It’s time for Action & Reading

Join us beginning 1/27/2020 for a time of reading, discussion, snacks and fellowship as we begin our book club with Monique W. Morris Push Out.  We will have both a face to face group and a digital club on Facebook!  Please let me know if you’d like an invite. Peace and Blessings to you all.

Mrs. AllyM

What’s up…

It’s been a minute since I wrote an update. Recently I spoke at Creation and the City of God Consultation sponsored by Global Ministries on the topic of inclusion. Inclusion is one of those hot topics within the United Methodist Church these days because it can be defined in so many ways. Defined in terms of race, gender, ability and sexuality. All of these are labels that to often we frequently use it as a way to categorize and seperate others to our liking although Christ’s teachings tell us the oposite. It is not the role of the church to exclude but rather to include people regardless of the label a person uses to define identity and location within the church or the world as parish throughout the globe.

In other news in terms of what’s up I listened to a sermon today about healing as part of sermon series categorized as living resurrection  using Mark 5 v. 24-34 as the text. The sermon was preached by Rev. Amy Roon, one of the pastors at University Congregational United Church of Christ in Seattle, Washington. The sermon reminded me of a conversation I recently had with my fiance about just what is missing from the church as we know it. We discussed hospitality, just what that looks like, and who can and should spread The Word of Christ and lead congregations. We talked about ableism and apologies. Too often its not an apology that is needed but rather courage to step out to be oneself. To live out the resurrection is that healing is outward love not that we should opress others because they are different from those in the crowd but instead we should embrace all despite their labels or identity.

How do you define hospitality?  How do you live out the resurrection? Is hospitality evident when everyone in your congregation looks the same? Is hospitality evident when congregants come as they are? What about how guests feel when visiting? Do you accept testimonies different than your own?   What about when someone steps forward with boldness such as the woman mentioned in the text?

The same questions come to light when attending conferences. What is the panel like? Does the keynote’s message truly align with the topic at hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shifting, Belonging, Finding Space

Spring, a time of new birth new horizons remains missing in action. Spring where are you? It’s time for growth, time for rebirth and newness. Grateful during this time of stalled spring I’m grateful for listening ears, space to dream, space to share parts of my calling. While I write to today listening to prophetic resistance podcast and profane faith. Grateful for the joy of baptism this morning and also the joy of birth announcements and of new life among my circle of classmates and colleagues.

 

 

New Horizons….A New Year…

This season of waiting known as Advent is almost over. Only a few more days remain in the year. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step or so they say. I myself am starting out a new journey of my own. This season of waiting has been a long one reading Howard Thurman’s The Mood of Christmas has been a great reminder of what’s left to do in this world.  Thurman’s poem ” The Work of Christmas” will be a focus for me in the coming year. See the featured image if you’d like to read it.

 

Figuring out my plans and goals for what lies ahead. In  my last post I mentioned potential talks and courses I’d like to accomplish. Feel free to check in with me throughout the year accountability speaks volumes.

1. In this next chapter I will return to graduate work and return to academia. 2. In the immediate I will complete my application for the Hoover grant pursing work on reproductive justice and disability.  3.Seek new consulting opportunities in making my community and society more inclusive when it comes to race and disability. 4.Develop outlet for children with disabilities and their families outside of school to work on social skills and life skills such as being stopped by police, finding a job and applications, and college. 5. Read more for fun, theology, faith and scripture. 6. Pursue my loc journey  7. Self Care 8. Relationships 9. Consider foster care/adoption 10. Scripture focus for the coming year: Isaiah 41: 31 & Philippians 4. 10.  Be more consistent blogging and writing. Thankful for the motivation to keep going,  the healing sentiments of ginger ale and fresh starts.

Future visions: Talks & Teaching

Thinking aloud about things yet to come.  Coming back to thoughts on my experience at AAR/SBL ( American Academy of Religion)  (Society of Biblical Literature) and the work that remains. As some of you know I currently work in K-12 special education striking to find a balance between the local church, the academy and the secular realm we live in.

Thinking about some courses I would like to teach or develop in the future for undergraduates and possibly some grad students. A course titled  Say her name: hashtags, disability, and women of color  to examine the influence  of social media at the intersection of social justice, disability from the lens of women of color.

Purple splendor: A theological look at women of color, disability and trauma. This course would examine the influence of trauma from the lens of women of color and the influence of disability and Womanist thought.

Checks, labels and the illusion of prosperity in a post Obama world in the age of Trump: An examination  of Christian ethics

Living your best life being a person of color  & disability: Economics, Real world encounters and life skills. This course would provide real skills including managing finances on a fixed income such as SSI/disabilty, dealing with police brutality and dealing with the Un Justice system, finding community resources.  Too many black and brown are being trafficked and dying at the hands of police.

Reproductive justice and disability: An exploration on incorporating disability into the reproductive justice movement.

An exploration of Micah 6:8 in a time of resistance . Just one or all three

Black is beautiful: intersection and identity politics

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Intersections and being open

So intersections in this day and age are unavoidable despite the choices we are sometimes are forced to make  for our own safety and sanity.But every once and a while the opportunity comes along that you can be free and open to share and just be. Thankful for the joy of the chance to be and laugh and talk and smile.

Advent thoughts

A prayerful reflection
Next steps. New chapters. Black & brown death happening , not valued enough. Disabled bodies devalued the cost deemed too high, women & men cry out me too. No place is sacred or safe. Health care snatched away. Disarray in the White House, ignorance that is Trump. Love exists but at what cost. We continue to wait this Advent season. Waiting for hope, Waiting for peace. Waiting for joy .

God help our nation and those around the globe. Heal our lands as fires rage. Send healing balms for our hearts & tongues. Let white supremacy,misogyny & the other isms die rather than continue destroying lives. Lord we are watching and waiting this Advent season. In the name of the one you sent I pray, Amen

On your dash….

This entry is inspired in part by a sermon I heard a few weeks ago preached by Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Sr. at  the Proctor Institute held annually at Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee.

Aug 7 at 11:06 AM

When you take away the labels and the layers , intersections boils down to identity and how are you making use of your time on the dash. The dash is the space between birth and death. Life is fragile. So make it count.  What about those days when it seems everything is stuck in neutral or it seems call backs serve no real purpose other than to say your overqualified or just not what we are looking for. The voices who speak to say there’s essentially nothing wrong with you so just teach. Well news flash today’s K 12 classrooms aren’t what they used to be. Now back to identity, layers and what that has to do with the dash.The time we have on the dash is precious. Learning that sometimes its better not to settle and shifting takes longer than I’d like. 

As many of you know I’ve previously spoken about the challenge of society making a person choose a particular identity to subscribe to for example in some circles it is simplest to an African-American although the weight that label carries is indeed a heavy one despite the many people who say “I don’t see color” or it doesn’t matter in this day and time.  Or the gift that some of us that some of us have so graciously embraced as people of color.

Ecclesiastes chapter 3 opens with the famous poem of activities and their appropriate seasons along with the reminder that their is a season for everything. It doesn’t explicitly talk about gender in context to a hierarchy between the two but rather no one task is better or worse than another  the two are equal.  So if  there is nothing new under the sun and activities are egalitarian by nature then these intersections of race, disability and gender are undeniable.

Although with scripture is evident in backing up this claim we live in a modern society which strives to make us choose. In the realm of disability I’ve been one who’s been told well you don’t look disabled mind you last time I checked all disabilities aren’t the same nor do you know my story or walked in my shoes.

In terms of gender and being female in this world my time spent at a women’s college has added to my confidence in this regard. The struggle in terms of pay  how is it that although many of us work twice as hard  we continue to be paid less and judged on a different standard her hair is too kinky, she is too thin, she is to thick, why is she wearing that. On the dash gender reminds me of time and expectations. It brings to mind thoughts of things have I yet to accomplish. Goals in terms of relationship, education ( Pleasant surprise my GPA at graduation from my masters in special education was higher than I thought. #untententionalscholar) and career.

Brings to mind thoughts of the Church and nonprofit circles where advancement is possible but at what cost. A reminder of an elderly woman who I met some years ago who informed me I couldn’t both a Rev. and Dr.  because women don’t do that…..last I checked women have been granted full clergy rights since 1956 in the United Methodist Church. As it currently stands  14 women currently serve as bishop. In addition Rev. Leontine T.C. Kelly was elected the first African-American Women bishop in 1984, troubling it took so long but none the less she persisted. And last year the stained glass ceiling was shattered a little more when 4 African-American women were elected as bishop.  My own calling as it it stands presently is not to serve as bishop but rather through social justice and education within the local church and beyond helping future clergy and others. Still discerning what exactly that looks like.

 

In terms of disability it is part of who I am but not its entirety. Tenacity is the word that comes to mind when I think about my own life and experience as a person with cerebral palsy. Hasn’t been an easy journey but all the more reason to keep pressing forward. In terms of the dash its fuel to the fire to beat the odds.

 

In terms of blackness on the dash black girl magic is here to stay! Black brilliance! Black Excellence! Its time we as black people affirm our excellence, affirm our brilliance and our excellence. How you may wonder? Vote, teach, be active in your community and learn your history. Use your skills to help others, uplift children and hold them to high standards.  Children learn so much not by what we say but by what we do. You may never know that you are the only Christ or role model some child or other adult may encounter so live accordingly.

 

Guess that’s it for now. Be well. Live well on your dash. Remember life is precious!

Thoughts on waiting: an Advent reflection

In this season of Advent we people of faith, followers of Christ are reminded of Mary & Joseph’s wait to reach their destination despite its intended mission, the wait for their marriage, the wait for a place to lay their heads while on their journey and the impending birth of Christ. In today’s world many remain in waiting still. We wait for change, we pray for peace, we pray for safety in Aleppo, cease fire in our streets, sanctity for black and brown bodies. Grateful for those who comfort those who mourn in this waiting period, those who bring the word & all who receive it. We pray that children remain children whose innocence is sacred. Take care of yourself in this time of waiting for it permeates all you encounter. Watch your energy. Be patient. Know your worth. Love self. Love others. Nurture your gifts and use them for your benefit and that of others.

This year has been a roller coaster to say the least  so as we look back remember that we made it still here so there must be still work left to do. Hopeful for what’s next. Joyful for simple triumphs, Love through it all and keep going anyhow. Too far to quit, too many lives to impact. Keep grinding , keep reading, keep praying , keep listening God’s not done yet.

 

Self Care Check in

Resting on Sunday morning before things get busy- the live stream begins, lesson planning, grocery shopping & a mountain of laundry. I having a cup of hot tea while reading Otis Moss III’s Blue Note Preaching in a Post Soul World…. Have you checked in with yourself lately ? If not I encourage you to do so.