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...]

Loss and Redemption in Relationships

In this season of anticipatory and happy holidays among a number of cultural and faith traditions, I want to focus on the subject of personal loss in relationships for a moment. I am grateful that there are some houses of worship that will offer “blue” worship services to address the spiritual needs of, and to comfort, those who have endured gut-wrenching losses recently. Loss.Loss is a subject that weighs heavily on all who encounter it, especially when the loss is unanticipated and … [Read more...]

Christian Prejudice Towards Muslims is Antithetical to the Way of Jesus

As a Christian, I find the anti-Muslim rhetoric and prejudice, expressed in general and by Christian leaders in particular, appalling and contrary to the spirit of what Christ teaches. Fear produces irrational thinking. This irrational  thinking, combined with prejudice towards specific groups of people, creates shameful and immoral behavior that future generations look back on and say "I can't believe everyone back then stood by and watched and approved of (slavery, internment, segregation, … [Read more...]

Women Sticking Together

 When I first started studying women and the church, it became very clear that this is never a one way topic. It seems throughout history that every time women take two steps forward toward equality and fair treatment, they get pushed back at least one step, and sometimes if feels like two or three. As of the present, gender equality is not something that is achieved and then remains intact, but is something that we must continually work to keep at the front of our consciousness. While … [Read more...]

Inevitable: the death of news as we know it

Sometimes, I just think in poetry. Today is such a day. Sometimes, when I spend a lot of time on social media, soaking in what others say, and sharing what I've read and viewed, this is how the thoughts come out. Life is often too heavy to engage head on. Some of us make it our life's work to rage at the sun on other people's behalf. It's hard to see clearly through the tears. Ephemeral is what life feels like when contemplating the greater scheme of things. . . Inevitable is a condition I find … [Read more...]

A Broken Heart, Mom Rage, and a Call to Action

***Before I even get started, here's a plea: Donate to Syrian refugees through UNHCR here. Do it. I won't guilt you, but I'm giving you my best mom glare, so you had better or you shall INCUR MY WRATH.***Part One: The Broken Heart A few days ago, this image came to my attention.(WARNING: The following image is graphic. You should still look at it and take in the full meaning of it, but you should prepare yourself.)Now, until that moment, the Syrian crisis was one amongst so … [Read more...]

I am not you but I am not other than you, either

Taking my title one step further we read James Finley's words:"As this soaks into me, what are the implications of this in the way I act in the world, in relationships with other people?"Such is life.We travel across the ocean to see the eiffel tower's dazzling lights This very same afternoon as we strolled the belgian blocked, pedestrian-only streets, apple tarte tatin in hand we came upon a walking skeleton of a man. He didn't speak any English and put out his hand … [Read more...]

When Church Island Crumbles

Spoiler Alert: If you have not seen Disney's Inside Out, this post contains the basic plot of the story but without giving away the ending.I’d like to introduce you Riley. She is the blond, 11-year-old girl who stars in the animated hit, Inside Out. The story of Inside Out revolves around the adventures of the emotions that make up who we are, and what happens when they start to change. In the movie we not only see Riley as she navigates a big cross country move and all of the uncertainty t … [Read more...]