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An Easter Reflection

(Originally published on the Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries blog. That posting can be found here: https://www.elm.org/2020/04/16/an-easter-reflection.) “When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.” John 20:14 (NRSV)  I write thoughts on the joyful resurrection of Jesus Christ as a dispatch from the front, at the base of a cresting wave of pandemic viral infection, rapid-fire government regulations, and a hotbed of liturgical reinvention. I wish I could speak with singularly joyful affirmation on how our fellow comrades-of-the-keys (that’s pastor slang for well, pastors) are rising equally to the challenge with compassion and vigor. Instead, it’s more apt to say we are facing this uncertain new world like the earnest and imperfect apostles we are.  In John 20:1-18 we read the story of Easter that begins with Mary seeing something unfamiliar happening around the place where her Savior

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“My Story, Your Story, Our Story: A Lenten Devotional from An LGBTQIA+ Lutheran”

This post was originally published on the blog of Reconciling Works, an LGBTQIA+ Lutheran organization. The original post can be found here: https://www.reconcilingworks.org/my-story-your-story-our-story-lenten-devotionals-of-lgbtqia-lutherans-carla-christopher-wilson/ A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough. Galatians 5:9 NRSV I once said “Being Black, LGBTQIA+, and ELCA is the only time in my life I’ve ever been part of the 1%!” Spoken with humor, it is nevertheless my reality. I walk into space after space and experience a sea of faces who do not look like me, hear voices that do not speak like mine, and sit in worship rich with cultural traditions that are lovely but have little personal significance to me. There is love and celebration in these spaces, but I still often feel like a guest or a visitor in a space not my own. So why do I stay? Because I know I am not the only person to feel

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A Poem for Advent

This poem was originally written for a series of liturgical poems that became an Advent devotional for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries. The original post can be found here: https://www.elm.org/2019/12/05/advent-by-carla-christopher-wilson/. May it be a reflective blessing to you. Feel free to share with credit. Adventby Carla Christopher Wilson Hold fast, slip fingered though your grasp has beenagainst moments run like rainthrough futile clenched handsHold fast,the brightness is coming Stand firm,toes curled against a frozen earth,braced against soildetermined in its lack of welcomeStand firm,the warmth is coming Be still,the cracking of dawn like a broken shellis spilling gold into the purple darknessBe still,the sky is moving Listen,humming vibrations gather speed,lifting flattened archesand resting heelsListen,the earth is moving Be readyPoised and present, taut and sharp eyed,waiting with ears turnedand open cupped handsBe ready,day is coming Go forward,even against wind without source,Look toward the cliffs where birds with restless wings build nestsYou have not been brought into this

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“A Deeper Love”; A Pride Devotional

I love Aretha Franklin and I loved writing this Pride Month devotional for the LGBTQIA+ Lutheran organization, Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries. The original post can be found at https://www.elm.org/2019/05/23/a-deeper-love-by-aretha-franklin/ but I am sharing the text here as well. Great words to remember year round. When I heard Aretha Franklin growl “Pride; A Deeper Love” at my very first Pride just a few months after coming out it gave me LIFE! A church girl turned survivor of conversion therapy and toxic church, being told that I was worthy of love and deserved survival was revolutionary. I twirled, skipped, and danced my way across Bryant Park in New York City with fae boys and stud women still rocking the James Dean look. As we shared a moment in all our diversity, I knew a oneness that I hadn’t experienced outside of the church. When Aretha told me getting out of bed that morning was a

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“Shame On You”; A Pride Devotional

I love blogging for the LGBTQIA+ Luthern organization, Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries. This is a Pride Month devotional I wrote for them featuring The Indigo Girls song, “Shame On You”, one of my favorites. The original blog can be found at https://www.elm.org/2020/07/23/shame-on-you/ When I came out in 1996 I went on a crash-course epic journey of lesbian fashion tropes. I spent a sweaty New York Pride season in high femme rockabilly, a festie folk Pride in rainbow-striped bandana head wraps and bohemian skirts with ankle bells, and a Pride in gayboy sidekick mode looking like a misplaced Anime character. “Shame on You” was the anthem of my blue jean Pride summer. Retro t-shirts, faded denim, and the inevitable Birkenstock sandals didn’t matter that year as much as the music. Those years in the late 90s saw movement in creation care and planet activism, immigration as a human right touchstone, and a

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A Pandemic Word of Comfort

Feeling a little lost and overwhelmed? Without direction? King Solomon, the wisest man in the world and a man blessed by God, still prayed this prayer upon becoming a leader; “I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil.” (1 Kings 3:7-9a) Staying humble and admitting we have NO idea what we are doing and needing to ask for help all too ofton has nothing to do with talent, or ability, or hard work. Its just the way we are called to come before God. Luckily, we see this SAME language about our going out and coming in being guarded

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