Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Queerying Easter 5C

ID: Beatus de Facundus' 1047 Icon of New Jerusalem and the River of Life. A white figure, robed in black, holds an open book above a sperm-shaped river that flows downward. Eight people of a variety of genders and ethnicities sit on each side of the central figure. From the sides of the river, plants grow. In the bottom right corner, an angel shows John of Patmos the vision.
J. Pace Warfield-May queeries the reading from Revelation.

Revelation 21:1-6
Then I saw a new sky and a new ground; for the first sky and the first ground had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of the sky from the Becoming One, decorated as a banquet hall for a wedding. 3And I heard a loud voice from the judges’ bench saying, "See, the home of the Becoming One has been placed among mortals. Xe will dwell with them as their God; they will be Xyr peoples, and God Xymself will be with them; 4Xe will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for they have passed away." 5And the One who was seated on the judges’ bench said, "See, I am making all things new. Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." 6Then Xe said to me, "It is done! I am the A and the Z, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the parched I will give away clean, neverending water from the spring of the water of life.

Queeries for the text:
What do you envision the new sky and the new ground to be like?
Why did the old ground pass away and the sea become no more?
How do we comfort and build community through times of grief?
Why is clean water so important?

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Find previous queeries for the Acts text here.

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What are your queeries?




Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Queerying Easter 4C

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Acts reading.

ID: Rose Schneiderman, the first woman elected to national office in a labor union, speaks out at a rally, which she did many times after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911.
Acts 9:36-43
36Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good action and generous giving. 37At that time she became ill and died. When the community had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs.

38Since Lydda was near Joppa, the Sent Ones, who heard that Peter was there, sent two who were men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” 39So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them.

40Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. 41He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. 42This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lover.

43Meanwhile Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner.

Queeries for the text:
Where is Joppa?
Why does Tabitha's Greek name matter?
What are good works and generous giving?
Of what did Tabitha die? Was she pregnant?
What was Peter doing in Lydda?
Who makes the clothing now?
Which "certain Simon"? How long does Peter stay?

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J. Pace Warfield-May queeries the Revelation reading.
ID: Vantablack applied to tinfoil in a square container. The Vantablack makes it appears as if there is no shape or contour to the tinfoil where the Vantablack is applied
Revelation 7:9-17
9After these things, I looked, and holy shit there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in Vantablack, with palm branches in their hands. 10They cried out in a loud voice, saying, "Salvation and an end to suffering belongs to the Becoming One who is seated on the judgment bench, and to the Lamb!”

11 And all the angels stood around the throne and around the ancestors and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped the Becoming One, 12singing, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our Becoming One forever and ever! Amen.”

13Then one of the ancestors addressed me, saying, "Who are these, robed in Vantablack, and where have they come from?” 14I said to the ancestor, "Comrade, you are the one that knows." Then the ancestor said to me, "These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them Vantablack in the blood of the Lamb. 15For this reason they are before the throne of the Becoming One, and worship day and night within the temple, and the One who is seated on the judgment bench will keep them safe and protected. 16They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not burn them, nor any scorching heat; 17for the Lamb at the center of the judgment bench will be their shepherd, and They will guide them to springs of the water of life, and the Becoming One will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Queeries for the text:
What are these things John is referencing?
What would it be like to fear no more the heat of the sun?
What does the judgement bench have to do with salvation and an end to suffering?
What would it be like to have robes in Vantablack?

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What are your queeries?



 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

A Litany for Reproductive Justice

ID: a graphic designed by Pace Warfield-May shows a purple band with white flowers adjacent to a taupe rectangle with the following text: "A Litany for Reproductive Justice/written by Suzannah Porter and Rev. Emily E. Ewing." A purple flower is under the text and the diakonia.faith logo is in the bottom right corner.
With devastation all around and in our hearts, we come to you, Holy Protector.

Be with all who are caught up in despair today for when the draft statement becomes the opinion of the United States Supreme Court:
those experiencing emergency or risky pregnancies, who will not be able to terminate a pregnancy in order to save their own life.
those who miscarry and will face criminal investigations in the midst of their pain and loss.
those who are pregnant and feel financially chained to an abusive partner.
those who do not want to be pregnant for any reason and now wonder if it will be possible to end an unwanted pregnancy.
Comforting God, be with us in our despair



Be with all who fear what is to come.
for the terrifying realities and increased danger for those who become pregnant.
for those who recognize this as one step of many in the erosion of rights for all people.
Be a courageous and caring presence especially for people with uteri, for women of all kinds, for trans and nonbinary people, for disabled people, for queer people, for Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and especially for those with intersecting identities of oppression.  Give us faith to triumph over our fear.
Courageous God, be with us in our fear



Our hearts grieve for the ways we have failed.  We repent for our inaction to protect the right to an abortion.  We repent for the ways we have remained silent and let fear outweigh our faith and commitment to reproductive justice.  We repent for the times when we did not speak and could have.  We repent for the education we did not share.  We repent that we let it come to this.  For those of us who are faith leaders, clergy, and politicians, we repent for the times when our pulpits were silent, when we feared for our jobs more than a future without safe abortion, when we didn't believe the warning signs, when we refused to risk our comfort for the sake of reproductive justice.  We repent for the ways we ignored the 1 in 4 people with uteri in our pews who have had abortions, adding to the stigma.
God of mercy, forgive us our sins.



Protect the most vulnerable.  Keep those who seek and who provide abortions safe.  Pour your power into holistic reproductive health care, for all seeking to become pregnant, to end pregnancies, and everything between and beyond.  Protect those who have faced forced sterilization, that their wombs and bodies may be kept safe.  Protect those without the funds or access to seek abortion, especially in states where it is already nearly impossible to access reproductive health care.
God our refuge, protect us from all harm.



Strengthen the support for abortion networks and those who are working to protect rights to reproductive justice.  Expand the work that is already being done to ensure access to safe, free abortions.  For the fights on the horizon, we pray for your strength and protection: for bodily integrity and autonomy of all kinds, including access to birth control, access to gender affirming health care, protection for transgender and queer children from legislated harm, the protection that marriages of many kinds provide.  Give us patience and care in the creation of a more expansive movement, that we would each be gentle with each other as we navigate our trauma collisions, to seek first to understand with love.
God our champion, lead us to justice.



We give you thanks for all those who have been in this fight for decades and for those who today are filled with ferocity, fury, and fear.
for the work and protection that has been done so far.
for all who don’t know where to begin, and yet are burning with a fire for justice in the wake of this news.
Breathe your resting peace into those who have been fighting, that they carve out space to be gentle with themselves in the time to come.  Give us wisdom to follow those who are already doing this work.  Put your words in our mouths and on our hearts as we speak with state and national officials.  Prepare us for the long road ahead.
Maker of justice, breathe your liberating Spirit through us.



Creative Spirit of consent and courage, we entrust all this and all that you know that we need into your loving presence.  We pray all this in your many names. Amen.



If you would like to use this litany, please credit Suzannah Porter and Rev. Emily E. Ewing, diakonia.faith. The litany in graphic form, designed by Pace Warfield-May can be found here on the diakonia.faith Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Queerying Easter 3C

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Acts reading.
ID: a continuous scaly pattern fills a rainbow blue green background.
Acts 9:1-6[7-20]
Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lover, went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, of any gender, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3Now as Saul was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4Saul fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

5Saul asked, “Who are you, Lover?”

The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are targeting. 6But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”

[7The people who were traveling with Saul stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. 8Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.

9For three days Saul was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

10Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lover said to Ananias in a vision, “Ananias.”

He answered, “Here I am, Lover.”

11The Lover said to Ananias, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, 12and he has seen in a vision one named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.”

13But Ananias answered, “Lover, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; 14and here he has authority from the community leaders to bind all who invoke your name.”

15But the Lover said to Ananias, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and rulers and before the people of Israel; 16I myself will show Saul how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”

17So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lover Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18And immediately something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and his sight was restored. Then Saul got up and was baptized, 19and after taking some food, he regained his strength. For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, 20and immediately Saul began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “They are the Descendant of God.”]

Queeries for the text:
How can light harm?
Why is Saul persecuting the followers of the Way?
How is Saul dependent on others? How are we interdependent?
Why would anyone want to go to the street called Straight?
How do harmful actions disconnect us?
What scales need to fall for us to proclaim Jesus?
How do conversions usually happen

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J. Pace Warfield-May queeries the reading from Revelation.
ID: an icon of the tetramorph (the four creatures), with a bird on the top, the human in the center, the bull on the left, and the lion on the right, each surrounded by wings against a starry field.
Revelation 5:11-14
11Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the ancestors; they numbered tens of thousands of tens of thousands and thousands of thousands, 12singing with full voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!"

13Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing, "To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" 14And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the ancestors fell down and worshiped.

Queries for the text:
How does one hear by looking?
Who are the ancestors? What are the four creatures?
What comes from suffering?
What does an entire planet singing sound like?

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Find previous queeries for the John text.

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What are your queeries?




Thursday, April 21, 2022

Queerying Easter 2C

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Acts reading.

ID: the cover of The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James Cone shows a golden leafed tree standing in a yellow field and pale sky.
Gospel: Acts 5:27-32
27When the captain and police had brought the Sent Ones, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, 28saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this person’s blood on us.”

29But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. 30The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31God exalted Them at Xyr right hand as Lover and Savior that They might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Xem.”

Queeries for the text:
Why were the captain and police bringing the Sent Ones?
How do Christians bring Jesus' blood on Jewish people?
What is of God?
What happens when someone is hung on a tree?
Who actually hung Jesus on a tree?
How are religious and community leaders complicit in oppression?
Who needs repentance and forgiveness?
What is the Holy Spirit up to?

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J. Pace Warfield- May queeries the reading from Revelation.

ID: Image is a subtitled still from Season 3 of “American Horror Story,” featuring a close up of Myrtle (Frances Conroy) saying “Behold, the one true, supreme.”
Revelation 1:4-8
4John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from Them who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before Their throne, 5and from Jesus the Anointed, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the Sovereign of the monarchs and leaders of the earth. To Them who loves us and freed us from our harm and harm to others by Their blood, 6and made us to be a kin-dom, priests serving Their God/ess and Parent, to Them be glory and authority forever and ever. Amen.

7Look! They are coming with the clouds; every eye will see Them, even those who pierced Them; and on Their account all the peoples of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. 8"I am the A (the Alpha, the First) and the Z (the Omega, the last)," says the God/ess, who is and who was and who is to come, the Supreme.

Queeries for the text:
Who is this message addressed to?
What does it mean to be firstborn of the dead?
What or who is Jesus witness to?
What does it mean to be a member of Jesus' kin-dom and a priest serving God/ess?
Why will the peoples of the earth wail?

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Find previous queeries for the John text.

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What are your queeries?






Thursday, April 14, 2022

Queerying Easter Day C

Queery the rest of Holy Week

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Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel readings.
ID: the glaciers of Calafate, Argentina are visible on a large body of water in front of tree covered mountains with green plants with red flowers framing the glaciers in the foreground.
Gospel: Luke 24:1-12
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, the women who had come with Jesus from Galilee came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they went in, they did not find the body. 4While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two people in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the people said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? They are not here, but have risen. 6Remember how Jesus told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7that the Human One must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.”

8Then the women remembered Jesus' words, 9and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles.

11But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

Queeries for the text:
Which spices had been prepared?
When else have dazzling clothes appeared? Who dazzles?
When do we look for the living among the dead?
Who are the sinners?
Who made up the church before the apostles were told?
Why wouldn't they believe women?

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Gospel: John 20:1-18
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other in the chosen family, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lover out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid the body.” 3Then Peter and the one whom Jesus loved set out and went toward the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5This one bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that Jesus must rise from the dead. 10Then the two returned to their homes.

11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She said to them, “They have taken away my Lover, and I do not know where they have laid the body.” 14When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.

15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?”

Supposing Jesus to be the gardener, she said, “Liege, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”

16Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher).

17Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Caregiver. But go to my siblings and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Caregiver and your Caregiver, to my God and your God.’”

18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the chosen family, “I have seen the Lover”; and she told them that They had said these things to her.

Queeries for the text:
Who is the "they"?
How do you believe without understanding?
When do we not recognize loved ones?
How are names powerful?
Who made up the church before Mary announced the news to anyone else?

What are your queeries?





Thursday, April 7, 2022

Queerying Palm/Passion C

ID: a black and white photo shows a person laying their coat on the ground before a person wiht high heels.  At the top is the question "How Did Coat Over Puddle Chivalry Begin?"

 Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: Luke 19:28-40
28After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of the disciples, 30saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Becoming One needs it.’”

32So those who were sent departed and found it as Jesus had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

34They said, “The Becoming One needs it.” 35Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.

36As Jesus rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. 37As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the chosen family began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, 38saying, “Blessed is the ruler who comes in the name of the Becoming One! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!”

39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.”

40Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”

Queeries for the text:
After Jesus had said what?
Why a colt that has never been ridden?
Where are the palms?
Who benefits from silence

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Gospel: Luke 21:37-22:16
37Every day Jesus was teaching in the temple, and at night he would go out and spend the night on the Mount of Olives, as it was called. 38And all the people would get up early in the morning to listen to him in the temple.

22Now the festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was near. 2The religious authorities were looking for a way to put Jesus to death, for they were afraid of the people. 3Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve; 4he went away and conferred with the religious authorites and officers of the temple police about how he might betray Jesus to them. 5They were greatly pleased and agreed to give him money. 6So he consented and began to look for an opportunity to betray Jesus to them when no crowd was present.

7Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us that we may eat it.”

9They asked Jesus, “Where do you want us to make preparations for it?”

10“Listen,” Jesus said to them, “when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow them into the house they enter 11and say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher asks you, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ 12The owner will show you a large room upstairs, already furnished. Make preparations for us there.”

13So they went and found everything as Jesus had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal. 14When the hour came, Jesus took his place at the table, and the chosen family with him. 15He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the dominion of God.”

Queeries for the text:
What else happens in the temple?
What is Passover? What isn't it?
Who colludes with police? How is Satan at work?
How is antisemitism at play?
What kind of man carries water?
Who prepares room for unknown strangers?
How is it fulfilled? How is it not?

What are your queeries?


  
 

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Queerying Lent 5C

ID: a spikenard plant with dark blue berries.
Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: John 12:1-8
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2There they gave a dinner for Jesus. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus' chosen family (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5“Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” 6(Judas said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.)

7Jesus said, “Leave Mary alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

Queeries for the text:
What is Passover?
Who is Jesus' chosen family? How does Jesus love them?
What does nard smell like?
What happens when fragrance fills a space?
When do we care about the poor? When don't we?
Who steals from the common purse?
How do we always have the poor with us? Why?

What are your queeries?

ID: a purplish-pink, blooming spikenard plant.




Thursday, March 24, 2022

Queerying Lent 4C

ID: four pigs, two pinkish orange with dark spots and two white with dark spots, snuggle together with wrinkly noses.

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3So Jesus told them this parable:

[...]

11b“There was a man who had two children. 12The younger of them said to their father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13A few days later the younger gathered all they had and traveled to a distant country, and there they squandered their property in dissolute living. 14When they had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and they began to be in need. 15So they went and hired themself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent them to hir fields to feed the pigs. 16They would gladly have filled themself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave them anything. 17But when they came to themself they said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ 20So they set off and went to their father. But while they were still far off, their father saw them and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around them and kissed them. 21Then the child said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your child.’ 22But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on them; put a ring on their finger and sandals on their feet. 23And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24for this child of mine was dead and is alive again; they were lost and are found!’ And they began to celebrate.

25“Now his elder was in the field; and when they came and approached the house, they heard music and dancing. 26The elder called one of the slaves and asked what was going on.

27She replied, ‘Your sibling has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got them back safe and sound.’ 28Then they became angry and refused to go in. Their father came out and began to plead with them.

29But they answered their father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30But when this child of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for them!’

31Then the father said to them, ‘Child, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this sibling of yours was dead and has come to life; they were lost and have been found.’”

Queeries for the text:
What's missing?
What does the rest of the family think? The slaves? How do they feel?
How is property inherited?
Why did no one give the younger child anything?
Why was the younger child dead to the father?
How can a child work like a slave?
What does the elder actually know about the younger's activities? What is assumed?
What do sex workers do?

What are your queeries?




Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Queerying Lent 3C

ID: a photo by Joash Castro on Unsplash shows a potted fig tree without fruit grows near a gray wall.
Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: Luke 13:1-9
At that very time there were some present who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2Jesus asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? 3No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. 4Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”

6Then Jesus told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7So he said to the overseer, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’

8She replied, ‘Master, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. 9If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”

Queeries for the text:
At what very time?
Why do bad things happen?
Who needs what kinds of repentance?
What tower of Siloam?
How long do fig trees usually take to bear fruit?
What wastes soil?
Who is (dis)connected to the soil?
Who has patience?

What are your queeries?


 

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Queerying Lent 2C

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: a photo by Erin Liu shows the book Fox Tails: a Giant Ice Cream Mess and a crocheted fox, made by Erin Liu, on top of a woodland themed sheet with foxes on it..
Gospel: Luke 13:31-35
31At that very hour some religious authorities came and said to Jesus, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.”

32Jesus said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me, ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. 33Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’ 34Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 35See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Becoming One.’”

Queeries for the text:
At what very hour and where?
Why did Herod want to kill Jesus?
Why tell a fox? How do foxes respond?
What is impossible?
Who is killing today?
How does a hen gather her brood?
When do we say "blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Becoming One"?

What are your queeries?


 

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Queerying Lent 1C

ID: Map of UN member states. Non-members shown: Vatican City, Palestinian territories, Western Sahara. Territories of states not recognized by the UN are not included due to the fact that they appear to be part of some UN member state on UN's maps, including Republic of Kosovo, Abkhazia, Republic of Artsakh, South Ossetia, Somaliland, Republic of China (Taiwan), etc.

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: Luke 4:1-13
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. Jesus ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished.

3The devil said to Jesus, “If you are the Divine Child, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.”

4Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’”

5Then the devil led Jesus up and showed him in an instant all the nations of the world. 6And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. 7If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”

8Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Becoming One your God, and serve only Them.’”

9Then the devil took Jesus to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Divine Child, throw yourself down from here, 10for it is written, ‘They will command Their angels concerning you, to protect you,’ 11and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’”

12Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Becoming One your God to the test.’”

13When the devil had finished every test, he departed from Jesus until an opportune time.

Queeries for the text:
What happened at the Jordan?
How long is 40 days
Where is it written?
Who wants to rule?
Where is it written?
Where are these written?
Where is it written?
When is an opportune time?
Why test

What are your queeries?


 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Queerying Transfiguration C

ID: against a gold background gradient from dark at the bottom to light, bright sparkles accumulate towards the top.

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: Luke 9:28-36[37-43a]
28Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29And while Jesus was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling. 30Suddenly the chosen family present saw two people, Moses and Elijah, talking to Jesus. 31They appeared in glory and were speaking of Jesus' departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

32Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two who stood with him. 33Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Leader, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” —not knowing what he said.

34While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. 35Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Child, my Chosen; listen to him!”

36When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.

[37On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met Jesus. 38Just then a man from the crowd shouted, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my child; they are my only child. 39Suddenly a spirit seizes them, and all at once they shriek. It convulses them until they foams at the mouth; it mauls them and will scarcely leave them. 40I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they were not able.”

41Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you? Bring your child here.”

42While they were coming, the demon dashed the child to the ground in convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave them back to their father. 43And all were astounded at the greatness of God.]

Queeries for the text:
After which sayings?
How dazzling?
What departure was Jesus about to accomplish?
What happens when someone is weighed down by sleep
Why Moses and Elijah?
When else does a voice speak?
Who still keeps silent today?
When are people not able to help?
Why is Jesus burnt out?
What needs rebuking today?

What are your queeries?






Thursday, February 17, 2022

Queerying 7th after Epiphany C

Guest queerier, Pace Warfield-May, queeries the Tanakh Reading.

Tanakh Reading: Genesis 45:3-11, 15
3Joseph said to their brothers, "I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?" But Joseph’s brothers were so stunned in realizing that they were in Joseph’s presence. 4Then Joseph said to their brothers, "Come near to me." And they came near.

Joseph said, "I am your sibling, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5And now do not grieve nor be angry at yourselves because you sold me here; for out of this situation God has sent me before you to preserve life. 6For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7God sent me ahead of you for you to be a remnant on earth, and to save your lives by escaping the famine. 8So it was not you who sent me here, but God; She has made me Pharaoh's caregiver and supervisor of all Pharaoh’s house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, 'Thus says your child Joseph, God has made me the ruler of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. 10You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11I will provide for you there--since there are five more years of famine to come--so that you and your household, and all whom you love and all that you have, will not come to poverty.'"

...

15And Joseph kissed all their brothers and wept on them; and after that their brothers talked with them.

Queeries for the text:
What is missing from this passage?
Where or what is Goshen?
How is Joseph framing God’s actions in this story?
What is a famine? Who is impacted the most by famines?
How was Joseph gender nonconforming?
What does it look like to weep on someone?

-----

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

ID: the u.s. Federal Reserve is depicted like a purple tinted mechanical spider who has entrapped the earth in its green web.  In the background is a $1000 bill.
Gospel: Luke 6:27-38
Jesus said:
27"But I say to you that listen, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your undergarment. 30Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for She is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Caregiver is merciful.

37"Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back."

Queeries for the text:
How do we love our enemies?
Why would I turn a cheek?
What happens without any clothes?
Where does credit come from?
How do we judge
A good measure of what?

What are your queeries?







Thursday, February 10, 2022

Queerying 6th after Epiphany C

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

ID: a calligraphy-styled ambigram shows blessed and cursed as their own ambigrams of each other.
Gospel: Luke 6:17-26
17Jesus came down with his chosen family and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his followers and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. 18They had come to hear Jesus and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19And all in the crowd were trying to touch Jesus, for power came out from him and healed all of them.

20Then Jesus looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the dominion of God.
21“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
22“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Human One. 23Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
24“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
25“Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.
26“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip?
How does power come out from someone?
Which people are poor?
Who weeps today?
Who is blessed? Cursed?
Who is hated on account of the Human One?
Who has received consolation?
Who is full?
Who do "all" speak well of? 

What are your queeries?






Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Queerying 5th after Epiphany C

ID: a black and white etching depicts artist Anita Magsaysay-Ho's work "Two Women Mending Nets", from 1990
Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

Gospel: Luke 5:1-11
Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, 2he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishers had gone out of them and were washing their fishnets. 3He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.

4When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”

5Simon answered, “Leader, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. 7So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink.

8But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Liege, for I am a sinful man!” 9For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; 10and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.”

11When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed Jesus.

Queeries for the text:
What did we skip?
What if Simon had not allowed Jesus to board the boat? 
How many fish make a net break? Two nets?
When do we need to call partners because we are overwhelmed?
How does Jesus escalate from Leader to Liege?
What does it mean to be sinful?
What if we don't want to catch people?
Who got the fish they'd caught?
ID: in Ramekon O’Arwisters' "Mending 19", crocheted curves and circles envelop a tall, narrow vase, like vines overgrowing a neglected monument
What are your queeries?

 


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Queerying 4th after Epiphany C

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: a purple tree framed into a square. The tree is in the style of the tree of life.
Tanakh: Jeremiah 1:4-10
The word of the Becoming One came to me:
Before I created you in the womb, I selected you;
Before you were born, I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet concerning the nations.

I replied:
Ah, Becoming Itself!
I don’t know how to speak,
For I am still a boy.
And the Becoming said to me:
Do not say, “I am still a boy,”
But go wherever I send you
And speak whatever I command you.
Have no fear of them,
For I am with you to deliver you
—declares the Becoming One.

The Becoming One put out Her hand and touched my mouth, and the Becoming One said to me: Here, I put My words into your mouth.
See, I appoint you this day
Over nations and kingdoms:
To uproot and to pull down,
To destroy and to overthrow,
To build and to plant.

Queeries for the text:
What nations does this author refer to?
Who are the prophets?
What is God saying today?
What can we build and plant?

-----

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.

ID: the character Anger, from Inside Out, is red and wearing slacks, a white button-up, and a tie. Anger's head is exploding upward in firey rage while legs and arms are splayed and hands are balled into fists.
Gospel: Luke 4:21-30
21Then Jesus began to say to the crowd gathered in the synagogue, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22All spoke well of Jesus and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”

23Jesus said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’”

24And Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. 25But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; 26yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”

28When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29They got up, drove Jesus out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff.

30But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went on his way.

Queeries for the text:
Which scripture?
Who is spoken well of today? Who speaks well of others?
What expectations do we place on helpers?
What did God do in Zarephath?
What did God do to Namaan?
How do some people fill with rage so quickly?
How do people pass through the midst of crowds

What are your queeries?


 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Queerying 3rd after Epiphany C

River Needham, MA ThM queeries the Tanakh reading.
ID: two Torah scrolls.
Tanakh: Nehemiah 8:1-3,[4,]5-6,[7,]8-10
The entire people assembled as one human in the square before the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the scroll of the Teaching of Moses with which the Becoming One had charged Israel.

On the first day of the seventh month, Ezra the priest brought the Teaching before the congregation, people of many genders and all who could listen with understanding.

He read from it, facing the square before the Water Gate, from the first light until midday, to all the people and those who could understand; the ears of all the people were given to the scroll of the Teaching.

[Ezra the scribe stood upon a wooden tower made for the purpose, and beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah at his right, and at his left Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, Meshullam.] Ezra opened the scroll in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people; as he opened it, all the people stood up. Ezra blessed the Becoming One, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” with hands upraised. Then they bowed their heads and prostrated themselves before the Becoming One with their faces to the ground.

[Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites explained the Teaching to the people, while the people stood in their places.] They read from the scroll of the Teaching of God, translating it and giving the sense; so they understood the reading. Nehemiah the Tirshatha, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were explaining to the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Becoming One your God: you must not mourn or weep,” for all the people were weeping as they listened to the words of the Teaching. He further said to them, “Go, eat choice foods and drink sweet drinks and send portions to whoever has nothing prepared, for the day is holy to our sovereign. Do not be sad, for your rejoicing in the Becoming One is the source of your strength.”

Queeries for the text:
Who interprets the texts today?
Who keeps people safe when reading the Teaching?
Why are we eating choice foods this week?
Why are Teachings good?

-----

Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
ID: a cartoon depiction of the X-Men character Jubilee throws hands in the air in a power stance.
Gospel: Luke 4:14-21
14Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

16When Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: 18“The Spirit of God is upon me, because She has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. She has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, 19to proclaim the year of God’s favor.”

20And Jesus rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then Jesus began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Queeries for the text:
Where did Jesus return from?
How long did it take to unroll the scroll?
What is good news to the poor?
What can release to the captives look like?
What kind of sight do the blind have?
How do the oppressed go free?
What is the year of the God's favor

What are your queeries?