JustChurch:  is an open and affirming worshiping community rooted in ancient practices and focused on acts of justice.
JustChurch is the ministering community of Beloved Community Initiative

 
Join us in person for weekly worship on Saturdays at 5:00pm  
at Trinity Episcopal Church, 320 E. College St., Iowa City.

You are also welcome to join us on Zoom.  Click here to Contact us for the link.    

Liberation and Creation: Saturday, May 14

 


Worship with JustChurch on Saturday, May 14

JustChurch welcomes Dawson Davenport as our guest this week. Dawson is part of the Meskwaki Nation and graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Art. Dawson is a writer, artist, author, and clothing designer. He is passionate about environmental care and healthy food sources, dedicated to empowering the next generation, committed to helping preserve the Meskwaki language, and supporting other Indigenous artists.


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Eastertide Weekly reading from This Here Flesh

Long long ago, the birds you now see in the sky used to dwell in the bowels of the earth. Here, underneath us, they were scattered at birth and would spend their days squirming and scooting their way back to each other. Their wings, which they did not then know were wings, would flare out and press up against the walls of their tunnels, making it very difficult for them. Until one day, the sparrow and the swallow found each other. And I have to tell you, when their beaks cracked against each other just right, they heard a voice—from inside or outside, they could not tell—but it said to them then, This is not the way. And for reasons still unknown even to them, at that moment they looked in each other’s beady little bird eyes and began to sing. Their song pierced the earth and everything began to crack right open. They scuttled their way up and up and up until the air caught their wings. And here is a secret: Did you know that birds do not land because they are tired? It is a remembrance. They know and have always known that their liberation depends on their ability to recall the ground.

Arthur Riley, Cole. This Here Flesh (pp. 16-17).

I think of Abraham’s descendants leaving the promised land and being forced into bondage. God didn’t raise up Moses just to free them from Pharaoh. They were liberated to somewhere. They left their chains and began making their way back home. What healing can manifest when place is restored, when those once dislocated from their home are delivered into it once again. It seems to me God’s promise was always a place. A liberation born of location. And such a freedom does not unfold in a vacuum but stretches out through those who have known a place before us. This is what they don’t tell you. You might think Abraham’s promise from God begins with him, but before Abram, there lived a man named Terah. Terah took his family and set out toward Canaan, but for reasons unknown to us, he settled somewhere along the way and never saw the end of his journey. Yet, years later, his son Abram would, by the mouth of God, set out on a journey to a promised land, a land we now know as Canaan. Abram’s promise did not occur in a vacuum. Whether he knew it or not, it remained connected to his father’s journey. Our question is not only What is this place to me? but also What has this place been to those before me and those who made me?

Arthur Riley, Cole. This Here Flesh (pp. 21-22).

How does a weary world rejoice: Songs for Advent and Christmas

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