faith is intentional: curiosity, wonder, awe are encouraged and cultivated.
We steward sacred texts: of our scripture(s) and the sacred texts of our lives and stories.
Out of relationship, we take hopeful action for justice and peace.
This is a part-time position. Compensation is a stipended rate of $250 per week with the expectation of working 10 hours/week, recognizing that some weeks will require less time and some weeks (Christmas, for example) will require more time. The position will begin August 1 and end December 31.
This position is brand new and will develop and adapt as community and musician need it to. If all goes well, there is a good possibility of this extending beyond December 31 and becoming a permanent staff position.
If interested, please contact email@example.com to set up an initial meeting. Please send a sample recording or video that shows you “in your element” musically. Applications accepted on a rolling basis until position is filled.
Storydwelling is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, parental status, documentation status or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.
People of color, people with disabilities, and people of diverse sexual orientations, gender expressions and identities are encouraged to apply.
Each year, the church calendar invites us to spend a week reflecting on and embodying the cycle of death and life that is human existence. The calendar calls this Holy Week.
Friends, all days are holy; none more holy than another. But this week is meant to be a remembrance: of a life lived in G-d–the rabbi Jesus–and of all of our lives lived in G-d/Source/Mystery.
Our invitation is to spend a week in intentional reflection and celebration together through music, storytelling, hiking and feasting. During these holy days, we remember and acknowledge that the world crucifies those who resist, those on the edges; crucifies the edges of our own stories and lives. And yet: we trust this is not the last word. When we gather together, we remember how true it is:
life wants to live.
This evening gathering invites us to reflect on the shadow side of our human lives and the Love that was and is crucified in solidarity with crucified people and communities in our world. We gather at one of our homes for an out-loud reading of the story of Jesus of Nazareth’s betrayal and execution, blended with the music of Brandi Carlile. You can expect to gather for about an hour with singing, prayer, candles and a campfire. All are welcome. Send us a quick note to receive the address.
As Holy Week invites us to reflect on life and death, we commit to acts of hopeful resistance as our kin and neighbors seek life in a death-dealing world. The ability to drive legally is a core everyday need for Oregon families. The Oregon legislature has the opportunity to pass House Bill 2015 this legislative session, a bill that would help ensure that all Oregonians can access a license to drive and have
a legal way to identify themselves. No family should fear being separated for driving to work, school or their house of worship. Our elected officials need to hear from us! Join us for this town hall at First Presbyterian in Bend to hear stories about how equal access to roads would strengthen our community.
This is the celebration of Easter, Storydwelling style! The Easter vigil is the oldest form of Easter celebration, and it is a night of stories. Yes, the stories in the Bible are unbelievable. But on Easter eve, we reclaim them, tell them, honor them. These are old wives’ tales and we get to love them into something more powerful than any textbook. We begin the evening outside around the campfire and then we spend the next TWO HOURS telling stories from the Hebrew tradition, singing and doing art together. This is more coffee house than it is “church service.” The evening culminates with a big celebration: Preaching! Wine & bread! Champagne! It’s all here. Yes, this gathering is long, but there are treats and activities for families all along the way. Absolutely all are welcome. Thanks to Nativity Lutheran for letting us use the space! We gather in the prayer garden on the east side of the parking lot.
Join us for an Easter hike to the top of Lava Butte (https://www.hikespeak.com/trails/lava-butte-hike-newburry-nvm-bend/)! We’ll meet up for an outdoor adventure to fill our lungs with Life and walk with footsteps of persistent Love. All are welcome. Bring a lunch or some snacks with you to enjoy at the summit with breathtaking Cascade views. We’ll bring the champagne! What a way to share in communion on this sacred day!
The hike is on a paved road and is about 3.5 miles total (1.75 miles each way). Parking is at the Lava Lands Visitors Center lot. Bring a valid Northwest Forest Pass to park for free or cash to pay $5 for parking. Pets on a leash are welcome.
We’ll meet at the parking lot beginning at 10:30 a.m. and start the hike at 11 a.m. If you miss us, we’ll meet you at the top for lunch!
First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
— Excerpt from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail
This letter has always been one of my scriptures: for the ways it makes me weep and holds a mirror to my face and invites me to gaze with love at our world.
Just as all good scriptures do.
I have beloveds who have lately said to me: “I want to be loving. I want to be compassionate. I want to transcend the lines that divide us–political, religious, ideological. But people keep disappointing me. They keep choosing compromise over me. They keep choosing religious doctrine over me. They keep choosing ‘peace’ over me.”
I invited our community to reflect this past weekend on where, how and with whom we are longing to “make room” for relationship. How our communal “womb” is invited to stretch and grow and be challenged for the sake of new life. I think it’s a good question: few of us can say we have learned to love others with perfect hospitality.
And yet: so many of us have already had to “make room.” To stand aside and let our relationships be more important than our pride, our dignity, our talents. We have already been making room for family members, colleagues, local governments, the wider culture to struggle with our sex or sexuality, our race, our age, our dreams and our visions. You name it, many of us have already learned to make room for it. Often, we have done it out of love. Often it is under duress and by force for the sake of survival.
I say “we” and “our” and yet am aware that Rev. King’s invitation is to me and folks like me: white, middle-class spiritual leaders. I weep when I read this letter, because that is the feeling of my womb being stretched. Room must be made in my mind, my actions, my energy, my body for the humanity and freedom of every single one of my sacred siblings.
Because we are accountable to our relationships. We (particularly people with power/privilege) can say or think or tweet or behave or vote or pray however we want, but we cannot do it without expecting some relational consequences. There is a line.
It need not divide us forever, it need not dismiss someone or banish them outside of a community or a circle or from our lives entirely. For what it’s worth, my theology, my Bible and my relationship with the Holy do not send folks to an afterlife hell.
But we must ask, expect and–when the time comes–require from our relationships speech, actions, and behavior that are loving, respectful and humanizing. And, dare I say, awe-filled. We are invited to be in awe of one another by the Spirit who dwells within each of us.
So, yeah, there’s a line.
Among the community that is becoming Story Dwelling, we have that kind of line. We expect justice-love from one another. We will not engage in debate about whether someone is fully human, fully beloved, fully justified (to use that oh-so-religious word). That means LGBTQ+ folx are not “them”–”they” are us. Leaders. Organizers. Collaborators. That means women and people of color and young people and immigrants and refugees are not “them”– “they” are us. We will not debate our marriages, our leadership, our giftedness. We may experience tension about how best to strategize; we may realize we have messed up and forgotten to invite someone to the table; we may struggle with our own feelings of guilt that come with privilege or feelings of inadequacy that come with oppression. We will struggle with those things. But we will not debate our worth or our liberation destiny. That is not what beloved community does. The same good reverend whose life we celebrate today teaches us that.
There is a line. It need not separate us. But it does need to be a loving boundary–a trustworthy, hospitable and strong-as-hell container–that allows for vulnerability and deep belonging and loving story-telling. We deserve that kind of womb, and our neighborhoods deserve faith communities that respond to that sense of belonging by working, pushing, conspiring– until all belong.
What if there are lots of ways of making meaning of the life of that first-century rabbi? What if we could explore the story and find the ways it has bearing our lives, especially on the eve of an election? Those are my thoughts as I walk the path. Special thanks to Smith Rock for the gorgeous backdrop.
The Bible can feel so…what’s the word I’m looking for? Wounding? Irrelevant? Unbelievable? Here’s my attempt at starting a conversation on how we can claim the Bible in its wisdom in ways that make us better lovers of neighbor and self.
This is the fourth in our series on disrupting, reclaiming and expanding parts of Christian language, tradition and ritual for our lives and experiences here and now.
You don’t get assassinated for preaching about love.
A Good Friday sermon in eight words.
But! It is the Easter season.
My technicolor hard-boiled eggs sit uneaten in the fridge (I’ll get to them…tomorrow) and our family has left town and I need to take a break from mimosas for a little while for reasons that should require no explanation.
It is the Easter season. Christ is risen.
It is the Easter season. Alleluias everywhere.
And today is April 4, 1968, and my call is calling me back to Good Friday.
(Except April 4, 1968, was a Thursday.
That’s okay: betrayal works too.)
You don’t get assassinated for preaching about love.
This is the conviction that lies underneath #whitechurchsilent. #whitechurchsilent is an online movement started in the wake of the 2016 election. It describes the phenomenon that occurs when pastors, leaders and congregations that are mostly white, that belong to mostly white denominations, that were started by white people, choose not to speak explicitly about the injustices and violence done to black and brown people in our neighborhoods and country.
Instead, we talk about love. Which is almost like not saying anything at all.
Which is why you don’t get assassinated for preaching about love.
Which is why I, and many of my pastor-preacher-minister-type colleagues are going to be just fine.
We are safe when we are being called to be bold.
Like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated in Memphis on this day in 1968. For preaching about love–and how it cannot be decoupled from power and justice.
“We’ve worked hard to create a vision of King that is like a black Santa Claus,” says Charles McKinney, associate professor of history at Rhodes College. (I listened to his interview today on The Takeaway from WNYC; you can (and should) listen to it, too.) In other words, popular American culture memorializes Rev. King as someone who preached about love, and it has forgotten that he was called to Memphis to defend and affirm the lives of sanitation workers who were on strike, to challenge the city to give them a living wage. It was part of a campaign he was igniting to restructure the fabric of human life in the United States and to confront the reality of poverty.
You don’t get assassinated for preaching about love, remember?
Professor McKinney compares the popular culture version of Rev. King to Barney the Dinosaur singing “I love you, you love me”; he calls him “toothless.” He says we–and by “we” I mean corporate, political and religious forces who benefit (or at least remain safe) by promoting this sanitized version–have whittled Rev. King’s narrative down to one that is about love. The Hallmark kind. But the kind of love that King preached about was the kind of love that demanded we be in the streets; that demanded we work on behalf of and alongside the disinherited. It was the kind of love that got him killed.
So this is my commitment: to expand my imagination and my heart in ways that move me from safe to bold. To let you, my friends and neighbors, invite me into that transformation. It is not always easy to imagine what Rev. King’s work might look like in Central Oregon; at least three times a week someone tells me “how white” it is here. We can debate that informal (and changing) statistic, but the real question is: do we here in Oregon not still see the three main evils Rev. King was called to challenge?
Racism; militarism; poverty.
Those among us who are undocumented know these evils.
Those among us who are underemployed and unsafely housed know these evils.
How about #whitechurchbold?
How about #whitechurchlistening?
How about #whitechurchstandswith?
At Easter, I, alongside many others, celebrate the persistent life of the One who got assassinated for preaching about love that transforms the powers of the-world-as-it-is for the sake of justice on earth as it is in heaven.
May we listen to such bold calls and live by such bold examples.
This is the third in our series on disrupting, reclaiming and expanding parts of Christian language, tradition and ritual for our lives and experiences here and now.