Gaps in History: Talking to Kids About Race and Privilege

 My niece--my daughter's cousin and BFF since birth--is biracial. Together, these girls choreograph synchronized dance routines and wear matching outfits and get identical toys at Christmas. And it has never once occurred to them that there is any difference between them. That to some people's eyes, they do not look like family. I've always been grateful that skin color is not even on the radar for them.Maybe at some level, I thought the depth of that relationship could take the pl … [Read more...]

The Trump Rally is the New Klan Rally

I wasn't going to write about him today. I swear. We need a break from observing the gruesome underbelly of America's blackened soul (as I have come to think of his whole campaign). I had a post about church growth trends all perking in my head and it was ready to roll.But damn. Are you watching this? Have you seen what is happening? The Trump Rally is the new Klan rally. It's official. America has lost it's damn mind. I  mean, we knew, right? We knew this is what he was about, in some n … [Read more...]

Shed a Little Light: Observing MLK Day

Thanks, readers, for sharing your observations of Martin Luther King day. I've enjoyed your pictures and your words of wisdom. I love the ways people capture the spirit of this day in art, song and story. And mostly, I enjoy seeing how communities of faith, and communities in general gather around on this day to listen and learn, to sing and celebrate, to mourn and cast a hopeful vision forward together. Here are some inspiring glimpses from MLK day around the … [Read more...]

Saving Atticus

One day, all is right with the literary world... And then suddenly, one of the most significant characters of all time has transformed into someone we scarcely recognize. How does this happen? And what does it mean?First, a word about narrative sequence: Go Set a Watchman is not the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. Nor is it an intentional prequel. As legend has it (b/c any word spoken in reference to Nell Harper Lee smacks of legend) the author penned these pages first. They amount to what A … [Read more...]

Wade in the Water: Pools, Fountains, and the Stain of Segregation

If the image of a 200+pound white man with a gun, pinning an unarmed, 90 pound black girl to the ground with his knees—while he is fully clothed and she is wearing a bikini—has not been keeping you up nights, then you must be missing something. Like maybe you missed the white male bystanders aiding the officer. Or maybe you missed the police shouting and cursing, while the kids just asked what in the world they'd done? Or maybe you missed the deadly weapon drawn and aimed at unarmed children as t … [Read more...]

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...]

ADVENTageous: Tragedy Plus Time

This the growing edge of Advent: to take a time fraught with stress and damaging expectations, and instead use it for spiritual growth and good work in the world.  I'm sharing my attempt to grow through this season, rather than deplete my every ounce of energy; and to share good news, rather than just sharing Made-In-China stuff. Care to join me? Send in your stories, and I may share some.  A Staten Island grand jury declined to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choking death of unarm … [Read more...]

Freedom Within, Freedom Without

As is so often the case... I was late to the party.The virtual wake for Will D. Campbell, that is. When he passed away earlier this week, my newsfeed filled up quickly with articles about his life and work. As a general rule, if I see something go by more than 5 times, I take a minute to read it. After all, if so many people are thinking/talking about something...there's a good chance it needs to go into my sermon notes for the week.So I started reading up on the late pastor/author/civil … [Read more...]


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