Book Giveaway: Share Your “White Flour” Moment

Several weeks ago I shared an idea for Palm Sunday worship in which I read the poem “White Flour” while a group of folks from Tiny Church acted out the story. It was a smashing success, a lot of fun, and an unusual way to highlight the themes of Palm Sunday. We had good participation. Which means that not all of the players were related to me.

Though these two were:

A couple of clowns getting ready to go on

The picture book version of White Flour was released this week. I was proud to be a backer of this project on Kickstarter, and we received our five copies in the mail today. Kudos to David LaMotte and Jenn Hales for a lovely work of art and activism.

I am giving one copy of this book away to a Blue Room reader. The book centers around a creative response in the face of hatred, so for the purposes of this giveaway, I want to her about other moments of creativity.

To enter, simply leave a comment describing a creative ministry (or life) moment you have witnessed or taken part in recently. Did you present “White Flour” in worship? Sing a new song? Take part in a flash mob? Or maybe you participated in this response to that odious statement about LGBT people made by the pastor in North Carolina.

Maybe your action wasn’t in response to a dramatic situation, as in the book. That’s not the point. The point is, whether it’s racism or homophobia or just the deadly dull plodding of days that can suck the life out of a community…we need to fight back with beauty.

You have until Tuesday night to enter. May this post be a place to share ideas and be inspired.

13 thoughts on “Book Giveaway: Share Your “White Flour” Moment

  1. Jan E. Lorah

    I’ll tell you about my 9AM gratefulness alarm. I began this practice as something I “took on” for Lent, and it has blossomed into one that I hope to never stop. Every day at 9AM, my cell phone chimes or vibrates the signal… and I pause for a moment to remember 3 things for which I am grateful; maybe as simple as a sunny day — or maybe more global. What I didn’t anticipate upon beginning this is how it would affect those around me. The best example would be while I was tending the father of a friend in the hospital for a week or two.
    This older man was angry to the point of bitterness; he didn’t want to be in the hospital, had experienced some neglect that could have been deadly were it not caught in time, and generally had as bad an additude as anyone I had ever met. There were certainly no words of gratitude coming from his lips.
    Then, the morning after the neglect incidence, there was a team of medical personnel in the room when my 9AM alarm sounded; whoops! When they all turned to look at me, I quickly told them what it was all about… and before you knew it, the entire room of folks paused to reflect upon a few things for which they were grateful… including my friend in the hospital bed, who had just been relieved of his great discomfort by a PA. It was a mystical kind of moment. THEN, to top it off — when the PA prepared to leave, I shook her hand in thanks, and that’s when she told me, “By the way, my name is Faith.”
    Of course it was! I had sat and held my friend’s hand while he suffered, and joined him in his desparate pleas to God for some relief. Of course it would be Faith that got him through!
    The White Flour happening was the next day, and every one after that for a too-long hospital stay: When the 9AM alarm sounded, whoever was in the room always stopped and joined in the moment of gratefulness shared — they all knew by then. It gave me goose-bumps.
    Today I will include my gratefulness for those who strive to bring White Flour awakenings to the world. Thanks, MaryAnn, for giving me the opportunity to share this story.

    Reply
  2. prespreacher

    I preached a sermon on Palm Sunday on March 16, 2008 while still at Colesville Pres in Sliver Spring, MD in which I shared the poem White Flour: http://georgiapreach.wordpress.com/2008/03/16/street-theater/

    I heard David LaMotte debut the poem a week earlier at the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq event in D.C., during the Interfaith Peace and Justice Coffeehouse at New York Avenue Pres, which I co-organized. It was an incredible event in which David (the Quaker singer-songwriter); The Cobalt Season (west coasters, new monastics/intentional community builders, indie-rock group) and Native Deen (urban hip hop Muslim trio) performed. It was an incredible experience watching these musicians share their gifts and the stage. To see God’s imagination and creativity breathe through them with messages of peace, love, hope, justice really gave me a sense of God’s kingdom.

    Here are some links to videos I took at the coffeehouse:

    David LaMotte: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoeJ6IdsH98&list=UUtVyyJQAniAcDIgFiYc–Ew&index=7&feature=plcp

    The Cobalt Season: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PW2Htmhmg4&list=UUtVyyJQAniAcDIgFiYc–Ew&index=6&feature=plcp

    Native Deen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVvA1EAkq5c&list=UUtVyyJQAniAcDIgFiYc–Ew&index=5&feature=plcp

    My third White Flour moment was when I shared the poem as part of an adult Sunday School class which Elizabeth and I taught here at Pleasant Hill Pres in Duluth Ga in Fall 2010-Spring 2011. The class was on Justice themes found in popular TV shows. I read White Flour after the class viewed an episode of Arrested Development “Justice is Blind” (HYSTERICAL!) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_Is_Blind

    The class had a conversation about the holy practice of satire and humor to call out injustices and to relieve suffering, to show people our own complicity in a broken world and how we need to do something to fix it or in the very least not take ourselves so seriously. Humor is a way of exposing the bureaucracy and tight-fisted rules and notions that cause a lot of suffering and oppression.

    Reply
      1. prespreacher

        Oops, sorry bout that, should’ve included all together. Also, I had problems posting the original and first comment which now has posted twice, so you might want to delete one of them. :-)

        Reply
  3. jharader

    I did use the White Flour story in my Palm Sunday sermon and people enjoyed it a lot. The event of Holy Creativity that has touched me recently occurred on Easter. A woman in our church with cancer had been hoping and planning to come back to worship for the first time in months on Easter Sunday–then ended up in the hospital on Maundy Thursday. So instead of a sunrise service this year, over twenty of us gathered in her hospital room on Easter morning to sing hymns and hear the Easter story with her.

    Reply
  4. Nick Larson

    Our white flour moment, wasn’t as humorous as the poem, but I feel it’s got the same type spirit. During Holy week, our congregation flash mobbed the last supper all around town. Our focus for the week was blurring the lines between the sacred and the secular. We took pictures of the “last suppers” and used them during our Thursday night service.

    Reply
  5. Elizabeth

    This is the first I’ve heard of White Flour – will have to check it out! And I am not normally a “creative” pastor, so I’m proud of the little activity we did at our Council leadership retreat on Saturday – and apparently it was really meaningful to the participants, too.

    To get us in the right mindset for church-wide goal-setting, we took some introspective time on our own to think about the most meaningful worship experiences of our lives, times of great personal or spiritual growth, and times when the congregation has flourished. Then we distilled all those thoughts down into words or short phrases and put them on post-it notes of all colors. When we came back together as a group, each person read out their post-its and placed them one by one on a big sheet of white paper, in whatever fashion they were moved to put them on – some put theirs up in a line, some all over, some in kind of a design… My hope was that we’d end up with some kind of cool bible-ish picture, like a big boat or a fish or something, and that didn’t really happen, but we did end up with a cool multi-colored design of meaningful words and phrases that got us perfectly poised to think about who we’re called to be in the next year in our community.

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Book Giveaway: We Have a Winner! « The Blue Room

  7. anne

    i know the giveaway is past, but wanted to share two thoughts anyway. MANY years ago at a national capital presbytery big event at national presbyterian the speaker (???) mentioned ‘widespread Biblical illiteracy.’ i thought she had said ‘white bread Biblical illiteracy.’ that’s always stuck in my mind as a great image for a particular type of Biblical illiteracy.

    on pentecost this year i was in new york city and worshipped at 5th avenue presbyterian. 2 parts of the service were particularly meaningful. as the sound of the wind was read about in acts, the pastor paused while all of the children blew on pinwheels and there was a wonderful wind sound. then when the tongues of fire were mentioned lots of red rose petals floated down on the congregation from the very high (maybe 4 stories high ???) ceiling). don’t know if these are things that are done every pentecost or not, but i loved being there for it! later as the children were dismissed to their pews or to children’s church, the pastor said something about the ‘holy chaos’ and commented that that’s exactly what pentecost was all about.

    Reply

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