What are you reading this week, and have you considered how to read with your fully embodied and relational self?
Lent is fully underway. And the world is watching an entirely unjust war unfold in Ukraine. Refugees are flooding out of the country. It’s Women’s History Month. And Covid cases are down. People are gathering in person and with care for worship. Yet the ways we gather seem to be dramatically and enduringly changed.
Whatever is happening in the world, we still read. We read for news and information. Reading inspires and moves us to action. We read so that we can prepare to preach and teach and organize our communities of faith. We still have a long way to go, when reading scripture, to make room for everyone in the text.
Reading Scripture with Rev. Dr. Angela Parker
This week I’m delighted to share PART I of my recent conversation with Rev. Dr. Angela Parker, assistant professor of New Testament and Greek at McAfee School of Theology. We talked about her new book If God Still Breathes, Why Can’t I? And we talked about how important it is to read scripture in ways that makes room for everyone’s experiences. In particular we need to make space for Black and Brown bodies to show up and be seen and heard with each reading of the text.
As a womanist biblical scholar, Dr. Parker says we must loosen the grip of authoritarian approaches to the Bible. They have their hands around our necks. Authoritarian interpretations center whiteness and maleness. And they cut off life and connection to God. And they exclude women’s experiences and the perspectives and experience of people of color. Such diminished readings need to be challenged and tossed out.
The engagement with Dr. Parker was so rich! We will share Part II of the conversation with her later in Women’s History Month. You can also read her meditation on giving ourselves permission to BE earlier this year.
Would you like to join us for upcoming conversations on Lunch Time Live? We would love for you to pull up a seat, take out your lunch, and be part of the conversation. Follow us on Facebook to get notifications of future Lunch Time Live events.
Women’s History Month
We are so delighted to commend Dr. Parker’s new book to you for Women’s History Month. We hope you will order it and start a conversation with her insights. Also, by signing up for our weekly Monday email, you will be in the drawing for a copy of If God Still Breathes, Why Can’t I? The history of biblical interpretation stands in need of correction. The missteps and violence related to gender-bias, racialized-bias, homophobia, and antisemitism (and more) are desperately in need correction.
Speaking of efforts to correct and offer new interpretations…. We are also thrilled that Pastoral Imagination: Bringing the Practice of Ministry to Life to be on the reading list for for Women’s History Month! Check out the Fortress Blog for more great ideas!
13 Books by Women Scholars to Add to Your Reading List.
Thanks for including me on the list, @Fortresspress!
Also books by: @Gracejisunkim and @terimcdowellott #WomensHistoryMonth https://t.co/H2sKlMa8LG
— Eileen Campbell-Reed #BlackLivesMatter (@ecampbellreed) March 3, 2022
Picturing Pastoral Imagination
How do you envision your practice of ministry? What is your unique perspective? What do you see, as author and pastor Traci Smith puts it, that rarely anyone else sees?
This Lenten season we are inviting you to see your ministry as a spiritual practice. We hope you will reflect on that practice. And then we invite you to share images and help others see it in a new way. We have pulled together themes for each day in Lent. You will find inspiration for each theme in the Pastoral Imagination book and Season One 3MMM videos. You can download a single page PDF (fully linked) to remind you of the themes.
If you share a photo-a-day — or any day in Lent — use the hashtag #pastoralimagination. Thank you for helping us show the world the beauty, grace, and power of love in action with your images.
Watch this short video to learn more!