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Insecurity about Church Security

By Dwight Lee Wolter.  Recent events, including the massacre of nine people in a church Bible study, have inspired churches and other houses of faith to take a closer look at security issues. The Suffolk County (NY) police department, for example, provided a hastily convened “Security Training Workshop for Houses of Worship” with tips on “Protecting Your Religious and Communal Institutions” through “Security Best Practices.”  Mosque, synagogue and church clergy and lay leaders were educated … [Read More...]

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What Do I Do With My Confederate Flag?

By Shane Claiborne.  I own a Confederate flag. I grew up in East Tennessee, and the Confederate flag branded everything we looked at in our high school – even the cheerleaders had “butt-flags” that flapped over the back of their mini-skirts at football games.  We were the Maryville High School “Rebels”. Growing up, the flag meant little more to me than school spirit, pep rallies, and Southern pride… until I left East Tennessee. I’ll never forget the moment things began to change.  I move … [Read More...]


Searching for the Buddha’s Climate Change Policy

By Danny HallLast month, I joined some 130 Buddhist leaders, teachers and scholars representing over 60 major Buddhist schools and ethnicities in Washington D.C. for the first White House U.S. Buddhist Leaders Conference. Of particular interest to conference participants was the subject of climate change. The issue triggered questions for me about what a pan-Buddhist approach to climate change might look like and how the varying degrees of inner-orientation found within the diversity of … [Read More...]


But ALL Lives DO Matter…

By the Rev. Dwight WolterThere is a lot of angry blow-back against people who are responding to “Black Lives Matter” with “All Lives Matter.” It is unfortunate that “sides” seem to have been taken. My social media contacts, political inclination and religious affiliation predispose me to the “Black Lives Matter” voices; but I would respectfully like to offer a couple of insights to the “All Lives Matter” folk.I presided over the funeral of an Ecuadorian immigrant hate crime murder victim, … [Read More...]

Considering “Sanctuary” in the Aftermath of Charleston

One of my favorite and in my opinion vastly underrated movies of all time is the 2011 film, Priest.  Not only is it a fun movie that involves motorcycles, explosions, and incredibly cheesy dialogue the movie also depicts a somewhat imaginable (minus the vampires) reality. It depicts a militarized c … [Read More...]

“Lord, How Long?” (Habakkuk 1:2): Praying Through Grief While Confronting a Hate Crime

Rev. Clementa Pinckney and his parishioners attended a Wednesday night Bible study in a church, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where a white man could walk through the doors of their spiritual home and be welcomed with open arms. They did not turn … [Read More...]

Ambassadors of Reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-21): The Massacre of the Beloved in Charleston, SC

The evening began like any other Wednesday Bible study. Beloved parishioners and their pastor gathered to read scripture and pray together in church. Now they are dead. Nine black people, nine precious creations of God, nine cherished souls who were “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) by … [Read More...]

Slow Living: Resisting the Need for Speed

"When do we ever find such deep permission, to stop, to see that it is good, this world, this life, this day? Just as it is, without our effort or interference? When do we hear the call, when do we allow ourselves to surrender so completely to non-productive time, to be allowed to be stopped, to … [Read More...]

English Class Leaves Woman Speechless

One woman couldn’t believe that a group of people who didn’t even know her would teach her English. They did and now her life has changed in so many ways.What happens when open hearts celebrate diversity and the value of all people? Rocio Martinez can tell you. Living in Nashville, Tennessee, s … [Read More...]

When Dajerria Becton Cried Out for Her Mama and God

“Call my Mama! Call my Mama at home. God!” -- Dajerria BectonDajerria Becton, a beautiful black girl with braids running down her back cried out for her Mama and God because she was helpless. An officer, Eric Casebolt, spoke at her and not to her. He grabbed Dajerria, threw her onto the conc … [Read More...]

The Best Years of My Life: Falling Back in Love with the Church

When church was just a habit without meaning, Matt Hooper walked away. Which meant he would have to fall in love all over again.Church means different things to different people. For some, it's a community of people who gather on a Sunday morning. For others, it's an irrelevant place.For … [Read More...]

Process Theology and Creation Care: How Our Theology Impacts Our Environmental Policies

Starting today, I'll be at a conference at Pomona College called Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization, which will draw about 1,500 participants from around the world, including many from China. I got involved in it because, for my whole career as a pastor, I've been much i … [Read More...]

On the Pilgrim’s Journey: A Q&A with Christine Valters Paintner

"Pilgrim:  Someone who makes an intentional journey courting holy disruption."-- Christine Valters Paintner One of my very favorite writers on the spiritual life is Christine Valters Paintner, an author, Benedictine Oblate, and Abbess of the online retreat center Abbey of the Arts. When one of … [Read More...]

Why Millennials Leave the Faith and How To Bring Us Back

By Justino Valdez "I don’t believe millennials are hostile toward Christianity. I believe they just don’t quite understand it well enough." Recently, the Pew Research Center released a study titled “America’s Changing Religious Landscape.” The study reported that America is changing -- or more accu … [Read More...]