A store clerk looked at my credit card last week and asked, “What does your name mean, Anita? It is so beautiful”. I responded that I once knew, but had forgotten… that I would google it. Apparently, my name means GRACE and I couldn’t have been happier to learn or re-learn this little fact. I have always loved that word. While I was preparing for yoga with the ladies of the Phila. Federal Detention Center (FDC), I decided to research… Read more

PAIN MADE OF FIRE On Sunday, June 12th, like so many others, I woke up to the news of the Orlando massacre being written across my Facebook page and television screen. Gut punch after gut punch I watched as the information unfolded — it was an LGBTQIA club, it was mostly people of color, it was Latinx night. The complexity of identity and what it means to be in the margins lay before me — not just as some abstract observation of… Read more

CW: Pulse shooting, grief     “The thing is,” my friend said recently, “Jesus can’t really help me with the way being human involves making mistakes. Because They never made any.” But Jesus did die once, maybe twice, depending on who you say Jesus is. So They know something about death. And then, approximately fifty people, mostly Puerto Ricans, were murdered by assault rifle in a shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Unlike Jesus, they do not… Read more

While many people have said what I’m about to say – I will say it again – there just aren’t words for what happened in #Orlando. There just isn’t a way to talk about it in a way that honors the depth and breadth of pain and sorrow that is encompassed by this tragedy. And so, I will lean into tradition, with something many people dismiss off hand as simplistic or trite, but I call us to: Defiantly Love Your… Read more

If I had a dollar for every time a well meaning person has said to me “my family owned slaves, but we didn’t treat them badly” or “My family didn’t own slaves, we fought for the confederacy to protect ourselves from northern aggression” or “slavery wasn’t that bad, being an indentured servant like my Irish ancestors was much worse” I could probably pay back my students loans and buy a house. Snopp Dogg did not want to watch Roots because… Read more

Three Reasons Why I am going to the Wildgoose Festival this Summer In 2005, my first year of bible college and theological education, I found myself reading thoughts I had never heard in my years as a fundamentalist. By 2011, I had developed a paranoia that I was one of the apostates, often times praying for hours each day that God would correct my theology and save me from any evil world views that my flesh must have desired. But,… Read more

Do you ever wake up so sad because the world is overrun with violence, grief + disbelief in the healing power of love? and your own pounding (occasionally violent) heart threatens to beat itself out of your chest…   I am led to pray over my friends and family. It’s as if as I extend each blessing, I can already feel love  returning to me.   But then I have this feeling ARISE– it is so unsettling, I am not… Read more

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you maybe healed.”    – James 5:16 Bless me Father for I have sinned. The first time I spoke these words I was in elementary school. I was making my first confession, considered a sacrament and one of many important rites of passage in a Catholic’s life. I remember standing in line behind my Sunday School peers and their parents. In front of me loomed a large,… Read more

  Shadows go in front of you, leading into your future and trail behind you, leaving a part of you in the past. They are clearest when we are in the light, and disappear when we lose ourselves in darkness. Kiersten White A shadow does not have a polar opposite; it gently embraces both light and dark at once. While light displays morning and darkness mourning, shadows show us that both of these extremes exist simultaneously and in relation to… Read more

Breaking the Silence Last 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




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