Keeping Up with the News

by Christine Sine

Tomorrow is Independence Day here in the U.S., a day that I have very ambivalent feelings about. First, I think we are all called to be interdependent not independent. I have written about this on several occasions.  Second all too often, we are encouraged to tell American history in a manner that overlooks the destruction wrought along the way especially to Native Americans and black Americans many of whom still lack the freedoms that this day purports to proclaim. We like to ignore or demonize those who are not allowed access to the opportunity Americans love to proclaim.

Last week, Kendall Vanderslice of Edible Theology shared some historic recipes for Fourth of July. What a fun idea, I thought and went looking for my old cookbooks. I have quite a collection, including an 1886 White House Cookbook published when France Folsom Cleveland was First Lady of the U.S. Breakfast included raspberries and cream but also fried chicken, cornmeal muffins, scrambled eggs and tomatoes, potatoes and toast. Dinner was Clam soup, boiled cod with lobster sauce, roast lamb, new potatoes, green peas, spinach with eggs, cucumbers, chicken patties, Naples biscuits, vanilla ice cream, chocolate macaroons, and strawberries, with a supper of cold sliced lamb, crab pie, watercress salad, sponge cake and blackberries. By the end of the day I suspect people could hardly move.

IMG 1899

Another fascinating cookbook I came across was Tastes of Liberty: A Celebration of Great  Ethnic Cooking from 1985. Produced by Chateau Ste. Michelle, one of Washington State’s pioneer wine producers, it celebrates the cooking of the various ethnic groups that passed through Ellis Island. Italian, German, Greek, British, Eastern European, Jewish, Iberian, Scandinavian and French, it shares tidbits about their journeys and some of their favourite recipes. I think it is a wonderful tribute to the ethnic diversity of America which is what we really should celebrate on July 4th.

This week my Meditation Monday: Finding the Mother Tree also expresses some of my radical viewpoints as I ask “What was the tree of life in the garden of Eden really like?” My theory is that it was more like a giant mother tree than an apple tree. I encourage you to read it and share your opinion.

My Spiritual Practice: Welcome the Day – A Prayer and A Practice in which I share my new summer ritual and welcoming prayer has been very popular. I think all of us need rituals like this to help anchor our faith and ground us during the day and I encourage you, not just to adopt my practice but to adapt it for your own use. Don’t forget this practice only appears on Substack so if you are not yet subscribed I highly encourage you to do so.

Lilly Lewin’s Freerange Friday: Noticing the Abundance of God  is an important post for all of us. Working in the garden always reminds me that in God’s economy there is always enough. We just need to notice it and be willing to share it. I love her question “What reminds you of the ABUNDANCE of GOD?”

Today the 11th episode of Liturgical Rebels was published. This is the long awaited interview with iconographer Kelly Latimore whose icon Jesus Under the Rubble impacted many of us profoundly during Advent last year. Other compelling images include the Holy family as immigrants and as refugees. It is a fantastic episode. Or if you have not yet connected to The Liturgical Rebels perhaps you would like to use the summer to get caught up. Check out all the interviews including Naomi Lawrence, Brian McLaren, Shane Claiborne and Scott Erickson here.

Once again there have been very few new posts this week on Godspacelight, however here are a few suggestions of old ones to revisit. This week I thought I would focus on hospitality. Some of you might like to revisit this hospitality reading list. One of my favourite posts on hospitality is my Meditation Monday: Guests of God, Hosts to the world in which I consider not just that we are hosts to the world but also hosts to God. It is a concept that has changed the way I look at the world. Two other authors who write well about hospitality are Lynne Baab with her post Listening and Hospitality. As she says – listening is one of the key skills of hospitality. Elaine Breckenridge has compiled several posts on hospitality including Disguises of God’s Wild Hospitality.

I hope you enjoy this revisiting of posts from the past. So often they are here one moment and then gone the next and I think it is important to revisit them on occasion.

Let me finish with this prayer that I wrote several years ago for American Independence Day:

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