It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. It’s every church leader’s worst nightmare. So if you are both a parent and a church leader, like I am, you are literally sick over this: the revelation that hundreds of priests in Pennsylvania sexually abused more than 1,000 children over the span of several decades. More than one thousand. I have to spell that out and say it out loud, and I still can’t quite let my head and my heart wrap around the… Read more

He called her a dog. The day after white supremacists tried to rally in our nation’s capital, the president—who some might call the most powerful white man in the world—called a black woman who used to work for him a “dog.” Right out loud. In public. And just like every other day, we’re mostly going to sit here and be OK about it because it’s just another day in Trump’s America. I preached a sermon on Sunday about the power… Read more

New trend: political ads in which a GOP incumbent says that his opponent is “too progressive” for the area. As if an “area” can have a singular identity. As if a town/region/state/county/district can now, in this America, include only people of singular belief and values. As if we aren’t wildly complicated creatures who come to our belief by way of life and relationship and hardship. As if it were all that simple. They want it to be that simple. The… Read more

The church I used to serve in Phoenix shared space with a preschool. It was also a polling site in every election. I used to set up a card table in our courtyard area, outside of where people were going in to vote, and I’d have cookies or donuts or something, and also church brochures and swag, for anybody who wanted to stop and chat about the church. It was always a bit of happy chaos in the mornings, when… Read more

On Sunday, Aug. 5, dozens of churches nationwide participated in a Hamilton Preach-In. Each participating preacher had a designated song from the show to highlight in their worship service. There will eventually be a link where you can go watch videos of all the different sermons (and some music). For now, here are my sermon notes on “Dear Theodosia.” Oh, and since we’ve got quite a few Ham-fans among the youth and children of our congregation, I hid a few lyrics… Read more

This story starts with a nest. In the eaves of a front porch, in Nashville, at my brother’s house. Where I was on vacation. Little brother is usually pretty particular about the general order and cleanliness of things. An organized sock drawer when he was 6. Cleaning out my car when he was 12 (and I was 20). A spotless house, categorized bookshelves, and—do not get me started on his cooking prep stations. Which is to say, you’d think that… Read more

(Erin is on vacation this week. Today’s guest post is by teacher and writer Quinn White.) By Quinn White I didn’t think I was fragile anymore. I talk about racism a lot. I write about it. I study it all the time. But I found myself angry, frustrated and beyond defensive recently. I found myself resisting, with white knuckles around my identity as an anti-racist activist. It was an Instagram challenge. “Harmless enough,” I thought. It was called “You and… Read more

I’m on vacation this week and most of next. That doesn’t mean I’m not writing. It does mean I’m writing what I want, and not what the zeitgeist demands. I’m home visiting family, and also on what has become a mini-book tour. Come see me in Bowling Green, Nashville or Lexington, KY this week! You’ll notice that itinerary doesn’t include home home, which is London, Kentucky. I don’t make it there often, mostly because it adds a couple extra hours of driving… Read more

What would, would not. And could, couldn’t go. Or as we say down home, Can’t never could. And also? What you get is what you get. I never could make sense of ain’t got no.  But always, ever after, we don’t know what we don’t know.  Just a little Appalachian shade for President who knows “all the best words,” but suddenly thinks we’re going to buy that he “misspoke” at a press conference after a ShadyAF secret meeting with one… Read more

Let me tell you a short story about my day that reveals a lot about our healthcare system, and our economy. I went by the pharmacy to pick up some refills. One of my son’s prescriptions had gone from a zero copay to an $85 copay. The pharmacy staff seemed annoyed that I wanted them to be able to tell me why this was. At their suggestion, I finally ended up calling my insurance provider. When I told the rep… Read more

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