Ancestral Brew

We carry the body wisdom of seven generations in our feet.

Katy, a new friend and yoga teacher, taught me this in a class this week. I’m not sure I totally understood it, but it strikes me as true. Our feet are the parts of our bodies that connect us to the earth and to our ancestors.

On Saturday our family escaped to Cedar Hill State Park. We walked around an abandoned farm in the park: peering into dusty barns, poking our noses into retired chicken coops, observing the windmill turn and creak in the wind.

I sat on the porch of an old farmhouse and nursed my baby. I could just make out Perl’s smile as Richie helped her up and she sat “driving” a rusty red tractor down by the shed. Perl did not know it—but her Grammy drove a similar one as a child helping with the corn harvest on the family farm.

The wind blew through the field of wildflowers and I felt the connection in my old feet to this porch, this dirt, this way of life.

So I decided we should move to the country.

Richie was onboard with the idea—both of us charmed by the experiences of the day. I want my kids to see the stars, I kept saying. “How could we do it?” I wondered. I even called my mom to ask what happened to Granny’s old house.

And then evening fell and we settled in back at home and my feet padded around the wood floors of our midcentury house on Gladiolus Lane. As I rocked by the fireplace the particulars of this new family dream started to make themselves known: the huge strain of moving our household again being the top of the list. And of course all the practical questions: how would we make a living? How could we educate our children? How would we make friends?

But this is not the story of how the spark of a dream can be stamped out by practical considerations.

For as I sat and rocked, rather than feeling constricted or constrained by all our commitments I felt some of the cords around my insides that have been tight for too long begin popping open. Rocking in my Granny’s chair I recognized how much of this ancestral brew is mine for the tasting. I don’t have to move to the country to drink iced tea on my front porch. Or to cook simple meals and share them with family and friends. I can plant wildflowers in my front yard and watch the babies grow. I can know and love neighbors. I can invest in this Oak Cliff neighborhood with its defiant sense of place and learn all that one learns from committing to a particular place and helping it to grow into the community that I want for myself and my children.

There is one more thing more that draws me to the farm: growing food. Like many of you I am hunting for opportunities to plug into a more sustainable, local food supply. (There is more to be said on this topic, but instead why don’t we get our hands dirty?)

Join us for a combination picnic and weedpick tonight 6-8pm. Come to learn more about the edgy practice of urban farming at Paul Quinn College’s Food for Good Farm. (Yes, they are the ones you have heard about that plowed under their football field to make a farm.) Can’t make it tonight? let me know you are interested…

And join us Sunday as we continue our Eastertide series “Fresh Encounters.”



Summer Bible Study

You are invited to be part of an intentional small group this summer. In Church in the Cliff fashion, you are welcome to this Bible study whether you know a little, a lot or not and whether you believe a little, a lot or not. To foster a dependable space where the same folk, experiencing the same text, find themselves in the same space together an hour and a half each week, this study will be limited to 15 people who can commit to attending each week and completing outside reading.

What: Invitation to the New Testament
An 8 week small group study that invites participants to delve into the New Testament .

When: Most Wednesday nights (and one Tuesday) from May 25th – July 27th. 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Where: Teri Walker’s home

Who: Up to 15 folks who can sign up for the full series (attend at least 6 out of 8) and can commit to doing outside reading.

Cost: $12.00 (Includes a participant’s manual and sharing the costs of the group materials/DVDs)

RSVP: Email

Food: The group can discuss before the first gathering if we would like to have dinner together before our discussions and how we would like to share those costs and responsibilities.

Wed, May 25: Jesus Calls Us Into God’s Redemption Story
Wed, June 1: Jesus Calls Us to a Transformed Life
Tue, June 14: Jesus Calls Us to Minister to a Hostile World
Wed, June 22: Jesus Calls Us to Complex Communities of Faith
Wed, June 29: Jesus Calls Us to Serve One Another
Wed, July 6: Jesus Calls Us to a New Relationship With Tradition
Wed, July 20: Jesus Calls Us to Live in Light of His Coming Again
Wed, July 27: Jesus Calls Us to Experience the Gifts of His Dying and Rising

If you are interested in this study or studies like this, but these particular times/dates/location doesn’t work, please email Teri and let us know about your interests. There is nothing to say that only one group can be going on.

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