Call to Action 20/30 Online Book Group Series on Family

Hello, everyone!  From time to time this blog is used to alert you all to upcoming events sponsored by the CTA 20/30 Community.10922725_10206401728304832_5422178793120968808_n

The Call to Action 20/30 Community is launching a monthly series of Online Book Groups on Family.  20/30 members Sarah Holst and Katie Jones (the current and former editors of this blog!) will be hosting conversations on chapters that explore the diversity of family life and community for young progressive Catholics.  These conversations are hosted online and all are welcome to join.

The 20/30 Online Book Groups are exciting and supportive conversations. This series will creatively explore expanding boundaries and blurring borders of what “family” means in the lived contexts of members of the 20/30 group. The Book Groups will use chapters from books that examine traditional ideas and assumptions, view Catholic thought through anti-oppression lenses, and expand on ways to build communities and practices of inclusion. Monthly conversations about these chapters will be held on Google Chat.  These are safe spaces to bring your experience, identities and faith wherever you are on your journey.

Please lend your voice and help us engage in conversations that are grounding and inspiring in the face of this riotous, messy, and sacred work of working for justice in our church and world.

(Email Katie at to register for a group and receive and invite to Google chat.  Email Sarah at if you would like a copy of a chapter in PDF form.)

All conversations are held from 7:30-8:30 Central Time.

April 23 (Next Thursday!)- “The Pigeon: Purity and Impurity”, Chapter 1 of Consider the Birds by Debbie Blue

Theologian Debbie Blue leads us in a joyful examination of what it means to be alive by reminding us that the “dove” in the Bible, our symbol for the Holy Spirit, is just a pigeon by another name.  We will start the series by using Blue’s provocative guide to the Birds of the Bible to remind us to be open about what we imagine as Holy.

“There’s something about the story of God becoming human, entering the body fully, touching all over everything unclean—that would seem, if anything, to free us from the need to pretend anything—to pretend we’re anything other than what we are.”  (Page 18)

“The Pigeon: Purity and Impurity” will set the stage for us to be authentic with one another, to honor one another’s journeys, and to be ready to do some more holy turning in the coming months.

May 28- “Women’s Theological Work”, Chapter 2 of Truly Our Sister by Elizabeth A. Johnson

In a world where the Vatican commonly overlooks amazing women theologians and theology by women, it is fitting that we read Elizabeth Johnson’s ideas about Mary.  Many of us have different experiences with the Mother of God, and Elizabeth Johnson opens it up for discussion.  Can we see Mary as meek and humble and a role model while we work for full equality of all genders?

Elizabeth Johnson puts an exciting and empowering (and deeply rooted) spin on it.  “More than a biological reality, being a virgin indicates a state of mind characterized by fearlessness and independence of purpose…we can learn from the virgin Mary ‘to live from our own centre, our own roots, in independence, and not in one-sided alienating dependence.’ Thus, Mary’s virginity functions as a symbol of autonomy, signaling that a woman is not defined by her relationship with a man.” (Page 31)

Join us for examining what it means to have this historical, poor, woman of color as our sister and advocate.

June 25- “ Lifting the Cup” and “Wearing the Alb and Stole”, Chapters 16 and 17 of “Pioneer Priest” by Father James Callan

How do we support those who are moving outside the box to take a stand for justice, inclusion and equality in the Catholic Church?  Through reading the story of Rev. Mary Ramerman and her journey to Ordination with Spiritus Christi Church in Rochester, we will connect with the context and history of what it has meant to work for equal gender representation in leadership in our church.  We will talk about the challenges Mary faced, how church is changing, what that will mean for us, and how we can support one another as we live into our individual and collective callings.

July 23-  “Poets, Musicians and Magicians: Prophetic Black Artists of the New Creation”, Chapter 7 of Hope and History by Vincent Harding


Art plays a big part in reform work and revolution.  This month we let the artistic and prophetic voices of the Black Freedom movement take us “to the water”.  We will talk about our experiences of doing Racial Justice work in the Catholic Church and consider the ways that art could be used in our own movement of ever-expanding the definitions of family and familial love.

“…Consider the fascinating connections between a liberating art and liberation politics, to reflect on the role of artist as democratic teacher, to explore the inner relationships that tend to exist among such significant elements as these: the revival of popular participation in the political process, the opening of new, creative vistas in the arts, the inevitable emergence of unheralded creator-warriors who arrive from unexpected places (“Can any good thing come of Nazareth?”- or Newark?)…” (Page 105)

Aug 27- “Confronting Historic Injustice”, Chapter 7 of Ambassadors of Reconciliation: Volume II by Elaine Enns


“One of the most demanding, yet transforming, tasks of restorative justice and peacemaking today is to revise andremember the past, uncovering a fuller, more inclusive truth, and listening to the voices of those left out.”

We remember that the ways which we tell stories inform who we believe to be included our families.  In a world where the body of Christ has often been divided from itself, it is important to tell the stories that have been covered up. In this chapter, we will examine how Lawrence Hart and Nelson Johnson are working in their separate contexts to heal this family by burying the dead and reconciling the living.  We will discuss how their reconciliation work applies to our own communities and contexts.

Sept 24- Radical Love: Introduction to Queer Theology by Patrick Cheng, Chapter TBA


Oct 29- Immigration and Families, more information TBA

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