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Along with a group of clergy colleagues I am reading the book “Down Girl, The Logic of Misogyny” by Kate Manne. The book begins with stories about violence against women but then moves into a philosophical discussion and assessment of sexism and misogyny with some commentary on misogynoir (misogyny directed to women of color). It is an extremely thought provoking book, and I am only part way through the book.

So, with this narrative in mind, I have many thoughts about the reading in Luke today about Martha and Mary and values of patriarchal society that informs how both women and men view the dominant role of men and the role of women to nurture and coddle men. It is a worldview that can pit women against women, influenced by who is being the “good” girl according to this ideology and who is not. Is Martha the good woman? Or is Mary? Or, are they each within a view that clashes a patriarchal norm with a changing paradigm?

Well, maybe the paradigm was not changing that much 2000 years ago. Or maybe, as Jesus influenced those around him, it was changing just that radically? We’ll never really know. The point I’d make is that with God all things are being made new and the challenges to change with in fact change everything. In time.

I am actually working with the summer series, Unraveled from A Sactified Art. This summer series includes 12 scripture readings combined with art and meditations on how to search for God when everything we know is unraveling. It’s been a compelling series for us thus far as I have replaced the RCL first reading with the designated reading for Unraveled. I am also doing sermon dialogue time and the conversations we are having as a congregation are insightful as we end up making connections between the readings and the issues in our world today, such as the deep concerns we have about the separation of families at the Mexico/US border and the subsequent caging of children and adults and deprivation of basic needs.

So where will we go this Sunday? I can only imagine, but I expect it will be provocative.

What about you? What text are you focusing on? And what is God calling out in you? This is the 11th Hour Preacher Party and we are here to journey with you as you prepare to feed your people with the living Word of God.

The Rev. Terri C. Pilarski is an Episcopal priest serving a parish in Dearborn, Michigan. She’s been a member of RevGalBlogPals since 2006 and blogs at Seeking Authentic Voice.

RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com

8 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: To Do and To Be

  1. I’m focusing on Mary and Martha and the different seasons where our focus may shift from more active engagement to more contemplative time and back again. Coincidentally, I’m officiating a graveside service this morning and one of the texts is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – a time and a season for all purposes. I’m also trying to discern what to do re: some distressing news from Monday and some advice related to self-care as I continue grieving the loss of my mother a few months ago. I have tea and locally grown blueberries to offer today.

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  2. Going off lectionary this weekend for a reflection on the 50th anniversary of the U.S. team’s landing on the moon — which for me happened the summer after my high school graduation. Scripture text: Psalm 8. Sermon title: “If We Can Put a Man on the Moon…” Reflections on the immanence and transcendence of God, human limitations, what we can do and what we can’t, and perhaps a few questions about “why can’t we…?” Big event coming up next Friday night: Dr. William Barber coming to my church for a panel discussion on “Cancertown: A conversation on the most toxic air in America.” Discussing the impact of chemical plants along the Mississippi River. Why can’t we NOT pollute the air to the point that people are developing cancer from it?

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    1. Good questions for reflection…and wow! you do have a big event coming up, centered a very important question. We face some similar toxic air where I am, that is located over one particularly poor, immigrant section of town and little incentive to clean it and prevent it from being so toxic. Blessings on you day tomorrow and on that conversation on Friday.

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  3. Back from a week of study leave and preaching about the gospel story as an exhortation to presence and away from distractedness, which gives me an opportunity to talk about having been with Benedictines. Meanwhile I have to admit to being focused mostly on personal family and friend things, and needing to hear my own preaching to re-orient to church. I’m also bingeing on Grace and Frankie as a way of avoiding the heat, if you’d like to join me.

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    1. Grace and Frankie! And yes, wow. It is really hot. So…the gospel this week is calling you to presence, instead of distractedness, I like that take on the reading. I myself can find loads of ways to be distracted instead of present.

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  4. Less than a week back from a 10-day contemplative pilgrimage to Newfoundland, where it was blessedly cool (with some lovely sunshine even!), I’m drawn to “the most important thing,” and how we identify it in our lives. Reflecting on long-ago family christmases, I realized that the gathered family was always more important to me than the presents, even as a child. It wouldn’t have been the same without the gifts, but without family, the gifts would hold no real joy. Applying that to focusing on Jesus and seeing the relative value of other things through that lens. Then Pray as You Go played “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” so I’m going to sing it to conclude.

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