The Groaning Table

The Groaning Table

After recently re-reading Wendell Berry’s essay “Health is Membership” and being struck by its pertinency today, I asked a few friends to read the essay and write a Slow Church-related reflection on the essay.  The is the second of these reflections by my friend Rachel Marie Stone.     ~Chris*** Read the first "Health is Membership" reflection by Brent BillMy grandmother was born at home in New York City in 1925 – exactly the time when more and more women, especially city women, began to choose hospital over home as the place to have babies. It wasn’t that my great-grandmother was afrai … [Read more...]

Supporting Each Other in Sickness and in Health

hospital

After recently re-reading Wendell Berry's essay "Health is Membership" and being struck by its pertinency today, I asked a few friends to read the essay and write a Slow Church-related reflection on the essay.  The is the first of these reflections by my friend Brent Bill.     ~ChrisAlmost twenty years ago Wendell Berry gave an address titled “Health is Membership.”  Berry, the agrarian poet/novelist/theologian, presented a pretty scathing indictment of the then “modern” health system in the US and our complicity in its failings.  Among his criticisms, which are many, was that our under … [Read more...]

False Economies and False Gods

Bull

This morning I was re-reading my favorite Wendell Berry essay, "Discipline and Hope," which has become an essential text for me in trying to understand the meaning and implications of Slow Church. I was struck today by a short passage on the ways we have come to idolize the present economy. Berry writes:   "If the Golden Rule were generally observed among us, the economy would not last a week. We have made our false economy a false god, and it has made blasphemy of the truth. So I have met the economy in the road, and am expected to yield it right of way. But I will not get over. My reason is … [Read more...]

There Are No Unsacred Places

My pastor, Bob Henry, read this wonderful blog post this morning at Silverton Friends Church. The post is called "The Hill" and it was written by Mike Huber, pastor of West Hills Friends, a Quaker meeting in Portland. The blog post reminds me of something Wendell Berry wrote in a poem called "How To Be a Poet (to remind myself)":There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.The apostle Paul says followers of Jesus are ambassadors of reconciliation. That reconciliation work extends to - and is perhaps even rooted in - our particular places. Thus, … [Read more...]

Technology, Community and Discernment.

Wberry-2

John's post on Saturday on the Moral Importance of the iPhone reminded me of one of my favorite courses in college, an honors seminar on technology and community.  This class was my first deep immersion into the works of Wendell Berry, and it was also where I first encountered the work of the Amish writer David Kline. A major thrust of the course was reflecting on the ways in which our choices about technology impact the shape of our communities (as families, as churches and as neighborhoods.  One of the pieces we read for the class was Wendell Berry's little essay "Why I am NOT going to buy a … [Read more...]

Brief Remarks at a Tree Dedication

Osakazuki

The arts and craft college where I work sits on an 11-acre wooded campus in Portland’s west hills. It’s a beautiful campus, built on the site of an old filbert orchard, and it bewitches almost everyone who visits.  A few years ago, the college put in two new beautiful, architecturally-significant buildings. Both buildings have been submitted for Silver LEED Certification. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of the old filbert orchard was destroyed during construction. (This was not part of the master plan.) Many faculty, staff, students, and alumni were understandably devastated at the loss … [Read more...]

Eternal Beings Living in Time: On Wendell Berry’s “Jayber Crow”

wendell-berry

I have an unusually long commute these days, a burden I am taking steps to alleviate. The commute is redeemed somewhat by the opportunity to listen to audiobooks. If someone sets out to be a writer, the first piece of advice they get to is to keep writing. The second is to keep reading. I would append the second bit of advice to say "Keep reading. When possible, read out loud or be read to." There is something special about the way hearing a book, story, or poem read aloud can tune a writer's ear to the music of language and good storytelling.For the most part, I've been using the commute … [Read more...]


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