holy week with rebel jesus


The reflection below was written by my friend and fellow YDS-mate Rev. John Helmiere, who after graduation planted a church in the Seattle area.  His reflection comes from the Beatitude Society’s Echoes from the Edge series.  Though we’ve entered the season of Easter, I still believe that John’s view of Holy Table-Turning Monday should be embodied every monday and perhaps every day–the ongoing commitment to holy disruptions with sacred sass.

From the Beatitude Society’s Echoes from the Edge
By John Helmiere, 2012-13 Beatitudes Fellow – April 1st, 2013

Holy Table Turning Monday

In 2011, during our first year of existence, Valley & Mountain Fellowship made up a new Holy Week holiday: Holy Table Turning Monday.

Holy Table-Turning Monday commemorates the day when Jesus turned over the tables of the money-changers in the Jerusalem Temple, disrupting business as usual in this nexus of economic, religious, and political power. According to Mark, the Temple action occurred the day after Palm Sunday– the Monday of Holy Week. This symbolic act shed light on the oppression of the common people by the large institutions of the elite. The powerful were slowly taking over the land of the peasant farmers through extracting taxes and turning the indebted small landholders into serfs and slaves. The debt records were kept in the Temple.

For the past three years now, my church has celebrated Holy Table Turning Monday by going as a group into local branches of major banks (Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase so far) to close our accounts and tell the management our reasons for doing so, before opening accounts at local credit unions and neighborhood banks. We’ve then flyered outside the banks to let people know about the abuses perpetrated by the “too-big-to-fail” banks and about alternatives who were more accountable to our communities and at least not “too-big-to-care.”

Other Christian communities have started to hear about it, contacted us to ask how they could get involved, and a few have done actions of their own, so we made a web resource: http://www.tableturning.org. We’ve started wondering if this holiday could catch on– a day when churches around the world join in social justice actions (it boggles the soul to ask why there isn’t such a day in existence already).

Holy Week Should Be a Disruptive Week

Port workers and organizers have come to several V&M Celebrations over the past year and shared about their struggle for good jobs, respect, safety, and fair pay. Tuesday they delivered notice to their bosses that they’d formed a union. Some bosses literally locked the doors and put down the shades while others came out and at least engaged in dialogue. V&M was there in support. Holy Week should be a Disruptive Week.

About delfinwaldemar

i am a native of miami, fl and i am of cuban and salvadoran heritage. i am a social worker and queer theologian who is passionate about engaging the intersections of religion, sexuality, race/ethnicity, and justice—specifically around lgbtq issues. i have a master in divinity as well as a master of social work. as an activist scholar of faith, i am interested in creating spaces where individuals and communities are safe and challenged to explore identity, expression, gender, and orientation in their complexities. i enjoy cooking, eating, laughing, writing, photography, eating more, “queerying” theology, and spending time with family and friends--especially my dearly beloved (while also driving him crazy). my approach to life is rooted in la lucha (the struggle)—lifting up our stories and experiences to inspire creative and authentic conversations and actions that thrive outside boxes transgressing dominant narratives. i hope this space will provide folks who feel isolated or disconnected from communities, especially religious one, an opportunity to wrestle and reconnect and re-member and simply be with the sacred. being raised roman catholic, i have felt marginalized and alone because of who i am within my church community--my queerness bars me from being able to pursue ordination and so this blog will be a space for me to share my journey of faith through homilies, pictures, liturgies, rants, queeries...my prayer is that this space become a pulpit and sanctuary, a new way of living into our call to radical holiness juntos...a place where you, me, G-d will caminar juntos y juntas en la lucha. Amen.

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