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...]

Ticking Clock and Turning Tide

We are not theme park people. We are National Park people.We are beach people. We are long-roadtrip-to-visit-friends people. We are mountain people. But we are not Mouse people, Princess people, or long line people.So it's a mystery to me, why I was recently overcome with the overwhelming urge to take my kids to Disneyland. I think I felt some magic window closing... I know that older kids can still get excited, and still have a great time. But there is an age at which they move past the … [Read more...]

$10 In My Pocket

Guest Post: by Tiffany FlamingI have $10 in my pocket. It might as well be $1,000,000. I have that much of a clue as to what to do with it. It doesn’t seem like a lot of money but it is heavy with meaning and generosityI’ve had a rough, well, let’s say year and a few months. I’ve been quiet over here because I am more of an internal processor when life goes south and in many ways it has. But in many ways, it’s pretty great. I am on the verge of a new chapter and over the last few mont … [Read more...]

Beneath Our Feet: A Summer Psalm

1 O Lord, our Sovereign,     how majestic is your name in all the earth!You have set your glory above the heavens. 2     Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,     to silence the enemy and the avenger.3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,     the moon and the stars that you have established; 4 what are human beings that you are mindful of them,     mortals[a] that you care for them?5 Yet you have ma … [Read more...]

The Poetry of Emptiness: Reflections from the Festival of Homiletics

Guest post: My friend and colleague Rev. Laura Ann Phillips shares a good word from the Festival of Homiletics, happening in Atlanta this week. It feels like I have been “going” non-stop since October 2014, and if I’m completely honest, it’s exhausting. I’ve been reading articles about gluten intolerance and insulin resistance wondering if that’s what is wrong with me. Maybe what I’m eating is making me tired? I’ve been trying to figure out how to get more protein in fruit smoothies as a safe … [Read more...]