About this blog

Who are you?

My name is Adria. I am a wife, mother, dog owner and convinced Friend (Quaker). I am also a worker in the Friends of Jesus Fellowship, a network of communities and ministries gathered around a common experience of the living presence of Jesus in our midst.

Why should I listen to you?

The limit of my authority is in my identity as a child of God and a friend of Jesus. I am not a Bible scholar. I am not a theologian. I do not speak on behalf of any organization. While I am supported and held accountable by a small group of friends whose wisdom, righteousness and faith I trust, I encourage you to test what I say against scripture, the movements of the Holy Spirit within you and your own experience.

What’s up with the name “In the Shadow of Babylon”? What are you trying to do with this site?

The title of this site is based on Psalm 137, verses 1 through 4.

By the rivers of Babylon—
there we sat down and there we wept
when we remembered Zion.

On the willows there
we hung up our harps.

For there our captors
asked us for songs,
and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying,
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

How could we sing the Lord’s song
in a foreign land?

For me, Babylon represents this fallen world, particularly my corner of it – a North American, post-industrial, urban environment in which everything is for sale and nothing is sacred, in which individual and community-based agency and autonomy are regularly sacrificed at the altar of efficiency and progress and in which our most compelling dream for our children is that they can attend the most prestigious schools, get the best-paid jobs and be “free” to consume even more than we do. How do we “sing the Lord’s song” of simplicity and brotherhood in a world that threatens to ensnare us with greed and ambition at every turn? How do we proclaim the justice, love and liberation that Jesus invites us into while acknowledging the pain and unfairness around us? How can we rest easy in God’s authority while recognizing and resisting the subtle traps that the Deceiver hopes will catch us up? These are the questions that I hope to answer – or at least wrestle with – here.

My broader ministry

In addition to this blog, I engage in a range of other ministry, including a podcast on faith and public life, workshop facilitation, and speaking and writing about the incredible possibilities of a deep and authentic faith grounded in Christ. If you would like to learn more about my ministry or contribute financially to it, please read on here.

A note on language

As a general matter, I use a masculine default. This is not because I am self-hating or anti-feminist. It is because struggling to find gender-neutral language is fatiguing for me and generally fails to justify the effort it takes, especially since the end results are often stiff and artificial-sounding. So if I speak of “brotherhood,” please understand that I am including sisters – I just think that “siblinghood” doesn’t sound right. If I speak of God as a Father, it is because that is what is most natural to me as I follow Jesus’ model as laid out in the Lord’s Prayer. It is most emphatically not because I believe that God literally has a penis, abundant facial hair, substantial amounts of testosterone, etc. If the presence of gendered language is enough to prevent you from assessing the content of what I write, please consider whether you are exercising a spirit of Christian love.

Unless otherwise noted, Bible passages are from the New Revised Standard Version.