Breaking the Church’s Silence About Sex Addiction, Trafficking & Recovery

Breaking the SilenceLast weekend I sat among a group of 70 pastors listening intently as police Sgt Grant Snyder described his work setting up sting operations to arrest men and rescue victims of sex trafficking and forced prostitution in Minneapolis.Snyder's work, as part of the Crimes Against Children Unit of the Minneapolis Police Department, consists largely of working with detectives to plot the arrest of men in the Twin Cities who are purchasing sex from children, mostly from … [Read more...]

The shortest verse

I remember being a kid and finding out that the shortest verse in the King James Bible was John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” I was fascinated with how short it was. I was a teenager when I realized the context, that Jesus was worried and heartbroken for people that they could not reach. The Beloved One was crying for their beloveds. Yet, sometimes people say that they are crying happy tears, not just being sad. I remember feeling that way when I graduated from high school, happy but also sad, crying in o … [Read more...]

Re-engaging the Bible (aka the Mess)

“I stopped reading the Bible because I can’t handle the mess.”My friend let this out in the middle of Sunday morning House Church. It wasn’t a surprise. I know the struggles that she is going through. I thought it was a really concise statement about how many people feel about the Bible. And many times, when going through this, there isn’t anyone there to walk through it with safely.Over the last 2 years, as my house church has ebbed and flowed, we have developed a pattern that seems rea … [Read more...]

Closed Hearts, Closed Minds, Closed Doors: A Letter to all LGBTQIA and Allied United Methodists

You are loved. You were made in the image of God. You are part of the same creation that God breathed God's own breath into. You were knit together in the womb by God's own hands. You are beloved.Our church is flawed. Our church is made up of people, and all people are equal parts loved and sinful. We live in a fallen world that is clenched by fear. We may not see the full inclusion of the whole spectrum of God's children in our church this General Conference, or the next, or the next, or … [Read more...]

Poem: I needed a friend, not a know it all

Disclaimer: After Pentecost, at Park Avenue Baptist Church we are starting a series on Job. Many of us have felt real suffering in our own lives. I decided to push some of my energy into this poem to understand what Job felt like when Zophar blamed him. While in my own life, I've had less than two percent of my friends ever say horrible things to me around suffering, job did. After I lost so much, I only had 2 friends say stupid things to me. What I've experienced has been nothing but sheer love … [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...]

Contemplative Activism: An Outflow of the Broken Heart

“Justice is the outflow of the broken heart.” James FinleyI have been an activist longer than I have been a Christian. I always get a laugh when I say that I broke up with Jesus in high school. But like any break up, it was painful and losing my faith was no party. Fast forward 20 years of activism and I found myself having a “dark night of the soul” and grieving my mother after her passing. During that time a friend gave me a book by Rob Bell and I encountered another kind of Christianity, o … [Read more...]

Now – A poem and painting reminding us to be present

This year I have been thinking about how to get the most out of life. What I landed upon was to be more present in each moment. But that is hard to do. I consider it a skill that is learned and practiced. So this year I have been meditating on what it means to experience the presence, to feel it, and to pay attention to it. I want to realize that "power of now" that so many spiritual masters speak of. This squares with my Christian spiritual practices because I believe we can be more open to … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]


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