Message from the Minister

Dear Tapestry Friends,

We are covering a lot in April: Ramadan, Passover, Easter and Earth Day. We will use these tremendous stories and metaphors to better understand our own beliefs. Our theme for worship in April, Theological Reflection, is probably unfamiliar to most.

The best metaphor I know of for explaining theological reflection is the optometrist. You know how the optometrist uses a whole bunch of different lenses, and the lenses get turned and flipped this way and that…? Theological reflection happens much the same way. There is no one asking us “Number one, or number two, number one, or two?” Throughout life, as we bump up against different challenges or experience new depths of joy, we make adjustments in the way we see things. We flip or replace old ideas with new ones until we can see our world more clearly, and make sense of our life within that world.

Each of us has different experiences that shape the way we see the world. We have different emotional and mental challenges and gifts, so we customize the right combination of lenses to see our world in a way that makes sense.

Just like with glasses or contacts, the goal isn’t to have the most powerful vision. Remember if you can see clearly 100 yards away, you probably won’t be able to read the newspaper. And, if you have microscopic focus up close, you wouldn’t be able to see far enough to drive a car.

We choose a prescription that helps us see clearly in our everyday life. It’s not about knowing all the lofty language of academic theology. Those fancy words can be helpful, but vocabulary is not enough. Similarly, our beliefs have to consider a wider range than our own personal emotional experience.

Sincerely,
Rev. Kent


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Minister's Reading Group

 
“The Prophets” by Robert Jones, Jr.

April, 2022

The Prophets is a stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Rev. Kent at rev@tapestryuu.org .


Silence in the Age of Noise
“Cultivating Empathy: The Worthy and Dignity of Every Person — Without Exception” by Nathan C. Walker

May, 2022

Walker presents a series of revealing essays about his wrestlings with personal and cultural conflicts and his commitment to stop “otherizing”—which occurs when we either demonize people or romanticize them. His remedy for these kinds of projections is to employ the moral imagination as an everyday spiritual practice. Through his engaging and thought-provoking vignettes, he endeavors to find connection with skinheads, murderers, homophobic preachers, privileged 1-percenters, and Monsanto executives.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Rev. Kent at rev@tapestryuu.org .


Silence in the Age of Noise
“Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning” by Cathy Park Hong

June, 2022

The author blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about consciousness in America. this collection is vulnerable, humorous, and provocative—and its relentless and riveting pursuit of vital questions around family and friendship, art and politics, identity and individuality, will change the way you think about our world.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Rev. Kent at rev@tapestryuu.org .


Silence in the Age of Noise
“Goodbye Again: Essays, Reflections, and Illustrations” by Jonny Sun

July, 2022

A collection of touching and hilarious personal essays, stories, poems—accompanied by his trademark illustrations—covering topics such as mental health, happiness, and what it means to belong.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Rev. Kent at rev@tapestryuu.org .


Silence in the Age of Noise
“A God that Could Be Real: Spirituality, Science, and the Future of Our Planet” by Nancy Ellen Abrams

August, 2022

Abrams explores a radically new way of thinking about God. She dismantles several common assumptions about God and shows why an omniscient, omnipotent God that created the universe and plans what happens is incompatible with science—but that this doesn’t preclude a God that can comfort and empower us.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Rev. Kent at rev@tapestryuu.org .


Silence in the Age of Noise
“Prophetic Encounters: Religion and the American Radical Tradition” by Dan McKanan

September, 2022

McKanan treats the histories of religion and of the Left as a single history, showing that American radicalism is a continuous tradition rather than a collection of disparate movements. Emphasizing the power of encounter—between whites and former slaves, between the middle classes and the immigrant masses, and among activists themselves—McKanan shows that the coming together of people of different perspectives and beliefs has been transformative for centuries, uniting those whose faith is a source of activist commitment with those whose activism is a source of faith.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Rev. Kent at rev@tapestryuu.org .


Silence in the Age of Noise
“Hola Papi: How To Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons,” By John Paul Brammer

October, 2022

A heartwarming memoir-in-essays chronicling the author’s journey growing up as a queer, mixed-race kid in America’s heartland to becoming the “Chicano Carrie Bradshaw” of his generation.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Rev. Kent at rev@tapestryuu.org .


Silence in the Age of Noise
“Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted” by Suleika Jaouad

November, 2022

A searing, deeply moving memoir of illness and recovery that traces one young woman’s journey from diagnosis to remission to re-entry into “normal” life. Between Two Kingdoms is a profound chronicle of survivorship and a fierce, tender, and inspiring exploration of what it means to begin again.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Rev. Kent at rev@tapestryuu.org .


Silence in the Age of Noise