Thursday, August 25, 2011

Yesterday Love... Today, Sex

That's right.


Today I began my class on Sexuality and Pastoral Practice, with Dr. Joretta Marshall. We in class call it the practicing sex class.

This is yet another thing I love about this time and place in my theological education- the opportunity to create space for difficult and beautiful conversation and learning. Over the semester we will be exploring gender, sexuality, and justice.

This one topic -sex- brings to mind beautiful parts of life that bring joy, relationship, affection, life...

At the same time, this one topic -sex- conjures up controversy, exploitation, power, control, pain, and insecurity.

How does sexuality speak to spirituality? How does gender impact ones ability to live a full and free life? How do religion, society, culture, and politics impact the way we view sexuality and gender? How do we care for and walk with people experiencing pain and joy related to sexuality and gender? These are some of the questions we'll explore (I promise to post some of the points of discussion along the way).

Here is a beautiful poem Dr. Marshall started off with today in class...

Please bring strange things.
Please come bringing new things.
Let very old things come into your hands.
Let what you do not know come into your eyes.
Let desert sand harden your feet.
Let the arch of your feet be the mountains.
Let the paths of your fingertips be your maps
and the ways you go be the lines on your palms.
Let there be deep snow in your inbreathing
and your outbreath be the shining of ice.
May your mouth contain the shapes of strange words.
May you smell food cooking you have not eaten.
May the spring of a foreign river be your navel.
May your soul be at home where there are no houses.
Walk carefully, well loved one,
walk mindfully, well loved one,
walk fearlessly, well loved one.
Return with us, return to us,
be always coming home.
    - Ursula LeGuin

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