According to Dictionary.com, a microaggression is "a subtle, but offensive comment or action directed at a minority or other non-dominant group that is often unintentional, or unconsciously reinforces a stereotype." This isn't actually a new idea. The term was created by the psychiatrist Chester M. Pierce in 1970. I have heard many people dismiss the idea or say that it is just another silly part of politically correct culture. My first response to that is, why is it such a terrible … [Read more...]

Westboro Baptist, Eye-gazing + #DemsInPhilly

  Why would a Christian Yogi Mama head into Philadelphia amidst the crowds of Bernie or Bust supporters carrying her hand-made sign displaying-- We are already connected Look into my eyes and see Well, not to face down  the infamous, vemon-spewing  cult, Westboro Baptist, that's for certain. But when I found myself in 93 degree sweltering heat, it was nothing compared to the hellfire and damnation being shouted from the guy with the mic.  I had never seen or heard anything like this, let alon … [Read more...]

At a Loss for Words

This will sound so cliche. But, I'm just at a loss for words.+France and another attack. Just no words left.That doesn't mean hopeless or despairing, just quiet and thoughtful. What is worth saying in the world we have lived through in the last few weeks? So many words have been poured out, and so few help.Through it all babies continue to be born. People get married. Young, hopeful, beautiful lovebirds commit to life together. Jobs are kept and loss. Migraines still manifest. Books … [Read more...]

The Healing Spirit

In the halls of my Alma Mater, Wesley Theological Seminary, is a fresco called The Healing Spirit. It stretches the length of a tunnel that connects two buildings. It is upsetting, or at least it has always upset me. I have never liked looking at it. I remember the first time that I walked past it. It confused me, and disoriented me. It starts in deep pain with an image that always reminds me of a gunshot. The colors get deeper as you travel through the tunnel. Then light starts to creep in. The … [Read more...]

What Do You See When You Look at Me: Beyonce, Colorism & Identity

I am an adoptee from Colombia. I was born in Bogota. My adoptive sister, six years younger than me, is also from the same city and same orphanage — we are not biologically related. She has golden skin and, especially as a child, golden hair. I have olive-brown skin and dark brown hair. We look nothing alike. When my sister was in elementary school someone made fun of her for being adopted and from Colombia. She came home and crafted a child’s story about how she was born in the hospital down the … [Read more...]

A Resurrection World for Women

Given how Lent went, I’m thankful that we are reminded that resurrection comes. After the darkness and disappointment of losing Christ, resurrection is the beginning of all things being made new.Recently I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the state of women and girls in the world, and have been having lots of conversations about the hook-up culture that singles find themselves in. The combination of all of that is not necessarily encouraging.So, I’d like to share with you a list of … [Read more...]

The Walking Dead & Trumping Our Own Conscience

 I love all things zombie. I have never been a Trekkie or a SciFi Superfan -- although I do love Marvel Films -- but since I first saw The Night of the Living Dead as a pre-teen in my parent's sunroom one summer afternoon I was hooked on all things zombie-genre. This intimate and lifelong relationship hit a new depth when The Walking Dead came on AMC. It was the zombie genre that I loved but extended beyond the disappointingly too-short time frame of a film, and it was so well curated that it e … [Read more...]

Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter: Why We Must Build Bridges.

I'm sitting in the police station compulsively chewing my finger nails. This is the moment that I have been dreading for weeks. The officer walks around the corner while I am mid finger nail.“Are you here for your police ride-along?” I want to say no, and then just go home, but I know that I can't. I stand up and gather my courage.“Yes, thank you,” I manage to choke out.I follow him through the bowels of the police station. We are passing by things that most civilians pray that they w … [Read more...]

Revisiting Christ in missions and service in the age of selfies

Revisiting Christ in missions and service in the age of selfies Bec Cranford serves as the Director of Community Relations and Volunteer Services at the Gateway Center, and supervises a contextual education course at Candler School of Theology.Poverty pornography, charity charlatans, and self-serving service versus relational missions honoring Christ in the least of theseAs we mature in Christ, many of us will become dissatisfied with churches that have a mentality of country clubs, and … [Read more...]

Lean In to the Conversations that Scare You

Recently, this question was asked on a Facebook page: "What do we do with White sensitivity?"I am grateful that we live in a time when we can ask these questions freely. They signify an underlying willingness to listen and learn. The hope that I see in the Emergent Church is a willingness to lean into these types of self-exposing questions and to find conversation partners who will help us delve deeper into our own psyches and open our hearts wider. I personally love these types of … [Read more...]