Devotions in the Wake of #MeToo

Psalm 22, Isaiah 43, 2 Samuel 13, Luke 18, Mark 5

I first drafted these devotions a year ago (spring 2017) to connect to my memoir — which takes the reader along on my faith journey after experiencing rape at gunpoint.

In the wake of the #MeToo movement (fall 2017), these scriptures have become all the more poignant and powerful to me.

 

Each devotion is one page and includes a brief passage of scripture, reflection questions, prayer prompts and a color photo that suggests a connection to a current event.

The passages featured are:
~ Psalm 22    “Why Have You Abandoned Me?”
~ Isaiah 43    “Before & After”
~ 2 Samuel 13  “Carrying My Sexual Shame”
~ Luke 18    “She Persisted”
~ Mark 5    “Boldly Seeking Jesus”

You could use these yourself, with a small group, or with your church. I hope they speak to you, and I encourage you to share them.

I’m in the process of updating my site as my theme has been discontinued. Due to these technical difficulties, I can’t attach the PDFs here. If you’d like to receive the devotions, subscribe to my updates or send me a message.

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Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

simply saying the word "God" does not make for peace

Today the United States dedicated its embassy in Israel, which relocated from TelAviv to Jerusalem. At a grand ceremony, many influential people spoke, frequently invoking God’s name, praying or quoting scripture. More than one mentioned the words of Psalm 122  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers.

Calling a group of words a “prayer” and closing your eyes while you utter them does not make your words holy. It certainly doesn’t fool the Holy One, who sees into our hearts and is aware of our actions and intentions.

The grillwork over the window is in the shape of a chalice with the host above it, the symbol of Jesus’ sacrifice. On the altar (out of sight) is a mosaic of a hen gathering her chicks under her wings.

While the ceremony of self-congratulation was underway in Jerusalem, some 40 miles away Israelis were firing tear gas onto Palestinian demonstrators along the Gaza strip, killing (as of this writing) 52 people.

The timing of the event was purposeful, corresponding with the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel (May 14, 1948). Of course, the next day, May 15, is commemorated by the Palestinians as the Nakba, the Day of Catastrophe. The symbol of the Nakba is a key because (more…)

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5 Ways the Church Hurts Victims of Sexual Violence

5 Ways the Church Can Help Victims of Sexual Violence

I wrote this article for Outreach magazine in July 2016 — and it’s still true.

 

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Thank you to Associated Church Press

for honoring my writing: Award of Merit & Honorable Mention

I had no idea that either of my essays had been submitted for an ACP award. I’m grateful to Christian Century for submitting A Pastor’s MeToo Story and to Sojourners for submitting Skin in the Game. Both publications received many awards and I am honored to (more…)

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Sexual Abuse & the Church

Free conversation guide at the Christian Century

The Christian Century compiled this resource guide on the subject of Sexual Abuse & the Church. My cover story and sidebar from the January issue are reprinted, with discussion questions added. A whole host of other articles are reprinted as well. This is a free resource, so spread the word!

 

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Author Event for “Ruined”

at Neland Ave CRC in Grand Rapids, MI, Monday, April 16 at 7:00 pm

Join us for a night with Ruth Everhart, author and Calvin Alumni. Ruth will be discussing her book Ruined, the 2017 Christianity Today book of the year in the memoir division. Come to the Neland Activity Center (lower level of the church) to hear her explain why we are not what happens to us. Click here to see/share the Facebook event.

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“Whose Story Is It Anyway?” When Ministers Write Memoirs

a panel at Festival of Faith & Writing 2018, #FFWgr

I’m participating in a panel on Thursday, April 12 (3:15 p.m.) in the Calvin College Chapel. If you’re attending FFW, I hope to meet you there!

Whose Story Is It Anyway? When Ministers Write Memoirs
Susan Baller-Shepard, Ruth Everhart, Mary S. Hulst, Barbara Melosh, Carol Howard Merritt
Memoirists who are ministers face particular ethical questions as they tell stories of congregational life and share personal stories that push the boundaries of what a leader ordinarily discloses. But these underlying questions are shared by all who write memoir. Whose story is it, anyway, and what are the writer’s responsibilities to those who share their stories? In this panel, clergywomen discuss navigating these lines in the context of their pastoral vocation.

For more info about the festival, click here.

On the following Monday, April 16, I’m speaking at Neland Ave. CRC at 7:00 p.m. Both events are listed in the sidebar. Contact me if you have questions!

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Goodreads Reviews of “Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land”

70 ratings, 23 reviews, and counting

Click over to Goodreads here and feel free to add your own rating and/or review!

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Goodreads Reviews of “Ruined”

344 ratings, 75 reviews, and counting

Click over to Goodreads here and feel free to add your own rating and/or review!

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“Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land” named Best Travelogue of 2012

by ERB Englewood Review of Books

Byron Borger reviewed “Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land” and named it the “Best Travelogue” of 2012.

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