Spiritual defiance : building a beloved community of resistance

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SPIRITUAL DEFIANCE – a conversation with Rev. Dr. Robin Meyers [LDT034]

Preview — Spiritual Defiance by Robin Meyers. A leading voice of progressive Christianity makes a powerful case for faith as a radical way of being in the world During his thirty-year career as a parish minister and professor, Robin Meyers has focused on renewing the church as an instrument of social change and personal transformation.

In this provocative and passionate book, he explores the decline of the church as a A leading voice of progressive Christianity makes a powerful case for faith as a radical way of being in the world During his thirty-year career as a parish minister and professor, Robin Meyers has focused on renewing the church as an instrument of social change and personal transformation.

Framing his discussion around three poems by twentieth-century Polish poet Anna Kamienska, Meyers casts the nature of faith as a force that stands against anything and everything that engenders death and indignity. Each chapter is a poignant and urgent invitation to recover the Jesus Movement as a Beloved Community of Resistance. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published April 28th by Yale University Press first published More Details Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Spiritual Defiance , please sign up.

Where do you think I should begin? See 1 question about Spiritual Defiance…. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters.

Spiritual Defiance: Building a Beloved Community of Resistance by Robin Meyers

Sort order. Interesting to see how much of this book has become a part of me I was less amazed as I read it and more It took me ages to read this book, but not because it was a slog; rather, I wanted to savor every word. This is a must-read for every pastor in America. Do not pass it by. I predict I will be returning to this book for every sermon I write in the coming mont 2nd read in Still spectacular.

I predict I will be returning to this book for every sermon I write in the coming months, even years.

View 2 comments. Jan 24, Frank Ogden rated it it was amazing. Highly Recommended I dare you! Jul 01, Jared Stine rated it it was amazing Shelves: ministry.


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Thought provoking look at the current state of the church. A call to reimagine Jesus, and all who claim to follow him, as trouble makers for justice and a community of resisters. During a police raid of the Stonewall Inn in New York City on June 28th, , queer folks threw broken bottles and bricks in an act of resistance and love. This outpouring of frustration after years of violence upon their bodies and souls made the message clear: queer people exist and deserve to be treated with dignity, and queer spaces are vital and sacred.

In what was almost a week-long event, the Stonewall Uprising became a major movement for equity. The next year, many reconvened at Stonewall, to celebrate this resistance and love. This was the birth of Pride. Each color symbolizes an aspect of queerness, and just like the shades of a rainbow, we want to showcase the diversity of voices within the queer community. Once upon a time, in the s, there was a group of gay activists who called themselves the Mattachines.

They worked within the system and emphasized that gay people were just like everyone else. In fact, it is situated in a greater story of liberation that continues today. Trans people still get harassed and killed by strangers, acquaintances, and family members.

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Since the start of the year, at least ten trans women have been murdered. The Trump administration has exacerbated the situation by removing transgender rights in the areas of healthcare, discriminatory policing, and housing. Pride is both protest and celebration, but it is often sanitized and commercialized, glossing over the most vulnerable. We watch the parades go by, and the rainbow merchandise appear on store shelves. But when July comes around, where does all the public support go? Growing up isolated in the middle of Pacific Ocean made events like Stonewall on the continental US rather inaccessible.

The events at Stonewall and the movement itself, have been largely attributed to and defined by white males. People of color, women, transgender, and gender non-conforming persons have time and again been pushed to the margins. Thankfully, as our perspectives have shifted to include other voices and perspectives, we have learned that the key figures of the riot at Stonewall were transgender women of color: Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, incited to action by a Black, butch lesbian, Storme DeLarverie who physically and vocally resisted arrest.

With largely other people of color, particularly transgender people of color like Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, they fought united at Stonewall and continued to stay involved in activism and organizing. This has led to the social changes and protections that we see today. So how does a riot connect to healing?

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Whose healing? The answer to this is connected to my work in the field of mental health and trauma. Humanity has struggled with our separation from one another since Babel. Many believe that unity is derived through recognizing our similarities. However, while there are many ways we are alike, and many experiences we share, we are also very dissimilar. Our differences are critical to determining our purpose and personhood. And it is the way that these differences contrast and highlight one another that creates the beautiful tapestry of life, giving meaning to our existence.

The collectivist culture in which many of us were raised inculcates the values of harmony and restraint. For me, this is tied to Japanese and Chinese culture, and the local aloha culture of Hawaii. Yet these passive and conflict-avoidant ways, so effective in preserving traditions, also serve to hold toxic patterns in place that confine and limit our personal and communal growth, such as the use of shame and emotional cut-off to control behavior.

It is through conflict, through challenging the dominant social discourse, and through accepting and celebrating the truth of who we each are created to be that we unlock our healing and restoration to community. Because of the riots at Stonewall that took us to the streets, and the continual straining against rigid and simplistic notions of who we are as a collective people and individuals, we are infinitely changed.


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  • Discussion about an interim pastorate and the hiring of an interim by January ; study of our context and hopes; and the eventual creation of a pastor search committee that process is overseen by the Board of Deacons which likely takes a year. Just as we intentionally addressed our hopes and fears in the transition from our previous building to the construction of our new church, we will construct a way forward. We hope and pray for a seamless handoff with a process that eventually brings new pastoral leadership for a new church in what is very much a new community.

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    We will carry on so this Baptist church of inclusion with its prophetic voice of justice and peace might continue to speak and remain a safe harbor for all people. We have nearly completed our Lenten Journey. Palm Sunday is this Sunday, a moment we recall as the final entry of Jesus into the holy city, Jerusalem just prior to his arrest and execution by the Roman governor, Pilate.

    It is a day mixed with joy and sorrow.

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    Wednesday is our Get Lifted! Join us as Jonathan leads us in songs and Kevin Twine plays on the piano. Thursday evening at 7pm is our Stones Of Remembrance communion service—a solemn evening of song and prayer in which we remember those we love who have left this world.

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    It is a moving service. Friday the church will be open from 11 a. While no formal service, Kevin will play softly in the sanctuary. You may drop in when you like to pray on Good Friday. Let us come into this holy week with meek hearts filled with gratitude. I was thinking more along the lines of Lucy in the cartoon strip Peanuts. Feel free to drop by for a chat, tea, coffee, a vent or a prayer. We are right in the middle of Lent which for me has meant composing sermons around the temptation narratives in the Gospels.

    This coming Sunday we will find ourselves on a hill or mount listening to the teaching of the Christ. If someone asked you what Jesus taught, well, you could not do better than to point them to Matthew chapters Worship is about one hour long. We praise, pray and hear a sermon. In one hour folks. One hour in a week, give yourself to worship. Some will say that is not much time and they are correct. But have you ever watched a large rock thrown into a lake?