10 July 2016
I had a whole thing written about the story of the good Samaritan. A familiar story that we’ve all heard a bazillion times. I was going to talk about looking at this story through the eyes of the nameless person thrown in the ditch and left to die. About how we need to think about who we hate and reimagine seeing that person as Christ. Read More
29 May 2016
This is Memorial Day Weekend. And as a gift, the Lectionary gave us a story about a centurion so that we might remember a soldier. Luke 10:1-7. A recap: After a discourse, Jesus went to Capernaum, where a centurion who had heard about him sent messengers – Jewish leaders – to ask him to come and heal a particularly highly valued slave. Jesus commends the centurion for his great faith and the slave is healed.
My big struggle with this story and my immediate reaction to is has been, over and over: Jesus, why are you saying that a Centurion – occupier, soldier, holder of power – is good? You praise this man? Basically, WTF, Jesus?? Read More
Megan M Ramer
22 May 2016
Today I don’t so much have a sermon to preach
as I have an invocation to offer on our behalf. Read More
I am grateful that the storytelling we heard today from John was about our relationship to BMC and the Way of welcome to LGBTQ Christians and how Connecting Families provides a place of care and support for queer folks and their kin. I think it is a clear illustration from the recent history of our congregation of the kind of the kind of complete change of understanding that Peter has in our Acts story. That was a milestone change that the early church experienced as they learned that it was not Jewish believers where were called to follow Christ. And not only were non-Jewish believers welcomed by God but that they too as Jewish believers could welcome, share a table with and be changed by the addition of these new persons into the Body of Christ. They began to live Peter’s words: “truly God shows no partiality.” And in the words of our hymn, “There is a wideness in God’s mercy.” Read More
It’s April 15th and a day I am reminded has huge consequences . A day (which should be a life of days) remembering our US tax dollars have bought weapons, missiles, war and drones to be used against the innocent and the not so innocent. Protecting me and my plot of land at the expense of others, defending my freedom at the expense of others, safeguarding my children at the expense of others. It’s not right. Yet I haven’t been able to extricate myself from this reality that I am praying for peace and paying for war. I grew up going to confession and as a child wondered what I was supposed to confess – hitting my sister, a little lie to my mother? Should I make something up because I didn’t feel like a sinner? Well now I know what sin really feels like and confession just doesn’t seem adequate under the circumstances. Hard to pray for forgiveness when I know what I am doing…
There are a number of groups doing war tax resistance work. Here are a few which will lead you to more resources.
$10.40 for Peace
A web site and blog with a growing collection of articles and resources about the life of peace in a country at war, from an Anabaptist perspective
Mennonite Central Committee
One of the best books pulling together war tax issues: “The Tax Dilemma: Praying for Peace Paying for War”, Donald D. Kaufman, 2006
National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee
The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee supports individuals who refuse to pay for war, and promotes war tax resistance in the context of a broad range of nonviolent strategies for social change. Through the redirection of our tax dollars, war tax resisters contribute directly to the struggle for peace and justice for all. NWTRCC is a coalition of local, regional, and national groups and individuals from across the United States.
War Resisters League
The United States’ oldest secular pacifist organization which has been resisting war at home and war abroad since 1923. Thier work for nonviolent revolution has spanned decades and been shaped by the new visions and strategies of each generation’s peacemakers. Members of WRL agree with our pledge:
“The War Resisters League affirms that all war is a crime against humanity. We are determined not to support any kind of war, international or civil, and to strive nonviolently for the removal of all causes of war, including racism, sexism and all forms of exploitation.”
Pie Chart: Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes
A Peace Tax Fund Return
A flyer designed to roughly resemble a tax form and can be used to register a protest against paying taxes for war.
Endless War Resolution Passed by Mennonite Church USA
Passed by the Mennonite Church USA Delegate Assembly, July 1, 2015, Kansas City, MO
Stallion and Colt:
C. S. Lewis’ book the Horse and His Boy, has a scene set in the vaguely Arabian city of Tashbaan in the country of Calormene – south across a vast desert from Narnia and the north. Shasta, the ‘boy’ of the title notices the difference between the way the Calormene royalty and the Narnian royalty process through the streets. Both are heralded: “Make way! Make way!” but beyond that the difference is stark. Read More