PSA: Pentecost and Feminism

This past Sunday was Pentecost, the day we remember and celebrate the Holy Spirit descending indiscriminately upon a crowd of friends, strangers, neighbors, and passersby. The idea being that all were included and that all were equal participants in the Holy Spirit. With that in mind, we chose to include in this Sunday’s worship a blessing of the animals as well.

There were around 25 dogs and two turtles. The service was outside, and the Sunday school kids were running around next door. It was a little bit of a madhouse, but that is exactly what I wanted. Unabashed noises of life all around, unencumbered by social norms and expectations. I can only imagine what kind of chaos ensued on the actual day of Pentecost. Voices so loud and diverse you wouldn’t have been able to preach if you wanted to. There wasn’t time to have an orderly service; barriers were too busy falling down, strangers too busy becoming friends. There was a social and cultural hierarchy based on exclusion being turned to rubble.

Now I am obviously guessing and most likely idealizing this day and event, but frankly I need that ideal. The fact that I can imagine something like that happening, however impossible, means I can still hope and strive for the values within it. This has been a season of frustration for me. There have been many moments of blatant sexism, derogatory comments on my clothing, and an unwillingness to interact with me as an equal due to my sex. This is not a new thing to be hearing or writing about with things such as the “Me Too” movement going around, nor is it as terrible as what some women go through on a daily basis. I say this because I want to be careful to name my privilege as a white body, and intention of only speaking for myself and not all female experiences.  

These moments are frustrating because I don’t want to become the “man-hater”, or the one “causing an unnecessary ruckus.” But it’s not a coincidence that these stereotypes come up when women speak up.  They come up because it is an attempt to invalidate my words and assuage those who are made uncomfortable. So I am stuck between a rock and a hard place… stay quiet and accumulate that hurt and frustration, or voice it and wear the frustrating and hurtful label. So far I am trying to listen to my emotional boundaries and act accordingly… sometimes acting and sometimes letting it go… but either way, I go home with a heavy weight in my bones. Oh, and PSA: When I wear shirts or say things jokingly (but serious) like “destroy the patriarchy”… and someone says “isn’t that insulting to (insert male name here)?”, it hurts my heart because what I hear is that you think my advocacy for women means that I hate all men, and wish upon them the oppression women face. This is simply untrue; a warped interpretation speaking more to the insecurities of some men than the aspirations of women. Why does it have to be one or the other? Men or Women? I have experienced the system of patriarchy to be one where men’s voices create the rules, establish the norms, assume the power, and assign blame elsewhere. So if anyone should be insulted here, you are right. It should insult anyone to be spoken for in such a way without being there to defend themselves. Hopefully one day we won’t have to protect the fragile masculine ego. If there is anything you take away from this post today… let it be that when I speak of destroying the patriarchy and being a feminist, I hope that men will have the courage to do the same. I hope men and women understand that I mean advocacy for EQUAL opportunity, for an acknowledgement that the assault women go through is real and not our fault, and for social/cultural/political change. Men are not the enemy… many just don’t think to ask how they can be a part of the solution. 

So, like the Pentecost service this Sunday, if there is going to be chaos in this world and in our churches, let it be the holy kind. Let it be due to inclusion, due to vulnerability, the willingness to let our pride go, due to dismantling oppressive hierarchies, and most of all… due to the Holy Spirit.

Oops, it’s been 3 weeks

Well, as you can tell, my follow through/continuity with projects is at its best… not great. I cant believe three weeks has gone by already. My goal is to get something out every other week.

But anyhow, attached at the bottom is a video of my sermon from April 8th, 2018. This is what ended up coming out of my thoughts and ideas from the previous post. Funny how things can turn out so differently. I had meant this to be more of a social justice sermon, and there are hints of it in there, but I ended up being drawn in a different direction. I am excited to share it, because I am very proud of it. People tend to not realize how much work goes into sermon prepping (if you have the ideal time to do so). There are commentaries to be read, words to be analyzed, scripture to be mulled over, themes in one’s life that need to be observed, and a meditative listening for where the Holy Spirit is drawing your attention and emotions. It is so easy to get caught up in ALL of the things you would like to say about the scripture or idea that it gets disorienting. Over the course of prepping I end up asking myself multiple times, “ugh, what am I trying to do? What do I want to say?”

So as I sit here, surrounded by a desk covered in paper for 18534645 things I have to get done, I find myself taking a deep breath and asking myself, “what am I trying to do?” And honestly, the only real answer I can give right now is that I just want to share the joy, fascination, and sense of awe and excitement I get from studying scripture, theology, and life. It helps me find that connecting line between all the seemingly random things I get to do  on a daily basis. And while that answer is tangibly useless in regards to which task to complete next, it is a helpful. reorienting, and energizing reminder. So I recommend this practice to any and everyone. No matter where you are or what you choose to be doing in life right now, ask “what am i trying to do?” It doesn’t have to be some meta understanding of your life in the world. It could be as simple as “I am trying to enjoy and appreciate my day today.” The point is that it helps us to be a little more present to the moment, to the day, and to the little ways that our body, our passions, and our faiths guide us through each minute, month, and lifetime. Namaste.

Sermon Prep

So I was asked to preach again this Sunday and the text in the lectionary is “Doubting Thomas.” I’ve been letting the scripture stew in my brain over the past week and reading commentaries in an effort to discern where I needed to go with this sermon. Then I woke up this morning to the notification on my phone that it was the 50th anniversary of MLK’S  assassination. As I was reading an article on MLK, it struck me how powerful this parallel of life manifesting after death was, in the lives of both MLK and Jesus. Jesus returned to his disciples resurrected, but not without the violent wounds of his life and death still marking his body. Martin Luther King Jr. lives on as an icon and inspiration to all of us seeking peace, unity, and real racial reconciliation ( not white conformity) but never outside of the fact that a deeply violent act perpetrated by our still deeply broken society is what took him away from us. So as I continue to think through my sermon I offer up that connection as food for thought. How do we sit with this idea that hope, grace, Resurrection, and reconciliation are not fairy tale lands where everything is perfect, but possibly a place where we have the strength to face the wounds we have both perpetrated upon others and wear on our own skin?

Here is an episode from the podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text on book 1, chapter 12: The Mirror of Erised. It uses White Privilege as its lens in which to read this chapter. I don’t agree with everything expressed in this episode but it does combine two of my favorite things- Harry Potter and open honest conversations about race. I offer it as potential conduit or starting off point for dialogue surrounding race, class, white privilege, and how we can be more aware of how it influences all of our lives.

Easter Season Blessing

Oh God,

you have raised the sun on this new day. You have shone a light on what was once ruled by unimaginable darkness. Just as you rolled away the stone from the Tomb of Jesus, help us to roll away the stone in our hearts that blocks us from feeling the beautiful rays of redemptive sunshine on our faces and souls. Help us to find the strength of Mary Magdalene and Mary mother of James… who braved the possibility of facing Jesus’ broken body all in an effort to honor and anoint him. Let us go forth, braving the brokenness of this world, seeking to see the Son in all who pass by, and anoint them with the love, grace, and mercy shown to all by Jesus Christ.


“Whoever you are, you are human. Wherever you are, you live in the world, which is just waiting for you to notice the holiness in it.”
― Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith

Am I Crazy?

Thanks for joining me on this blog journey! I’ve been craving a space to share my sermons, thoughts, prayers, and observations as I continue the craziness that is being a young female church leader. I cherish words, writing, music, art, theology… anything that wonders about the truth of our universe. I love hearing and reading anything that speaks to real emotion and what it is like to walk around in this confusing yet impossibly divine world we find ourselves in. My hope is that through sharing my own experiences of “cracking my shins” upon some unexpected truth, beauty, experience… is that someone who has had similar experiences can find themselves reading this and feel less alone in their experience, or less crazy for the truth they found there. I would love to hear thoughts, insight, input, into anything that comes up in this space.


“Earth is so thick with divine possibility that it is a wonder we can walk anywhere without cracking our shins on altars.”
― Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith