Self-Evident Truths: 7 Ways the Constitution is Not the Bible

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When it comes to guns, religion and the display of hateful symbols on public property, we hear much talk of “rights” and “freedom.”  The arguments amount to blindly sentimental patriotism at best, and toxic entitlement at worst. At the same time—and from many of the same quarters—equal rights for LGBT folks are met with language of “values” and “tradition” and “what God and/or our forefathers intended for all people.” This marks a tragic disconnect among those who embrace the Bible with one hand … [Read more...]

Holy Edges: 10 Things to Preach if Your Church is Divided on Gay Marriage

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It’s going to be a great day at my church tomorrow. My congregation has been open and affirming since before that was a thing. So at our place, the news of the SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage will be met with rejoicing. There will be a special prayer. There will probably be cheering. We might haul the kids’ noisemakers out of the closet. I know, and it’s not even Christmas!But in other congregations, there will be a sharp, icy chill in the air. I’m not talking about the churches where everyone— … [Read more...]

Good Call: 10 Ways to Nail that Pastoral Search Interview

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It's that time again. All over the country, exhausted pastoral search committees plow through another pile of profiles, fumble with the technology for another round of Skype interviews, and miss another week of family dinner times to make a series of reference-check phone calls. Meanwhile, pastors sit anxiously by the phone, like they are waiting for the daggone quarterback to call on a Friday night, just hoping for that next small sign of hope: "we are moving ahead in our selection process, and … [Read more...]

Who Run the World (#ChurchGirls): 10 Threatening Women to Watch

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You guys, this is adorable. A friend sent me this blog post about how to know if you have accidentally wandered into one of those scary progressive churches. I'm not going to post a link to it, because Voldemort. But anyway, they tell you how to stay true to the gospel and RUN AWAY, before the evil “emergent” church folk can get their gay-loving, non-hell-fearing, climate-change-believing hooks in you. I think if you read way down to the bottom, there’s probably a map with a literal actual exit r … [Read more...]

Fear, Faith and Freedom: What You and I Know about Anti-Muslim Rallies

All Hands Magazine

*Ritzheimer. I mean… it just SOUNDS like a Nazi caricature. A cartoon bad guy with a swastika and a little Hitler mustache, a tiny cartoon devil at his shoulder. But the real guy’s not a cartoon. He’s alive and real in Phoenix, and he’s drumming up an anti-Muslim following. Last week, he rallied a couple hundred of his white supremacist buddies for a “demonstration” on the steps of a local mosque. Wearing t-shirts with a message so obscene, the media has had to blur most of the words out in pict … [Read more...]

The New Art of Poor-Shaming

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Now trending: America discovers cruel and creative ways to further strip away the dignity of its impoverished people.  It’s a sport. It is art. It’s entertainment. It’s a political tactic.The following stories have come across my radar in the past week or so. Through different sources, from different outlets, at different times. Seemingly unrelated, but all pointing to the same disturbing truth: It is entertaining, profitable, AND politically advantageous to exploit and/or publicly shame … [Read more...]

Which Body Are We Talking About? Gay Marriage, Christian Unity, and Mainline Decline

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Last week, Adam Hamilton shared this post about gay marriage in the United Methodist Church. Hamilton is a public figure, an authoritative voice not just within his own denomination, but within all of mainline Protestantism. He’s a popular author and speaker, and having grown his church to ‘mega’ status—mostly unheard of outside of fundamentalist circles—his voice carries.His take on LGBT inclusion is that local congregations and area conferences should be empowered to determine their own pol … [Read more...]

Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist

From the 12th Street Riot, Detroit, 1967. #notalwaysthisovert

I cringe when an article begins “Dear White People…” It lacks nuance, among other things. So I am resisting my urge to start there, even though it’s exactly how this note goes, in my head. How about this:To all y’all who, like me, are not people of color, and/or, all who identify as ‘Caucasian’ when we check the little box on a survey or job application:   We have no idea. And maybe we should stop talking.  From a distance, the rioting in Baltimore looks like senseless, barbaric d … [Read more...]

10 Signs of Life: Your Church Might Just Make It

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I once took a group of church leaders on a planning/visioning retreat. We read and discussed a great article, something to the effect of “10 Traits of a Healthy Church.” Or a growing church... Thriving church? Something like that. And it wasn’t the usual variation on a theme, this particular piece was insightful and inspired. And it was exactly the right mix of challenge and affirmation for where that congregation was at the time.In preparation for a similar gathering this week, I tried to fi … [Read more...]


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