Just in time for Advent: “Something new” republished

Philip Garside (PGPL) has republished “Something new to say: words of spirit, faith and celebration for Advent and Christmas” in an expanded 2nd edition. Available in print and as an e-book, from all the usual booksellers, as well as direct from PGPL.

This collection celebrates a festive season where pohutukawa and rata are in bloom, friends gather around barbecues or picnic at the beach on Christmas Day, and many people travel to catch up with family or enjoy school holidays.

Reviewer’s comment
“Bronwyn’s words are more powerful and real than a thousand theological treatises on incarnation.” Rev Dr Margaret Mayman

The title comes from a Christmas Day reflection which Bronwyn led in 2010:

“Every year, in manses and studies and at the kitchen table, preachers and worship leaders approach Advent with a mixture of joy and trepidation. Joy, because Christmas is the penultimate Christian festival—each week the excitement builds, every week another candle is lit, every year is pregnant with possibilities—but trepidation, because December 25 after December 25, the person leading the service tries to find something new to say!”

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“Something new to say” for Advent & Xmas being re-released soon

I’m thrilled that a revised edition of “Something new to say”, with some new resources included, is being published in time for Advent 2022. It’s currently with Philip Garside (https://pgpl.co.nz/).

Something new” is the second book in my Spirit and Faith series, following “You who delight me” which you can now buy direct from me via the order and pay online page. (It was published in 2012 by Steele Roberts Aotearoa).

Two more books are in preparation.

Refresh and restart

After a ‘brief break’ that lasted a couple of years, I’ve now refreshed this website, and am ready to resume collating my work for the next book (or books).

I’d love you to join my mailing list, follow on Facebook and other social media, and generally continue supporting my work and sharing my Words of Spirit and Faith.

With an emphasis on social justice and intention of inclusiveness, I trust these words – and those in my publications – will provide progressive and evolving Christian resources.

Original photographs © Bronwyn Angela White, Kāpiti

Mothering God New Year Reflection

Read my Reflection given on 3 January 2021 and upload the order service (with all words) if you wish.

EXTRACT: Imagine being in the downstairs garage of a distant relative’s home, amongst the outgrown toys and motorbikes and oily rags and furniture hastily shoved in to make space in the spare rooms for the cousins who arrived earlier. Imagine if your first experience of parenthood is in a lowly garage, amongst the detritus of lawnmowers and shovels and dirt-encrusted gardening gloves and the stink of sheep pellets and blood-and-bone. Imagine birthing God in the most disreputable part of an overcrowded factory town.

Welcome, newborn baby, to the back seat of an unregistered car on a relative’s street, and a diet of the cheapest white bread and bottles of sugary drinks that are cheaper than water, and takeaways cheaper than fresh vegetables even if you owned a stove and pots and pans. Welcome to temporary stays in damp and mouldy state houses; to pain-blotting alcohol misuse and memory-numbing drug dependence. Welcome to the kingdom we’ve prepared for you, with our needs-based assessments and welfare ‘reforms’ and under-funding of health services and community education programmes.

Welcome to a new year of international instability and local prison rioting, of obscene wealth and grinding poverty; welcome to the starry skies and space junk, thousands of human-made objects polluting earth’s air space as plastics pollute our seas; to the river of life, too contaminated to drink from or swim in…

The very names of God in Hebrew Scripture imply or can be read as feminine, motherly, abundant. “Thus says the Lord,” wrote Isaiah, “as a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.” From the Greek, Sophia has become an image of the divine feminine—the essence of divine wisdom and a co-partner with God in the work of creation. Shekinah, in Hebrew, means “the act of dwelling”; it’s in the feminine form, and means the female earthly aspect of God that dwelt among people…

Even our prickles and thorns…

Decorative gsrfen sculpture created with barbed wire
photo (c) Bronwyn Angela White
– Sanderson Gardens , Manaia, Taranaki

Seeing these beautiful garden sculptures, made with unused barbed wire from the adjacent farm, made me reflect that even our prickles and thorns can be transformed into creativity and aspects of grace.

Decorative gsrfen sculpture created with barbed wire

https://www.gardenfestnz.co.nz/gardens/sanderson-garden/

“Rainbow Trinity” in Q-Spirit blog

I’m thrilled that Kittredge Cherry has included one of my prayers in her blog about “Trinity,” the last image in Doug Blanchard’s gay Passion of Christ series: Trinity Sunday: Holy Spirit blesses same-sex couple as Gay Passion of Christ series ends.

You can find “Rainbow Trinity” and other inclusive, progressive liturgical writing on this website. You might also enjoy the prayer I wrote for Transgender Remembrance Day.

While you’re here, check out the music by Amanda Udis-Kessler written especially for my hymn, “Faith of Metaphor and Mystery” which has a version for same-sex and mixed raced weddings.

You can download the score and recording (free) from Amanda’s Queer Sacred music website.


Kittredge Cherry, founder at Q Spirit is a lesbian Christian author who writes regularly about LGBTQ spirituality. She holds degrees in religion, journalism and art history. She was ordained by Metropolitan Community Churches and served as its national ecumenical officer, advocating for LGBTQ rights at the National Council of Churches and World Council of Churches.

photographs © Bronwyn Angela White

New music for contemporary hymn lyrics

An exciting new collaboration!

You can now download (free) the music score of hymn, “Faith of Metaphor and Mystery“, with brand new music written by Amanda Udis-Kessler, from my http://www.spiritandfaithwords.com website.

You can also download an MP3 recording sung by Ken Janzen from Amanda’s site, Queer Sacred Music.

Capture

Out of season

These hymn lyrics have been lurking around the edge of my consciousness for a while, never quite satisfactory, nowhere near complete. Then, of a sudden, the spark of a ‘completing’ idea arrived and this simple hymn is the result.

It flows from my years of living in Wellington, the capital city of Aotearoa New Zealand, where I still travel to – an hour by train from Kapiti Coast – to attend my faith community, and see the doctor, dentist and optician I’ve been with for decades!

There’s a local saying, “You can’t beat Wellington on a good day!” This hymn celebrates that simple gift, and our place as city dwellers.

Our city in the spring – hymn lyrics

If you enjoy this, you might also like “Botanic Garden Prayers“.

Liturgy in a time of isolation

Are you missing your faith community?

Do you wish you could find some progressive, inclusive, contemporary liturgy while you can’t get to your regular church service?

This time of government or self-imposed isolation is ideal for polishing off those projects we’ve had in mind for a while: stash-busting for crafters, jigsaw-making for puzzlers, housework for procrastinators…

As we’re in the season of Lent, coming up to Easter, I’ve recorded myself reading some Easter-themed liturgy resources: prayers, poems, reflections, hymn lyrics. I’m not a professional video maker or worship leader, and they’re not the smoothest audio visuals in the YouTuberverse, but I hope you’ll enjoy and be inspired by them.

Here’s a link to my Easter – Passiontide – Liturgy playlist on YouTube.

You might even decide to buy one of my books, so you can read the resources in your own time. Blessings, and peace be with you in this strange Passiontide, as we face a suddenly ambivalent future.

Here are links to other progressive, inclusive, online resources:

St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington

St Michael’s Uniting Church, Melbourne

Durham Street Methodist Church, Christchurch

Winter is coming… and spring, summer & autumn – but not just yet

After a year largely spent with family or working on art+craft projects for various exhibitions (yes, thank you, I’ve managed to sell quite a few items of jewellery, knitting and stitched fibre art), I’ve finally begun compiling the next book in my #Spirit and Faith series.

My plan was to follow both calendar and liturgical years, including liturgical resources suitable for Summer and Advent, Autumn and Passiontide, Winter and Pentecost, Spring and Season of Creation. 60 pages in, and I’m only up to Easter!

What a problem: I’ve got too much material. I’ll have to spread it over two books: one liturgical and one seasonal – or to put it another way, a collection for “high and holy days,” and another for “ordinary time”. Which should I work on first?