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.
READ the Wink Fellowship information sheet
Apply to be the next, 2023-2024, Wink Fellow
Wink Talks: On Becoming Human with Pastor Tabatha Holley
A 3-Part Series
Part 2: A Theological Dialogue on the Intersections of Struggle, Trauma, & Anti-Imperialism
Tabatha Holley, Walter Wink & June Keener Wink Fellow with the Fellowship of Reconciliation, in Part 2 her conversation partners were Dr. Alba Lamar, Rev. Cecil Prescod, and Crystal Reyes. This was the 2nd public dialogue in a monthly series of hybrid gatherings — held in-person at The People’s Forum in NYC, joined by an online Zoom audience.
Part 1: With Claude Copeland from @vetsaboutface
Claude Copeland a retired Army veteran and current organizer with @vetsaboutface joins Walter Wink Fellow Tabatha Holley to discuss how being deployed to Iraq made him anti war.
Welcoming our new 2022-2023 Wink Fellow,
Pastor Tabatha Holley!
“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
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.
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
Wink Fellow Conversation with Kafi Dixon
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
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 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.
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.
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?
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