In The Depth of the Season

Improvised Christmas Pageant, First Universalist Society, Burlington, Vt

Improvised Christmas Pageant, First Universalist Society, Burlington, Vt. The woman on the left is signing.

I hope you are enjoying a splendid Holiday Season, and that it continues for a few more days.We welcome your sharing about this Holiday Season.

We, as a family, celebrate Hanukkah, The Winter Solstice, and Christmas in all their complexity. During November and December we also acknowledge the die Kristallnacht on November 9th, remember our friends who died of AIDS on December 1st, and grieve for those lost at Wounded Knee, and at other Christmas timed massacres of First Nations people, on December 29th. As you might imagine, the Holidays for us are a deep blend of joy and sadness, celebration and grieving. Each year, this gumbo of emotion, memory, and signifier become richer, demanding more focused contemplation. Continue reading

The Fire This time

PLights in Winter's DarknessThis week I found myself deeply disturbed by a story in Indian Country Today (Vol 2, Issue 47), entitled, “The Fire Next Time”, and written by Mary Annette Pember. The piece discussed the arson of several buildings and sites dedicated to traditional healing and spirituality on the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe reservation. Apparently, the evidence suggests these acts may have been carried out by a person or persons connected to a Christian network, the New Apostolic Reformation movement. The NAR, which appears to be gaining in influence amongst some evangelical churches, reportedly sees First Nations spiritual practices as idolatry or witchcraft that must be ended. This is indeed troubling. Continue reading