Struggling with Silence in an Instant-Gratification World

By Breanna MekulyOn developing our interior lives, Sister Joan Chittister explains the Benedictine practice of silence. “Silence lays us open to possibilities, to people, to ideas we would have otherwise forever scorned,” she says in her book The Monastery of the Heart: An Invitation to a Meaningful Life. When we begin to quiet ourselves and listen to the world around us, we begin to see the needs and the struggles of the world. Silence allows us to rest from our own “noise within—our desires … [Read More...]

Give Ben-Hur a Chance: Watch the Movie with Your Heart and Imagination

The new Ben-Hur movie from Paramount Pictures opened over the weekend and the reviews have been, well, not all that great. It’s not surprising really, after an enormous promotional lead-up setting expectations high, that folks (especially the non-Christian cadre) have been quick to criticize the big-budget epic laced with a feel-good Christian message. And while critically, I may have a few quibbles with parts of the story (the rushed ending, most especially), I also found the movie to be quite b … [Read More...]

I Needed Somebody to Hope Me: An Update on the Moral Revival

By Rev. Dr. William BarberWhen I was growing up in Eastern North Carolina, I used to love to sit in my grandmama’s kitchen and listen to her sing as she made dinner. Whenever she was done cooking, she’d give me a plate to eat. Then she and some of the other sisters from the church would make up some to-go plates and, with their aprons still on, head out the door to visit the sick and shut-in. "We going to hope somebody," Grandmama would say.For years, I thought Grandmama’s grammar was … [Read More...]

Patheos 10+1: A Q&A with the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow

“The Asian American community is far from unified in its perspective, but a growing number are pushing our community to confront the racism that exists in our own communities and how we reinforce anti-Blackness and benefit from white supremacy. If you want to know more, track the hashtag #Asian4BlackLives and amplifying this growing ally group." -- Bruce Reyes-Chow, pastor, author, church coach I remember first hearing the name Bruce Reyes-Chow in 2008 when I worked at the San Francisco The … [Read More...]

Reviving the Heart of Our Democracy: Watch the Rev. William Barber’s Soul-Stirring Speech at the DNC

Last week at the Democratic National Convention, the remarkable Rev. Dr. William Barber II delivered an electrifying speech on the need to revive the heart of our democracy. His rousing words, delivered like a true revivalist preacher, effectively introduced millions of people to one of today's most … [Read More...]

I Dare You to Ask: On the Value of a ‘Beginner’s Mind’ in a World of Pre-Packaged Answers

By Helen Jin KimOver the next 12 months, the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) is spotlighting 12 leaders, their stories, and how their passion and call to shape a more hopeful future through Christian ministry guides the impact they are making in their communities, institutions and univ … [Read More...]

Part-Time Jesus: On Being Church in the Summer

I have read the Bible many times and have found no evidence that Jesus ever took the summer off. Therefore, my philosophy has always been that neither should we. But I am also confident that when the summer breeze wafted over the Sea of Galilee, Jesus took some time off to go swimming, grill some … [Read More...]

Spirituality and Democracy: Staying Engaged Amid Vulnerability

This is a follow-up reflection to my post: What Are Our Choices? Conventions, Elections, and Spiritual Practices.There's an additional element that I discovered inside of me since I began writing about spiritual practices for this election season. Democracy is an extraordinarily challenging p … [Read More...]

Patheos 10+1: A Q&A with Duke Divinity School Dean Elaine Heath

"We are at the front end of a new reformation, which will likely take many decades to unfold. I am excited to be part of this era of the church’s life, to be able to participate in the new thing that God is doing. Some of our versions of church will fail, and not a moment too soon. But the gathered p … [Read More...]

What Are Our Choices? Conventions, Elections, and Spiritual Practices

As a spiritual director, I believe strongly in the power of choice and in the dignity of each of us making our own decisions. So I don't write to influence your electoral choice. However, I do write with an invitation about our choices to remain close to God, as we move through the rest of this conv … [Read More...]

In Spite of Our Politics, We Are Made for Goodness

Last week’s Republican National Convention put fear, panic, exclusion and terror on display. We heard stories of immigrants killing people’s families and Islamic terrorist murders, not to mention a prayer calling Democrats “the enemy” and chants to “lock up” the opposing candidate. With a markedly di … [Read More...]

Finding God in the Gym: From Crossfit to Church

By Devaun Walker10 Hanging Power Cleans 1 Box Jump 9 Hanging Power Cleans 2 Box Jumps...If you know anything about me, you'd know that physical activity is not my favorite thing; I'd much rather nap. Yet, something in (on) me tells me I need to be fit, so I give Crossfit three h … [Read More...]

Why I Don’t Like Working at Soup Kitchens

By Breanna MekulyLast week I served at the Emmaus Soup Kitchen in Erie, PA. The next day, Sr. Mary who runs the kitchen asked me how my experience was. I hesitated before telling her the truth; I didn’t like it and actually, I don’t like soup kitchens in general.All I did was serve fruit on t … [Read More...]

Patheos 10+1: A Q&A with ‘Bipolar Faith’ Author Monica Coleman

"I would like churches to talk about mental health the same ways we talk about every other health challenge. I would like us to combine prayer with other medical and social services that help people. I would like for us to affirm that health challenges are not a reflection of the depth of one’s fait … [Read More...]