Winthrop Congregational Church, United Church of Christ
No matter who you are. No matter where you are on life's journey. You are welcome here.
Matthew 26:26-29: The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’
Sometimes the internet is a steaming cesspool of rage and misinformation. And, sometimes it is a place of deep learning and joyful connection. This week, I learned something neat from the internet. I follow someone named Alexis Nicole Nelson on Instagram. Her handle is @blackforager. Her Instagram feed is sweet and silly and funny and so informative. She looks to forage for food and is passionate about teaching others to forage. She understands that foraging, particularly foraging what grows wild, is a long-standing and sustainable food tradition in many cultures and communities. On her feed, I’ve learned more about food elders where I grew up ate (like poke sallet), plants in my own yard (did you know that you can pickle tiger lilies), plants I’ve never heard of (pineapple weed!), and food I’ve only read about (she made pancakes out of flower made from acorns). I also appreciate how thoughtful she is about the ways that race and class affect the ways we eat and the kinds of food we have access to.
This week, I watched a video she made while out foraging for mushrooms. She titled the video: “The Honorable Harvest: A Rant.” I’ll share the link to the original when I post this sermon to the sermon blog. I’ll give you a little hint. When someone who’s work you respect starts a post with “I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed,” there’s a good chance that the post will be worth reading or watching. Why she is disappointed, in this post, is because someone chose to overharvest some chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms. From what she showed us, there were a couple really big patches of chicken-of-the woods on a tree, and someone cut off all of each patch nearly down to the bark of the tree. Nelson doesn’t think this is ethical harvesting. She goes on to explain why.
So much of Christian faith is about being attentive to how our values shape our actions. I heard something similar in Nelson’s description of the ethics that shape how she forages, even though she doesn’t talk about Christianity at all. She has values and those values shape her actions. She began to describe those values. She talked about a concept called the Honorable Harvest, noting that other teachers have spoken of it, like the professor Robin Wall Kimmerer in her book Braiding Sweetgrass. For Dr. Kimmerer, a key question is “how do we consume in a way that does justice to the lives we take?” (page 177). That question seems important to Nelson, too. So, she has developed a set of ideas that guide how she forages. Dr. Kimmerer shares many of the same ideas.
The first is don’t take the first of anything you find. It might be the only one. You rarely need to take the only one of anything. Second, don’t take all of something. Dr. Kimmerer goes so far as to say only take half (page 183). If you leave some, other people and creatures can share it and there will be enough left to reproduce. Third, take only what you need. In her video, Nelson pointed to her own harvest for that trip, which was a good handful of another kind of mushroom. It was all she needed. She left plenty for other people, animals, and fungi back on the log. Fourth, say thank you. In her belief system, this means offering thanks to both the mushroom and the log. I know hunters who say thank to the deer that they take. This practice of gratitude reminds those who harvest that the animals, plants, and fungi have lives worthy of consideration.
And, the fifth practice is to ask for permission. Dr. Kimmerer speaks of the power of thinking of food and harvest in ways that restore relationships... relationships between people, relationships among people and the plants and animals we consume, relationships with the land, water, and air. Asking permission is part of any healthy relationship. This can look different in different situations. Nelson says that if something is surrounded by poison ivy or out of reach for her, she takes that as a lack of permission. Dr. Kimmerer described a process of seeking permission that mixes a scientific method of assessment (is there enough, are we in the right conditions, does it look healthy) with a spiritual sense that she prayerfully tends to. Does this harvest feel like “yes” in this moment?
It must be noted that tending to these ethics of harvest does not make the harvest go faster. In fact, they slow it down quite a bit. That’s part of the point. In slowing down, the harvester pays more attention, shares better, acts more justly, and has the opportunity to act with gratitude. These ethics are not built for a culture that prizes the efficiency of clear-cut forests, mountain top removal mining, and unfettered consumption. Nelson and Kimmerer would like argue that the world wasn’t built for those practices either.
The meal Jesus shared with his friends in our scripture for today wasn’t made for efficiency or resource-hoarding either. It should be instructive to us that a key ritual intended to connect us to each other and to Christ is a ritual rooting in sharing. In his commentary on this text, Ron Allen argues that this story is probably here in Matthew, written decades after Jesus’ ministry, to help explain to later believers where this practice of sharing bread and wine came from and how it was supposed to help them know something of Jesus.
Allen argues that Jesus wanted his followers to live lives shaped by the ethics he taught them. As I said last week, they were to live in this world as though God’s Realm was already here and now. The notion that God wants people to have what they need to survive meant that the disciples would live in ways that made sure they, and the people to whom they ministered, have what they needed to survive. When Jesus’ followers eat and drink together, they are reminded of the call to feed the hungry and give drink to those who thirst. Christians have long argued about what it means for the bread and cup to be the body and blood of Christ. The traditions we follow lean into the answer that they assure us that Christ is present with us, I think especially so, when we share what we have, simple though it may be, with all who would like to partake.
I have often talked about how I think church gives us a chance to practice our faith, in here, so that we can live out our values more fully beyond the church walls. I am grateful for the examples Alexis Nicole Nelson and Robin Wall Kimmerer give of how they put their values into action in the practices of harvest and cooking. I pray that we can take some time to discern how we are living out our values, particularly this call to find Christ in the act of sharing a simple meal, beyond our ritual life here at church. When I first started thinking about this sermon, I asked myself the question “What makes a good meal?” Now, I’m inclined to shift it a bit: “What makes a meal good?” This scripture gives us part of the answer. Is it shared? Can everyone eat? Are we remembering the Holy when we sit down together? I hope you’ll consider these questions whenever you eat and whenever you share this week, and that you’ll know that Jesus can lead you, too, to live as if God’s Realm of love and justice has come.
Resources consulted while writing this sermon:
Alexis Nicole Nelson's post that I reference: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CjvoYtEjjhs/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants, (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2013)
Ron Allen from the "Bread and Cup to Faith and Giving" resources
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
When I was in seminary, I had the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua and spend some time with an organization that was supporting sustainable development. That organization, Jubilee House-Center for Development in Central America is located in a city called Ciudad Sandino, right outside of Managua. They’d welcome church groups who would help work on the development projects they were supporting. For example, we learned how to mix and lay concrete to build a security wall around a brick-making business and finish the walls of a small medical clinic. For the record, I am terrible at working with concrete. I got it all over my hands and they shriveled up like raisins. Our hosts would also show us around the country, teaching us about Nicaragua’s complex history and the US’s largely disastrous interventions there. And, because most people who came were Christians and because the leaders of the group guiding us had once been Presbyterian pastors, they would also take us to church.
Well, worship wasn’t exactly in a church building... though they did take us to a Cathedral in the middle of Managua. The actual worship service we attended was at the Centro Cultural Batahola Norte. The cultural center was started by Sr. Margarita Navarro, CSJ, and Fr. Angel Torrellas, OP. They moved to the Batahola Norte neighborhood in 1983 and began a process very much like an expanded version of our SEE-JUDGE-ACT program. In a website for an organization that supports the community center, their process is described as “visiting more than 800 homes, learning the people’s needs and dreams, recognizing who they were and what they had.” They visited so many people because they realized that it is not good practice to show up and start educational and service programs without the input and involvement of the people you are trying to serve. I have heard people say we should be guided by the principle “nothing for us, without us.”
The Cultural Center of Batahola Norte would go on to describe their work as "accompany[ing] the people of the neighborhood in their search for new forms of a simple life with dignity and friendship without fear in the midst of deep poverty.” They started their work with Fr. Angel teaching music and religious education to the kids of the neighborhood, and Sr. Margie teaching a sewing class to empower local women. In the nearly 40 years since it began, the culture center has grown from a trailer with two rooms to half a block of the city with classrooms, a library, an auditorium, and gardens. I attended a worship service, in a style called the Misa Campesina, Nicaraguan Peasants’ Mass, in the auditorium. They have this service weekly.
Admittedly, my Spanish is... not great. It was better at that time. Thankfully, one of the people from the group hosting us was there to help translate. With my rudimentary Spanish and my knowledge of our shared Christian traditions, I was pleasantly surprised that I got the gist of the service. When it came time for Communion, I assumed that I would not be allowed to partake. The tradition that the priest was from has closed communion... you have to be a member to take the sacraments. The priest surprised me though. He looked at us and began the invitation. I knew that my Spanish was minimal at best, so I looked over to our guide, who was Quaker and fluent in both Spanish and English, and I asked if I had translated what I was hearing correctly. She said yes. I was right. The priest did just say that all people were welcome to the table. You didn’t have to be of the same denomination as him. If you felt the call to eat, you ate. So, I ate. I went up to the altar and took communion.
Back in June of this year, a picture that a UCC colleague of mine took at a church in North Carolina was making its way around the clergy corners of my Facebook feed. Rev. Laura Everett, the executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, had traveled to Black Mountain Presbyterian Church to officiate a wedding. When she got there, she saw that they had a communion table, much like ours... much like thousands of communion tables in thousands of churches that, like ours, branch out of Reformed Protestant traditions. On the front of the table is this phrase, “Has Everyone Been Fed?” I’ve never seen a communion table like it. Has everyone been fed? This seems like a quintessential question of our faith. I think we could make the argument that this question is one that could shape every part of our life as a church together. At the very least, it could guide our worship and our mission. Has everyone been fed?
Today’s reading comes from the part of Acts just after that wild, wonderful, and possibly terrifying Pentecost story. The Holy Spirit has whipped up, empowering the disciples to speak of Jesus in all kinds of new ways and in new languages. After that story, Peter goes on to preach and teach about Jesus working through all kinds of different people... people of all genders, people of all ages, the enslaved and the ones who were free... all would dream dreams and see visions and speak of how God moves in their lives. The ones who were most moved by the disciples’ testimonies were baptized. Old and new believers alike all joined together, and began crafting a community where everyone could eat.
Inspired by how they saw God moving through the work of the disciples in the world, the people set about to do what Ron Allen has referred to as “living in the present, insofar as possible, as if the Realm [of God] has already come.” And, they understood that the primary identifier of the Realm of God was that everyone would have what they needed to live. “All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all as any had need.” This was a community deeply invested in their spiritual growth while also just as invested in the making sure the material needs of those who gathered would be met. Acts is the sequel to the book of Luke and Luke makes clear that God is invested in the needs of the vulnerable. Dr. Allen even argues that Jesus’ ministry, as an inbreaking of the God’s Realm into this world, demonstrates that the goal of the Realm of God is “restor[ing] material well-being for all to the quality of life and level of abundance pictured in Genesis 1.” Today’s reading from acts shows us that people do the work of the Realm, and recognize Jesus among them, not just by sharing in ritual meals, but by literally sharing food with others.
Today we’ll bless some food that you all have donated to the food pantry... our own wagon-full of the God’s Realm. And, we’ll spend some time after church discerning how we, too, might put our glad and generous hearts to this question, and others like it: Has everyone been fed? Do people have what they need to thrive? Who has the energy and the skills and curiosity to help? May we, too, praise God, and pray and act for each other.
Resources consulted white writing this sermon:
Ron Allen from the "Bread and Cup to Faith and Giving" resources
The history of the Batahola Norte Cultural Center: https://friendsofbatahola.org/history-fob/
Rev. Everett's original post about the Communion Table: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=pfbid02NToqVNvEG9zWNKuRyWsx99Mv89px5o31Y5ofKLX87b5uEjZLnkismRUTxVEE6T4Kl&id=560738503&sfnsn=mo
Mark 6:30-44 Feeding the Five Thousand
The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.’ But he answered them, ‘You give them something to eat.’ They said to him, ‘Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?’ And he said to them, ‘How many loaves have you? Go and see.’ When they had found out, they said, ‘Five, and two fish.’ Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. And all ate and were filled; and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.
There are multiple versions of this story. It is one that is in all four of the gospels and there is a second, very similar story in Mark. Whenever I come upon a Bible story that is either shared in several books or repeats something said multiple times in other places, I figure that the story either must be a very important story in helping someone understand God or Jesus OR that story represents something people aren’t great at remembering. So, it has to be repeated, often. I learned that from my colleague Rabbi Erica Asch. If a story or idea is repeated, it might mean that we need to be reminded of it because we keep forgetting that it’s important. I think this story might be both... it’s shows us something important enough about Jesus that every Gospel includes it and it is something that we might forget about, so we need to be reminded. Yes, I know the Gospel writers didn’t sit down together and decide who would tell what story for maximum affect. Regardless, we should probably take the gift of the reminder despite the fact that it was not intentionally curated to be given.
So what does this miracles story remind us about Jesus that is so important that every Gospel writer shares it and Mark shares some version of it twice? In his commentary on this text, Ron Allen calls this story “a model and an assurance.” Jesus has an idea of what the Kindom of God will be like. Stories like this one show us what some of the characteristics of the Kindom are and show us Jesus modeling for the disciples how to do what Allen calls “put[ting] the qualities of the Realm of God into effect.” At the same time, Jesus is demonstrating that the things that they need to enact the Realm of God into the world are already in the world. Allen says that Jesus is demonstrating that “God has already provided the resources for doing so.” Allen argues that the disciples are being asked to take what God has provided them and act on it. This sounds like something we might consider doing as well. What has God provided us? And, how do we act on it?
It might seem odd to thing of the kindom of God as something we might do rather than a thing that just is or a place that we might go. Allen, and other scholars I have read, argue that is just what the Gospel of Mark thinks about the Realm of God. It is kind of a place but it is mostly a way of being in the world that can exist right now. Allen calls Jesus an “agent of God.” Agent here is being used both to mean a representative but also a force, the way yeast is an agent in bread. According to Mark, Jesus himself was both evidence of the rising of God’s kindom in the world and one who showed others how to partake in it. The Kindom hadn’t come yet. But, the world was in transition, somewhere between the world that was and the world that is to come. Miracle stories like this one were what Allen calls “mini occurrences of the Realm of God” ... moments where observers could see something about what the Kindom of God will be like and invitations to exhibit the qualities of that Reign right here and right now.
In every version of this story, the miracle happens in the wilderness. We shouldn’t understand wilderness here to be devoid of people. Wilderness is rarely devoid of people unless people have been actively kept out. No, this wilderness is full of people. The people we learn about are the people who came there looking for Jesus. Maybe you’ve founds Jesus in the woods. You would be in good company. These folks went to the wilderness to Jesus and learn from him. He had just come from a time of intense teaching in the area where he grew up. Many people whom he had grown up around refused to believe his teachings or signs because they had a pre-conceived notion about who he was and they couldn’t break out of it. He had also sent out the disciples to teach and heal people. Empowered and invited by Christ, they were able to enact a lot of the reign of God... healing people right and left. But, despite that experience, they are still gonna be worried about feeding everyone. They are still going to be surprised when Jesus can do it.
Jesus and the disciples are in the wilderness because they need a break. They had done all the preaching and teaching. And, also, Herod the king had killed Jesus’ cousin, John. John was the one who helped make way for Jesus into the world. He had also annoyed powerful people. Powerful people can be dangerous when challenged. The verses just before today’s reading share that Jesus’ disciples had just buried John. So, Jesus took them to the deserted place, the wilderness, to rest. As you well know, just because you need the rest, that doesn’t mean the work has stopped. The work... the people... followed Jesus and disciples into the deserted place. Maybe this is the lesson we can take today... miracles can and do happen when you’re tired. And, being tired and being in mourning can make it hard to really see what resources you already have and how you might use them creatively for the Reign of God.
Jesus just says “Give them something to eat.” In that moment, the disciples, tired and worn, had no idea how to do that. All they could see was what they didn’t have and not what they did. It’s like they had forgotten that Jesus had already empowered them with the qualities of the Reign of God. If they can cast out a demon and heal the sick, surely, they can feed hungry people. Too bad in this moment, they forgot. And, Jesus had to show them once again. “How many loaves have you?” Five and two fish. You never know how much will be enough until Jesus shows you. Jesus said that this was enough for him to work with. The disciples gathered people together and Jesus blessed the food and they fed everybody. And, there was food to spare.
Here is what I hope you hear and remember: You... we... already have the resources of the Reign of God at our fingertips and inside of us. Even when we are tired and even when we mourn, we have 5 loaves and two fish. And, that is enough for Jesus to work with. May we be grateful for this reminder. And, may this reminder help point us to where Christ is calling us next.
Resources consulted while writing this sermon:
Ron Allen provided some excellent preaching resources as part of our Stewardship material, “From Bread and Cup to Faith and Giving.”
Mark 10:13-16: Jesus Blesses Little Children
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
One hundred and thirty-four miles. Who here has ever walked 134 miles? I don’t mean 134 miles if you add up all the miles you walk in a month. I mean in one trip, over the course of several days or maybe even weeks. In 1903, a group of kids and their parents marched about 134 miles over the course of three weeks. I learned about this in an article by a write named Gail Friedman. In the early 1900’s, children as young as 10 years old were recruited and permitted to work in coal mines and clothing mills. It wasn’t rich kids who felt like they had to do this. It was usually kids from families that were poor and where the adults weren’t paid enough to take care of the whole family. The kids, just as soon as they could, would go to work to help pay for their family’s food and rent.
At work, they were often asked to do dangerous jobs in the day time and the night time, too, and the adults around them weren’t always interested in taking care of them. An organizer named Mother Jones realized that getting some of the kid workers and their families to march a long way from where they lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania through cities in New Jersey and then into New York City could help more people know about the strike and realize that kids shouldn’t be asked to do dangerous jobs. So, a bunch of kids and their parents started marching. By the time they reached New York City, 60 children and parents were left and they marched through the city. Five of them even went to the president’s vacation house to try to get him to pay attention to how bad it was to be a kid working a dangerous job.
Seeing all these kids and their parents march for so long in big cities helped get the attention of people who wanted to change things and agreed to try to make things safer for kids. Some places would start making laws to protect kids in dangerous jobs, including Pennsylvania, where these kids lived. It would take a while longer, but eventually, the national government passed laws that said that companies couldn’t hire elementary and middle-school aged kids for those kinds of jobs anymore. And, high school kids can only work some kinds of jobs, none of them as dangerous as the ones the kids who marched did. So, even though the March of the Mill Children didn’t immediately fix all the problems, having kids and adults work together to tell the truth about how the kids were being mistreated in their jobs helped make it easier for all these big laws to be changed later.
For it is to such as these that the realm of God belongs.
In 2016, a group of about thirty 13-year-olds set about to protect the land, the water, and their sacred spaces where they lived. I learned about them from an article by Matt Petronzio. These kids, who all were a part of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, heard plans to move an oil pipeline so that instead of running through the city of Bismark, it would run through the area next to where they lived. These kinds of pipelines often leak, polluting water and land. Some of the places where this pipeline would run were also holy sites, kind of like our church or the cemeteries where our families are buried. The kids from Standing Rock were worried that the pipeline would mess up their water so they couldn’t drink it or hurt the land or destroy holy sites. So, they started a huge social media campaign and shared petitions to stop this pipeline from being built.
These kids were really smart and used social media as a tool for good. Their work helped so many more people learn about the risks of building this kind of pipeline near water, land where people and animals live, and through special, sacred places. One of the kids, Tokata Iron Eyes was interviewed by an adult activist and they posted the video on Facebook. In just 24 hours, that video was watched 1 million times. Ann Lee Rain Yellowhammer, another one of the kid organizers, started a petition on-line and 460,000 people signed it.
The kids didn’t just organize on-line either. They worked with adults in their communities to set up a camp to get in the way of the pipeline, slowing down the construction. While adult leaders of the Standing Rock Nation were working on legal challenges to the pipeline, the 30 young organizers organized rallies to educate and inspire people, and organized two very long runs, first a 500-mile spiritual relay race from Cannon Ball, North Dakota, to the district office of the Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha, Nebraska and the second a 2,000-mile relay race from their home to Washington, D.C. to deliver their petition. Like the long march of the mill children in 1903, these long relay runs helped get people’s attention and teach them something about the risks of the pipeline.
When they learned that the company that wanted to build the pipeline got permission to start, the kid organizers went back on-line and invited other people to come to their camp and help get in the way of construction. Thousands of people, even a pastor I know from here in Maine, went to help the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and try to stop the pipeline. Like the kids who marched in 1903, the kids from Standing Rock were not able to stop all of the problems they were fighting immediately. They and the adults they worked with were able to have construction halted for some time, though the company was given permission to start again and they were able to build the whole thing. The pipeline leaked 5 times in 2017, just like they were worried it would. They are still fighting though. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has won one important victory in court, and the company that built the pipeline is going to have to do a big study to tell the truth about what affect the pipeline will have on the environment where it was built. And, the kids, now almost ready to graduate high school, keep fighting for the rights of their community to have safe land and water. Their work reminds me that even if you don’t win at first, it is important to keep fighting for what is right.
When Jesus was alive and teaching, many grown-ups worried that kids were in the way or couldn’t understand what he was teaching. When his adult friends tried to keep people from bringing their kids to be blessed, Jesus got really mad at his friends. He said that kids deserved to be there with him. And, in fact, the kids could teach the adults something important about being brave and learning new things. In fact, he said, adults would have to re-learn how to be brave, curious, and tough the way kids are if they were going to be able to follow him. As you go about your week, if you’re a kid, I hope you’ll remember that Jesus said kids will teach grown-ups how to follow him. And, if you’re an adult, I hope you’ll make sure pay attention to the brave, curious, and tough kids that you know. Do not prevent them from doing what’s right. And, follow their lead. You just might meet Jesus along the way.
Resources consulted while writing this sermon:
Wil Gafney, "Proper 22 (Closest to October 5),"Women's Lectionary for the Whole Church, Year W (New York: Church Publishing Incorporated, 2022)
William B. McLain, “Proper 22 ,” Preaching God's Transforming Justice, A Lectionary Commentary Year B, Ronald J. Allen, Dale P. Andrews, and Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm, eds. (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011)
Here are some great resources about kids' activism:
-Gail Friedman: https://philadelphiaencyclopedia.org/essays/march-of-the-mill-children/
-Mark Petronzio: https://mashable.com/article/standing-rock-nodapl-youth
Some specific information about the Dakota Access Pipeline:
Pastor Chrissy is a native of East Tennessee. She and her wife moved to Maine from Illinois. She is a graduate of the Divinity School at Wake Forest University and Chicago Theological Seminary.