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Text about This Here Flesh reflection group, with the cover illustration from the book: what looks like both a set of lungs and the roots of a tree, in gold

Reflection Group: This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us, by Cole Arthur Riley

Beginning on November 2 and continuing until just before she leaves on sabbatical, Amy will be leading a reflection group on the book This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us, by Cole Arthur Riley.

With each chapter, Riley (who is also the creator of Black Liturgies) explores a different topic with a vivid essay, rich in personal detail and spiritual exploration, and infused always with a passion for making a better world. To enable us to also explore these topics, all participants need the book ahead of time.

  1. Before each session, the members of the group will write / draw / sculpt / dance / [insert preferred method of exploration here] private reflections on the topic of the upcoming chapter. This can be as structured or as free-form as you like (think “free writing,” as described by Natalie Goldberg). But please do it before reading Riley’s own thoughts on the subject.

2. Then, we will each read the chapter.

3. And finally, we will come together to share deeply about that topic, in a session guided by Riley’s meditations and our own. We will share our writing only if we want to.

To be ready for our first gathering, please buy or borrow the book. It is available at Kepler’s. If that is not feasible for you, please let Amy know confidentially; she and Cat have a fund for this purpose.

“Welcome the rising of Arthur Riley’s astonishing voice. This is a gorgeous and muscular work.”

Krista Tippett, host of On Being and New York Times bestselling author of Becoming Wise

The sessions are 7-8:30 pm on the first, third, and fifth Wednesdays; please note two skipped days.

November 2 dignity

November 16 place

December 7 wonder

(no meeting on the 3rd Wed. in December; Winter Solstice service)

January 4 calling

January 18 body

February 1 belonging

February 15 fear

March 1 lament

March 15 rage

(no meeting on the 5th Wed. in March; spring break)

April 5 justice

April 19 repair

May 3 rest

May 17 joy

May 31 memory

June 7 liberation

Our format is hybrid: join us in person, or via Zoom.

Meeting ID: 854 2357 7619
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“A wonderfully winsome, heartbreakingly honest, and ever-poetic work of spiritual biography and theological reflection . . . While some theologians will talk in the abstract about ‘incarnation,’ ‘enfleshment,’ or ‘embodiment,’ Arthur Riley’s book is a lesson in concreteness, in Black theology, in seeing a body, being a body, being a person rooted in time, space, stories, and very particular flesh.”

Library Journal (starred review)