This semester I am taking Interpretation as Resistance: Womanist, Feminist, and Queer Approaches to the Bible taught by Professors Alika Galloway and Carolyn Pressler. This week’s reading concerns the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar. Sarah is unable to bare children, which is unfortunate since her husband Abraham is supposed to father “a great nation” (Gen. 12.2). Sarah comes up with a plan to have Abraham use a surrogate: her Egyptian slave Hagar. Abraham agrees, lays with Hagar, and Hagar conceives. The Bible then tells us that Hagar “saw that she had conceived [and] looked with contempt on her mistress”(Gen. 16.4). Sarah responds by being so cruel to Hagar that she runs away to the desert. Upon finding a spring of water, Hagar meets an angel of God who gives her an ambivalent message: go back and submit to a life of cruelty but also your son Ishmael will be the father of nations. A mixed bag, for sure.
At United, a key question is what makes an ethical leader. According Steve Newcom, Director of the Social Transformation Program, "there are injustices in the world" and for many of our students "their faith calls them to do something about that." In the following videos students discuss what calls them to study Social Transformation at United.
It has been more the rule than the exception through the last six months or so that our world, national and local news has focused on one unbelievable human atrocity after another; with a seemingly endless ability to trump the previous week’s painful emotional impact. The capstone of this last week was the criminal case of the Philando Castile murder ending in an acquittal of the police officer who shot him.
2017 has been especially rife with protests, rallies, and marches. Nor has the call to action quieted in the last few weeks. There was the March for Science on April 22, and Tuesday, May 9 is the Medicare for All Rally. There are events popping up across the Twin Cities gearing up for Pride, and Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc) has been fundraising and hosting trainings consistently over the last month. Indeed with the coming of spring, there is a sense of renewal, of hope in troubling times, and the timeless recognition that in this season- life returns to the world in abundance.
The Academic Council at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities released this statement about President Trump's recent Executive Order banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries: