an independent on-line ministry of the Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein
So glad you came to Iowa. You made the conference for me. I look forward to learnin more from you on church audits! Lisa
One of your best ever, but HOW? Really? You put my feelings into words. Oops, guess that why its the best ever. So many rules, so many hoops, so little power. Relationships,relationships, relationships! What else you got to help me?
Loved your essay regarding the “guy on the street in Louisville”. Now I’m singing it!
Your hippest holiday song video is no longer available. In keeping with your piece on website rant, please remove video link or tell us about it now that you’ve peaked our curiosity. BTW, I love your work! [thanks! Will do! Okay, the song is “We Wish You the Merriest the Merriest!” by Frank Sinatra. – PB]
Thank you for “Curses! Foiled Again!” (February 2014). Well said.
I grew up with “Thy will be done.” Throughout my early prayer life, this was a great way of acknowledging the relative smallness of my own perspective. In prayer, a little humility (or maybe a lot) is an essential ingredient.
In later life, I came to use phrases common in witchcraft and pagan communities: “According to the free will of all and harming none;” “in accordance with the free will of all and for the highest good;” etc. I think of these kinds of phrases as similar to “thy will be done,” moved out of the monotheistic framework. Humility is essential to pagan practice, too, because, yes, “spells” (i.e., enacted prayers), as you say, *do* have real effects; and the exact nature of these effects & their impacts are not predictable by our (limited) minds. I’ve always found acknowledging my own limits in this way a good way to avoid “magical mishaps.”
I’m a member of Channing MC in Ellicott City, Maryland. I’ve heard so much (always in a positive light) about you, but had never seen your blog. I’m glad I stumbled on this. [I’m glad you did, too! Thanks for writing! My love to you and the folks at CMC. – PB]
Hello, I just read your article for how to write a sermon. I’ll be delivering my first sermon in November. Thank you for words! I’ve been searching on how to write and present a sermon. The message I have is Holy Spirit inspired! The title is, What If? I am a student at my church’s Ignite School of Ministry. I’ve felt God’s call on my life for two years. There are lot of ladies the same age as me or older. It’s amazing to see God raising up ministers that are 40+! We are praying for the younger generation to rise up and become ministers too. Again, I want to thank you! Blessings to your ministry!
I came across your article on Rape culture/Myth stuff & the Random Psycho Male. I have spent an hour trying to figure out how to make a comment/reply to assist in folks, esp. Christian folks to understand how VERY prevalent this problem, actually, is. I am an older & single woman & have been, intermittently, dating online for numerous years & in a very rural area. I was raped on Nov. 30th by an acquaintance (whom I had met several times after speaking online & on the phone for 2 months) while on a date & we were not at either one’s homes. I am also a healthcare provider & a very devout and Old-fashioned Christian woman who was raised in a strict & very sheltered environment. The only way people are going to keep becoming aware of the current & every growing “rape culture’ is for us survivors to keep speaking up. Unfortunately, it seems the men (especially lower-socio-economic rural and/or urban men) are attacking educated women the most; they assume that all of us are ‘controlling bitches.’ It matters not to them that I was required to acquire a Master’s in Nursing to continue meeting the regs of the USA government, and that I won several merit base scholarships and paid my way through with my own hard-earned money. I’ve heard “hmm, YOu have a Master’s, now, I’m going to Master you” and I hear, ” Oh, you are a faithful Christian and Hmm, your ex-husband & your father both were ministers, and you act like a ‘goody-two -shoes’ and “think your pussy is golden” It is a moment for witnessing that we are all fallen sinners saved by God’s grace; they don’t care, it gives them even more impetus to try to rip my clothes off or take me by the hair, etc. Actual rape…only once…however the assaults, assumptions, anger is Increasingly Present!
Victoria, this piece is wonderful. I do criminal justice reform work, and I remember setting up Sustainable South Shore meetings at your church in Norwell. I was disappointed just now to see that you are no longer there. Are you still nearby? Email me!! I would love to speak with you.
I loved the post. It articulates my pain and deeper frustration about the number of my cohorts who some how think it was ok. The black men/boy would not have been killed if they had not provoked the police. I am screaming in anger.
But I sit here in my very segregated community. How do I help? How do I make a difference? I am part of the problem.
Just read your “fat” essay and “Is the Internet Good for Religion.”
Just read your entry on beagles. You wrote about “los[ing] many the typical dog-person arguments.” My rule was “No dogs on the furniture”. Right now Nicholas the Ridiculous is in the next room curled up on the bed (he likes his comforts). In a few minutes I will have to move him aside so that I may go to bed. Anastasia (Anna!), or Princesssbeaglegirl, is curled up in her chair at my side. She will follow me as soon as I shut off the computer and walk into the next room. I have learned to accept that they are living proof of God’s love expressed to us through Creation and that that trumps any of my silly rules. – YAY!
Hi Rev. 🙂
I’ve been reading your writing and loving it. And I just wondered if anyone had mentioned to you that, in the techie world I often inhabit, “peacebang” is a verbal way of saying, “Peace!” , the exclamation point being said as “bang.” I thought it was seriusly funny and somehow appropriate.
All the best
[Thanks, John! I had heard that but wondered if it was true, and here you are confirming the rumors. I think that’s AWESOME. The whole silly way I arbitrarily chose the name PeaceBang was so random, and when I made the decision it was with the thought that about 20 people max would ever read what I wrote. And the rest is history… – PB]
A friend sent me your blog about the Madras shorts at a funeral (OMG) and I read through your site. I am an interim pastor at a protestant church, named Covenant. The congregation is older and declining in numbers. I noticed your dissertation was entitled: “Covenanting: Ancient Promise & New Life for the Contemporary Church.” It piqued my curiosity, and so I ask if there is a way I may read it?
Thanks! And thanks for saying what we look like as ministers MATTERS!
My name is John Draper. I’m hoping you might be willing to review my first novel, A Danger to God Himself. It is not a religious book. It is literary fiction and a satire of religious certainty. It’s the story of a Mormon missionary who goes insane on his mission. Here is the back cover blurb:
Mormon missionary/onetime hedonist Kenny Feller has realized that God isn’t about to give him an ounce of the miracle power he needs to succeed on his mission—as promised! What’s more, he’s concluded that, frankly, people aren’t worth the trouble. Then his new junior companion shows up—the wisecracking Jared Baserman—and immediately starts hearing heavenly voices and seeing fantastic visions. For Kenny, it is immediately clear that God has sent Jared to propel him into Mormon Manhood.
But Kenny’s not the only person who takes note. Interests both virtuous and malevolent cozy up to Kenny and Jared, eager to make use of Jared’s gifting. At first, Kenny takes this as a sign that his perceptions of Jared are spot on. God is using Jared.
But something’s not quite right.
Specifically, why in the hell would God choose someone as slope-shouldered as Jared—someone so unreligious, so strange—to be a channel for His supernatural power? He doesn’t even read the Book of Mormon. Plus he smells funny. As their tracting grows fruitless and Jared’s messages grow more bizarre, Kenny begins to wonder: Is Jared really touched by God?
And, if so, does God know what He’s doing?
A Danger to God Himself is a scathing takedown of religious certainty, a life-affirming tale set in 1970s Washington state—equal parts spiritual road map and coming-of-age tale.
I’d be happy to send you a copy for your review.
Thanks for your time.
Hello! I love your comments about living alone and the comparisons made to gay struggles. I also found it refreshing to hear a Rev. Dr. NOT speaking disparagingly about gay people. So many Reverends do. At the end of the day, gay folks truly didn’t ask to be “that way” and they’re just trying to get through this life the best they can. When the layers of life are pulled back, gay people are no different from hetero or anything else. Those comments were just really nice to read and wonderful that your heart is in that place. All of the other comments about why a person might choose to live alone were bang-on as well but for some reason those gay comments resonated with me. Thanks for the uplifting article!
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