Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Three Beautiful Things 01/16/18: Generous Orthodoxy, Tough Life in the Silver Valley, Relaxing in Christy's Shed

1. Theologian Hans Frei coined the term "generous orthodoxy". It's an approach to church life that adheres to church orthodoxy while, at the same time, exploring ideas and actions that go beyond orthodox principles and does so with the intention of helping the church become more compassionate. Generous orthodoxy tries to balance loyalty with conscience. It respects the body it is working to heal.

In Episode 9 of the first season of the Revisionist History podcast, found here, Malcolm Gladwell frames the story of Chester Wenger in terms of generous orthodoxy. Wenger was a Mennonite pastor until the church stripped him of his credentials because he officiated the wedding between his gay son and his son's partner.   Wenger explained his theological and biblical rationale for signing his son's marriage certificate in an open letter to the Mennonite Church, here.

The Deke and I listened to this podcast this evening. I'd listened to it before and, again this evening, I was moved, both emotionally and intellectually.

2. Earlier in the day, the Deke and I went to Coeur d'Alene. Robin cut my hair and we got talking about growing up in the Silver Valley and about her experience when she moved back to Pinehurst a few years ago to help her father as he died of kidney failure. She deeply loved and respected her father for all the hard work he'd done as a gyppo miner at the Bunker Hill and for how his hard work supported their large family. It was grievous listening to her describe how renal failure reduced her father to a shadow of the robust man he'd once been. It's the kind of inspiring and sad story I hear often in the Silver Valley, especially as friends tell me about more and more men they worked with in the mines and the woods, men who worked hard their whole lives,  and now are in tough shape, often because of that work, or have died.

3.  Today Christy and Everett put the finishing touches on the inside of the shed they've been working on for the last several weeks. The new rug is on the floor. The furniture is arranged where Christy wants it. It's well lit, heated, and quiet. The shed sits in the back yard and is a comfortable, cozy space, perfect as a place for Christy to read and write and relax and for Christy and Everett (well, and Tucker and Riley!) to have a quiet place to relax together. This Sunday, Carol, Paul, the Deke, Everett, Christy, and I will get to experience how the shed works as a place for Sunday's family dinner.

The Deke and I visited Christy and Everett in the shed after dinner. We had a good visit and it was fun to see Christy so happy and proud because this shed project is working out so well and is shaping up into just what Christy wanted when she envisioned transforming the shed into a restful and comfortable space.

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