Thursday, May 30, 2013

Interested in Dorothee Soelle? A summer course/retreat possibility

I don't as they put it believe in god
but to him I cannot say no hard as I try
take a look at him in the garden
when his friends ran out on him
his face wet with fear
and with the spit of his enemies
him I have to believe

Him I can't bear to abandon
to the great disregard for life
to the monotonous passing of millions of years
to the moronic rhythm of work leisure and work
to the boredom we fail to dispel
in cars in beds in stores

That's how it is they say what do you want
uncertain and not uncritically
I subscribe to the other hypothesis
which is his story
that's not how it is he said for god is
and he staked his life on this claim

Thinking about it I find
one can't let him pay alone
for his hypothesis
so I believe him about

The way one believes another's laughter
his tears
or marriage or no for an answer
that's how you'll learn to believe him about life
promised to all

I had posted this poem here at Acts of Hope many moons ago. It is from the series of 10 poems "When He Came" in Dorothee Soelle's book Revolutionary Patience (1977).

So -- SOELLE IN SUMMER" - June 17-July 31 - a mix of retreat and course, online, with opportunity for both individual reflection and conversation. Interested?

A few people have already expressed firm interest in this and I need a few more before I can make a final decision about offering it. Do write me privately at if you are interested. (Or if you leave a comment here on the blog, please let me know how to contact you!) If there is enough interest, I will begin registering people this weekend.

(Note: both spellings, Soelle and Sölle, are correct.) 
This online course/retreat would, as the name indicates, focus on the work, thought, and spirituality of Dorothee Sölle (1928-2003), theologian, poet, peace activist, Protestant and ecumenical Christian, spouse and mother, teacher, socialist, and from mid-life on, feminist. She was the author of The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance, Against the Wind: Memoir of a Radical Christian, Revolutionary Patience, Theology for Skeptics, and many other works, most of them not in traditional academic treatise form.

Readings would not be too lengthy, but topics in Soelle's work are of the "oh, that's deep" sort.

--history, evil, and Christian political engagement
--silence, language, and poetry in the struggle to name God
--suffering and the vulnerability of God
--Jesus and friends
--church as community of memory, resistance, and hope
--feminism, disobedience, and human wholeness
Offering from me by and/or about Soelle twice a week. Requirements: reading, reflection and prayer and/or meditation, check-in twice weekly (online, in writing) with me and the other retreatants. Cost: $245 for the full seven weeks (i.e. $35 per week).

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Feeling scattered? Need spiritual support? Got 15 minutes a day?

We're still taking registrations for the online retreat 
"Hurry Up and Slow Down:
Spiritual Practice in Daily Life." 

See here -- and take advantage of the Eleventh Hour Discount today: $105 instead of $150.

You have to register via e-mail by midnight today, May 8, in whatever your time zone is; registration info w/e-mail is above at the link.
photo (c) by Jane Redmont

Saturday, May 4, 2013

I will donate to the Walk for Hunger on your behalf

As some readers know, I moved back to my beloved Boston just four months ago. Tomorrow, May 5,  is the annual Walk for Hunger. It will be the first large outdoor public gathering since the Boston Marathon. It usually draws about 40,000 people. 

The Walk was started by a group of people connected with my old church over four decades ago. It funds hundreds of emergency food programs (750,000-plus people in this Commonwealth do not have enough to eat) and its parent agency, Project Bread, also does advocacy and prevention work addressing the long-term causes of hunger. 

The last time I lived here, I did the Walk every year and then, when my feet gave out and I couldn't walk the 20 miles on concrete any more, volunteered as a Marshal. (Note: I also had Project Bread as a client for several of the years I was doing development consulting here, working for agencies addressing the causes and consequences of urban poverty.) 

So here's the deal: I'm not walking this year, but if you register for my "Hurry Up and Slow Down: Spiritual Practice in Daily Life" online retreat which begins on Monday May 6 (see here for full information) any time between this very minute and the end of Sunday (tomorrow May 5) in whatever time zone you are in, I will give $20 out of each registration fee to the Walk instead of keeping the whole fee.* Because I often scramble to pay the rent each month, but there are people far worse off than I, and we are all part of one another.

*I'd be happy to send you proof of the donation if you wish.

Here is an interesting interview with Project Bread Executive Director Ellen Parker.

Cross-posted on my personal blog, Acts of Hope.