Midweek Blog: Trust the Circle

25 October 2023

“Trust the circle” was a favorite phrase of Rubén Castilla Herrera, best known to our congregation as the organizer behind Edith Espinal’s sanctuary stay in our building.  That phrase is also the name of a new book about Rubén’s life: Trust the Circle: The Resistance and Resilience of Rubén Castilla Herrera.  It’s written by OSU Professor of Latino/a...

Here’s a poem I’ve been sharing in a few different circles.  It’s fitting for fall, a season when change is somehow felt more deeply in the bone; for this congregation remembering the gift of an elder like Al Bauman; for times of political tumult.

The image of the thread gives me some needed orientation, even as it leaves open the question of what that thread is for each person.

“The Way It Is” by William Stafford

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to...

Back in June The New Yorker magazine published a weekend essay by Agnes Callard titled “The Case Against Travel,” tagline: “It turns us into the worst version of ourselves while convincing us that we’re at our best.” 

It’s a well-founded critique.  Citing a classic definition of a tourist as “a temporarily leisured person who voluntarily visits a place away from home for the purpose of experiencing a change,” Callard goes on to argue that, as tourism is currently practiced, it’s the...

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Francis. Mennonites don’t generally do a lot with traditional saints or feast days, but I know Saint Francis holds a special place in many of our hearts because of his connection with Creation and the natural world. 

There are many different stories and legends that swirl around the person of Saint Francis, some of them more fantastical than others. Born to a wealthy family, he eventually renounced that wealth, stripping naked in the town square to show the depth of his conviction. He ended up giving much of his former wealth away and turned toward a...

A couple weeks ago in our Transitions and Ritual group I gave a handout that included the words “liminal space.”  It has become a common way of referring to the in between time, when something is clearly ending but the new thing has not year appeared.  An astute participant asked where the phrase comes from.  None of us knew. 

This week’s Daily Meditations from Richard Rohr include a reflection on liminal space, but doesn’t address its origins.

Fortunately, this is easy to research.  The...