The World All Around: How We Can and Can’t Shield Kids From Violence

I recently wrote a post about letting our kids have their privacy and not sharing every blessed part of their lives on the internet. I stand by it. That said--I'm going to share this thing, because it is important. And not just about my kid.Last week there was a terrible shooting in our neighborhood. In what is now (finally) being called a hate crime, a man in a local bar and grill shot two Indian natives, as well as another man who tried to stop it. One of the men has since … [Read more...]

Ashes to Ashes, Stardust to Stardust

Guest post: This was the message for Saint Andrew's Ash Wednesday service last night, as we kicked off our Lent worship series "Everyday Marvels." I am hoping you will indulge me and let me take you on two very quick journeys. First, we are going to go outward, away from the Earth like explorers into a vast cosmic ocean, into a Universe so enormous our human brains are physically incapable of understanding the scale of it. Next, we are going to go inward, to the very core of the cells of our … [Read more...]

$h*T Jesus Says: Weapons and Walls Edition

Further proof that the GOP is working overtime to distance itself from the faith-based voter: the agenda now includes taking school lunches and healthcare away from poor kids, while trying to maneuver an extra $54 billion for the military.I recognize that our service men and women are, in many cases, grossly underpaid. That some need food stamps just to make ends meet, and many cannot get the vocational and mental health support they need after returning from combat zones. If most, or even … [Read more...]

Overshared Childhood: Parenting and Privacy in the Social Media Age

Friday night situation: everybody's home after Dad's been traveling all week, nobody has anyplace to be, the house is clean, and there's Chinese takeout for dinner. I'll add to this perfect tableau that my kids have mostly graduated from watching cartoons full of grating, whiny voices and now like to watch kids cooking shows on the Food Network.  All in all, a lovely evening--and if you've got a busy family, you know that these kinds of peaceful home nights don't happen often. Or at least, they … [Read more...]

Close to Home: The Human Cost of Racist Rhetoric

Early spring in the Midwest means that my neighborhood has been a picturesque snapshot of American virtue lately. Kids riding bikes and playing basketball; families walking and running together on the trail; birdsong and jump ropes and sidewalk chalk; those first brave buds emerging, hoping not to get hammered by a mid-March blizzard.This is the kind of place where kids walk to school, people run out for an errand and leave their doors unlocked, and if you see a police car in front of a … [Read more...]

Refugees are Not Political

I'm sure I'm the only pastor in the world who's been accused of "being too political."Lol. I'm kidding. Every minister who addresses justice issues will inevitably be accused of being political.Sometimes it's true. Sometimes the church IS political, and sometimes that's ok. Read Benjamin Corey's post about how Jesus was political; and maybe we should be too.At other times, we aren't being political at all. Rather, the person who's accusing us of "wading into a political issue" is … [Read more...]

Showing Up for the Stranger: The Church Speaks Out Against the Travel Ban

Ever look around at the news/world/government these days and say "for the love of all that is holy, where is the Church??"Blatant marginalizing and silencing of women; racist rhetoric at every level of leadership; the destruction of the environment and the attempt to dismantle the EPA; the growing gap between the rich and the poor, and the continued scapegoating of the most disadvantaged among us; escalating violence in our communities and the continued glorification of guns and violence as s … [Read more...]

7 Reasons to Keep the Johnson Act: Protecting our Binding Covenants of Church and State

When he wasn't picking fights with our allies; or Tweeting war threats in the middle of the night; or appointing a grotesquely unqualified Secretary of Education, or appointing a known white supremacist to the National Security Council; or de-funding the NEA; or dismantling the EPA... wait, I think I was going somewhere with this.Right. When he wasn't busy with all of these other equally appalling and shady dealings, the new President promised to roll back the Johnson Act--the thing that … [Read more...]

Reading As An Act of Resistance: How the Nerds Inherit the Earth

I read Animal Farm in high school. I learned that power corrupts; and absolute power corrupts absolutely.I read Lord of the Flies. I learned about scapegoating, and scarcity. And mob mentality.I read Heart of Darkness.  I hate that damn book, and I had to read it 3 times. THREE. Twice in high school for two different teachers (who I felt could have done some better collaborative work in planning their curriculum, but whatever) and then again in college for a Victorian lit class. I learne … [Read more...]