On Palm Sunday, 28th March at 4pm on Facebook Live and YouTube, we’ll be looking at the story of ‘passion week’ with a focus on the Jewish context of Jesus’ life. In addition to stories and music, at our main gathering at 4, we’ll be hearing from Jewish Feminist New Testament scholar Dr. Amy-Jill Levine! (Read more about her below!)
Amy-Jill Levine will be joining us for a special LIVE Q&A on Zoom at 5:15. So get your questions ready! You will need to be logged into a Zoom account with a public account name in order to access this Zoom.
Here’s a mindfulness colouring sheet you might like to print and colour during today’s gathering.
Song – We are Here for You (Ellie & Ali)
Question for Sharing (Matt & Nathan) – Share the story of a new beginning or a ‘first day’ you’ve experienced. A new job, a decisive moment of change, the start of a new year at school… What’s the first experience that pops into your mind?
A Poem for Palm Sunday (Cam)
Each triumphal entry
holds within it the possibility of crucifixion.
In each joy of our lives,
we are aware of the possibility of pain.
Blowing out the candles of our birthday cake,
we realise we are getting older.
As we hold a newborn grandchild,
our delight is deepened
as we ponder how generations come and go.
A pang of grief in the middle of a wedding
reminds us of those no longer with us.
Loading up the removal truck,
we leave behind many memories
even as we look forward to settling in our new home.
In the richness and complexity of our experience,
we remember Jesus, rooted and grounded in love
through both triumphal procession and way of sorrow.
(By Fiona McDougal)
This reading is from the Hebrew scriptures from the book of Zechariah 9:9-12:
Rejoice, O people of Zion![d]
Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem!
Look, your king is coming to you.
He is righteous and victorious,[e]
yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—
riding on a donkey’s colt.
10 I will remove the battle chariots from Israel[f]
and the warhorses from Jerusalem.
I will destroy all the weapons used in battle,
and your king will bring peace to the nations.
His realm will stretch from sea to sea
and from the Euphrates River[g] to the ends of the earth.[h]
11 Because of the covenant I made with you,
sealed with blood,
I will free your prisoners
from death in a waterless dungeon.
12 Come back to the place of safety,
all you prisoners who still have hope!
I promise this very day
that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles.
Reflection – Entering the Passion – Dr Amy-Jill Levine
Song – Sanctus (Ryan Flannigan)
The Love Feast & the Passover Seder (Danielle)
Trans Day of Visibility (Nona)
What’s Coming up (Danielle) *
Blessing: “May we live fully, love wastefully and have the courage to be all that God has created us to be.”
At 5:15, we’ll reconvene on Zoom to chat more about the themes from the gathering. (Meeting ID: 853 6699 5635 Passcode: 123674)
*If you are part of our community and would like to make a gift toward Inclusive Gathering Birmingham, you can do that here. Anything you give helps to support the costs of making church happen and allows us to be generous as a community. There’s no pressure to give!
If you’ve got any questions about Inclusive Gathering Birmingham or would like to have a chat with someone from our community, please email email@example.com and we’ll be in touch.
About Dr. Amy-Jill Levine
Amy-Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies, and Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School, Graduate Department of Religion, and Department of Jewish Studies; she is also Affiliated Professor, Woolf Institute, Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations, Cambridge UK.
Holding a B.A. from Smith College, M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University, and honorary doctorates from the University of Richmond, the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, the University of South Carolina-Upstate, Drury University, Christian Theological Seminary, and Franklin College, Professor Levine has been awarded grants from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. She has held office in the Society of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Association, and the Association for Jewish Studies. She served as Alexander Robertson Fellow (University of Glasgow), and the Catholic Biblical Association Scholar to the Philippines. She has given over 500 lectures on the Bible, Christian-Jewish relations, and Religion, Gender, and Sexuality across the globe.
Her books include The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus (Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of 2007; audio books); Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi (Catholic Book Club; translations: Spanish, Italian; audio books); The Meaning of the Bible: What the Jewish Scriptures and the Christian Old Testament Can Teach Us (with Douglas Knight; translation: Chinese); The New Testament, Methods and Meanings (with Warren Carter); and The Gospel of Luke (with Ben Witherington III — the first full-length biblical commentary co-authored by a Jew and an Evangelical). Her most recent book is The Bible With and Without Jesus, co-authored with Marc Z. Brettler
Her children’s books (with Sandy Sasso) include Who Counts? 100 Sheep, 10 Coins and 2 Sons (2017 Junior Library Guild List; translations: Spanish, Korean); The Marvelous Mustard Seed (2018 Junior Library Guild List; translation: Norwegian); Who Is My Neighbor? and A Very Big Problem and the forthcoming boardbook, 100 Sheep: A Counting Parable.
With Marc Brettler, she co-edited The Jewish Annotated New Testament; she is also the editor of the 13-volume Feminist Companions to the New Testament and Early Christian Writings, and The Historical Jesus in Context (Princeton Readings in Religion; translation: Japanese). Presently she is editing several volumes in the Wisdom Commentary series, and she is the New Testament editor of the new Oxford Biblical Commentary Series. With Joseph Sievers, she is co-editing a collection of essays on the Pharisees.
Her adult education volumes and videos include the Teaching Company Great Lectures: “Introduction to the Old Testament,” “Great Figures of the Old Testament,” and “Great Figures of the New Testament”; Abingdon adult education: Short Stories by Jesus Study Guide; Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week; Light of the World: A Beginner’s Guide to Advent; and most recently, Sermon on the Mount: A Beginner’s Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven; and The Kingdom of Heaven: 40 Devotionals.
In Spring 2019 she was the first Jew to teach New Testament at Rome’s Pontifical Biblical Institute.
About Inclusive Gathering Birmingham …
ABOUT IGB …
Inclusive Gathering Birmingham is a diverse church gathered together by a common dream: to become a truly inclusive faith community, where doubt and difference are a welcome part of our journey together toward Jesus. We believe that the way of Jesus leads us to the wild, radical idea that true spiritual community can be formed based on who is INCLUDED, not by who is EXCLUDED. We are a learning community, constantly growing and changing to live out this vision in new and expanding ways.
When we say “inclusion”, we mean much more than mere tolerance or welcome. We believe God wants us all to know that we actually belong. That means people of every race and ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, age and background, HIV status, ability and disability, theological and political conviction are loved, invited, and fully included. Read more about what makes us tick at www.inclusivegathering.org.uk or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions or chat.