Awarded to divinity students or emerging leaders focused on nonviolence or whose work creates change and challenges power, the Walter Wink and June Keener Wink Fellowship honors the life and legacy of FOR member Walter Wink (1935-2012) and the ongoing transformational work of his wife June Keener Wink. Together Walter and June prepared a generation of peace leaders, pastors, and scholar-activists to engage the left and right sides of the brain in the pursuit of peace and justice.


Welcoming our new 2022-2023 Wink Fellow,
Pastor Tabatha Holley!

On June 22, FOR held a Facebook Live event to mark the end of the inaugural Wink Fellowship year with Fernando Ona, PhD and to welcome our new Wink Fellow for 2022-2023, Pastor Tabatha Holley.

Fernando was live with June Keener Wink at her home in Massachusetts (meeting for the first time after over a year of pandemic-mandated zoom meetings). They discussed the past year and June’s work with her late husband, Walter Wink. Together they welcomed Tabatha Holley, our second Wink Fellow.

“The Powers That Be” Book Club

Dr. Fernando Ona, the inaugural Walter Wink & June Keener Wink Fellow is hosting an online book club on the final Thursday of every month from January to May. We will be reading and discussing 2-3 chapters each month from Walter Wink’s landmark text The Powers That Be.


VIDEO: Session #5 (final), May 26

Our fifth and final session of “The Powers that Be” book club yielded a powerful conversation of Walter Wink’s text as it applies during this particularly fraught moment in both the world and in the United States. How do we work nonviolently when the powers appear to be overwhelmingly strong?


VIDEO: Wink Fellow Conversation Part 2 with Bill Wylie-Kellerman

Our final book club meeting will be on Thursday May 26th at 7pm. In this follow up conversation, Fernando speaks again with Walter Wink’s former student at Union Theological Seminary, Bill Wylie-Kellerman. Bill is a retired Methodist pastor, nonviolent community activist, teacher, and author.


VIDEO: Session #4, April 28 — Chapters 8 & 9

Session #4 sparked some powerful conversation. We look forward to seeing you at our final group meeting on Thursday May 26th at 7pm ET. Music: www.bensound.com


Session #4 suggested video

Toward the end of Session #4, Wink book club member, Carlos Salinas, shared a video dealing with civil resistance in the Ukraine.


VIDEO: Wink Fellow Conversation with Bill Wylie-Kellerman

Our next book club meeting will be on Thursday April 28th at 7pm. In our latest installment of our mid-month conversation, Fernando speaks with our very special guest, Bill Wylie-Kellerman. Bill was a student of Walter Wink’s at Union Theological Seminary in the early 1970s. He is a retired Methodist pastor, nonviolent community activist, teacher, and author.


VIDEO: Session #3, March 31st — Chapters 4 & 5

Meeting during the fifth week of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the topic of Session #3 is Chapters 4 & 5 of “The Powers that Be.” In those chapters Wink discusses breaking cycle of violence and Jesus as the Third Way. We look forward to seeing you at our next group meeting on Thursday April 28th at 7pm ET. Music: www.bensound.com


VIDEO: Wink Fellow Conversation with Samuel Lowe, chief of chaplaincy at Boston Medical Center

We are two weeks away from Session #3 of the Wink Fellow Book Club (Thursday March 31st, 7pm ET scroll down for more info). Wink Fellow, Fernando Ona, is recording conversations in between sessions that deal with upcoming book club topics. This week, Fernando speaks with his friend and colleague, Samuel Lowe, Chief of Chaplaincy at Boston Medical Center — the largest safety net hospital in New England. Their conversation focuses on chapters 4 and 5 from Wink’s The Powers That Be that deal with breaking cycle of violence and Jesus as the Third Way. We will be discussing those chapters at our next session.


VIDEO: Session #2, February 24th — Chapters 2 & 3

Coming on the heels of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the topic of Session #2–Wink’s discussion of Domination Systems–was incredibly relevant and timely. We’ve posted the recording of book club session #2 below and invite you to share any comments, questions or suggestions in the comment section beneath the video. At book club members’ request, we’ve also included the text from the closing prayer and a link to Fernando’s discussion with Kafi Dixon beneath the video.

We look forward to seeing you at our next group meeting on Thursday March 31st at 7pm ET. We will be covering chapters 4 & 5.

2 Responses

  1. Thank you again to everyone for your presence and thoughtful engagement at the first session of the Wink Fellow Book Club. Looking forward to our second session on Thursday Feb 24th at 7pm ET. We will keep you updated via email (if you haven’t registered for the book club please do so by clicking the button below).

    In the meantime, please add any questions or comments you might have here and we will do our best to answer them.

  2. I am a long-time fan of FOR, and of the work of Walter Wink. I confess to a personal struggle with the format of the FOR’s study of Wink’s work. As I sit in the viewing audience, I see a number of members of The Atlantic Life Community, and I feel so at home. At past Atlantic Life Community retreats, I have had the courage to attend the early morning Bible studies with, for example, Phil Berrigan, Liz Berrigan, and others. These were some of the most informative (and challenging) experiences I have ever encountered. There was no opening exegesis by a “luminary.” Instead, we each and all were given equal opportunity and time to voice our understanding of the passage of the day.

    Among the participants at the current FOR event there are also women who actively live the Gospel with the understanding set forth in “The Powers that Be.” Is there a way they can be heard by the group?

Comments are closed.

Closing Prayer for Session #2

Jesus’ Third Way
by Walter Wink

  • Seize the moral initiative
  • Find a creative alternative to violence
  • Assert your own humanity and dignity as a person
  • Meet force with ridicule or humor [“Jesus in effect is sponsoring clowning” (p.21)]
  • Break the cycle of humiliation
  • Refuse to submit or to accept the inferior position
  • Expose the injustice of the system
  • Take control of the power dynamic
  • Shame the oppressor into repentance
  • Stand your ground
  • Force the Powers to make decisions for which they are not prepared
  • Recognize your own power
  • Be willing to suffer rather than you retaliate
  • Cause the oppressor to see you in a new light
  • Deprive the oppressor of a situation where a show of force is effective
  • Be willing to undergo the penalty for breaking unjust laws
  • Die to fear of the old order and its rules
    Amen

Wink Fellow Conversation with Kafi Dixon

During session #2, Fernando mentioned his conversation with Kafi Dixon, co-producer of the documentary “A Reckoning in Boston”. That conversation can be found here.

Session #2 Discussion Questions

We look forward to gathering again for another great discussion this Thursday night, Feb 24th at 7pm ET. In order to facilitate our discussion of chapters 2 and 3 of Walter Wink’s The Powers That Be, Fernando has provided the passages he will be concentrating on below. He asks that you reflect on how these quotes sit with you? How do they resonate with you, with your communities, ministries, vocation? Here are the passages to look at…

1. Ch 2 p. 42: from “A domination system must have a domination myth…(to the end of that paragraph)…and pick up “The belief that violence “saves” is so successful…” to the end of that paragraph. 
2. Ch2, p. 60: “People today no longer are bound together by…” to the end of that paragraph. 
3. Ch 2 pp. 61-62: Last paragraph on 61 “The myth of redemptive violence…” to the sentence on the next page, “And it is immensely popular”. 
4. Ch 3, p. 67: “It is rather the poor whom God elects and blesses…” to the end of that paragraph. 
5. Ch 3, p. 77 “Jesus renounces the family as constituted by…” to the end of that paragraph
6. Ch 3 p. 81: “Violent revolution fails because it is not revolutionary enough. It changes the rules but not the rules, the ends by not the means…” to the end of that paragraph. 

VIDEO: Wink Fellow Conversation with Steven Bingaman of the Outdoor Church

We are two weeks away from Session #2 of the Wink Fellow Book Club (Thursday February 24th, 7pm ET scroll down for more info). As promised, inaugural Wink Fellow, Fernando Ona, will be recording conversations in between sessions that deal with upcoming book club topics. His first conversation is with his friend and colleague, Steven Bingaman, executive director of the Outdoor Church.

They discuss the Outdoor Church’s work as well as Walter Wink’s conception of domination systems– which is the subject of chapters 2 and 3 in The Powers That Be that will be explored in our next session.


VIDEO: Session #1, January 27th — Introduction & Chapter 1

Our first session of the Wink Fellow Book Club was extraordinary. More than 50 people showed up to participate in our study of Walter Wink’s landmark text The Powers That Be. We hope the conversation can continue here before our next meeting on February 24. We’ve posted the recording of book club session #1 below and invite you to share any comments, questions or suggestions in the comment section beneath the video. We look forward to seeing you at our next group meeting on Thursday February 24th at 7pm ET. We will be covering chapters 2 & 3.


About The Powers That Be
The renowned theologian and biblical scholar, Walter Wink helps us reformulate our ancient concepts — such as God and Satan, angels and demons, principalities and powers — in light of what we now know. The result is nothing less than a new worldview, one that will help us address the problems of the present and meet the challenges of the future. Wink’s theology is shaped as much by his study of the Bible as by his involvement over decades in struggles for racial justice, human rights, ending war, and other pressing social concerns.

About our facilitator:
Dr. Fernando Ona is the inaugural recipient of the Walter Wink & June Keener Wink Fellowship. He is an environmental epidemiologist and medical anthropologist on the faculty at Tufts University School of Medicine. His research interests are primarily with refugees, internally displaced populations, and asylum seekers who are survivors of torture.

Registration is FREE and we encourage you to sign up—and tell your friends—even if you will not be able to make every meeting. 


2 Responses

  1. Thank you again to everyone for your presence and thoughtful engagement at the first session of the Wink Fellow Book Club. Looking forward to our second session on Thursday Feb 24th at 7pm ET. We will keep you updated via email (if you haven’t registered for the book club please do so by clicking the button below).

    In the meantime, please add any questions or comments you might have here and we will do our best to answer them.

  2. I am a long-time fan of FOR, and of the work of Walter Wink. I confess to a personal struggle with the format of the FOR’s study of Wink’s work. As I sit in the viewing audience, I see a number of members of The Atlantic Life Community, and I feel so at home. At past Atlantic Life Community retreats, I have had the courage to attend the early morning Bible studies with, for example, Phil Berrigan, Liz Berrigan, and others. These were some of the most informative (and challenging) experiences I have ever encountered. There was no opening exegesis by a “luminary.” Instead, we each and all were given equal opportunity and time to voice our understanding of the passage of the day.

    Among the participants at the current FOR event there are also women who actively live the Gospel with the understanding set forth in “The Powers that Be.” Is there a way they can be heard by the group?

Comments are closed.

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WE USE PEOPLE POWER TO MAKE a DIFFERENCE

About

Fellowship of Reconciliation USA (FOR-USA) is the largest interfaith peace fellowship leading the charge on today’s most pressing human and civil rights issues through advocacy, activism, and educational programs.

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