That Small Voice

Last week, I was approved by the credentialing body of my denomination; that is, the panel agreed that I am ready to begin professional ministry. It was really exciting, and also a moment in which I could take some time to remember my call to ministry, or why I was doing this at all.One thing I like about the fact that we call it that is that, in a lot of ways, being called to ministry reminds me of a phone call.It’s an important message. And for me, the important message has built up t … [Read more...]

Midwives in the Struggle

In the United States we have moved away from the practice of midwifery for the most part, although it is making a return. Midwives have been seen as many things through the centuries. Some people have seen them as dangerous, maybe even witches. On the other hand, in the story of the exodus it is the midwives that help to save the baby boys of the Hebrew women by safely delivering them and then falsely reporting their deaths to the pharaoh. (See Mercy Amba Oduyoye's book Beads and Strands for a … [Read more...]

Trump, the ministry of reconciliation, and how to train your new puppy!

As the race towards the presidential nomination builds momentum, the rhetoric between candidates is becoming increasingly vitriolic. In the case of Donald Trump, months of hurling insults at racial minorities, Muslims and his fellow republican candidates has lead to fits of violence between protestors and supporters at his rallies. Now it looks as if one —if not both— party conventions will be contested, increasing the likelihood of future conflict.The tone of our current political climate sc … [Read more...]

Activism, Nurture, Community: This Is My Body, Which Is For You

March 12 is the 26th anniversary of the Capitol Crawl, one of the most significant events in disability history. Michael Winter, former director of the Berkeley Center for Independent Living, had this to say about the crowd of disabled people crawling up the steps of the United States Capitol.“The night before they asked for volunteers to. . . crawl up the steps, and I thought it was a great idea. Some people thought it would be really demeaning to see a bunch of disabled people . . . but my … [Read more...]

Invite the misfits

“Next time you have the opportunity,” Jesus taught, “when you are having a dinner for friends,” invite the misfits from thewrong side of the tracks. You’ll be a blessing, and you’ll be blessed.” (Luke 14:12-14, The Message). Who is invited to your church? Your first instinct might be to say, “Everyone!”But who’s invited, welcome, is much more than who can come in theory.During winter holidays, I have the opportunity to visit a few churches that were new to me. I found that church … [Read more...]

The Walls We Build Can’t Protect Us From Ourselves

It would be amusing if it wasn't so chilling.  Looking at old movies at the thrift store, I smirk at our former fear-mongering.  It seems so quaint, so naive, from such a bygone era.  And it makes me think about the present-day fear-mongering that I probably don't even notice.  Remember Red Dawn, when it seemed so plausible that Russians would invade the US?  Thirty years later, the remake of the same film depicts nefarious North Koreans doing the deed-- a new boogeyman for a new generation.  Th … [Read more...]

How I Found God After Leaving Religion

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan WattsAfter having left religion, I found God. Let me be clear here as not to confuse the pop-culture appropriation of hipster spirituality so prevalent today; wherein, someone re-organizes their linguistic choices and creates new aphorisms like: I left religion but gained a relationship (and etc.). For me, leaving organized religion, in this case, Christianity, wasn't just leaving some of … [Read more...]

3 Things Folks Experiencing Homelessness Need from You

Three Things Our Friends Experiencing Homelessness Need from YouI spend my days working at one of Atlanta’s busiest homeless service agencies. I also get the pleasure of working with many missions teams, alternative spring breaks, and corporate service groups. I love my job, and I love building relationships with my friends experiencing homelessness.I have recently been asked by a lot of friends about what it is that our friends experiencing homelessness really need.So here are three … [Read more...]

“Doing” Lent

Lent arrives this week with its themes of fasting, reflection, and penance. As I prepare, I am aware that this season requires countercultural ways of being – of living – that don’t come easily to most of us. We’ve become accustomed to our routines and privileges and feel comforted and entitled to having them in our lives.Fasting is the opposite of the communal gluttony that football fans just enjoyed on Super Bowl Sunday. Reflection is difficult in the midst of the siren calls of email, Face … [Read more...]

Do Not Stand Idly By: The Public Domain of Faith

Yesterday, in a DC suburb, I had another one of those profound religious/spiritual moments in the presence of an ecumenical group of clergy members, professional organizers, and community activists while we worked together on the Metro IAF Do Not Stand Idly By campaign for responsible gun manufacturing, distribution, and use. I have so many beautiful stories to tell from this shared work, including the tremendous persistence and courage that resulted in President Obama’s recent executive order on … [Read more...]