Finding Jesus Under the Golden Arches, and Other Tales of Religionless Christianity

After moving to Maine in my mid-twenties, I slowly emerged from a long stretch of having nothing much to do with God or organized religion. During my high school years, I was a devout Evangelical, and the only school I applied to was a Christian liberal arts college. But in that first year away from home, I found that my world—and my sense of the possibilities... Read more

Waking the Blessed Peacemakers

In a week . . . no, a month . . . no, a year . . . no, a decade . . . saturated with terror that has been tinged, if not triggered, by religion, it hardly seems possible that the most disturbing bits of “content” stirring in my mind would be a comment made by one of my students as the San Bernardino, CA shootings were—unbeknownst to those of us in the bubble of... Read more

The Privilege of Belonging

One weekend this fall my husband and I flew to New Mexico. One of our twin sons is a college junior in Santa Fe, and we find that the 2,500 miles between us pulls at our heartstrings. Parents’ Weekend offered us a legitimate pretense for visiting. This particular son, our picky eater, has grown up to be a foodie. With the parents in town to foot the bill, he... Read more

September 11

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I drove to the university for my classes. I flipped the radio on, like I always do, to listen to pop music on my commute. This morning was different. There was no music. Instead, the morning DJs were trying to confirm whether two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center. Their voices wavered between incredulity and terror.... Read more

After Charleston

By now we all know the basic details of the story: More than a week ago, Dylann Storm Roof entered Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and joined a small Bible study. He prayed with the assembled group. After an hour, he started shooting, even though he later admitted that everyone was “so nice” that he almost didn’t go through with his planned massacre.... Read more

Selma’s Prophetic Call to Ministry Leaders

The movie “Selma” opened across the nation last week, anticipating Monday’s Martin Luther King holiday. Featuring David Oyelowo as The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson, a star-studded cast enacts the wrenching circumstances and political wrangling that resulted in the historic 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery,... Read more

‘Slow Activism’: Organizing to the Tune of a Different Piper

This fall, I am looking at the work of my church through a different framework. It began over the summer at the monthly meeting of our local clergy association, when I began learning about the difference between community activism and community organizing. Do you know the difference? I didn’t.   Basically, activism is focused on raising awareness on a particular... Read more
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