RHM’s Weekly Update: April 14, 2020


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A Society Where Everyone Has a Seat at the Table

capital building at sunset

“Our challenge is to shape a society that reflects a set of values that shape our world into a safe, compassionate, just home for us all—a world where each of us has a seat at the table.”

Full article at https://www.patheos.com/blogs/socialjesus/2020/04/society-seat-table/


People Over Profit and Jesus’ Problematic Story Choices


“Jesus’ vision is of a world where the hungry are fed, those who weep now laugh, and the poor receive it all. It’s a world whose coming into being is good news to the poor, the imprisoned, the exploited, and the oppressed.  In Jesus’ world view you could not serve both God (taking care of people) and money.”

Full article at https://www.patheos.com/blogs/socialjesus/2020/03/people-over-profit-jesus-problematic-story-choices/


Our Hope Depends on Compassion

hands together

And this is precisely why our future can be different than our present. We can choose a future of compassion and justice for one another. We can choose to be our siblings’ keeper. The future is not set in stone. It is open, filled with multiple possibilities based on the choices we make today.

Full article at https://www.patheos.com/blogs/socialjesus/2020/03/our-hope-depends-on-compassion/


New Wine in Old Wine Skins (Part 1 of 6)

wine stains

A pandemic provides a unique moment for us to critique our present order or system and to begin both dreaming up and working toward a better way of organizing human communities shaped by justice, equity, inclusion and compassion for everyone.

Full article at https://www.patheos.com/blogs/socialjesus/2020/04/new-wine-old-wine-skins-part-1/


New Wine in Old Wine Skins (Part 2 of 6)


He did not ignore destructive passages or interpretations but met the elites’ use of these passages and interpretations with others that contradicted them and turned them to life-giving ends.

Full article at https://www.patheos.com/blogs/socialjesus/2020/04/new-wine-old-wine-skins-part-2/


New Wine in Old Wine Skins (Part 3 of 6)

wine glass

Texts must be interpreted in life-giving ways within communities that prioritize the voices of the most vulnerable in our society. These communities practice a preferential option for the marginalized and see every human as bearing the image of the Divine and welcome, affirm, and include each of us in God’s vision of love and justice for society.

Full article at https://www.patheos.com/blogs/socialjesus/2020/04/new-wine-old-wine-skins-part-3/


New Wine in Old Wineskins (Part 4 of 6)

grape vines

Is it time today for a reformation where we try to infuse old skins with new wine or is it time for the life-giving, healthy transformation of the systems we’re trying to make a more distributively just society fit?

Full article at https://www.patheos.com/blogs/socialjesus/2020/04/new-wine-old-wine-skins-part-4/


A Nonviolent Way to Talk About Easter – Holy Troublemakers Online Story Time: Herb Montgomery


Last weekend, Daneen Akers posted on Holy Troublemakers and Unconventional Saints’ Facebook page:

“If you are looking for help talking to your kiddos about a nonviolent lens on the Easter story, this week’s Holy Troublemakers’ story time is meant to help with that.

The whole Easter question was so hard for me when I first started my faith-shifting/deconstruction journey. Honestly, for a couple of years, I punted and just focused on jelly beans and the promise of spring (still totally valid!).

I have now started talking about how the systems of power at that time were threatened by Jesus’s message. That’s why he was killed. (And, that’s true even for substitutionary atonement folks…the Romans were not in on some cosmic plan to save people from sin.)

That’s why I’m so happy that Herb Montgomery’s profile is in “Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints” because his story brings forward another narrative (and it’s not actually a new narrative, just not currently as well known).

Herb was a fundie preacher with a big audience and speaking gigs lined up for years when he realized that substitutionary atonement didn’t sit right with him because if people think that God requires death and violence in order to forgive them, then people are going to feel justified treating each other with violence too.

Herb started to believe that Jesus didn’t come to die but to show us how to live. It’s not Jesus’ death that saves us, but rather his teachings save us. The end of the Easter story with an empty tomb and the re-appearance of Jesus became a hopeful message to Herb that ultimately violence and force don’t have the last word.

In the end, love wins.

At the end of this one, since Herb is one of the modern-day profilees who is still with us, he joins in for a little wisdom on this particular Easter amid Covid-19.

Hope this is helpful for parents, pastors, and anyone who hasn’t ever had the idea of a loving God requiring the death of an innocent sit well with you. There is a better story.”

Watch this short video at:




April’s Recommended Reading from RHM

Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints
by Daneen Akers

book coverThis is a storybook about people of diverse faiths who rocked the religious boat on behalf of love and justice.

With a lot of us at home with our kiddos, this is a perfect book for this time!

Holy Troublemakers and Unconventional Saints is an illustrated children’s storybook but we believe it should be read by all ages. This book features the stories of people of diverse faiths who worked for more love and justice in their corner of the world, even when that meant rocking the religious boat. These are people from different religions and time periods who spoke truth to power and did the right thing, even when it was the hard thing. These are not perfect people, but they are people we can glimpse the holy through.

Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints emphasizes the stories of women, LGBTQ people, people of color, Indigenous people, and others too often written out of religious narratives. The book is written for middle-grade age children (and their adults) ages 8 and up. But again, we here at RHM believe it’s a book of stories that will inspire all ages.

Copies can be purchased at https://www.holytroublemakers.com