Running and Preaching — same difference?

Alaska is lighting up again. When I walk to school in the morning at 8am (which is actually noon on the east coast), I can see the oh-so faint traces of daylight. Ah.

Speaking of “ah” moments. I went for a run on a familiar path this evening. At times this “path” includes beating through the bushes and even a bit of climbing, making the expedition more like a military cross-training exercise. The normal road that I run on (Pillar Mountain for those of you in Kodiak and in the know) goes up a hill, but the hill has much ice on it, making it precarious and difficult to actually make any progress (as if running up hill were not hard enough!). So, I decided to try some side trails/roads, and about 1/2 mile of mud and water I found the most lovely trails. So isolated, so beautiful. In the midst of spruce, running along the soft, mossy earth.

I came to the end of the trails, randomly; they ended in the middle of the woods. Then I just saw below me the most mythical yet simple scene: mist blowing across the tops of trees.

Coming attractions….This Sunday will find me robed and preaching my first Episcopal sermon at St. James the Fisherman Episcopal Church. The theme of the liturgical scriptures have to do with the commands of God and with community. In the last few decades, we have heard a good deal from Christians about how the commands of God are being neglected, to our peril. My study of the biblical texts, however, show that the commands of God rooted in community (not the other way around).  The commands of God were valuable to the ancient Hebrew people because they were the framework for a harmonious community.

I want to use this exegesis to explore how fragmented our 21st century existence is, and how we need to begin to go about the hard work of building a structure for true community. It is truly shocking how many of the principles of justice, equality, and compassion found in the Jewish scriptures (aka the Christian “Old Testament”) are neglected in this world of global capitalism. There is almost no limit to the manner in which the rich and powerful can exploit the poor.

In other news….it seems as though credit card companies are ready to snag more suckers. Has anyone else noticed that those wonderful little solicitations from the Big Banks are now rotating through your mail? A sign that business and our economy is painstakingly trying to get back to the American norm: time to rack up credit card debt to buy shit we don’t really need! =)

Tamie Harkins 2010, Kodiak, AK

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Jonathan Erdman

Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability.

2 thoughts on “Running and Preaching — same difference?”

    1. Thanks for your interest, Lori! Yes, I think I will try to provide a recap. I did not script out this sermon, I preached from an outline; but I would like to kind of write out the sum and substance of my points if I get a few extra minutes today or tomorrow.

      Thanks again.


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