Social Media Ministry as Art

Painting with Boldness, Brightness, and Beauty

In the middle of my work as the social media assistant at Bearings Magazine, I came to an important, perspective changing realization: media is art. Surveying our contributors’ pieces, looking for quotes, scouring the internet for relevant pictures, and then diving into my favorite  design platform, Canva (which is available free to nonprofits) to bring the words... Read more

Returning the Call

What My Mom’s Cancer Allowed Me to Learn about Religion and Coping

I remember leaving a message for my mom the last time she was in the hospital. I let her know that I would be leaving in the morning to visit and that I expected, as usual, that she would be fine by the time I got there. The conventional wisdom in my family was that my mom was nearly superhuman. Every time that cancer, and later circulatory problems, took her down... Read more

Prophets of the Digital Divine

On Being Human in Our Techno-Religious Future

In the scientific world, in particular, the subject of the techno-human—what it means to be human in a world of increasing technological complexity and integration with human life, including our bodies—is more prevalent than ever. But the impact of the technologization of the human being is also increasingly felt throughout almost every social, cultural, and academic... Read more

Enhancing Ministry beyond the Congregation

Social Science and Spiritual Care

American religious and spiritual life is changing. The number of Americans who describe themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” when asked about religion in national surveys is growing—from 16% to 21% between 2007 and 2014. The number of adults who identify as Christian is declining across a range of demographic groups. While a majority of... Read more

I Just Can’t Quit You, Church

Why One Millennial Chooses to Stay

I don’t know why I stay. I was sixteen the first time I was warned my sexuality was incompatible with my salvation. I was eighteen when I watched Bishop Gene Robinson consecrated as the first openly gay bishop of the Episcopal Church, his alb ill-fitting over the bulletproof vest necessary because of how credible the death threats against him had become. I... Read more

What’s in Your Hand?

An Asset-Based Approach to Community Ministry

In 2015, three days after the death of Freddie Gray, I joined forces with a coalition of grassroots activists and concerned citizens with a long track record of working for social justice in Baltimore to form Baltimore United for Change. We didn't wait for any funding — we put our heads, hearts and hands together and began to do the work. When Baltimore City schools... Read more

Playing Chicken with Care for the Earth

Why I Wonder about Wonder-Filled Approaches to Environmental Crisis

On Saturday, members of the congregation gathered to unpack our stuff into a new space. Gathered in the fellowship hall during a break in our activity came the specific and anxious question, “Who is going to make the coffee for hospitality hour after worship?” Embedded in the question was the asker’s intention to no longer be the only one who did it, and concern... Read more

Can Churches Build when the Walls Seem to Be Falling Down?

Creating New Imagination to Restore the Heart of Today's Church

This past January, the church I pastor, Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland, had its own “come to Jesus” moment during our Annual Church Meeting.  I had done my due diligence all year — studying the latest data regarding church growth trends and reading articles that examined societal shifts impacting congregations across the country.  Not much... Read more

God was a Refugee

Finding the Beating Heart of Ministry in the Incarnation

Reina had walked for more than 20 days, in the rain and cold and mud. Grief-stricken after the loss of her son, she walked with one destination in mind: a country she hoped would be her safe-harbor, a new beginning, free from the fear and the violence she had known. She walked with thousands of others to find safety in numbers. She wasn’t trying to make a statement... Read more
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