The Fugitive: A Failed Pursuit of the Black Church to Reach Millennials

By Brianna K. Parker Every church in America seems to be asking how to get millennials “back in the church.” However, the more appropriate question may be, “How do we get millennials to try God with us?” Realizing there was little empirical data on black millennials and faith, I studied the topic for my doctoral studies. [Read More…]

Rising from the Ashes: Confronting an Environmental Crisis in North Carolina

The moment I understood that the health of my wife, my unborn son, and our entire congregation was at risk was the moment that coal ash stopped being a political problem and became a spiritual one. [Read more…]

Choosing Forgiveness

When I was a child, my father asked me to help him move a table. On that table sat a vase that my father’s mother had given him many years ago. It meant a lot to him, so he asked me to be really careful. He picked up one side of the table and I [Read More…]

Memorial Day for People with Short Memories

We Americans don’t have very good memories. We tend to forget people and events as soon as the person is gone or the moment is over. We’re even encouraged to do so by slogans such as “let bygones be bygones.” We say “bye” and then it’s “gone.” But Memorial Day is an attempt to remember [Read More…]

The Sins of Bill Clinton “Visited” Upon Hillary

Exodus 20:5 contains a difficult statement about the sins of the father being “visited” upon the son. I think I get it, at least in a way. I am an adult child of a violent and alcoholic father and to this day I continue to suffer manifestations of his abuse. Issues of trust and incidences [Read More…]

Man Meets God: A Q&A with Josh Grisetti

I saw fire burning in God’s eyes — a “righteous anger,” as Christians like to call it. His mouth began to open. A vacuum of air seemed to funnel past me. He was either about to speak or He was about to vaporize me with some kind of holy hellfire, like a dragon incinerating an [Read More…]

Christian Faith is Connecting Faith

Called to Community: The Life Jesus Wants for His People is a collection of 52 readings, with accompanying discussion questions, that lay claim to a fundamental truth:  Christian faith is connecting faith. As a direct challenge to the individualism and isolationism of contemporary secular notions of “freedom,” Charles Moore has brought together some seminal thinkers [Read More…]

Gay Christians: Reluctant Activists?

My mom asked me the other day what I thought about the recent legislation in North Carolina  and Mississippi —the “bathroom bill” and “religious freedom” law that allow sweeping discrimination against LGBT individuals and couples in public spaces, the workplace, and even in family life. I’ve been following the news with interest in the past [Read More…]

After the Eulogies: The Hard Part of Being Human

it’s been months and weeks now. months since one friend died. weeks since the other. maybe because it’s been one after another, one too-soon death followed by another, i’ve tried mightily to listen to the lessons i’m certain they and the heavens were trying to teach. to pound into my thick hard impenetrable skull. to [Read More…]

Blessing the Hands That Cast the Ballots

If ever there was a season for progressive-hearted people to urge their friends and neighbors to vote, this would be it. Ritual is one powerful way to help each other make and keep the commitment to vote. Ask your friend: “With which hand will you vote in the upcoming election?”  With both of your hands, [Read More…]

Church Really Can Happen Anywhere

Rethinking Church is not a new concept in the history of Christianity. The Church has seen transformations in multiple iterations throughout its life. So, when The United Methodist Church creates a piece within itself that is attempting to rethink church, the task is going to be filled with challenges and excitement. The latest shift in [Read More…]

The Armor of Light Airs Tonight on PBS

If you missed the movie premiere of The Armor of Light, the important and timely documentary about guns and Christians, and specifically one Evangelical pastor’s crusade against the prevailing Christian gun culture, you’ll have a chance to watch it tonight for free at 8pm EST on PBS’ Independent Lens. The film will be followed by a Town Hall conversation about faith and [Read More…]