Bulletproof: How BTS – and ARMY – are Changing the World

There’s this boy band I’m a little obsessed with. Try to love me. I know some of their early stuff has the toxic masculinity you’d expect from a group of teenage boys. But not only do they openly admit their faults, they keep learning and trying to do better. They’ve really matured as artists, with a genuine desire to help make the world a better place. They sing about love, and female empowerment; loneliness, social justice, and inclusion. And even though they’re from another country and culture, I love listening to them, and it’s fun to get to know them through their interviews and little jokes.

Yup. I’m a Beatles fan.

Continue reading “Bulletproof: How BTS – and ARMY – are Changing the World”

#MeToo and the Idolatry Trap by Tallessyn Zawn Grenfell-Lee

Really – everywhere we look – there are dead white guys. National holiday? Most likely in honor of a dead white guy. Statue on a green? Founder of a major Christian denomination? Dead white guy. Classic literature, painting, play, music ‘everyone’ is supposed to know about? Yup, probably by a dead white guy.

It’s a little exhausting.

It’s easy to develop a pretty negative attitude about all these dead white guys. I mean, some of them were pretty questionable if not downright oppressive people. Enough, already! Am I right?

Yes! Yes. Well… sort of. The thing is, some of them really did say and do wonderful, important things. I suppose we should not dismiss an entire portion of our history just on race and gender alone. And, truth is, I have a confession to make. I kind of really love the insights of some of these folks. I guess it’s easy to complain about all these dead white guys… until you fall in love with one of them.

Continue reading “#MeToo and the Idolatry Trap by Tallessyn Zawn Grenfell-Lee”

We’ll Have a Green Christmas… Together! by Tallessyn Grenfell-Lee

Many of us journey through Advent in a culture whose businesses frantically try to capitalize on the hope, peace, joy, and love promised by the season. Although many agree that consumerism contradicts the fundamental teachings of Jesus, I am not here to disparage every last Christmas tradition until we’ve pared our so-called celebrations down to nothing. Yet many of us wish our festivities could better reflect the heart of Jesus’ teachings and ministry. It’s harder to feel quite so celebratory once we understand the ways in which our choices affect our kindred – both human and otherkind, near and far.

Maybe the point is not to have some kind of pure, ideal Christmas. If we can acknowledge the imperfect world we live in yet at the same time lift up our communal journey toward greater healing and justice, we will feel the laughter and songs of the whole Earth intertwine with our own joys at Christmastime. When gifts to our loved ones also help others around the world, the warmth we feel at their own excitement grows deeper and more powerful when we can also sense the joy of our unknown kindred somewhere else. Our appreciation of festive decorations feels more authentic when we know our choices are helping reduce the impacts of climate change, or providing habitats for God’s little sparrows. Our traditions can bring us closer to one another, and help us feel the presence of our family – all of them – throughout the journey toward Christmas. Continue reading “We’ll Have a Green Christmas… Together! by Tallessyn Grenfell-Lee”

The Way We Are Created: Eco-feminist Explorations of Bodily Hair by Tallessyn Grenfell-Lee

In the last few years, I’ve been thinking a lot about hair. It’s hard to avoid thinking about it when you are the greyest, hairiest woman in your suburban, north shore town.  Myself and the other two ‘all natural’ women in town stand out like beacons among a sea of smooth, streaked, glossy manes of gorgeously cut and styled hair. And each spring, I stare at my shorts and tank top a little longer before wearing them around town. I’ll be perfectly honest – I don’t blame those slaves to fashion one bit. Although I try to avoid what I call the ‘crazy witch woman’ look, there’s no getting around it – smooth legs look slick, and dye smooths out those grey frizzies and takes a good ten years off your age!

So, it got me wondering – what does hair have to teach us as women of faith? Is there something unique about hair that causes us to fixate on it so much? And it occurred to me that hair actually symbolizes so much about our relationship with the Creation. We exist in an interconnected matrix of the living and non-living – as a matter of fact, we rely completely on the abiotic sphere, for life and as the matrix within which relationships occur.  Our bodies exemplify that relational paradigm; our living cells are inseparable from the non-living matrices of our skin, teeth, and hair.  From our living bodies emerges a non-living, interconnected medium, symbolic of the whole ecosphere.

Continue reading “The Way We Are Created: Eco-feminist Explorations of Bodily Hair by Tallessyn Grenfell-Lee”

What Do Kids’ Birthday Parties Actually Celebrate? Alternatives for Raising the Next Generation by Tallessyn Zawn Grenfell-Lee

I love birthdays. Maybe it’s partly because I’m a twin, so my parents always wanted to make sure that each of us felt adequately celebrated. For whatever reason, they’ve always been a big deal – your special day in the whole year, where you get to choose what’s for dinner and everyone is extra nice to you. So of course I’ve had even more fun now that I have kids of my own to celebrate. I love making crazy cakes and experimenting with fun party themes; and bring on the singing!  In our family, the traditional one verse birthday song was nowhere near celebratory enough – we added to it until it felt sufficiently festive, so ours goes on for a good five minutes. Continue reading “What Do Kids’ Birthday Parties Actually Celebrate? Alternatives for Raising the Next Generation by Tallessyn Zawn Grenfell-Lee”

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