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When We’re Too Tightly Woven

Each month, we post a series of blogs around a common topic. This month, Jessica Tate and Jen James are curating a series featuring videos from National Gatherings and suggestions for how they might serve as resources for ministry. We’re revisiting speakers from this most recent National Gathering in Seattle as well as speakers from previous years. Our hope is that inviting you to engage (or reengage) their work might invite deeper reflection and possibly yield more fruit. What is taking root and bearing fruit in your own life and ministry? We invite you to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!

In her reflection on the theme of “Woven Together” during the 2019 National Gathering, Tasha Hicks McCray talks about the need for our tightly woven circles to be broken open and torn apart as an opportunity for God’s grace to enter in. Tasha poses several questions that are crucial for individuals and the church to consider.

This 5-minute video and questions could be great for a meeting devotion or opening discussion, or even for a personal devotional.

It’s easy to think about it systemically, but what about you? Who is at your house for your family BBQ’s? How is your life being unwoven, untightened so you are prepared for the lives and the stories of other people to enter in?

Forgiveness, healing, and redemption only happen when we acknowledge the brokenness that exists in our relationships and the need for power dynamics to be broken for others can be woven in.

What are the larger, systemic ways that we are tightly woven?

How are your lives, your circles, your churches, your communities, and your families so tightly woven that others can’t enter in?

Kriah is a Hebrew word meaning “tearing.” It refers to the act of tearing one’s clothes or cutting a black ribbon worn on one’s clothes. This rending is a striking expression of grief and anger at the loss of a loved one. Kriah is an ancient tradition.

What is the loss and the grief and the pain that you feel – not only that these tight circles exist, but as you think about letting go of them?

The Truth Shall Set You Free: Practicing Transformative Lament

Next Church Conference – Chicago 2015

Facilitated by, Tasha Hicks McCray (Mt. View Presbyterian Church) & Eliana Maxim (Seattle Presbytery)

The following is a collaborative poem comprised of responses from workshop participant’s to the question, Who Do You Say That I am? compiled by Glenn McCray.

I am from:

Seattle

Florida

Washington DC

Wisconsin (actually, Michigan)

I am from:

Illinois

McCormick (and we roll deep)

Austin Seminary but Gainesville is where home is

I am from:

Chicago…I’m not Presbyterian

Ann Arbor

Minneapolis

I am from:

We don’t want to offend anyone but someone needs to say it

I am from:

A place of regret

I am from:

Shame; a place that exist that I am not proud of

I am…

Many things

I am…

Not Presbyterian!

I am…

Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, Irish, German, Dutch, Welsh

I am…

African American, Filipino, Spanish, Irish, Native (and some other stuff I’m not too

certain of)

I am…

An Afro-Caribbean, Sephardic, immigrant from Colombia. Spanish was my first

language, and I don’t have an accent.

I am…

A son of immigrants, fearfully and wonderfully made

I am…

A white male, top of the heap, most privileged

I am…

A Princeton Graduate

I am…

In the ordination process

I am…

Vulnerable, exposing my own prejudices and biases

I am…

A redeemed sinner

Gods own

I am…

A child of God

In process

Unfolding

Seeking

Thinking

I am…

“Re…” something…REdeemed, REformed

I am…

Baptized

Grateful and troubled

Just another child of God

I am…

An aging beloved woman

I am…

A Single mother of 3 kids

I am…

Wonderfully being shaped

I am…

Creative

I am…

Loved