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Gathering Around the Unhewn Stone

Gathering Around the Unhewn Stone
Biblical Explorations of Nature, civilization, and Feral Faith
Oct. 16, 17, 18th 2009
Hosted by:
Circle of Hope (
Croatan Studio (
In the Land of the Living (

*please register here:

Friday Oct. 16th
Opens at 12 noon
-Intro and welcome—Jay
-Griot Ancestral Lineage Litany--Blew
-Opening Ceremony--led by Ched and worship band
(With Altar, Fire lighting ritual, acknowledgement of the elements and the four directions and invocation of the Holy Spirit.
Gathering Worship Songs: Gather us in, Fanga, Holy and Wild---(this last song may be our litany for the weekend)
12:30--2:30pm-Session One: Ø     I:  The Ecological Endgame of Industrial Civilization as a Crisis of/for Faith.  --(Ched Myers)-- Nothing in the conversation about Anarcho-Primitivism and Christianity makes sense unless and until we face squarely not only our culture of Domination, but the specter of environmental collapse that haunts our history.  The ideology of Progress has been an article of faith in modernity, deeply shaping North American Christianity (both conservative and liberal) for the last three centuries.  How might we “monkeywrench” this bankrupt paradigm, and how might old biblical stories help us reimagine faith, culture and politics?

2:30--3:00pm--break (coffee, snacks, bathroom etc.)
re-gathering song 1, to call everyone back--Charity
3:05--4:30pm--" A Woman’s Faith Journey into Anarcho-Primitivism"--Miranda Duschack
(intro by Andy)
No language!?  No gardening or menstrual pads!?! How does anyone embrace the liberating and brilliant truth of anarcho-primitivism?  This address is one woman’s story of radical discipleship.  Miranda will discuss her emotional and intellectual journey to the merging of Christianity and AP into practice.  A report of the Women’s Circle at Plow Creek will also be given; Miranda was an originator and co-organizer of this important 3 day event.  Women have a place in this Movement; learn how we define our role within radical community. 
4:30--4:45pm --break
regathering song 2—Tim Reardon
Ø     II:  “How deep down the rabbit hole do you want to go?”  The Gospel of Social Darwinism and the Biblical Account of Origins. -(Ched Myers)--  This talk will summarize and contrast the Enlightenment narrative of “civilization as ascent” and the Genesis Creation/Fall tale of “civilization as decline.” What are the implications of this divergence for Christian thought and practice, and what are the touch points with emerging “primitivist” perspectives?
Q&A--(talk back)
re gathering song 3—Seth Martin
8:00--8:15pm--Andrea Ferich intros Labyrinth walk and work in Camden with Eve's garden etc.
8:15--9:15pmCamden Labyrinth prayer walk led by Andrea Ferich
(shuttle to Camden via psalters veggie bus and other vans that people will share.)
9:15--11:00pm informal acoustic songshare, fellowship, closing ceremony including communion at bread oven fire pit in Eve's Garden in Camden.
(shuttle back to Philly following ceremony)--go to bed or hang and talk quietly at Circle.
Saturday, Oct. 17th(there will not be a scheduled breakfast--there will be coffee, tea, and pastries people can grab and eat at their seats)
9:00 am--opening ceremony (relighting the fire, litany, gathering song)—psalters/spoon
  Naming God as Mother, Rediscovering the Divine Feminine----Andrea Ferich
Certainly there is a correlation between feminine god imagery and sustainable living. Throughout history when women are confined to the household or treated as property with no feminine goddess in that society, the earth becomes tamed, destroyed, and commodified.   The indigenous wisdom of our ancestors holds two principles in common; feminine deities and the care for all Creation as brothers and sisters. The age of nomadism and pastoralists gave rise to patriarchy and the domination of women. This age laid the foundation for the monotheistic faiths and the perpetuation of patriarchy, vilifying indigenous wisdom and goddess imagery. Through an eco-feminist lens we will explore the feminine side of God through the Bible as naming God as Mother and the great liberation of all of Creation that labors and waits in eager expectation to be revealed. Please bring your wisdom to share.
-- 10:45--11:05am--break
regathering song 4 –Aimee Wilson
Native Tradition and Neo-colonialism  -- Jenn LeBlanc
This presentation will be a general overview of the historical effects of colonialism on traditional knowledge and how this has laid the foundation for neocolonial exploitation.  It is Jenn’s understanding that neo-colonialism continues to pervade the relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. By way of the overview, obvious examples of colonialism will be pointed out to the audience; moreover, less obvious examples of neo-colonialism, even unconscious utilization of traditional knowledge without permission, will be brought to the fore. As a result of colonial and neo-colonial behaviors, indigenous peoples have had to struggle for the reclamation of their traditional knowledge and life ways. Part of this presentation will be a discussion of the ways in which the North American Institute of Indigenous Theological Studies (NAIITS) and iEmergence (iE) and the WCGIP (World Christian Gathering of  Indigenous Peoples) are attempts at this reclamation for indigenous people globally.
regathering song 5—Powwow worship/psalters/spoon
"Jesus' Vision Quest and Abel's Primal Cry: Indigenous Blood and Feral Faith in the US and the Philippines."  ---Jim Perkinson and Lily Mendoza
In this talk Jim Perkinson will examine Jesus' time in the wilderness--using it to push the idea that return to the land is through the history it carries on its back. That is to say, going feral requires coming to grips with who has been there before us and what happened to them: indigenous experience and/or disappearance as a requisite engagement for responsible "re-wilding." Jesus returned to the land and "heard" history. He had to get clear on how his people came to be in that geography historically, at whose expense, and figure out his response to the deepest moments of gifting and wounding that history encoded.  Then Lily Mendoza would share some of her experience in struggling to recover from colonial history by working to retrieve/reinvent some of the indigenous practices and orientation co-opted or shattered in the colonial project.
regather song 6---Lesser Beggars
3:25--4:00pm--"Rewilding Panel"
Andy will intro.  this will be a panel presentation of folks who have been learning practical skills and "rewilding".
The panel is:
Neil Gynther--braintanning clothes and making tools from roadkill
Joel and Charity Cimarron--Goat walking
Amanda--herbal medicine
Daniel and Billy--indentifying edible wild plants
Rachel Summerlot--Doula and midwifery
Andrea Ferich--urban gardening, soil reclamation, seed saving, rain water catch systems
Melissa Delong--loomweaving
Abigail Kahler--blacksmithing with scrap metal from a home forge and anvil
regather song 7 –Jon Felton
Resistance is Fertile-Following the Path of Primal Parenting –Charity and Joel Cimarron
In our hyper-civilized, pathologically adolescent society, how do we go about raising the next generation of  resisters? Drawing on the wisdom of indigenous cultures and affirming our own 'primitive' instincts, primal parenting offers the possibility to rewild our own domesticated selves and, in turn, become the parents that the children in our lives need us to be. We'll be tracing the steps that have taken us down this particular path of resistance, offering resources and ideas to help others on their own journey.
 5:20--5:40pmQ&A with Charity and Joel
regathering song 8 –Lesser Beggars
6:40--8:00pmØ     III:  “Attend to the Wildflowers and Birds!” Primitive Jesus. (Ched Myers)--The New Testament reasserts the prophetic tradition, clear-eyed about the Fall and fiercely hopeful about a reinhabitory Eschaton.   We’ll reflect on Luke 12:13-34’s teaching about earth cosmology and Sabbath Economics.  Then we’ll consider Paul’s intriguing notion ofChrist as the “eschatological ‘adam” in Rom 5:12-19. 
8:00--8:40pmQ&A (talk back)
9:00--11:00pmAll Out apocalyptic mystic feral exorcistic worship release to the God of Liberation
led by psalters and theillalogical spoon
Sunday, Oct. 18th
9:00am--opening ceremony---psalters/spoon
9:15--11:00am--Ø     IVa:  It’s a Long Way Back: Concerns about Presumption, Privilege and Political Marginalization among Putative Primitivists. (Ched Myers)- A Christian hermeneutic in conversation with anarcho-primitivism contains far more questions than answers.  Paradigm shifts don’t happen in a generation, and there are lots of contradictions in the practices of primitivism. Nor can we afford to ignore the lessons of past social movements of resistance and renewal as we struggle to re-vision what it means to be a feral church. 
11:00--11:45 amIVb:  Closing Meditation:  “There we saw the Nephilim—and we seemed like grasshoppers to them…” (Num 13:32f).  (Ched Myers)--Industrial civilization is a Goliath, and we are armed only with the slingshot of David.  Resistance is not futile and renewal is not a pipedream—but we must be in it for the long haul.  Anarchist and Primitivist Christians are also called to a discipleship of the Cross, which is about improvisational creativity, revolutionary patience and longsuffering grace in the face of long odds.
Closing Ceremony--
led by Ched and worship team
Noon to 1:00pm--clean up--everyone must be out of building by one--so that Circle can prepare for its evening worship meetings.
Ched will be giving the sermon at both the 5pm and 7pm meetings.
Bios of Presenters:
Ched Myers
 Ched Myers is a 5th generation Californian living in a small intentional community in the Ojai Valley watershed north of Los Angeles.  He is an activist theologian who has worked in social change movements for more than three decades.  Throughout North America and abroad Ched is sought after as a popular educator who animates scripture and issues of discipleship, peace and justice, and as a lecturer by seminaries, denominational conferences and activist organizations.  Ched received degrees from the University of California at Berkeley in Philosophy and from the Graduate Theological Union in New Testament Studies.  Ched’s books include:
Ambassadors of Reconciliation, Vol. I: New Testament Reflections on Restorative Justice and Peacemaking, with Elaine Enns (Orbis, 2009);Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus (Orbis 20th anniversary edition, 2008);The Biblical Vision of Sabbath Economics (Tell the Word, 2001);Say to This Mountain: Mark’s Story of Discipleship,coauthored (Orbis, 1996);Who Will Roll Away the Stone? Discipleship Queries for First World Christians (Orbis, 1994).      Ched has published over 100 articles in various journals, edits and assesses manuscripts, and is an editorial contributor toSojourners magazine.  His organizing has included work with the American Friends Service Community and the Pacific Concerns Resource Center.  He convenes the Bartimaeus Institute(, and is a co-founder of the Word and World School for faith-based activists ( and the Sabbath Economics Collaborative ( Ched enjoys surfing, gardening and exploring his bioregion.  He and his wifeElaine Enns, a restorative justice practitioner, work withBartimaeus Cooperative Ministries to build capacity for discipleship and justice.  To invite Ched to speak  To learn more about Ched’s work go to the “Theological Animation” page of our
Andrea Ferich
Andrea lives, works, and worships in Camden, NJ, She is  the Director for Sustainability Initiatives at the Center For Transformation which seeks food system justice and job creation through sustainable economic development, transforming the problems of industrial collapse into resources.  She is the founder and director of Eve's Garden, an heirloom seedling greenhouse and series of community gardens, which employ youth in the neighborhood of Waterfront South.  For a list of publications and youtube videos please visit her blog at
 Miranda DuschackThis year, 2009, marks a decade of Miranda Duschack’s involvement in the radical Christian Movement.  Her current activities include: organic gardening for the Sisters of St. Francis, Alternatives to Violence Project at Anamosa State Penitentiary, the Catholic Worker School, and wilderness skill acquisition.  She is 29 years old and lives in Dubuque, Iowa.
Joel and Charity Cimarron
Bio: Charity, daughter Lively, and husband Joel Cimarron live in a tipi in the Mid-Ohio Valley of West Virginia. They are transitioning to a more wild and free life, but like to visit the city every once in a while just to keep people off their trail.  Their patron saint is Coyote.
Jim Perkinson and Lily Mendoza
BiosJim Perkinson is a long-time activist and educator from inner city Detroit, currently teaching as Professor of Social Ethics at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary and lecturing in Intercultural Communication Studies at the University of Oakland (Michigan). He holds a Ph.D. in theology/history of religions from the University of Chicago, is the author of White Theology: Outing Supremacy in Modernity and Shamanism, Racism, and Hip-Hop Culture: Essays on White Supremacy and Black Subversion, and has written extensively in both academic and popular journals on questions of race, class and colonialism in connection with religion and urban culture. More recent academic and activist interests have focused on anarcho-primitivist challenges to globalization and the survival struggles and skills of indigenous cultures. He is also a recognized artist on the spoken-word poetry scene in the inner city.
S. Lily Mendoza (Ph.D. in Communication, Arizona State University) is an Associate Professor in Culture and Communication at the Oakland University just outside Detroit. She is an at-large colleague of indigenization activists/scholars in the Philippines, a former board member of the Institute for the Studies in Asian Church and Culture, and the author of Between the Homeland and the Diaspora: The Politics of Theorizing Filipino and Filipino American Identities (Routledge, 2002; Philippine edition, 2005). Her areas of teaching and research include critical issues in intercultural communication, especially focusing on anarcho-primitivist critiques of modernity, theories of identity and subjectivity, postcolonial theory, and indigenization studies.  More recent interests include indigenous Filipino babaylan (shamanic) traditions and the plight and survival-struggles of the indigenous Aeta in her Luzon region of Pampango.
Jenn Leblanc
Jennifer LeBlanc is Mi’kmaq and Acadian, her family is from the Listuguj reserve in Quebec and Campbellton, New Brunswick, Canada. She is one of the daughters of Terry and Bev LeBlanc and has a twin sister named Jeanine( married to Dan Lowe)  and brother Matt. Jennifer’s passion for indigenous peoples, including her people, the Mi’kmaq, began at the time of the first World Christian Gathering of Indigenous peoples, held in New Zealand in 1996.  Along with her entire family, Jennifer feels passionate about working towards restoration of, and respect for, Native North American traditional ways, contextualized with faith in the Trinity; seeing Native North American peoples embrace who they are and not be ashamed or fearful anymore. Also, peace, reconciliation and healing in her Native communities, as well as in the global indigenous family. Currently, Jennifer is in her last year of a Masters of Divinity in Intercultural Studies in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 
Musical Artists:
Theillalogicalspoon  (
Aimee Wilson and the Factorye  (
Jon Felton and Soulmobile Eternal (
Tim Reardon