Hold It All

Philosophy/Poetics/Politics

Category: Friends

Share the Wealth with Brittany, Julia, and Suzy: Reflections from the 2017 Mev Puleo Program

We–Brittany Butler (junior), Suzy Kickham (sophomore), and Julia Nouse (sophomore)–spent 10 weeks studying liberation theology and living in community in Nicaragua this past summer. Now, after six months back in the states, lessons we learned in accompaniment, community, and gratitude have continued to shape us. We hope to share with you all some of our experiences of both joy and brokenness.

While we will begin by sharing stories, we mostly hope to foster a conversation during which we can all share and reflect together.

Join us
Sunday 18 February
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Sharing begins at 6:45
At the home of Julia Brucks
2819A Shenandoah
Saint Louis, MO
63104

Suzy, Julia, Abbie, Brittany

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Share the Wealth with Ashaki Jackson: Some Food for Thought

My name is Ashaki Jackson and I am native to Trinidad and Tobago. My family immigrated to the U.S. when I was 8 years old and later on I moved to St. Louis and pursued a degree in Anthropology. I am working towards an MSW degree with a special interest in mental health and mind, body, and spirit healing.

Ashaki Jackson, among many other beautiful things, is an explorer. If you pay close enough attention, you will observe her on one of her bold expeditions across the body, delving into the mind, and unbinding the spirit. She searches for what proves elusive, an old knowledge spoken in new languages, a nurturing of imagination, a bold embrace of all the joys and sorrows that exist within simply breathing and being present in this moment with you. –TK Smith

Join us
Saturday 10 February
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Ashaki begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Jim and J’Ann Schoonmaker Allen
4519 Oakland Avenue Forest Park Southeast
63110

Share the Wealth with Ayesha Akhtar: صبر (Patience)

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. Every year, Muslims around the world take part in a month of fasting called Ramadan. Ramadan is considered to be a very holy month for us, and it carries quite a bit of weight and many blessings. Every year Ramadan came about, and every year I kinda felt myself just going through the motions, but not taking it as seriously as I should. Last year, 2017, after going through a bit of a rough patch, Ramadan came at the right time in my life and took on a whole new meaning for me, which is what I will be discussing at this Share the Wealth.

My name is Ayesha Akhtar. I majored in Accounting Systems and Forensic Accounting, finished my CPA exams, and am currently working as an accountant. I was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and came to the states when I was 3 years old. I lived in South Dakota, Illinois, and attended school in Saint Louis, where I am currently.

Join us
Sunday 4 February
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Ayesha begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Lea and Terry
4121 West Pine Blvd.
St. Louis 63108

Share the Wealth with Savannah Sisk: Sunday 28 January 2018

“Lying on soft earth,
carried into sky by longing,
humans respond to stars
with questions. Why is the Universe
so vast? Why are we so small?

Call and response through the night.

My whole life I have sent
these questions into space. And
listened for response.”

From Stars by Margaret Wheatley

Join Savannah Sisk in a Share the Wealth that explores our spiritual questions, faith journeys, and religious identities. She will discuss her ever-evolving love/hate relationship with Jesus (which has on occasion meant reading a dozen books on Jesus from the library within a month), her passionate search for right living and community, and the presence of both dark nights and luminous mornings. Everyone will be invited to reflect on their own spiritual paths/big questions, and the personal/communal rituals that move us forward. Read the rest of this entry »

Share the Wealth with Hanna Suek: My Time in the Philippines

My name is Hanna Suek. I am a junior at Saint Louis University majoring in Occupational Therapy. I had the privilege of studying abroad in Manila, Philippines last spring. I will be telling a few stories about unexpected culture shock, undeserved hospitality, and searching for God in a foreign land.

In preparing for this night, I have wondered why anyone would want to hear me speak about this experience. Of course, it was important to me, but why would it be important to share? I have yet to find the answer but invite you to help me by coming to listen.

Join us
Sunday 21 January
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Hanna begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Theresa and Cami
3521 Hartford Street
Apartment A
Saint Louis 63116

Share the Wealth with Lea Koesterer: 2017 Harvest in Occupied Palestine

My friend Mary Wuller told Lea to get in touch with me before she went on her trip to Palestine with Interfaith Peace Builders. We visited at Northwest Coffee in December, and I knew I wanted her to share with us some of her stories and reflections. –Mark

Because I am not an expert, I speak about my own experience traveling with Interfaith Peace Builders, and things that Palestinians themselves told me about their existence under the apartheid regime that exists under Israeli occupation. I gleaned background information from relevant books. Among others they are:

Lords of the Land: The War for Israel’s Settlements in the Occupied Territories, 1967-2007, by Edit Zertal and Akiva Eldar.

The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine, by Ben Ehrenreich Read the rest of this entry »

Be Here Now

Andrew Wimmer recently watched the documentary Ram Dass, Fierce Grace.  He sent me this reminder…

A Late Night Raid on Victor Terras’s A Karamazov Companion: Commentary on the Genesis, Language, and Style of Dostoevsky’s Novel/1

for Cami

 

“I love Russia, Aliosha, I love the Russian God, though I am a scoundrel myself.”
–Dmitry Karamazov

So, maybe you’ve already taken the plunge back in Wisconsin, and are now immersed in “A Nice Little Family.” I salute you, I envy you, and I may even give in to temptation—once again—to rereading it myself. I read Terras’s book back in 2005 (the 5th or 6th time), and I now scrounge around in my notes to indulge in the joy of landing on this and that, my mischief for mishmash, all for your amusement and excitation——-

_______________________

Swann said in v. 1 of Marcel that there are really only 4 or so books that matter in one’s life; better to spend one’s reading time with these than ephemera like journalism.

FD is like Dmitri: Worst of all is that my nature is base and too passionate: everywhere and in everything I go to the limit, all my life I have been crossing the line.” 40

Levinas: Zosima: “no one can judge a criminal, until he recognizes that he is just such a criminal as the man standing before him, and that he perhaps is more than all men to blame for that crime.” Book 6, chapter iii, h.

Treat all students like Aliosha would, or Buddha.

Mona = volshebnitsa = enchantress 293

Bodhisattva: “everyone is really responsible to all men and for all men and for everything” 369

Details of an imitatio Christi are projected upon all positive characters, while the negative characters are inevitably enemies of Christ. A belief in personal immortality via resurrection in Christ resolves the question of suffering and injustice in the world. [Thanks, a nice theodicy…] Read the rest of this entry »

December 10 Sunday Share the Wealth with Andrew Wimmer: Reckoning with Torture

In November 2005, Stop Torture Now, a project of the Center for Theology and Social Analysis in St. Louis, delivered a Peoples’ Indictment against Aero Contractors and the commissioners of the Johnston County airport in North Carolina from which Aero operated extraordinary rendition flights to Guantanamo and CIA black sties. We dubbed Aero’s operation the Torture Taxi.

Watch for two minutes to get a sense of what Aero was involved in.

A dozen years later, and after sustained work by a dedicated group in North Carolina, The North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture held a two-day hearing before a board of commissioners with witnesses from around the world, including those who were rendered, psychologists, military interrogators, international legal investigators, and journalists.

Take a look at the NCCIT website to see the scope of their work.

The question on everyone’s mind and the one voiced repeatedly throughout the two days of hearings was “And now what do we do?” Read the rest of this entry »

In Praise of Sentimental Slop

Back in the late 90s, when the spring semester ended, and the grades had been turned in, I’d treat myself with another reading of Dostoevsky’s magisterial The Brothers Karamazov.  I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read it. Twice I’ve facilitated readings of the novel with friends (1999-2000 and 2013-2014).

Literary critics scorn the “sentimental slop” of the ending, but I don’t care.  I am posting below a key passage originally posted in a Facebook note after Pete Mosher died and some responses  to it… Read the rest of this entry »