Beyond Dreaming, Toward Repentance

"It is my fear that, though we may not embrace an outright substitutionary atonement theology of Jesus, we have embraced a substitutionary atonement theology of Dr. MLK Jr. That is to believe that Dr. King existed in his life solely to die to pay off the sins of white racists, and that because of his death, we don’t have to do any work beyond believing in what a nice fellow that Dr. King was. What a nice fellow that Dr. King was. With that dream of his and all. Sure glad he ended racism so that I … [Read more...]

A letter to my congregation after the election

 Dear Beloveds,I am writing to witness that for some of you, the election results from this week present an intense challenge and disappointment. My heart and my will are with you. It will be a time of adjustment for all of us, to move to a new administration. I want to write a for a moment specifically to those who are grieving, especially grieving the world that could have been.1. It is real and reasonable that you are upset.For some of you who have labored for civic … [Read more...]

To all Allies in the Episcopal Church and Beyond, Shocked by the Election

I’m writing this post to my fellow progressive, white Episcopalians, but I also write it mindful of the many allies out there who are not Episcopalian. While some of what I write may not pertain to those outside of the Episcopal Church, I believe this post is relevant to many who are dealing with the implications of this election and are trying to find a way forward.I want to be clear up front about where I am coming from. I love my church. I love my country.  I write this post from my co … [Read more...]

Splendid are those: Falling in love with Vehicle City

Today marks almost exactly one month that I’ve been in Flint. I am the interim minister at the Unitarian Universalist congregation there. People read about Flint in the news, see videos about it on the internet and TV, but the real Flint is different from even that. The real Flint has a legacy of factories that contributed to the boom of the automative industry in the United States. For better or for worse, that making and doing is an important part of American history. Certainly, factory p … [Read more...]

Progressive Evangelical Female’s story of pornography and sexual addiction

I am a progressive evangelical. I like to think of myself as a baptiscostal floating around in the mainline churches.What do I mean by that?I mean that:I take the Bible seriously. I don’t worship the bible, and I don’t interpret it literally. I try to use exegesis, and historical context to interpret it. I love the Bible. I love it’s 3,000 plus verses on God’s decrees of Justice to the marginalized. I love creation and I try to care for it. And I don’t mean a literal 7 day creation … [Read more...]

Milwaukee and the Space Between

What is the name for the thing that happens when people ask you to do as they say, not as they do? What is the name of the thing that happens when people have a promise and a duty and they not only fail to fulfill it, they show disdain for their responsibilities? People who cry for peace but then act for war come to mind. All of these factors weigh heavy in the burning of Milwaukee. I’ve been there in recent years, wide boulevards and clear skies, Midwestern charm. Has there been a higher p … [Read more...]

When Faith Fades

O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
 the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed. O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
Fo … [Read more...]

No more loyal love, no more compassion

Have you ever cried so much that you run out of tears? The post I offered previous to this was about the splendid promise of grief. And, still, we are flooded by a tide of violence that does not relent. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were executed without due process by police officers. Other incidents of terror and hate crisscross the globe, and people mourn and wonder what else they can do. Do you feel your shoulders inching toward your ears in a shrug? Do you find yourself less and … [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...]

Learning To Live A Better Story

In 1949, American scholar, Joseph Campbell, published a book called  The Hero With a Thousand Faces, which argued that the narrative arch of every drama, myth, and religious ritual known to humankind could  be broken down into three basic acts: 1) an initial set up (the protagonist is called to adventure); 2) a confrontation (the protagonist faces trials and setbacks); and, 3) a resolution (the tension is resolved and the character learns something new about themselves). Campbell called this un … [Read more...]