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Progressive Spirit
Spirituality ~ Social Justice
Category: Spirituality
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I am the minister of Southminster Presbyterian Church in Beaverton, Oregon (Portland Metro). www.southmin.org


by John Shuck
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January 30, 2017 10:06 AM PST

Not many congregations have two out lesbians as a clergy team. They do that kind of thing in North Carolina. Rev. Dr. Angela Yarber is a trailblazer. She is author of several books that address the intersections among religion, the arts, gender and sexuality. She holds a Ph.D. in Art and Religion from the Graduate Theological Union. Dr. Yarber has been a clergywoman and professional artist since 1999. Her books include:

Microagressions in Ministry: Confronting the Hidden Violence of Everyday Church,
The Gendered Pulpit: Sex, Body, and Desire in Preaching and Worship,
Tearing Open the Heavens,
Dance in Scripture, How Biblical Dancers Can Revolutionize Scripture,
Holy Women Icons,
Holy Women Icons Contemplative Coloring Book, and
Embodying the Feminine in the Dances of the World’s Religions.

We spend most of our time talking about The Holy Women Icons Project. According to her website, this project…

seeks to empower women by telling the stories of revolutionary holy women through art, writing, and special events.

Holy Women Icons art gives traditional iconography a folk-feminist twist. Books focus on the intersections among gender/sexuality, religion/spirituality, and the arts.

You will enjoy this conversation with this creative and thoughtful justice seeker.

This is part one of a three-part series on holy, healing, spiritually disobedient, creative, and awakened women.

January 26, 2017 03:58 PM PST

A Panel Discussion on Dismantling Racism
On Tuesday, January 17th two Portland activists, Jo Ann Hardesty and Ibrahim Mubarak, spoke to five Beaverton congregations about racism. The presentation was entitled, “The Dream Under Siege: A Community Forum On Racism.” It was held at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Beaverton.

Five Beaverton congregations: Murray Hills Christian Church, Christ United Methodist Church, Cedar Hills United Church of Christ, Spirit of Grace, and Southminster Presbyterian hosted this event as an opportunity for suburban residents to interact with leading activists in Portland to talk about critical issues facing the Portland metro in regards to diversity, race, privilege, housing, policing, gentrification and economic justice.

The Honorable JoAnn Hardesty is president of the Portland chapter of the NAACP. She is a community organizer and activist who advocates for those on the downside of power. She campaigns for police accountability and racial and economic justice. She hosts Voices from the Edge Thursday mornings at 8 on KBOO.

Ibrahim Mubarak is an advocate for the rights of unhoused people, and has been involved in the houseless community, in Portland, Oregon for over 15 years. Ibrahim is a co-founder of Dignity Village (2000), Right to Survive (2009), and Right 2 Dream Too (2011).

This is the audio of that presentation (edited for time). The event received newspaper coverage from the Beaverton Valley Times.

- See more at: http://kboo.fm/media/55408-dream-under-siege#sthash.4IQ63yNy.dpuf

January 22, 2017 04:54 AM PST

Dr. Catherine Meeks is a retired professor of socio-cultural studies at Wesleyan College. She is the editor of the newly released book, Living Into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America. From the publisher:

"This book is a report from the front, combining personal stories and theoretical and theological reflection with examples of the work of dismantling racism and methods for creating the much-needed “safe space” for dialogue on race to occur. Its aim is to demonstrate the ways in which a new conversation on race can be forged."

Her book contains chapters from eight different contributors including herself. Some white, some people of color, some men, some women.

The first chapter is written by Luther E. Smith, Jr. Dr. Smith is professor emeritus of Church and Community at the Candler School of Theology of Emory University. He writes:

“Racism also persists because a large segment of the population benefits from it. This explains why and how individuals perpetuate the system of racism, even without their conscious awareness of the implications of their actions. The existence of racism relies upon it having the personal commitment of some and the inaction of many.”

Celebrate the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and dismantle racism.

January 15, 2017 12:14 PM PST

Sister Maura Clarke, a Catholic nun and three other women were assassinated by the El Salvadoran government in December 1980. This was a government supported by the United States. What did Sister Maura do that resulted in her violent death? Under the context of Vatican II, liberation theology, and oppressive dictatorships, we hear a story of radical faith.

Investigative journalist, Eileen Markey, whose work has appeared in New York Times, New York Magazine, Wall Street Journal, National Catholic Reporter, America, Commonweal, and Killing the Buddha. wrote Sister Maura's biography, in A Radical Faith: The Assassination of Sister Maura.

This is from America Magazine:

'No one remembered Maura thirty years later because she was the most pious or the most correct. People didn't hang her picture on their plaster wall or name their daughter after her or wipe away tears even as they smiled at the mention of her name because she was the most severe, the best at self- flagellation, the most familiar with the desert. They caressed her memory because she visited with love. When Maura talked to you, you felt beloved, person after person told me. She walked into cardboard slum shacks in Nicaragua and terrified villages in El Salvador and addressed individuals with a disarming, open kindness.

It turns out that's what the story is about. Not death and torture – on a cross or at the hands of a military junta – but warm, flowering, life-giving love.'

January 13, 2017 02:11 PM PST

53 years ago, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., delivered his famous speech, “I Have A Dream.” What has happened to the dream of a Beloved Community? Host John Shuck speaks with three activists who have a proven track record on social change about King’s dream and how it has been hijacked.

Dr. Catherine Meeks is a retired professor of socio-cultural studies at Wesleyan College. She is the editor of the newly released book, Living Into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America. She serves the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta as the chari of the Beloved Community: Commission for Dismantling Racism.

The Honorable JoAnn Hardesty is president of the Portland chapter of the NAACP. She is a community organizer and activist who advocates for those on the downside of power. She campaigns for police accountability and racial and economic justice. She hosts a weekly radio program, Voices from the Edge.

Teressa Raiford is the lead organizer of “Don’t Shoot Portland” A social justice movement in support of #BlackLivesMatter as a response to police brutality and the criminalization of Black American Youth. She works as a community advocate and is currently educating neighborhoods to provide safety strategies for marginalized communities. The focus is strengthening relationships to fight discrimination and organized hate.

In addition to this special Martin Luther King birthday episode on The Beloved Community, Five Beaverton congregations, Murray Hills Christian Church, Christ United Methodist Church, Cedar Hills United Church of Christ, Spirit of Grace, and Southminster Presbyterian Church are hosting a panel discussion on racism, entitled The Dream Under Siege, Tuesday January 17th at 7 p.m. at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Beaverton. Facebook.

JoAnn Hardesty and Teressa Raiford will join Ibrahim Mubarak of Right to Survive as they lead a panel discussion on racism. Organizers of the event wanted to create an opportunity for suburban residents to interact with leading activists in Portland to talk about critical issues facing the Portland metro in regards to diversity, race, privilege, housing, policing, gentrification and economic justice.

January 08, 2017 08:14 AM PST

Known as the superego or the judge, our inner critic is the voice in our heads that is hypercritical of everything we do and of who we are. The inner critic shames us and debilitates us. How do we become free of the inner critic? The answer is mindfulness, awareness, compassion, and practice.

Mark Coleman, a meditation teacher and therapist, has written a book to help us become free of our inner critic, "Make Peace With Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Your Inner Critic." One of the tools is to be lighthearted, to mock the critic. You will enjoy this conversation and find skills and methods to go easier on yourself and to treat yourself (and others) with compassion as opposed to judgment.

January 01, 2017 04:54 AM PST

Host John Shuck of KBOO in Portland, Oregon speaks with Penpa Tsering, the new Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Office of Tibet, based in Washington DC. He was elected to this post in May. Previously he was a member of the Tibetan Parliament in exile where he served as speaker since 2011.

In this exclusive interview they discuss Tibet’s history, geography and spirituality.

What does it mean to be a country-in-exile?
How does a people who value spirituality above all else express their need to an atheistic, materialistic colonial power?

They discuss China’s demographic aggression, its exploitation of Tibet’s natural resources and environmental abuses of Tibet’s land and rivers, and the urgency before the United States to pressure China to solve peacefully the Tibet crisis. They also discuss how 13 centuries of Buddhism has shaped the people of Tibet and may be the spiritual resource that can be a beacon in a dark time of destruction for our shared Earth home.

December 25, 2016 09:05 AM PST

The Kamasutra brings to mind (and to Google searches) erotic and exotic sexual positions. OK, it is that. But it is much more. It is about the art of living. Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago, is a leading scholar in Hinduism and mythology. She has written over forty books including Hindu Myths: A Sourcebook, Translated from the Sanskrit, The Laws of Manu, and a new translation of the Kamasutra. Her latest is Redeeming the Kamasutra. We discuss this fascinating text and the controversy it ignites still today.

December 18, 2016 07:59 AM PST

Robert Jensen is a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas. He returns to Progressive Spirit to discuss his book, 'Plain Radical: Living, Loving, and Learning to Leave the Planet Gracefully.' He calls this book a “polemical memoir” in that it is a story of his mentor and friend, Jim Koplin, and their twenty-five year relationship. Thus it is a memoir. But it is polemical and political in that this relationship shaped Robert’s life and his radical views toward life. Ultimately, this book is an invitation to be human as industrial civilization collapses and takes the eco-system with it. How do we navigate this coming chaos summoning the best of what makes us human as opposed to the worst? How do we leave the planet gracefully? This is an interview and a book you will want to share with other awakened individuals who both grieve and hope.

Jensen’s eleven general audience books include, 'The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism, and White Privilege,' 'We Are All Apocalyptic Now: On the Responsibilities of Teaching, Preaching, Reporting, Writing, and Speaking Out,' and the forthcoming, 'The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men.'

December 14, 2016 02:56 PM PST

John Shuck, speaks with Penpa Tsering, U.S. Representative of the Dalai Lama, about Tibet's history, China's demographic aggression and exploitation of Tibet's natural resources, China's human rights abuses of the Tibetan people and how time is running out for Tibetan autonomy.

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