Good Christian Sex: Not an Oxymoron

Guest Post, by Bromleigh McCleneghanLast spring, I told the committee that hired me as the new associate pastor that I was writing a book about sex, both in the interest of full-disclosure and as a bit of self-defense. They couldn’t complain later if they didn’t complain initially, right?They didn’t complain. They are lovely. Though the congregation has taken to teasing me ever so slightly, especially as my book received its title (Good Christian Sex). Apparently it will receive a mentio … [Read more...]

The End of Us: Where Love Is Not Enough

Love is not enough.I'm a pastor, so I'm not supposed to say that. As a minister of the gospel, I'm supposed to say that love "bears all, believes all, endures all," etc. That love conquered the grave. The love is made perfect in Christ, and therefore perfects us all.Love will keep us together. Love lifts us up where we belong. Love is all you need.At some point, it all starts to sound the same, and it all starts to ring hollow. People have had enough of silly love songs.When the … [Read more...]

Why We Don’t Want To Be Made Well

Guest post: by Ed CyzewskiDo you have any moments from your past that make you cringe or recoil in fear and shame?I have a running list of these moments that range from times I publicly embarrassed myself in front of friends and family to the times I’ve deeply wounded friends and family with my own selfishness and anger. I can whip myself into a frenzy of guilt and shame with remarkable efficiency.One afternoon I sat down to pray because I'd had enough of the shame I'd been carrying. … [Read more...]

Get Off the Fence: Why “We Welcome Everyone” Isn’t Enough

Since last week's horrific shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, many pastors have offered words of comfort for the victims' families; words denouncing violence and gun culture; and prayers for a more peaceful world.Then, there's those other guys. "Pastors," so-called, in Florida, and Texas, who have said unspeakably hateful things about the LGBT community; who have publicly prayed that God might "finish the job" and kill the rest of them; and some other terrible things that I'm not … [Read more...]

And This Will Be Our Penance

Just to recap... Conservative leaders are running on platforms of "zero tolerance" for terrorism--and  Muslims in general, as though that is all the same thing. And yet, those same leaders voted today that it's A-OK for people on the FBI no-fly list to buy weapons of mass destruction. Because perhaps the FBI is just being twitchy when they say these folks are a threat to society. Because rights. And freedom. You know the drill.Here is what I now know: when this country's sick romance with gu … [Read more...]

They Want Us Dead: Hate and Marginalized Communities

A powerful guest post from my college friend, Shawn McGuffey. An important read that needs to be shared far and wide--and I'm proud to share it here. “They want us dead. I’m gay. They want us dead.”This morning I woke up smiling. Laughing. And making jokes with my partner. While morning laughter is usually as routine for us as eating and brushing teeth, it was notable today because we have not done so since the tragic massacre in Orlando this past weekend where 49 people – primarily Latin … [Read more...]

Grief for the Villians

A guest post: by Rev. Elizabeth GrashamMy ex-husband calls my cellphone once a week to talk to our son.  In and of itself, that would probably sound normal to any person who lives with a custody agreement, post-divorce.  Except the first person my son hears when he answers the phone is not his dad; it’s a voice recording.“You are about to receive a prepaid phone call from [XXXX], an inmate housed at the [XXXX] Unit. If you still want to accept this prepaid phone call, please touch ‘1’.” … [Read more...]

Running While Female: A Survivor’s Story

The story of Brock Turner has rape culture on everyone's minds this week--but that story is just one of many, reminding us that sexual assault is a chronic, destructive reality for women in this country. We can't stop talking about it once this latest instance cycles out of the trending newsfeed. I'm so grateful to my friend and colleague Robyn Bles for bravely sharing her story. “What were you thinking running in that bad neighborhood?”  The police officer asked me.I blinked.  What was I … [Read more...]

The Late and The Greatest: Muhammad Ali, and What Gets Remembered

I know nothing about boxing.  Except that it's a dang sight more artful and athletic than that UFC business that is all the rage these days.Still, I feel a certain kinship with Muhammad Ali. He was a Kentuckian. Furthermore, he was a Kentuckian who wound up living in Phoenix. Not for nothing, but Kentuckians living in Arizona is a pretty small club. And since I feel profoundly connected to both of those little points on the map, I kind of feel like I can claim his story-- at least in some sm … [Read more...]