Poetry · Speaker

A Conversation I Never Expected to Have

Elyssa Salinas performed spoken-word poetry for us at our May gathering. Her words were a clarion call to self-awareness and strength, as she took on Hagar’s hurt and shame, and pleaded with Frida Kahlo for wisdom. Even if you think you don’t like or understand poetry, please watch this performance. You’ll never look at poetry the same way, and may even be inspired to write your own!

 

A Conversation I Never Expected to Have

I was made with more than flesh in mind;

A mind! Imagine that.

A mind that reasons & wonders why

All you see are body parts;

Mountains & valleys that you can walk over & conquer.

Not afraid of rough terrain or how it will fight back,

Just looking for a place to stick your flag.

A claim for all to see that you saw, you came & you conquered.

 

I was made with more than flesh in mind.

Given the gift of womanhood,

Of soft curves, short stature & the hope that one day

I will meet her.

The woman I’m supposed to become –

The woman everyone seems so excited to meet.

 

I was given the gift of womanhood.

A package filled with more than

Sugar in the raw &

Spices to fill the rack.

My womanhood lay underneath

Tissue paper and ribbon.

Gently laid and ready to be assembled.

My limbs were put together by women;

Women older & wiser than me who

Fastened me, piece by piece.

Putting my arm in a socket,

Showing me how to embrace

A sister

A mother &

Telling me one day I won’t need any instruction

To embrace a lover,

I’ll get enough practice when I find him.

Placing my hips low to the ground,

With a laying on of hands

Showing me how to sway when a beat calls to me.

They place my feet firmly on the ground & tell me

Each step I take will lead me

Through pain unbearable &

Toward pleasure unimaginable.

 

I was given this gift of womanhood,

Not you.

As much as you might think my hips sway only in your direction,

My body submits simply to your touch,

& my lips never speak anything but your name.

You are mistaken.

 

My body is not a present for you to unwrap &

Discard when you’re done playing.

My body is a gift from God with

My name on the tag.

 

A God that gave me the ability to create or wait,

Or just to say no if I choose.

My hips are not just childbearing –

They are weight-bearing, rhythm making, melody moving &

Cocked from side to side, depending on my mood.

 

These breasts are not meant for you to unclasp & set free,

To fondle as you dream.

They were meant for me

To push down, push up, fill out my dress if I see fit

& if I want you step

From that plate to touch a new base

I will tell you.

 

And what I hold between my legs

Was never meant to be called

Chastity, virginity, purity or honor.

It was never meant to be

Property, a bicycle, or a revolving door.

What I hold between my legs is not called

Shame.

It has a name

all its own,

but one I choose

& do not have to share with you.

What I hold between my legs is

Beauty beyond measure

Ecstasy without ceasing

A point of pleasure & pain

Of life & death

& it is by invitation only that you get to come.

 

I have the God-given gift of being a woman &

What rests between my legs is divine pleasure,

What resides between my thighs

Is something more than a switch

Labeled

Madonna & Whore

Virgin & Slut

Prude & Pleasing

What I hold between my legs is more

Than a fleshy existence

More than a quick night or fleeting fancy.

 

It is a place where life begins

Where existence is known

And where more women have been hurt

Then you can imagine.

 

I never thought I would have to explain

That my body belongs to me.

That it is my own,

That it does not belong to you.

 

I never thought that my decisions would give you ownership

Of a body that you do not take care of.

A nice dinner might fill my belly,

But do not think of it as admission

To play games and ride around as you please.

Take a whirl all the way to the top &

If you like it,

Make it spin again.

Pay a little extra and maybe it will go backwards?

 

I was made with more than flesh in mind.

I have the God-given gift that you try to turn

Into something I should hide

Or something I should give away.

But I have decided to keep this present,

This ever present gift that is God given,

The gift of being a woman.

Of soft curves, short stature &

That ever present hope that one day

I will be her,

The woman that everyone seems so excited to meet.

Poetry · Speaker · Video

Anita Scott is Coming!!!

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We are absolutely ecstatic that Dallas spoken-word poet Anita Scott will be performing at Deeply Rooted again! Anita is a high school teacher with a gift for creating powerful poems that capture audiences, leaving them wanting more. She is the Poet in Residence at The Mudroom, contributing a spoken-word video each month, and has performed her poetry nationally. Join us November 4 & 5 for our next gathering. Watch this video for an introduction to Anita Scott.

Poetry · Speaker · Video · Worship

See You NEXT Saturday!!

We can’t wait to see you next Saturday! We are busy working to make sure your experience is challenging and encouraging. Our worship team practiced on Thursday, here’s a sneak peek into our worship set:

 

Meet Rev. Velda Love. She is the director of justice and intercultural learning in the Office of Diversity’s Collaboratory for Urban and Intercultural Learning at North Park University. Velda collaborates with various academic schools to develop curricular and co-curricular opportunities designed to encourage greater integration of students’ in-class and out-of-class experiences with an emphasis on social justice related issues.

Velda completed a MATS from North Park Theological Seminary and is Ordained to Specialized Ministry in Social Justice in the Evangelical Covenant Church. She is a pastoral assistant at Second Baptist Church in Evanston, Ill., and serves on various boards and task forces that address interfaith dialogue, homelessness, and youth incarceration. She is completing her DMin in social transformation from Chicago Theological Seminary. This is an audio sermon she gave at Jesus People USA Covenant Church in Uptown, Chicago:

 

June Felix is the best person to share about wonder. She is an author, speaker, avid gamer and sci-fi geek. She evens dresses up for Comic Con! She is one-half of the Moody Radio duo Karl and June in the Mornings.

 

Elyssa Salinas will be bringing us some spoken-word poetry. She is the Program Assistant for Hunger Education, a recent graduate of the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago and plans to pursue a doctoral work in sexual ethics and theology in the coming year. You can see her perform one of her poems here:

 

Community · Faith · Poetry · Worship

THREE WEEKS TIL DEEPLY ROOTED!

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Deeply Rooted is coming up close. We’re exploring Wonder through poetry, worship, teaching, and fellowship and we have fantastic speakers who love to bring the Word. We can’t wait for you to see what we have in store for you. In November, when we met for the first time, we decided Deeply Rooted needed to keep going. Connections were made. Truth was spoken. Community happened.

We want you to experience that too. All over the internet, in churches and small groups, families and friendships, we are seeing that women are lonely. We’re afraid of initiating friendship. We’re terrified of going deep, getting close, and being known. We’re comparing ourselves to other women: their bodies, their families, their successes, their relationship with God. And we always come up wanting.

We’re in want and wanting at the same time. We long for healthy friendship. We are craving connection. We’re killing our desires because they frighten us and aren’t being met. There is hope. There is possibility.

We created Deeply Rooted because we, (Joy & Tammy) discovered a shared felt need. We needed to know and be known. And we wanted to invite others into the longing.

So many of us don’t have the time, energy, or money to attend Christian women’s conferences that offer community and encouragement. So we made our own, especially for local Chicagoland women.

We want to meet you. Please consider joining us and bringing a friend.

Rooted in Him,
Tammy & Joy

Faith · Poetry · Prayer · Speaker

Flashback: Anita Scott, Spoken-Word Performer

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Anita Scott performed three breathtakingly beautiful poems for us, and you can watch them here!

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