Let’s Talk About Race

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This week at my church, Solomon's Porch, while our usual master of ceremonies, Doug Pagitt, is out of town for the Christianity 21 Conference, I will be hosting the sermon time conversation. Actually I will be co-hosting the conversation with my friend Victor, who is one of the only black men in our community. And we're going to talk about race.Church continues to be one of the most segregated spaces in our culture. And my church is no exception. How does a predominantly white church go about … [Read more...]

The Path to the Dark Side is Fear

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So much fear and worry. I see it's mark all over the church of today. Fear of what might happen if we love unconditionally, lay down our arms, and embrace people that are different than us. Fear that names itself as a boundary or righteousness. Fear that our loved ones won't make it into the good version of eternity if they have different views than us.There are so many instances, in both the Old and New Testaments, where we are told not to fear. We are invited to step out onto the water, we … [Read more...]

On Sleeping Early and Laundry in the Middle of the Night

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“The ordinary activities I find most compatible with contemplation are walking, baking bread, and doing laundry." - Kathleen Norris, The Quotidian Mysteries A delicious rain fell off and on all day yesterday and and again, last night starting a little before the children's bedtime. The kind of rain that gives everything a grayish, warm glow, and begs for blankets, books, and sleep. The twins, even little Oz went down so easily - another rare gift when they almost tuck themselves in and only jabb … [Read more...]

Killjoy Prophets: Shalom, Palestine and our Uncle CUFI

"O Little Besieged Bethlehem" artwork by Ramone Romero

Merry Christmas from the Killjoy Prophets! We love the holidays as much as anyone. Sure, we don’t love the rampant consumerism or the fruit cake, but we love giving gifts, baking, singing Handel’s Messiah, reading the Magnificat with family, and feasting with friends. We even love mixing it up occasionally with our toxic uncle whose political views we find troubling. Sometimes we just down an extra drink and let him ramble on, sometimes we go to another room, but sometimes you just have to throw … [Read more...]

God Chooses the unexpected

She turned out not to be one of the bookies favourites, indeed no-one had heard of her. She wasn’t someone glamourous or famous from the capital city who was chosen, but a very ordinary woman from an obscure northern town. Well I’m talking about Mary the mother of Jesus who turned out to be the mother of the long awaited Messiah, but I could have also been talking about the Revd Libby Lane, the person who is about to become the first female Bishop in the Church of Eng … [Read more...]

A Highway of Liberation: A #BlackLivesMatter Sermon for Advent

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The past month has made it abundantly clear that black people in this country suffer the fate of the exiled: those who live in an Empire as conquered, imprisoned, displaced, and invisible to the dominant institutions of power. What does Isaiah’s prophecy to the exiles of his day have to say in our moment?Raymond Arsenault tells the following story in his book Freedom Riders: The Supreme Court had ruled against segregation in interstate travel and facilities, and yet no one had tested how t … [Read more...]

Christmas Eve, Incarnation, and Knowing Mary

"Church in the Moonlight" - Photo by Lisa DeWeese

The setting was perfection.  Large gothic sanctuary, slate floor, wooden pews with iron candle holders, a hundred soft flames gently illuminating the space. Christmas Eve and Maundy Thursday were the only services conducted by candlelight. The stunning chancel window glowed, Jesus with angels surrounding him, the Ascension. Hundreds of organ pipes framed the rose window in the back.  Timpani, brass, and the choir looked out high above the congregation.I used to wait the entire year for it.  T … [Read more...]

Chasing the ‘Christian vote’

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November saw the mid-term elections in the US and the Rochester by-election here in the UK. in both cases the subject of Christian voting has surfaced. This is no surprise in the US, the Christian vote has been a factor for a while and this has been highly organised when it comes to a right wing agenda through groups like the moral majority or more recently the Tea Party movement. So analysis by organisations like Reuters … [Read more...]

Prayer as Cracking Shins on Altars

Part 1 of 6 in a series on prayerReligious folks all too often relate to God through divided categories: sacred/secular, church/world, body/soul, matter/spirit, purity/impurity. This comes from a religious vision in which encountering God can only take place for certain people in certain places under certain conditions. The word “holy,” for example, has often designated beliefs or practices that are divided or “set-apart.”Take the ancient Judaism of Jesus' day. In those times, the entire … [Read more...]

An Emergent Episcopalian Shares Some Thoughts about the Church

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Many of us in the emergent conversation have left institutional Christianity. We do not trust institutions and are suspicious of hierarchies. Our personal histories and experiences of Christianity are filled with the frustration caused by the disconnect between the truth claims of our religious Christian institutions and their actual lived existence. We have seen how much energy and money is spent in the maintenance of our institutions, instead of the mission of Jesus. Some of us have been … [Read more...]


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