She was a friend of God

"Mother and Son" 2011 Abstract

She was a friend of GODI’m just getting in from my friend of 33 years mother’s funeral. She’s being buried on her 91st birthday!! What a glorious and full life!! I wouldn't have missed the service for anything. Rita Law was a woman I always gravitated toward at family/friend gatherings. Her light was so bright, I was like a moth to her vibrant flame. Her last few years were marred by worsening dementia and yet one could always sense her inner radiance.Rita raised seven children— all pilla … [Read more...]

Redeemed Bodies and Spaces: ‘Crazy, I know, but I might have seen a little of the Kingdom of Heaven’


It's Tuesday morning in East Baltimore. More specifically, it's "Turnaround Tuesday" in East Baltimore. The basement of Zion Baptist Church is crowded with around 60 persons, most of them self-identified as former offenders, sitting in rows of uncomfortable chairs facing a podium, a randomly placed collection of white boards and chalk boards, and a small stage so characteristic of church basement fellowship halls. Many of the seated attendees are beaming. Their joy is obvious. A few others look … [Read more...]

What is family?

erwin grandchildren 1

Last night I co-officiated my first wedding, for one of my oldest friends, who I’ve known since 1992.  He and his bride were gracious enough to invite me to be apart of their wedding service, and the joining of two families to create a new one.  This morning I headed to join my family down at the beach in Kiawah Island, SC, for a bit of long over due rest and relaxation (if that’s possible when there are three generations of the same family in one house, but I digress).  These two adjacent experi … [Read more...]



12 the last year of childhood should be met with wonder promise adventureyours was met with police officers who thought you looked twenty-one and a toy that looked too real to wait more than three secondsit snowed here today my boy turned twelve it snowed on your last day of twelve toohe is a lot like you sweet face big sister brown skin loving mamatwelve. the last year of childhood 12for Tamir Eric Riceby Micky ScottBey Jones … [Read more...]

Pentecost: An Invitation to Dream

In the liturgical calendar of the Christian year, today is Pentecost — a celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the early disciples of Jesus. From a historical perspective, Pentecost is the birthday of the Church, both in terms of marking the inauguration of a Jesus-movement and in celebrating the enlivening, efficacious stirrings of the Spirit in Christian community. And in the tradition of biblical birth narratives, the Pentecost story is an odd one:When the day of Pentecost ha … [Read more...]

When Religion Fails, Economics Becomes Demonic

Carbon pollution is undeniably the material cause of Earth’s climate breakdown, but what is the root cause? Blaming our growth-dependent economic systems does not, in my view, go deep enough. Ultimately, religion is responsible — but not in the way secularists might assume.Crippled by what I call “the triple idolatries,” our prevailing religions have failed to evolve norms and values on par with our species’ escalating technological prowess. Religious leaders have failed to notice and then de … [Read more...]

Coming of God – part 2

Last month, we looked at what Jesus had to say about the timing of his own parousia, or “coming.”So where else does the ‘coming of God’ show up in Holy Writ? Was a ‘coming of God’ like the world-devourer Galactus‘ herald Silver Surfer, gliding in from the sky all bright and shiny? Or was it a demonstration of God’s power in spiritual, physical and the visible realms? Let’s delve into the internal language of Scripture to discover what this concept means to its original speakers.In the Heb … [Read more...]

The Hiddenness of God, How Resurrection Can Be Disappointing, and the Future of the Church

Kelley Hudlow is an attorney and Episcopal Deacon who lives in Alabama. She recently invited me onto her podcast  for a conversation about Resurrection and the story of the two disciples walking with Christ on the road to Emmaus. As we spoke, I was greatly encouraged by the idea that God's resurrection life may be all around us in our sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly, ordinary lives. The conversation explored different topics: the hiddenness of God, how resurrection can be disappointing, a … [Read more...]

Jesus, Gandhi, and King

Ahnnalise Stevens-Jennings

I have considered myself a pacifist since meeting a few wonderfully revolutionary souls in college that taught me that no issue needs to be solved with violence. They cited as examples, Jesus, Gandhi, and King. Looking at the evidence presented to me about them, I believed that non-violent direct action and turning the other cheek were the way to go.Then the rioting started just up the road from me in Baltimore. The response that I saw from people on Facebook really upset me. A man died … [Read more...]

The Invisible Man, Language, and Faith

invisible man with an umbrella

This life, this adventure we are sharing here on Earth, is an interesting undertaking. And it’s pretty clear to me it’s all too easy to take it for granted.We tend to get so focused on ourselves and what is happening to us, basically losing track of everything except the sequential material events of our waking lives, that it’s nearly impossible to get any perspective or retain any understanding of what is really going on.Now, sure, I understand that what we experience moment to moment as … [Read more...]