Peggy is a Psychology Instructor and administrator at Chemeketa Community College.
Early Readers Wanted!
I am in need of 3 Early Readers for my soon to be published (and as yet untitled) narrative theology.
It is a quick, light read, 200 pages. There are lots of Motorcycles, Quixotic adventures, and a few horses and Quakers. Angels, both the Hell's variety and the regular kind appear.
I need three people who can read the manuscript on a screen, within two weeks and give some general impressions and maybe answer a few questions. (If the readers I want turn out to be paper only - I will print and mail copies)
Rule Outs: The right individuals will NOT be Quakers. They will NOT have previously read any of my stuff. They will NOT be academics.
I have three specific profiles. I do not want them to be married or living in the same household.
Reader #1 Female, 35-60, Evangelical or Fundamental Christian. A regular church attender. She likely reads faith based adventure lit, missionary stories and biographies of spunky gals. If she lives east of the Rockies, that is a plus. If she is not white that is a double plus.
Reader #2 Male 35-60 NOT a regular church attender, but not anti-religion. Working or lower middle class. Blue collar a plus. Likes/rides motorcycles and/or horses. Veteran a plus. In recovery a plus. Reads non-fiction and historical fiction.
Reader #3 Any Gender 20-35. Deity friendly, but not church attending. Active. Not educated beyond a BA. Reads ebooks, comic books and is pop-culture aware.
The readers get a free book when it comes out and buckets of gratitude. The person who recruits the right reader will also get a free book.
I don't ask for much, do I.
Johnny be Good
Hero of the Faith
Well, the Olympics are almost over. The US lost Hockey and Putin lost the Ukraine.
Johnny says that showing up and being extra special flamboyant was not a political statement. That he is just being himself. But when they are doing this outside
Well then, just being yourself, can make a statement.
Especially when yourself is as fabulous as this.
Somedays, being yourself is heroic.
And The Faith says that everyone gets to be what they are called to be.
Annual Recorded Minister's report
2013 Recorded Minister’s report - Peggy Senger Parsons
It was a year of great change and expanded challenged for me. I started the year working with C. Wess Daniels(NWYM) and Kathy Hyzy (NPYM) on a weekend event called the Nursery of Truth. It was held in Camas Washington. It was a convergent event focused on bridge building and nurturing ministries. It was well attended and spiritually fruitful. I taught a workshop on Friends use of the Bible and preached the Sunday morning sermon. High times.
On February 4, I accepted a position as program coordinator, of High School Partnerships at Chemeketa Community College. I facilitate 9 programs on three campuses for marginalized and underprivileged youth who are not making it in the public schools. For the first term I did this more than full time job while finishing teaching three sections of Psychology. The first two months were exhausting. Since then I have found some sustainability and life balance, although the Quaker world has shrunk to Freedom Friends Church on Sunday mornings.
I closed a counseling practice of 20 years to take this position. I all but abandoned by blog, just as it went over 100,000 views.
In some faith communities going from Pastor and preacher to full time education administrator would be the end of your ministry career. I am grateful to God and Friends that the prevailing view is that I have taken my ministry focus into the field of education. My mission as a pastor and counselor was to preach good news to the poor, dress wounds and facilitate freedom. My mission has not changed a bit. We educate, we heal, and we facilitate social and economic freedom for the least of these. I feel that Jesus has given me a position in his diplomatic core. Embassy staff in a land of poverty and ignorance. It is very good ministry.
One practical application is supplying the girls bathroom in the GED building with feminine hygiene supplies. You cannot buy these products with food stamps. Girls really do go without. Friends at Freedom Friends have helped me with this. None of the girls know where they come from. One was heard to say “the tampon fairy has been here!” I also keep the trunk of my car full of used textbooks that I loan to students who cannot afford their books. I work with students with mental illness, depression, anxiety and autism. I am a fierce advocate for those who have been bullied. One of my favorite things about my job is that my boss appreciates my spiritual center. In an expulsion hearing, I can talk about grace and redemption and have it taken seriously. I don’t have to say Jesus’ name, I just do his work and stay connected to Him while I do it. I was asked to officiate at a wedding for one of my Russian Orthodox co-workers, who needed a legal ceremony after her church wedding. We closed the office and staff gathered around and we blessed a union. No one seemed to think that it was off the have the coordinator praying over this young couple. That day I did use Jesus’ name, and held my grandfather’s preaching Bible.
For Halloween, I dressed up as the staff exorcist. I spent the day giving the last rites to zombies and blessing the meek and casting out evil. More than one person said that it wasn’t really fair dressing up as your actual self.
As things lightened up for me, I started to write again. I have just this month sent to my editor a first draft of a narrative theology in a Quaker flavor, but written for the wider audience. It is the most transparent that I have ever been in my writing. This will be my fifth book. I expect that it will be published by summer. It does not have a title yet, but I am excited about it.
In November and December I served my beloved Alivia by producing her new CD. I also sang a little.
I continue to serve Freedom Friends as co-treasurer. This has not proven to be a burden. I attend to my self-care in many ways including 2 motorcycle-based spiritual retreats, and monthly sessions with a Spiritual Director.
I am glad to be part of a community of ministers.
Just a regular Sunday at Freedom Friends Church
Well, it was a celebration day. The recording of Ashley M Wilcox as a minister of the Gospel. The outcome of the business was not really in doubt. That is not where we get our serendipity at FFC.
We are spoiled with a history of God-made moments. The unexpected visitor. The unexpected vocal ministry. Most meetings get these. At FFC they tend to be just a bit alternative .
This morning a gentleman walked up the boulevard into the meeting. Six foot or better. Strong looking. Long blond locks flowing straight back from his face, piercing blue eyes below a broad, square forehead, a long, straight, noble nose and a full beard. Dressed in normal Friday casual except for the ladies polyester skirt. He seemed at ease and at home in the worship service. He nodded sagely when Joe Synder spoke the disciple's anguished Query, "Where else would we go Lord, you have the everlasting word of life!" He smiled when Vail Palmer reader from the letter to the Ephesians. He sang with us and prayed with us. It was a beautiful meeting.
At the rise of the meeting I welcome him and chatted. This is how he introduced himself.
"I'm trying to get to all the churches. I heard about some women who had a 'wear pants to church day' among the Mormons. I heard that they received death threats for their protest. That bothered me a great deal and so I decided to dress in a skirt, because Jesus had no seam between his legs, and I decided to go to all the churches and let them know that God loves us all and that the second commandment that we love each other is the only thing that matters. And that this is what Jesus, God or not, would want us to do." He had other things to say, and he was very impressed with what he said was his first Quaker meeting. He loved our concept of ministry. When I told him that we had recorded women to the ministry since the 1600's, he said. "It did seem like you had received the memo."
I asked him if he ate pie. "Of course, who doesn't eat pie?" He chose the Cherry. He smiled at us taking pictures and laughed when I called the assembled photogs "Quaker Paparazzi." And he walked out without saying goodby. His signature in the guest book is undecipherable, but he said his name was Erik.
The name Erik is a Danish name. In Danish the meaning is: Ever kingly.
Just another Sunday morning at Freedom Friends.
Update: Here is Erik Kulick, Aka cross-dressing Mormon Jesus
I do believe He was resurrected. Bodily. On the third day.
I will always believe this.
For many reasons,but foundationally, fundamentally, deal-breakingly because I will not betray the women.
All the Gospels say that Magdalen and a few other women were the first witnesses. Mark, the first writer says that they were not believed. Matthew leaves that little shame out. John inserts Peter and most likely himself into the story and does not mention incredulity . Luke tries to make amends. Luke is interesting. Tradition says he was a physician in Antioch. Tradition says that Antioch is where Mary, His mother fled. Luke has stories, like the birth story, that are women's stories.
Luke says that "Their words seemed like non-sense (idle tales) and they believed them not."
They were not legal witnesses - no woman was.
What a betrayal that must have been, or maybe they were just used to it.
The Eleven must have felt embarrassed a short time later. I hope they apologized.
Well I guess some of them did. The earliest writer put it in the story. It would have been so easy to forget. To erase. Matthew and John seemed to do so. But Luke was not letting them get away with it. He put the radical, groundshaking witnesses in the story, and he documented the shame of their brothers. If you were cleaning up a myth to make people look good, you would take that bit out. The fact that Luke leaves that in has the ring of truth. It is making amends, which always comes out of a place of truth
Others could have erased it later. But no one did. Not the first tellers of the story, or the first writers, or the the sucessive copiers.
The Nicene Council - Patriarchs all - chose to believe the women, and document their witness and leave in the shame.
And for two millennial no Pope or Patriarch, potentate or preacher has been able to wipe those women out of the story. No one has had the nerve. Until lately.
I will not discredit the voice of Magdalen, nor her spiritual mothers and sisters.
I will not stand with the unbelieving brothers, the skeptics.
I will not turn them into metaphor, or allegory or hagiography.
I will not let my modernist sensibilities black ball their words in shadow - Less than other words, even the words of the Master.
I won't make them smaller. Their part has been shrunk enough.
I won't discount them. They are already a bargain.
I know what it is like to not be believed when telling the Gospel Truth.
I also know what it is like to create metaphor, and allegory, and hagiography.
I have told tales and sold nonsense. I, a story teller, know the difference.
These women told the most important truth ever told.
And if their witness is discounted in my presence, I will not be silent.
Because I believe them. Quite Literally.
A poem for the Apostola Apostolorum
Joyfully Subversive - the collection
From 2010, when I had y own moto in Bujumbura, Burundi - Daniella Hayo was my exquisite Charge D'Affairs.
One of our favorite moto games is shopping downtown.
Certain types of shopping, I never do, because the prices triple when I show my face. So Dani does my purchasing for me. This allows us to act out a wonderful charade on the local stage.
It is odd for me to be on the moto - that we have well established. But the conundrum that is Dani, is not as well plumbed.
The moto boys are pretty sure that I am not a commercial enterprise. But sometimes they wonder, they have seen different people on my pillion. The back seat is the seat of the purchaser, the usual power position. But white is power up, and old is power up, and we subvert both those paradigms when Dani is behind me. It confuses them.
We compound this when we shop. I ride up to the moto stand, and discharge Dani then pull into line with the rest of the boys. She hands me her helmet and says in nice Kirundi “Please wait, I won’t be long.” I say “Oui, Mademoiselle” They are confounded. They try and quiz me, but I have no Kirundi, Well, I can say “Sindabizi Ikirundi” which ironically means “I can’t speak Kirundi.” Their puzzlers are puzzed.
I twiddle my thumbs and watch traffic just like they do. When Dani comes back with her packages, I say “Iko Wapi?” Where to? In Kiswahili. She replies “Home, please” in her nice French and I say “OK” in universal, And I grin at the boys, and off we go.
“Who IS that GIRL????
“How does she rate a lady Mazungu driver??”
“Maybe she is the daughter of the president?”
“Don’t be stupid! There would be guns!”
And the boys have something to think about all afternoon.
The Pillage of Walmart
So There I was...
Looking at the news. Late in the day after the Feast of Gratitude. There was a video clip of a two women being interviewed by a Local TV reporter clearly at the low end of the Totem Pole. It was this poor man’s job to get a story out of how their shopping had gone. I almost clicked off, and then the camera caught an unusually good angle; the woman’s chin up and out, a laugh rolling out of her mouth, and flash of her eye that meant victory. The look was one that in earlier times or other places would be called blood satiation. She had triumphed and was bringing home the trophies, scalps and booty. She had planned and executed an invasion. The God’s and Goddesses of war had smiled upon her. She was the hero to whom the crowds yell “Die Now! Die Now!” for nothing more noble could be achieved.
She had shopped well.
Oh, my sister. How we have fallen. This is our victory. The pillage of Wal-Mart. The plunder of Target. The sack of Sachs.
Clearly, no one has ever told you who you really are. What you were created to do. Let me try and give you a glimpse. See if it does not sound an echo within your soul.
Our most ancient stories tell us the truth of who we are and what we can do. In every culture, the stories exist. Scheherezade knew these stories. Boudica told these stories to her daughters. These stories tell of heroic women; Judith and Xena. This archetypal woman has come down to our day and turns up as a blonde in Sunnydale. But she is here and she will not go away. You know these stories, you have just forgotten their meaning, and failed at their application.
The oldest story I know is of a garden. Firstmother was seduced by a lie. A fear-based lie. A myth of scarcity. She was told that her creator was holding out on her. She bought the falsehood that she must acquire, by deceit or force, what she was not given. She realizes her mistake very quickly, but the adhesive gum of the price-sticker of that lie stuck to her soul and was passed down.
But not before her creator gave her one more thing.
He spoke to her seducer and said this.
“You who were made for glory, you who has never had a predator, you have now made an enemy, and her name is woman, and you should be afraid, very afraid for although you will cut her, in the end, she will crush your head.”
Not Firstfather. Not the second Adam who came to plant the new garden. No, SHE was tasked with vermin eradication. She shall have the final victory. Doubt me? Get thee to a Roman church; find the pretty Lady, the one of the serene face, the upturned eyes. Look at her feet, and see what is crushed under them.
Since that day two forces have been competing for your soul, my sister. One, a foul lie from Hell, which says that you are not complete, that you are not good enough, that you must have more, be more. The other force is deeper and more powerful, but often buried, unawakened. It says that you are more powerful than you could ever know – right now. That force knows that evil itself, fears YOU. You were meant to crush poverty. To thwart abuse. To free captives as well as to bind wounds. You were meant to have clear sight, wisdom and power.
But sister, you have bought the lie. You have bought it wholesale, retail and on sale. You have stocked your cupboards with it and put it away for the winter. You have breast-fed and spoon fed it to your babies. Your soul has root cellars full of it.
You have let your enemy bind your feet, so that you cannot stand your ground. You have let your enemy steal your right to read, so that your may not look upon the truth. You have let your enemy impoverish you through mistaken wars you have enabled with your cooking pot and laundry pail. You have died bearing daughters who do not know who they are.
Yet in your deepest dreams the battle songs of Miriam and Deborah still sing.
“Horses and chariots are no match for my God”
There was nothing wrong with that feeling you felt on Friday night, my dear. You were hardwired to crave it, seek it, fight for it and revel in it. But oh, my sister, my mother, my daughter, you have settled for a pale echo of the truth.
Give it a thought now, before we settle into the cookies and the glass balls and the laughter of children. Any maybe on this New Year, you might want to sing a new song, and laugh a new laugh, and look your true enemy in the eye and let him see that you see him, clearly. Let him see that flash in your eye. Scare the Hell out of him, I tell you it will.
“Get the claymore out of the thatch where you hid it Molly.”
Vini… Vidi… Vi – effin – Ci