July 14, 2021
Jeff Chu reflects on where the Good News is as we continue to navigate difficult and disruptive transitions in our lives and those around us [Mark 6:14-29].
- What are the things that, like Herod's worldly allegiances, keep you from the allure of holy mystery?
- What might help you remember the heart of why Jesus's name became known—the good news of love?
July 6, 2021
James Alison reflects on how we might be scandalized and what our response would be to the presence of Jesus [Mark 6:1-6].
- What are you scandalized by and what does your scandal stop you from seeing?
- What does it mean to be scandalized by Jesus?
- Why are prophets likely to give scandal?
June 29, 2021
Jane Patterson reflects on the interaction Jesus had with the woman who touched his robe in order to be healed and what it means for our calling to serve others [Mark 5:21-43].
- Who has touched you in the last year?
- Who has touched you in the last week?
- Who has touched us?
- Church: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (Minneapolis)
June 22, 2021
Insil Kang reflects on how our community has been and will need to prepare as we come back together physically and continue the work that God is inviting us towards collectively [Mark 4:35-41].
- How have we been preparing to come back together physically, to continue this ministry at Vox?
- What have we seen and heard in God’s working in us while we have been physically distant?
- How can we continue to prepare?
- Think of the “boats” that have been around you over this past year. Reflect on how they supported you and made you feel safe, even from a distance.
- Get a piece of stationary or a postcard, write them a note and physically mail it to them this week.
- As we consider this new opportunity of ministry and community at Vox, take time every day this week to pray for a member who comes to mind.
- Select a pump up song and play it LOUD as you dance and jump in anticipation of being back together.
June 15, 2021
Weylin Lee reflects on how we are invited to remain in the space of mystery as we begin to decompress from the past year and reimagine how our community might reconnect in new ways [Mark 4:26-34].
- How might we release control in order to experience divine transformation?
- How are we invited to welcome the unexpected and offer safe space to the vulnerable?
- Releasing Control. Practice centering prayer or the welcome prayer. Embody the release of control by opening your hands.
- Welcome the Unexpected. Imagine our participation as we reopen liturgy again. Consider ways to practice obnoxious hospitality. Consider how to offer safe space to the most vulnerable.
- Article: Think Outside the Banana (NYT)
June 8, 2021
Gena St. David reflects on what helps us not lose heart in the midst of grief especially in our personal and communal experiences [2 Corinthians 4:13-16].
- How is God renewing us as a Vox community?
- What do we need to grieve to make space for what’s next?
- And how might that grief moves us toward grace?
- Express Grief. Sit down with God, take a breath, say “I’m sad today”. Select 1-2 trusted friends, take a breath, say “I’m sad today”.
- Grief ritual. 1) Sadness – What has been lost? What do we miss? 2) Anger – What are we angry about? What do we regret? 3) Light – What memories do we wish to hold onto? What makes us laugh when we think about it? 4) Thanksgiving – What are we grateful for?
June 1, 2021
Weylin Lee, Lena Martinez-Wolfinger, Madyson Russell and Kimberly Culbertson reflect together on how Vox is invited to reimagine service in a season of transition and change [Jeremiah 29:4-7].
- What have you appreciated and valued about the Vox community?
- How has this pandemic created an awareness of needs that you had not noticed before?
- What’s in the pantry? What personal resources do you currently have? What have you appreciated and valued about the Vox community?
- Observe the needs. What have you observed in the neighborhood around you? How has this pandemic created an awareness of needs that you had not noticed before?
- The Church Lab
- Texas Impact
- Vox Values
- Vox Midweek Groups
- Austin Mutual Aid
May 28, 2021
Nic Acosta reflects on what it looks like for God’s chaotic goodness to interrupt our lives in disruptive and surprising ways [Ezekiel 37:1-14].
- What are some ways that God's message of hope and redemption has come through into our lives in unexpected or surprising ways? What did we learn?
- What would it mean to live in such a way that, when God's chaotic goodness interrupts the world, we're receptive to it?
- Video: Twin Peaks - Albert’s Path
May 20, 2021
Gina Bastone reflects on how we might need to reconsider what it means to invite God to bear witness and consider the evidence of love around us [1 John 5:9-13].
- Where have you seen the evidence of love recently, especially in our community?
- Where in your life (past wounds or experiences, current anxieties or fears) do you need God to bear witness? Where do you need validation?
- Where is God calling you to take responsibility for harm you may have caused? How can God’s witness help you grow and heal from that harm?
- Notice the spots in your life where you need God's validation. Start with something small, and invite God to bear witness to your pain and anxieties. Also notice where you have caused harm (intentionally or unintentionally), and investigate how you can begin to take accountability for that harm. God is with you in this process!
- Reflect on where you’ve seen the evidence of love in our community. Where have we shown up for each other in the last few months? Where have you born witness for others in our community?
- Podcast: You’re Wrong About
- Book: Undrowned (Alexis Pauline Gumbs)
May 11, 2021
Weylin Lee reflects on our practice of love in light of what is happening around us and how we’re invited to reflect the love Christ modeled for us [John 15:9-17].
- How do you imagine God's loving gaze toward you?
- What would it look like to lay down your ego and practice non-transactional love?
- How are we creating a more loving community and becoming more loving people?
- Image of the Towel and Water Basin. Reflect on the ways you've been loved. Meditate on the image of the towel and water basin and imagine Jesus washing your feet. Receive the loving gaze of God.
- Non-transactional Love. Reflect on where our love and relationships are transactional. What would it look like to lay down our ego, our selfish motives, our narcissistic tendencies?
May 5, 2021
Virginia Cumberbatch reflects on God’s invitation for us to experience both individual and collective freedom in the midst of our fears [1 John 4:17-21].
- After a year of quarantine, how will you seek freedom and rest for yourself this spring?
- As we witness the hate and injustice of the world, how will you support the liberation of others?
- How will you allow God’s love to “fully form” in you this week?
- How will you abide in God’s love to navigate you through the fog (fear) of our current conditions? Inhale: God, meet me in this fear. Exhale: Bring rest to my restless mind.
- How will you allow God’s love for us to model and direct our pursuit of collective freedom and community justice? Inhale: We were meant for freedom. Exhale: I will not settle for less.
April 28, 2021
Weylin Lee, Kristy Robinson and Joe Arenella reflect together on how they are receiving and integrating Psalm 23 in the context of how this past year has invited them into the green pastures and dark valleys [Psalm 23].
- What are the green pastures you're invited to remember from this past year?
- How have you seen glimpses of God's grace and hope in the midst of the valley?
April 20, 2021
Naomi Jackson reflects on how Jesus' interaction with his disciples after resurrection invites us to our own experience of restoration [Luke 24:36-48].
- How do we see the marks of death we see in ourselves? And how have they been transformed?
- How do you need to reintroduce yourself to your community?
- Where do you need to experience restoration?
April 15, 2021
Rebecca Wheeler-Waltson invites us to locate ourselves in the story of Nehemiah and how it plays out in ways that’s familiar with what’s currently happening in our country [Nehemiah 2:1-8].
- Where would you place yourself in this account? As the exiled? The emperor? Or an eyewitness?
- As you ponder what's happening in this country today (anti Asian hate, Darin Chauvin trial), can you see the exiled, the emperor, the eyewitnesses? What response is the Spirit stirring in you?
April 8, 2021
On Easter Sunday, Weylin Lee reflects on how the unexpected nature of Jesus’ resurrection invites us towards groundedness and good news [John 20:1-18].
- How have we been accompanied in the losses we have experienced?
- How are we invited to a path of healing and restoration that Jesus offers?
- What restorative work are we being invited to participate in?
- Reflect on losses and accompaniment. Hold space for both the unexpected losses and the ways you were accompanied. Write out all the unexpected losses this past year has brought. List the names of those who have accompanied you in them.
- Observe the gardens around us. Notice and observe the gardens and natural landscape around us. Sit with and reflect on the restoration that is happening through our plants. How are we invited to a path of healing and restoration that Jesus offers us?
- Film: Feels Good Man
March 31, 2021
Rachael Clinton Chen reflects on the groaning work of God as we enter Holy Week and how we’re invited to look for Jesus in our story of ache [Mark 15:25-39].
- Will you let Jesus, the Messiah, enter your ache this Holy Week?
- Where hope feels weary or foolish, will you let God (and others) groan with you and for you?
- Instagram: @aapi.liturgy
March 23, 2021
Sarah Berson reflects on what a new Covenant means for us and how the love of God is available for all of us even in the midst of the challenging year we have been collectively navigating [Jeremiah 31:31-34].
- What grounds you?
- What are you moving from? What are you moving toward?
- Think about the mile markers from this last year. Think of a safe person you can share your year with. Offer to listen to another person's story of what this year has been.
March 16, 2021
Title: Poison and Its Remedy
James Alison reflects on how Jesus’ death undoes the world of sacrifice from within [John 3:14-21].
- Is Jesus’ death really a sacrifice?
- How did Jesus’ death undo our whole world of judgment and condemnation built on sacrifice?
- The little word “so” in the most famous verse in the Bible has two possible meanings. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son”. Or “For God loved the world in this way: that he gave his only Son”. Which do you think John meant, and why?
March 10, 2021
Weylin Lee reflects on how even though we typically fast and deny our body during Lent, we might also be invited to connect with our bodies and practice embodiment to connect with God [John 2:13-22].
- How are you invited to embody disruption towards injustice this Lent?
- What are the "thin places" you can explore and experiment with this Lent?
- Embodying disruption. Make space and sit with our deeper responses to injustice. How might we embody disruption that’s in alignment with God’s heart for the oppressed? How might we give space to our anger to disrupt unhealthy patterns and injustice?
- Explore “thin places”. Experiment and explore what the thin places are for you in experiencing God's presence. Discover God's embodied presence in people and places we haven't considered before.
March 4, 2021
Matt Inman reflects on how disorientation invites us to create space to honor both our hardship and a deepening gratitude and love. Erin Inman and Jason Ikpatt also share reflections from their own experiences [Mark 8:29-33].
- What experiences do you find most difficult to validate or legitimize?
- Where were you most surprised by where love or connection showed up for you this past week?