Community · Faith · Speaker · Worship

Deeply Rooted is Coming Up on May 18!

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Spring is teasing us a bit here in Chicago. Temperatures rising only to plummet 30 degrees the next day. Rain storms with no sprouts popping out of the dirt. I’m inside right now wearing my writer’s gloves because my hands are freezing. And the heat is on!

If you’re feeling a little low and longing for a new season, we’re giving you something to look forward to.

Join us on Saturday, May 18th at 7:00 for worship. spoken-word poetry, an awesome speaker, and DESSERT!

We are excited to introduce you to Aubrey Sampson, author of Overcomer: Breaking Down the Walls of Shame and Rebuilding Your Soul and The Louder Song: Listening for Hope in the Midst of Lament.

Aubrey serves on the preaching team and as the director of equipping/discipleship at Renewal Church. She lives and ministers in the Chicagoland area with her husband Kevin. She is also a mom to three young sons, which is to say she spends most days in her pajamas, drinking entirely too much coffee.

Aubrey Sampson

She’ll be speaking on our theme Promise.

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD,
have never forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 9:9-10.

Mark your calendars and save the date! We can’t wait to see you!!

Here’s a flashback to November:

Top row: Songine Clark, Sherin Ahmed Ali, Kimberly Majeski

Middle row: Tracey Bianchi, Diana Shiflett

Bottom row: Pocket Prayers workshop, Tiana Clark, Bible Journaling workshop

Deeply Rooted 2018 Collage

Community · Faith · Worship

7 Days Till Deeply Rooted!!

It is in the course of our feeble and very imperfect waiting that God Himself, by His hidden power, strengthens us and works out in us the patience of the great saints, the patience of Christ Himself. ~Andrew Murray

Worship at Deeply Rooted

We launched Deeply Rooted as a response to a shared need for biblical teaching, worship, and fellowship.

We saw women’s conferences popping up from coast to coast and while it encouraged us, there were a few similarities that we found off-putting.

Number one was the cost. In order to attend some of these conferences, you’d have to take a day or two off work for travel, pay a hefty registration fee, and book a pricy hotel room.

Number two was the blatant lack of diversity. The speaker lineups were by and large, overwhelmingly white. We wanted to build a conference with a fair balance of women of color.

Number three was the (unintentional) focus on appearance. The advertising and the after shots all seemed staged. They came off intimidating to the average woman who isn’t going to buy four new outfits with the help of a stylist. They didn’t represent reality in a way we thought they should. We stress total casualness. Come just as you are. Wear your pajamas if you want to.

We want you to feel like you’re in a friend’s living room. Kick off your shoes. Wear your comfiest oversized men’s sweatshirt if you want. We just want you there.

We have a pay-what-you-can option and scholarships! We also have overnight housing. We are offering a catered lunch with speakers and the core team for $12. Deadline to register for that is this Tuesday, November 7th. You can register for the event and workshops online, or pay at the door. The art workshops require a $10 supply fee payable online at registration.

 

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Anita worshipping at Deeply Rooted

Art & Design · Poetry · Speaker · Video · Worship

Deeply Rooted Invitation Video

Deeply Rooted Chicago Logo

Lord, how long must I wait? Will you forget me forever? How long will you turn your face away from me? How long must I struggle with my thoughts? How long must my heart be sad day after day? How long will my enemies keep winning the battle over me? LORD my God, look at me and answer me. Give me new life, or I will die. Then my enemies will say, “We have beaten him.” They will be filled with joy when I die. But I trust in your faithful love. My heart is filled with joy because you will save meI will sing to the Lord. He has been so good to me. ~Psalm 13: 1-6 

This powerful Psalm resonates with so many of us because it reflects our own heart and mind. Sometimes we’re waiting for God to give us something we want, but we’re also waiting for him to take things away from us. God calls us to our own Garden of Gethsemane where we cry, pray, and wait for him to take the cup from us.

Waiting well is a challenge for all of us. How do we do it gracefully? Prayerfully? How do we sustain hope in the “oil press” of our own lives? We’re asking the same questions. Join us as we explore together—through poetry, worship, teaching, and workshops— what it means to wait expectantly with a heart full of joy.

Faith · Photos · Speaker · Workshops · Worship

Deeply Rooted in Pictures

Our gatherings in November are two days, complete with lunch and workshops. These are pictures from Deeply Rooted, November 2016.

Community · Poetry · Speaker · Worship

Who is Mending Your Soul?

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“Experiencing a taste of heaven” is how I would describe the Deeply Rooted gathering on May 21. Truthfully, there were a host of reasons that could have kept me away. The month of May filled up with plenty of obligations. Thankfully, my husband encouraged me to make room for it. I even invited a friend! Forgetting to care for our own soul becomes tempting as we get in the habit of caring for others. Yet, we must be cautious that we don’t become parched and undernourished. We must find ways of keeping our roots sustained.  The Deeply Rooted gathering did just that.

People worship our Creator in a variety of ways. The blessing that came through this gathering was the  variety of worship forms through which the voice of God spoke. The songs, though familiar, took on a different perspective in this venue. Despite our differences and  our church backgrounds, we were singing common music. The instruments may have been different (which I love) but the language was understood by all.

Intermingled with worship through music were speakers Rev. Dr. Velda Love, June Felix, and a poet Elyssa Salinas. We are all blessed when the Holy Spirit uses our unique gifts and talents to be manifest. I felt the characters come to life as she became their voices. In particular, I was impacted by the narrative of Hagar. So often the story is told of Abraham and Hagar takes a minor; if not scandalous part. Here, Hagar spoke of what was forced upon her. An act, which truthfully, is criminal by our standards. The pain, the humiliation, and despair she felt as she was cast away from the family that no longer had “need” of her was deep. Yet, in the midst of it, she is reminded that she is not invisible; she is not a label. She is known by and loved by her Creator.

June challenged the listeners to embrace the wonder of God. She drew us in by sharing a bit of her personal story involving her mother who had recently passed. She was left with unanswered questions regarding her mother’s life. Not having answers can leave us unsettled yet we’re reminded throughout scripture of the mysteries of God. For example, as she pointed out, many people know John 3:16 by heart; however, John 3:7-8 is not a popular memorized passage. June stated that “trusting God requires learning how to be comfortable with the ‘unknown knowns.’”  “Unknown knowns” are the promises of God as revealed through scripture and a personal relationship. I appreciated her reminder that God gives just what we need for the moment. So often, I think of the “what ifs” down the road but forget that God’s already holding onto that for me. In a humorous illustration, our life hidden in Christ was compared to a “Turducken.” The closing challenge confronted our own legacy. By embracing the “unknown knowns,” others may look at our life and wonder “Who is this Jesus?”

Rev. Dr. Velda Love’s presentation exhorted women to reclaim their true identities. She began by referencing the choreopoem “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.” Written by Ntozake Shange, the poem (and play) “is concerned with the victimization of women and with finding the young black woman’s voice and self.” The characters’ narratives bring a voice to both the individual and collective suffering at the hands of those in power. By expressing verbally and orally the violence against them as black women, they fight to break up a system that has perpetuated the oppression. Rev. Dr. Love asked us to consider what our own play would be called. Furthermore, the challenge lies in asking ourselves questions such as, “Who writes your story?” “Who has power over your existence?” “Who is mending your soul?” Such significant questions, but how often do we ask them? The answers have implications concerning how we view faith, our understanding of scripture, how we view God, and our relationship to others.

As we examined key passages, Rev. Dr. Love deconstructed common interpretations and provided historical and literal background. So much of what we come to understand biblically has its roots in source materials written in patriarchal societies. All miss out on the full implications of scripture when it is viewed through a lens that is skewed.  Acknowledgement of that truth is necessary to embracing our identity as God’s creation.   The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost “is a sign and message to women; you are empowered by God to be whole, to speak and create, to worship, and not fear or feel threatened by life or life’s circumstances.” The Holy Spirit does not differentiate. That is reason to rejoice!

My friend and I are still basking in the glory of the Deeply Rooted gathering.  The beauty of the Holy Spirit is manifest in the deepening of our relationships to each other as we are nourished individually. The insight gained from that evening continues to feed our conversations. Speaking of feeding, treats are always an appreciated part of any gathering. The hospitality was appreciated—not only did it allow for more opportunity to engage but the yummy snacks were a simple gesture of sharing God’s love. I’m quite sure my friend and I received an abundance of it! I look forward to the next Deeply Rooted gathering and more connections to feed my hungry soul.

Community · Faith · Prayer · Worship

You’re Invited.

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You never know what to expect when you throw a party or host an event. You hope people show up and are terrified nobody will. You are hyper-aware of every word spoken, wondering how this person or that one is going to receive it, if there will be offense taken or hearts opened. You see it through an outsider’s eyes and listen with an outsider’s ear, praying that God will show up even if only a few people do.
Those of us who organized the event felt all those feelings and thought all those thoughts. We learned at our May gathering that you have to make yourself slow down, look away, and be fully present.
Each of us came with expectation, anticipation, and maybe even a little bit of fear. But we showed up. We talked to people we didn’t know, raised our hands in worship, added new Facebook friends, experienced deep, new truths, and made meaningful connections with strangers. Even more importantly, God showed up. In a different way to each one of us, in just the way we needed him to.
Some of us needed to allow ourselves a voice to stand up to misogyny. Others of us needed to hear that everything will be okay even if we don’t have answers right now. Still more of us needed to be told, again, that we are loved, seen, and heard. That we belong. A few of us needed to be safe enough in our discomfort to ask what is stirring our hearts with unease.
We received good feedback from our attendees and speakers:
“Thank you for a wonderful evening with Deeply Rooted. The speakers affirmed in me that my voice as a single woman is valid and my story is worth telling. I have been making a lot of art about my journey—these women gave voice to all women who need the encouragement to stand rooted in their faith and rooted in their womanhood.”
One of our speakers, Rev. Dr. Velda Love, shared this: “Thank you for the invitation to speak. Look at God . . . always doing amazingly more than we could ever expect or imagine. The women were lovely, beautiful, ready, receptive, and very present. I had an opportunity to hug and talk with young women and more seasoned women. There is so much work to be done in our lives, so anytime you need me just call.”
Many women were challenged and moved by our speakers, and encouraged by our worship. If you missed that gathering, we are planning our next one for Friday, November 4th and Saturday, November 5th! It will be our 3rd event and our 1st anniversary so we’re making it bigger and better! We’ll have an additional worship set, 4 workshops (you choose two) and a catered lunch with the speakers and leaders.
Right now we are pricing registration at $35 for the full event. This is a limited time offer, so please take advantage of it! Invite your friends and family! Invite your pastor or your pastor’s wife, your women’s ministry leader, your small group, or your Pokémon Go team.
We are praying you here, and if there is anything else we can pray for, use the contact form below. Click here for registration!
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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: