Members of the watershed discipleship community are embarking on a new project called Radix. Their vision is to inspire emerging leaders to cultivate a vocation that intersects soil, sanctuary, streets, and soul.Read more
In Healing Haunted Histories, Elaine Enns and Ched Myers invite readers to consider how the call to follow Jesus is also a summons to racial justice and decolonization. They chart a path for how we can dig into our family histories to face our own “ghosts” of settler colonialism, Indigenous displacement, and white supremacy.
This 400-page book is equal parts: memoir (mostly focusing on Enns’ Mennonite family and community, who endured the Russian Civil War, fled the Soviet aftermath, and settled on Indigenous land in Saskatchewan in the 1920s); social analysis; theological reflection, and workbook for those ready to “do their own work.”
For a limited time, friends of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries are eligible for a special discount off the softcover edition of Healing Haunted Histories $38 USD retail price. Get the coupon code and learn more>
Those in the watershed discipleship community will be interested in a recent book called Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization (Mennonite Church Canada, 2018), edited by Steve Heinrichs and illustrated by Jonathan Dyck. With 69 short entries by an excellent list of contributors, this book helps us grapple with ways the Christian tradition has been co-opted by empire, and uncover the stories and themes that help us connect with land, creation, and other people groups. The book is beautifully laid out, with artwork appearing throughout the book (see some examples here). A number of people connected to the watershed discipleship community contributed to the book, including Ched Myers, Katerina Friesen, Randy Woodley, Joshua Grace, Bob Haverluck, Rose Marie Berger, Wes Howard-Brook, and Robert Two Bulls. You may also recognize the names of several of the other contributors from biblical studies and various areas of theology, including Kwok Pui-lan, Joerg Rieger, Norman Habel, Walter Brueggemann, Miguel A. De La Torre, and Ellen F. Davis.
The reflections contained in this book are short — 3-5 pages each — and seek to reinterpret, wrestle with, or reimagine biblical texts, particularly pointing the reader toward Indigenous themes in the text, immigrants, and Read more
“We are doing this discipleship; we are disciples of this watershed!”
A woman named Beatriz Fernández de Hütt exclaimed the above quote during her presentation at a workshop on the Spanish translation of the watershed discipleship book. She leads a group called Amigos del Rio Torres that works to clean up the river running through San Jose, Costa Rica.
She learned about watershed discipleship at a recent workshop at the Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana (UBL) in Costa Rica, where Josh and Grecia Lopez-Reyes represented Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries (BCM) and presented on watershed discipleship, sharing from Discipulado de la Cuenca about the connections between watershed care, Christian faith, and the social and environmental justice concerns facing humanity and our planet today. This event celebrated the collaboration between UBL and BCM to bring the Spanish translation to print. When I spoke to Grecia and Josh about their trip, they expressed inspiration from the fact that many of the people they met in this workshop were already doing activist and advocacy work in their watersheds and were Christians, but had not necessarily connected their environmental work with their faith. Read more
Check out this review of Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith and Practice that appeared in Anabaptist Witness‘s October 2017 issue. The review is by Matt Balcarras, who tells the story of reading the book while spending time with the Huu-ay-aht First Nation on Vancouver Island, BC. Balcarras weaves together his own story of spending time there with the encouragement and challenge he received from reading the watershed discipleship book. He concludes:
Reading Watershed Discipleship, I felt like I had found something that satisfied a need I previously had been unable to articulate. I’ve read Wendell Berry. I’ve felt a hunger to know my place and to have a place that I am committed to. I’ve thought a lot about how being a follower of Jesus means living as part of creation, enjoying abundance and appreciating boundaries. But I had not yet considered that I should “recenter [my] citizen identity in the topography of creation rather than in the political geography of dominant cultural ideation” (15). Myers and company have convinced me that to live a life of justice and peace means I must live a life that is in right relation with the land. And to do that, I must learn the legacy of Indigenous communities (18) like the Huu-ay-aht First Nation that have so much to teach those of us who hope for a future for our children when this watershed moment has passed.
A new primer about watershed discipleship in Spanish was released this week, thanks to a team at Universidad Biblica Latinoamericana in San Jose, Costa Rica. You can order Discipulado de la Cuenca: Una introduccion a la fe y la practica biorregionales here.
Interest in watershed discipleship is spreading in Latin America, and Manuel Casal Lodeiro has been working to translate materials into Spanish, releasing them on the site La creación gime. Check it out, and feel free to share the link and the primer with your Spanish-speaking contacts at home and abroad. Two articles are currently available there:
REHABITANDO EL RÍO DE LA VIDA (AP 22, 1–2): REHIDRATACIÓN, REDENCIÓN Y EL DISCIPULADO DE LA CUENCA (Reinhabiting the River of Life: Rehydration, Redemption and Watershed Discipleship, 2014)
«¡HA CAÍDO EL CEDRO!» LA PALABRA PROFÉTICA VS. LA TALA RASA IMPERIAL (The Cedar Has Fallen: The Prophetic Word against Imperial Clearcutting, 2007)
Josh and Grecia Lopez Reyes recently visited San Jose, Costa Rica, sharing about the new primer and meeting with groups doing watershed discipleship work in Latin America. We will hear more from them on the blog in coming weeks.
In 2017 Cherice Bock is undertaking a project which will include assisting us to revamp this website. She has recently had a review of Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith & Practice published by Sojourners (in the April 2017 issue). Her full review of Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith & Practice is available here: https://chericebock.com/2017/03/09/book-review-published-watershed-discipleship/
Amongst many other things, Cherice Bock, lives in Oregon where she teaches at George Fox University and its seminary, and serves as the community garden coordinator. Cherice edits the environmental studies journal Whole Terrain, and is a regional editor for Christ & Cascadia, an online journal exploring theology and culture in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia.
Available now is the new anthology publication: Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith and Practice, EDITED BY Ched Myers, Cascade Books (Fall 2016).
The much anticipated “Watershed Anthology” is now available. With over a dozen contributes, this anthology introduces and explores “watershed discipleship” as a critical, contextual, and constructive approach to ecological theology and practice.
CONTRIBUTORS: Introduction and Afterword by Ched Myers; Poetry by Rose Berger, Foreword by Denis Nadeau. Chapters by: Sasha Adkins, Jay Beck, Tevyn East, Erinn Fahey, Katarina Friesen, Matt Humphrey, Vickie Machado, Jonathan McRay, Sarah Nolan, Reyna Ortega, Dave Pritchett, Erynn Smith, Sarah Thompson, Lydia Wylie-Kellermann.