Thursday, December 30, 2021

Queerying Christmas 2C

ID: against the dark, rainbow candles are lit and their flames glow brightly.

We are taking a much needed break this week, so make sure you check out:

Disrupt Worship's take on Christmas 2

We will see you in the new year!

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Queerying Names and Name Changing

ID: a line drawing shows a blue and white nametag with some shading that reads "HELLO my name is" with a blank space for the name.

River Needham, MA ThM has composed several liturgies connected to name changes. River has granted permission so that these may be used with attribution. encourages a donation to River in honor and appreciation of her work.

Each liturgy has explanation for it in the document itself.

River's Eucharist for a service connected to a name change.

River's Baptism or Affirmation of Baptism connected to a name change.

River's Funeral for a Name that will no longer be used.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Queerying Christmas 1C

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

ID: the top third of the yellow cover of the first The Baby-Sitters Club book from Apple Paperbacks is visible with the title stylized to consist of letter blocks.
Gospel: Luke 2:41-52
41Now every year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42And when Jesus was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44Assuming that Jesus was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for Jesus among their relatives and friends.

45When they did not find Jesus, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard Jesus were beside themselves at his understanding and his answers.

48When his parents saw him they were at a loss; and Jesus' mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your other caregiver and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.”

49Jesus said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Caregiver’s house?”

50But they did not understand what Jesus said to them. 51Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

Queeries for the text:
What is the festival of Passover? When is it?
What is important about the age of 12?
How do you find a missing kid?
Where did Jesus sleep for those three days?
When else does Mary treasure something in her heart?

What are your queeries?

Queerying All the Christmases

This post was originally published for Christmas 2020 and is being republished this year.


River Needham, MA queeries the Tanakh reading.

ID: two shabbat candles next to a chalice. Behind them is a cloth embroidered with Hebrew and a bottle of white wine.
Tanakh I: Isaiah 9:2-7

The people that walked in darkness have seen a brilliant light; on those who dwelt in a land of gloom light has dawned.

You have magnified that nation, have given it great joy; they have rejoiced before You as they rejoice at reaping time, as they exult when dividing spoil. For the yoke that they bore and the stick on their back— the rod of their taskmaster— You have broken as on the day of Midian. Truly, all the boots put on to stamp with and all the garments donned in infamy have been fed to the flames, devoured by fire. For a child has been born to us, a son has been given us. Authority has settled on his shoulders. He has been named “The Mighty God is planning grace; The Eternal Father, a peaceable ruler”— in token of abundant authority and of peace without limit upon David’s throne and kingdom, that it may be firmly established in justice and in equity now and evermore. The zeal of the Becoming One of Angel Armies shall bring this to pass.

Queeries for the text:
How have Christians misappropriated this text?
Who was Hezekiah?


Tanakh II: Isaiah 62:6-12

Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchers, who shall never be silent by day or by night. O you, the reminders of the Becoming One, take no rest and give no rest to Her, until She establishes Jerusalem and makes her renowned on earth. The Becoming One has sworn by Her right hand, by Her mighty arm: nevermore will I give your new grain to your enemies for food, nor shall foreigners drink the new wine for which you have labored. But those who harvest it shall eat it and give praise to the Becoming One; and those who gather it shall drink it in My sacred courts.

Pass through, pass through the gates! Clear the road for the people; build up, build up the highway! Remove the rocks! Raise a flag over the peoples!

See, the Becoming One has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Announce to fair Zion, your Deliverer is coming! See, Her reward is with Her, Her recompense before Her. They shall be called, “The Holy People, the Redeemed of the Becoming One,” and you shall be called, “Sought Out, a City Not Forsaken.”

Queeries for the text:
What are tribute payments?
Who is colonized today?


Tanakh III: Isaiah 52:7-10

How welcome on the mountain are the footsteps of the herald announcing happiness, heralding good fortune, announcing victory, telling Zion, “Your God is Queen!”

Hark! Your watchers raise their voices, as one they shout for joy; for every eye shall behold the Becoming One’s return to Zion. Raise a shout together, O ruins of Jerusalem! For the Becoming One will comfort Her people, will redeem Jerusalem.The Becoming One will bare Her holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and the very ends of earth shall see the victory of our God.

Queeries for the text:
When did the Becoming One return to Zion?
What is the victory of our God?
Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel readings.
ID: against a background of deep darkness, speckled with bright specks, yellow gas and clouds waft from a central bright point, from which a narrow line of light comes out, like a lightsaber.
Gospel 1: Luke 2:1-20
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the Roman world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 
4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5Joseph went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 
6While Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And Mary gave birth to her firstborn and wrapped the infant in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guest room. 
8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of God stood before them, and the glory of God shone around them, and the shepherds were terrified. 
10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see— I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Becoming One. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly angel armies, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom God favors!” 

15When the angels had left the shepherds and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which God has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 
20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Queeries for the text:
What was that night like for Mary?
Where was the manger?
What sort of workers were the shepherds?
Gospel 2: John 1:1-14
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The Word was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Her, and without Her not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in the Word was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. 
6There was a person sent from God, whose name was John. 7John came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through the light. 8John himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which makes everyone vivid, was coming into the world. 
10The true light was in the world, and the world came into being through Faer; yet the world did not know Faer. 11The light came to what was Faen own, and Faen own people did not accept Faer. 12But to all who received the light, who believed in Faen name, the light gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of a man, but of God. 
14And the Word became flesh and pitched Her tent among us, and we have seen the glory of the Word, the glory as of a parent’s only child, full of grace and truth.
Queeries for the text:
Who is the Word?
How are light and darkness in conflict? How do they work together?
What is the will of those who are not a man?
What are your queeries?

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Queerying Advent 4C

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: against a deep blue background, a black clipart magnifying lens hovers over a digital black and white print linocut of Mary stamping on a skull and snake.  At the top it reads "CAST DOWN THE MIGHTY" and at the bottom it reads "SEND THE RICH AWAY" to the left it reads "FILL THE HUNGRY" and to the right it reads "LIFT THE LOWLY"
Gospel: Luke 1:39-45[46-55]
39In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.

41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her uterus. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among those who create life, and blessed is the fruit of your creating. 43And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Leader comes to me? 44For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by Becoming One.”

[46And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Becoming One, 47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48for She has looked with favor on the lowliness of Her servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is Her name. 50God's mercy is for those who fear Her from generation to generation. 51She has shown strength with Her arm; She has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. 52She has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; 53She has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. 54She has helped Her servant Israel, in remembrance of Her mercy, 55according to the promise She made to our ancestors, to Hagar, Sarah, and Abraham and to their descendants forever.”]

Queeries for the text:
In which days?
How often does a fetus leap in utero? 
How does that blessing continue? 
Which child is which?
What is God's favor like?
Who receives mercy?
What scatters the arrogant?
Whose thrones need brought down
Who is filled? Who is hungry?
What promise to the descendants?

What are your queeries?


Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Queerying Advent 3C

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: an empowerment accessibility symbol
Tanakh: Zephaniah 3:14-20
Shout for joy, fair Zion,
cry aloud, O Israel!
Rejoice and be glad with all your heart,
fair Jerusalem!
The Becoming One has annulled the judgment against you,
She has swept away your foes.
Israel’s Sovereign, the Becoming One, is within you;
you need fear misfortune no more.
In that day,
this shall be said to Jerusalem:
Have no fear, O Zion;
let not your hands droop!
Your God the Becoming One is in your midst,
a warrior who brings triumph.
She will rejoice over you and be glad,
She will shout over you with jubilation.
She will soothe with Her love
those long disconsolate.
I will take away from you the woe
over which you endured mockery.
At that time I will make an end
of all who afflicted you.
And I will rescue the crippled sheep
and gather the strayed;
and I will exchange their disgrace
for fame and renown in all the earth.
At that time I will gather you,
and at that time I will bring you home;
for I will make you renowned and famous
among all the peoples on earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before their very eyes
—said the Becoming One.

Queeries for the text:
What is crip?
What about crip joy?
How does God love?
How can fame end?
Why must fortunes be restored?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: brightly colored, two-tone sweet and sour gummy worms piled together
Gospel: Luke 3:7-18
7John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Hagar and Sarah. 9Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10And the crowds asked John, “What then should we do?”

11In reply John said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.”

12Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?”

13John said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.”

14Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?”

John said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”

15As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of that one's sandals. The one who is coming will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17The winnowing fork is in hand, to clear the threshing floor and to gather the wheat into the granary; but the chaff will be burned with unquenchable fire.” 18So, with many other exhortations, John proclaimed the good news to the people.

Queeries for the text:
What's a brood of vipers?
What else comes from stones?
What happens to trees in fire?
Who has two coats? Who has none? How many coats do you have?
Who takes economic advantage today?
What other questions make their home in the heart?
What kind of sandals?

What are your queeries?

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Queerying Advent 2C

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.

ID: a rendition of an angel, composed of 10 wings, 5 on each side, and each wing has an eye at it's base. Over the rendition of the angel is the text in big type: Why is everyone afraid? I specifically requested that you be not afraid.
Tanakh: Malachi 3:1-4
Behold, I am sending My messenger to clear the way before Me, and the Becoming One whom you seek shall come to Her Temple suddenly. As for the angel of the covenant that you desire, they are already coming. But who can endure the day of Her coming, and who can hold out when She appears? For She is like a smelter’s fire and like fuller’s lye. She shall act like a smelter and purger of silver; and she shall purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they shall present offerings in righteousness. Then the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem shall be pleasing to the Becoming One as in the days of yore and in the years of old.

Queeries for the text:
What is in the way?
How will she come to her temple?
Which angel came?
What is lye?
What sacrifices are available?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

ID: a masked Kermit the Frog as John the Baptizer baptizes a masked snowperson as Jesus. The two are in the midst of blue fabric with rainbow fabric above, split by a dark gray fabric with stars and constellations on it.
Gospel: Luke 3:1-6
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, 2during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Elizabeth and Zechariah in the wilderness.

3John went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Becoming One, make Her paths straight. 5Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; 6and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

Queeries for the text:
Where are these places?
How do we situate faith in its historical context?
Who are Elizabeth and Zechariah?
What region is around the Jordan?
Where is it written in Isaiah?
Why should anything be made straight?
How is God invested in accessibility?
What is salvation for flesh?

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Queerying Advent 1C

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: The Dome of the Rock (Arabic: مسجد قبة الصخرة‎, Hebrew: כיפת הסלע), on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Tanakh: Jeremiah 33:14-16
See, days are coming—declares the Becoming One—when I will fulfill the promise that I made concerning the House of Israel and the House of Judah. In those days and at that time, I will raise up a true branch of David’s line, and he shall do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah shall be delivered and Jerusalem shall dwell secure. And this is what she shall be called: “The Becoming One is our Vindicator.”

Queeries for the text:
What is the context of this passage?
For what do we wait?
What prevents Jerusalem dwelling secure?
What other questions might we ask?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

ID: a colorful map of constellations is visible, separated by season, and labeled according to D(L)akota tradition and language with english translations.
Gospel: Luke 21:25-36
Jesus said:
25“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27Then they will see ‘the Human One coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. 28Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

29Then Jesus told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. 31So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the reign of God is near. 32Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

34“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, 35like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Human One.”

Queeries for the text:
What signs are in the sun, moon, and stars?
What powers are the heavens shaking?
Who comes with power and great glory in a cloud?
How near is the reign of God? Can we help it?
Who has passed away?
What weighs down your heart?
How do you stay alert?

What are your queeries?

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Queerying Reign of Christ the Queen B

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
a silver Magen David
Tanakh: 2 Samuel 23:1-7

These are the last words of David:

The utterance of David son of Jesse,
The utterance of the man set on high,
The anointed of the God of Jacob,
The favorite of the songs of Israel:

The spirit of the Becoming One has spoken through me,
Femmes message is on my tongue;
The God of Israel has spoken,
The Rock of Israel said concerning me:
“He who rules justly,
He who rules in awe of God
Is like the light of morning at sunrise,
A morning without clouds—
Through sunshine and rain
Bringing vegetation out of the earth.”
Is not my House established before God?
For Femme has granted me an eternal pact,
Drawn up in full and secured.
Will Femme not cause all my success
And my every desire to blossom?
But the wicked shall all
Be raked aside like thorns;
For no one will take them in their hand.
Whoever touches them
Must arm themself with iron
And the shaft of a spear;
And they must be burned up on the spot.

Queeries for the text:
What narratives from this year brought out David's complicatedness?
How does this narrative fit with God choosing David?
What are songs of Israel?
How is God Just?
Who was David's successor?
How was David's reign remembered?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, transgender icons, are visible side-by-side in a color photo. Marsha has flowers in her hair while Sylvia holds her left hand up in a peace sign.
Gospel: John 18:33-37
33Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the Ruler of the Jews?”

34Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?”

35Pilate replied, “I am not Jewish, am I? Your own nation and its elites have handed you over to me. What have you done?”

36Jesus answered, “My reign is not from this world. If my reign were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over. But as it is, my reign is not from here.”

37Pilate asked Jesus, “So you are a ruler?”

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a ruler. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

Queeries for the text:
When did Pilate enter the headquarters before?
Who is Ruler of the Jewish people?
When is gossip good?
Who else is handed over by their own government and elites?
Who is responsible for harm? 
What is the relationship between truth and power?

What are your queeries?

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Queerying 25th after Pentecost B

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: a black and white photo shows people in long skirts with heads covered by scarves face the Wailing Wall, the only remains from the original two Temples.
Gospel: Mark 13:1-8
As Jesus came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!” 

2Then Jesus asked the disciple, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”

3When Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, 4“Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?”

5Then Jesus began to say to them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. 6Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. 8For nation will rise against nation, and monarchy against monarchy; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.

Queeries for the text:
Why are they still stuck on superficialities?
When will the temple be thrown down?
Who says they are Christ?
What must take place?
Where are wars?
Where are earthquakes?
Where are famines?
What are birth pangs like?

What are your queeries?


Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Queerying 24th after Pentecost B

Engage with queeries for All Saints here. 


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

ID: two pennies are visible one tails side up with one heads side up, showing Lincoln's head.
Gospel: Mark 12:38-44
38As Jesus taught, he said, “Beware of the officials, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39and to have the best seats in the worshiping spaces and places of honor at banquets! 40They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

41Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43Then Jesus called his chosen family and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip?
Who are officials?
Who seeks status?
Who devours houses
How much did she put in?
How do the sums compare?
Who contributes out of poverty?

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Queerying All Saints B

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: a cemetary with flowers and bright lights near most of the nameplates. A city is lit up on a hill behind.
Tanakh: Isaiah 25:6-9
The Becoming One of angel armies will make on this mount
For all the peoples
A banquet of rich foods,
A banquet of choice wines
Of rich foods seasoned with marrow,
Of choice wines well refined.
And E will destroy on this mount the shroud
That is drawn over the faces of all the peoples
And the covering that is spread
Over all the nations:
E will destroy death forever.
My Becoming God will wipe the tears away
From all faces
And will put an end to the reproach of Eir people
Over all the earth—
For it is the Becoming One who has spoken.
In that day they shall say:
This is our God;
We trusted in Em, and E delivered us.
This is the Becoming One, in whom we trusted;
Let us rejoice and exult in Eir deliverance!

Queeries for the text:
What rich food and fine wines are without guilt?
What is deliverance?
What is the feast referenced?
What is the final disposition of death?
For whom do we mourn?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

ID: a tank binder with plant imagery on either side and a ribbon at the bottom that reads "BindersOUT" is crosshatched in black and white with a round frame.
Gospel: John 11:32-44
32When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Teacher, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34He said, “Where have you laid Lazarus?”

They said to Jesus, “Teacher, come and see.”

35Jesus began to weep.

36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

37But some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind one have kept this one from dying?”

38Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to Jesus, “Teacher, already there is a stench because Lazarus has been dead four days.”

40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Caregiver, I thank you for having heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said this, Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to those gathered, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Queeries for the text:
Why did Jesus come here?
Why were the Jews following Mary?
Why do we weep?
Where is the stench of death?
What do we say for the sake of others
Who else comes out? How does Lazarus come out?
What is bound? What needs binding?

What are your queeries?

Queerying Reformation B

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, showing the instruments of the cross counter the infant Jesus clinging to his mother.
Tanakh: Jeremiah 30:31-34
See, a time is coming—declares the Becoming One—when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors, when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, a covenant which they broke, though I espoused them—declares the Becoming One. But such is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel after these days—declares the Becoming One: I will put My teaching into their inmost being and inscribe it upon their hearts. Then I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No longer will they need to teach one another and say to one another, “Heed the Becoming One”; for all of them, from the least of them to the greatest, shall heed Me—declares the Becoming One.

Queeries for the text:
What possibilities for new covenants exist in the text?
What does it mean to inscribe on the heart?
Who are My people?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: John 8:31-36
31Then Jesus said to the Jewish people who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

33They answered Jesus, “We are descendants of Abraham and Sarah and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?”

34Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is enslaved to sin. 35The enslaved person does not have a permanent place in the household; the child has a place there forever. 36So if the Child makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Queeries for the text:
What is Jesus' word?
How is history selective?
Who is enslaved today?
Which children don't have a permanent place in the household?
What could freedom look like?

What are your queeries?


Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Queerying 22nd after Pentecost B

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: a wooden door with a chalk sign hanging over it that says "Open."
Tanakh: Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Job said in reply to the Becoming One:
I know that You can do everything,
That nothing You propose is impossible for You.
Who is this who obscures counsel without knowledge?
Indeed, I spoke without understanding
Of things beyond me, which I did not know.
Hear now, and I will speak;
I will ask, and You will inform me.
I had heard You with my ears,
But now I see You with my eyes;
Therefore, I recant and relent,
Being but dust and ashes.


The Becoming One restored Job’s fortunes when he prayed on behalf of his friends, and the Becoming One gave Job twice what he had before. All his brothers and sisters and all his former friends came to him and had a meal with him in his house. They consoled and comforted him for all the misfortune that the Becoming One had brought upon him. Each gave him some money and each one gold ring. Thus the Becoming One blessed the latter years of Job’s life more than the former. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand she-asses. He also had seven sons and three daughters. The first he named Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. Nowhere in the land were women as beautiful as Job’s daughters to be found. Their father gave them estates together with their brothers. Afterward, Job lived one hundred and forty years to see four generations of children and grandchildren. So Job died old and contented.

Queeries for the text:
What is missing from this text?
If nothing is impossible, what is possible?
What does it mean to be dust and ashes?
How much money did they give? What does the book of Job say about suffering?
Why is Job's Daughter's appearances important?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: in 2018 two hundred Iowans take part in a Jericho Walk around the Federal Building in Des Moines in support of immigrants and in opposition to the unjust immigration system.
Gospel: Mark 10:46-52
46They came to Jericho. As Jesus and his chosen family and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. 47When Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Descendant of David, have mercy on me!”

48Many sternly ordered Bartimaeus to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Descendant of David, have mercy on me!”

49Jesus stood still and said, “Call that one here.”

And they called the blind one, saying to Bartimaeus, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.”

50So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.

51Then Jesus said to Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?”

The blind one said to Jesus, “My teacher, let me see again.”

52Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately Bartimaeus regained his sight and followed Jesus on the way.

Queeries for the text:
What else happened in Jericho?
Why is Jesus named the Descendant of David?
Who do we order to be quiet?
What do we throw off to encounter Jesus?
Why did Jesus ask Bartimaeus what he wanted?
What makes us well?

What are your queeries?


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Queerying 21st after Pentecost B

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
Gospel: Mark 10:35-45
35James and John, called the sons of Thunder, whose father was Zebedee, came forward to Jesus and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”

36And Jesus said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?”

37And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”

38But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

39They replied, “We are able.”

Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

41When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. 42So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must serve you, 44and whoever wishes to be first among you must become enslaved to all. 45For the Human One came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip?
What would you ask of Jesus?
What cup does Jesus drink? With what baptism is Jesus baptized?
Who overestimates their ability?
Who is great today?
Who offers a ransom?

What are your queeries?

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Queerying 20th after Pentecost B

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: a rocky beach scene has white text superimposed with Barack Obama's quote "There is no individual salvation without collective salvation."
Gospel: Mark 10:17-31
17As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit everlasting life?”

18Jesus said to the rich man, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19You know the commandments: ‘You shall not take another's life; you shall not harm your romantic and sexual partners through non-consensual infidelity; you shall not take what you did not earn; you shall not manipulate the truth to harm others; you shall not misrepresent yourself to others; honor your caregivers as they're instructed to honor you.’”

20The rich man said to Jesus, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.”

21Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 22When the rich man heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

23Then Jesus looked around and said to his chosen family, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the reign of God!” 24And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the reign of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the reign of God.”

26They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?”

27Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”

28Peter began to say to Jesus, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.”

29Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or siblings or parents or caregivers or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, 30who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, siblings, mothers and children, and fields with persecutions—and in the age to come everlasting life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

Queeries for the text:
What do people inherit?
Which commandments are these? In what order?
What does it mean to honor another?
How do we gain treasure today?
How is grief connected to action? What did the rich man end up doing?
Who has wealth today?
Upon whom does salvation rely on?
What must we leave to follow Jesus?
Who has to balance family and persecution

What are your queeries?


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Queerying 19th after Pentecost B

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: a variety of people in different skin shades and genders, with text that reads: Sexism. See It. Name It. Stop It. #StopMisogyny #MeToo
Tanakh: Job 1:1, 2:1-10
There was a man in the land of Uz named Job. That man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.


One day the divine beings presented themselves before the Becoming One. The Adversary came along with them to present himself before the Becoming One. The Becoming One said to the Adversary, “Where have you been?”

The Adversary answered the Becoming One, “I have been roaming all over the earth.”

The Becoming One said to the Adversary, “Have you noticed My servant Job? There is no one like him on earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and shuns evil. He still keeps his integrity; so you have incited me against him to destroy him for no good reason.”

The Adversary answered the Becomig One, "Skin for skin—all that a human man has he will give up for his life. But lay a hand on his bones and his flesh, and he will surely blaspheme You to Your face.”

So the Becoming One said to the Adversary, “See, Job is in your power; only spare his life.”

The Adversary departed from the presence of the Becomig One and inflicted a severe inflammation on Job from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. He took a potsherd to scratch himself as he sat in ashes.

His wife said to him, “You still keep your integrity! Blaspheme God and die!”

But he said to her, “You talk as any shameless woman might talk! Should we accept only good from God and not accept evil?” For all that, Job said nothing sinful.

Queeries for the text:
What is missing from the text?
How is theodicy apparent?
What does shameless mean?
Where else is shameless used in the Tanakh?
How is shameless a good thing?
How is this text problematic?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: against a teal circle background, an orange t-shirt with white lettering reads "Every Child Matters"
Gospel: Mark 10:2-16
2Some religious authorities came, and to test Jesus they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

3Jesus answered them, “What did Moses command you?”

4They said, “Moses allowed a human man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.”

5But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses wrote this commandment for you. 6But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made humanity with many and no genders.’ 7‘For this reason a person shall leave their parents and be joined to their spouse, 8and they shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer distinct persons, but one flesh. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

10Then in the house the disciples asked Jesus again about this matter. 11He said to them, “Whichever husband divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; 12and if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

13People were bringing little children to Jesus in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the reign of God belongs. 15Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the reign of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16And Jesus took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

Queeries for the text:
Where were they?
Why do we test Jesus?
What's the difference between what is lawful and what is right?
Where is the power?
What happens with divorce?
What counts as adultery? What doesn't?
How do children receive the reign of God?
How have children been discarded?

What are your queeries?

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Queerying 18th after Pentecost B

ID: a white magen David on a golden yellow background says "Happy Purim". There are two large round lollipops in the lower right hand corner.
River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.

Tanakh: Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22
So the king and Haman came to feast with Queen Esther.

On the second day, the king again asked Esther at the wine feast, “What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to half the kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.”

Queen Esther replied: “If Your Majesty will do me the favor, and if it pleases Your Majesty, let my life be granted me as my wish, and my people as my request. For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, massacred, and exterminated. Had we only been sold as bondspeople, I would have kept silent; for the adversary is not worthy of the king’s trouble.”

Thereupon King Ahasuerus demanded of Queen Esther, “Who is he and where is he who dared to do this?”

“The adversary and enemy,” replied Esther, “is this evil Haman!” And Haman cringed in terror before the king and the queen.


Then Harbonah, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, “What is more, a stake is standing at Haman’s house, fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai—the man whose words saved the king.” “Impale him on it!” the king ordered.

So they impaled Haman on the stake which he had put up for Mordecai, and the king’s fury abated.


Two chapters later

Mordecai recorded these events. He sent dispatches to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Ahasuerus, near and far, charging them to observe the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar, every year— the same days on which the Jews enjoyed relief from their foes and the same month which had been transformed for them from one of grief and mourning to one of festive joy. They were to observe them as days of feasting and merrymaking, and as an occasion for sending gifts to one another and presents to the poor.

Queeries for the text:
What is missing from this text?
Why did Haman want to kill the Jews?
How is this celebrated today?
When is genocide okay?
How are Jews oppressed today?


Queerying Mark 9:38-50
ID: Shells&Emotions @anna_bayla posts "My favorite bible story is when instead of telling women to dress modestly, Jesus tells his dudes to avoid lust by plucking their eyes out". This is followed by further commentary challenging victim blaming and calling people to responsibility for their own feelings.
What are your queeries?

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Queerying 17th after Pentecost B

ID: the Boov from the movie Home is visible in six panels immitating what is listed: He's a frog, He's a salesman, He's a letterbox, He's a fugitive, He's an optimist, He's a pessimist.  Along the bottom, the image reads: And the Boov says HUMANS are complicated!

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: Mark 9:30-37
30Jesus and his chosen family went on from there and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know it; 31for he was teaching his chosen family, saying to them, “The Human One is to be betrayed into human institutions, and they will execute him, and three days after being executed, the Human One will rise again.” 32But they did not understand what Jesus was saying and were afraid to ask him. 

33Then they came to Capernaum; and when Jesus was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35Jesus sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”

36Then Jesus took a little child and put them among his chosen family; and taking them in his arms, Jesus said to the chosen family, 37“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

Queeries for the text:
Where are they coming from?
Who is the Human One?  What makes them human?
How are human institutions involved in betrayal?
Why were they afraid to ask?
How do children receive welcome?

What are your queeries?


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Queerying 16th after Pentecost B

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.

ID: Sophia with dark skin, sitting between two pillars in the style of the Waite-Smith High Priestess.

Tanakh: Proverbs 1:20-33
Wisdom cries aloud in the streets,
raises her voice in the squares.

At the head of the busy streets she calls;
at the entrance of the gates, in the city, she speaks out:

“How long will you simple ones love simplicity,
you scoffers be eager to scoff, you willfully ignorant hate knowledge?

You are indifferent to my rebuke;
I will now speak my mind to you, and let you know my thoughts.

Since you refused me when I called,
and paid no heed when I extended my hand,

you spurned all my advice,
and would not hear my rebuke,

I will laugh at your calamity,
and mock when terror comes upon you,

When terror comes like a disaster, and calamity arrives like a whirlwind,
When trouble and distress come upon you.

Then they shall call me but I will not answer;
they shall seek me but not find me.

Because they hated knowledge,
and did not choose fear of the Becoming One;

They refused my advice,
and disdained all my rebukes,

They shall eat the fruit of their ways,
and have their fill of their own counsels.

The tranquillity of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of the willfully ignorant will destroy them.

But she who listens to me will dwell in safety,
untroubled by the terror of misfortune.”

Queeries for the text:
Who is Wisdom?
What advice and rebukes are being rejected and ignored?
What is the terror of misfortune?
Does God punish us?


Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: a purple ribbon, known to represent domestic violence victims and survivors is visible in its characteristic loop.
Gospel: Mark 8:27-38
27Jesus went on with his chosen family to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his chosen family, “Who do people say that I am?”

28And they answered Jesus, “John the Baptizer; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”

29Jesus asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.”

30And Jesus sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him. 31Then Jesus began to teach them that the Human One must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the religious authorities, and the legal authorities, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him.

33But turning and looking at his chosen family, Jesus rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

34Jesus called the crowd with his chosen family, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Human One will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Caregiver with the holy angels.”

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip?
Why John the Baptizer, Elijah, or one of the prophets?
What is a messiah?
Who "must" undergo great suffering?
What does it mean to deny yourself and take up your cross?  What doesn't it mean?
Who gains the world to lose life?
What does it mean to be ashamed?  What doesn't it mean?

What are your queeries?