Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist

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...]

Anatomy of Worth: TV’s Sanctity of Life Problem

McDreamy is McDead. And I was too distracted by the bad writing to be upset.I’m glad Der+Mer made up before, you know, his date with a mack truck. But seriously, I was way more upset when Cristina moved to Switzerland. Maybe Derek’s death felt inevitable, or maybe it was just so unbelievably hokey, or maybe it’s because this show just needs to be OVER already (they are nothing without Yang! Nothing!) but whatever the reason—I really don’t much care that they killed him off.  But I was sup … [Read more...]

10 Signs of Life: Your Church Might Just Make It

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...]

Welcome to the Jungle, II: A Man’s Take on School Harassment

In my post yesterday, I cited a statistic that 83% of girls report being sexually harassed in high school. That same article also reveals that 78% of boys report the same. Feeling that I am only qualified to speak from my own experience, I asked my friend Chris Furr to write a follow-up piece about what harassment might look like, from the male perspective. I know that his (and mine) are only two snapshots of a broad and complex social issue. I’d welcome other responses from other vantage p … [Read more...]

You’re In the Jungle, Baby: Sexual Harassment at School (and elsewhere)

I saw a statistic yesterday that said 83% of girls are sexually harassed in high school. My first thought was: is that all?I tell you what--100% of girls are sexually harassed in high school. Whether they know it or not, whether they talk about it or not. I’m pretty sure they teach a class on lewd behavior for freshmen boys. It is not a required elective, but there's a lot of peer pressure to take it.It might seem extreme to say that 'all' girls are harassed in high school, but by har … [Read more...]

Here is Your Son, Here is Your Mother

"Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home." --John 19:25-27Friday is usually full of good things. Cook-outs and road trips; family game night or movie night; the beginning of Sabbath; baseball, yard work, a … [Read more...]

Resurrection Matters: The Holy Unknowing

The insistence on a literal, physical, bodily resurrection is killing the conservative Church.The denial of a literal, physical, bodily resurrection is killing the progressive Church.Yeah, it’s a pickle.The Bible says Jesus died, rose again, and ascended to heaven. All tensions within the Body of Christ can be reduced to this one question:  Did he or didn’t he?That may not be the only question that divides people of faith. But most bones of biblical and ideological contention s … [Read more...]

Holy Week Survival Guide: 10 Life Hacks for Clergy

Deep breath. Inward Ommmmmmmmmmmm. It is Holy Week! Lace up your sprinting shoes, get ready to stress eat and drink way too much coffee, and tell your family that you will see them next Monday. No wait—Monday, you hibernate. Tuesday, for sure!  You will be down for breakfast on Tuesday. Or at least lunch… Something about that pattern seems not-so-holy, though. Sure, it’s going to be busy. You will need caffeine and adrenaline and the Holy Spirit to power through. And yet… we clergy types often w … [Read more...]

From the Crowd to the Cross: On Palm Sunday, Politics, and Religious Liberty

Palm Sunday--the gateway to Holy Week. Which is not only deeply sacred and important and full of all the meaning and all the feelings… but also the busiest week of the year for church folks. Dust the corners, print extra bulletins, shine the brass, eat your Wheaties, and for sure print extra bulletins. Gather early in the narthex and line up all the kids, and start the madness with a parade. We’ve been here before.Which is to say, I’ve got stuff to do. And I am so tired of writing about WHAT … [Read more...]