No One Knows Enough

Since we opened a third home here at Rutba House(s) this summer, I’ve found myself praying morning prayer in three different places each week. The same old songs ring a bit differently in each place, inviting me to see what God is up to from a different vantage point.I’ve been praying with my eyes open.Last Thursday morning, sitting on the red couch at the house on Onslow Street, I was thinking about Henry Lee McCollum, who’d gone home from North Carolina’s death row the day before. Henry … [Read More...]


Vote Your Dreams, Not Your Fears: #MoralWeekofAction Concludes in Raleigh

On the 51st anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Justice, the #MoralWeekofAction concluded yesterday with rallies and organizing meetings at 12 state capitals.  Though local print and TV media covered many of these events, Sarah Bufkin of the NC NAACP captured the spirit of the one I attended in Raleigh, NC. The Forward Together Moral Movement is a foretaste of a 4th Great Awakening in America. Anyone interested in the future of public religion should pay attention to what's h … [Read More...]


Sound the Shofar! Women Lead #MoralWeekofAction

In 14 state capitals across the US, faith and justice leaders are organizing a Moral Week of Action to conclude the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, in which he exhorted the crowd to “go home” to Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to work for justice. As a faith-rooted organizing effort, the Moral Week of Action is grounded in prayer. RLC is sharing daily meditations from movement leaders. Catch up on meditations from previous days here: Day 1: Labor and Economic Justice, … [Read More...]

Give Us New Eyes

By Shane ClaiborneIt’s been said that our politics are often shaped by what we see out the window.Twenty years ago, if you’d asked me if I think police treat people fairly regardless of race, I would have said “Yes,” just like 70% of white folks in the recent Pew survey.  In fact, 30 years ago, if you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d have said “a policeman.”I grew up in a small town in Tennessee, which was still very segregated. We knew our police officers by name. O … [Read More...]


Don’t Let Anyone Look Down on Your Youth: #MoralWeekofAction Day 4

In 12 state capitals across the US, faith and justice leaders are organizing a Moral Week of Action to conclude the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, in which he exhorted the crowd to "go home" to Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to work for justice. Read news coverage of yesterday's action in Raleigh, North Carolina. As a faith-rooted organizing effort, the Moral Week of Action is grounded in prayer, sharing daily meditations from movement leaders. Catch up on … [Read More...]


Prayer for Day 3 of Moral Week of Action

This is the third daily meditation in a seven-part series of prayers for the Moral Week of Action coordinated by the Forward Together Moral Movement at 12 state capitols. If you missed them, here are links to the meditations for first two days: Day 1: Labor and Economic Justice, by Dr. Rodney Sadler Day 2: Education, by Rev. Nancy Petty You who hear the cries of all who suffer, listen to your people crying. A mother in Ferguson cries out for justice. Mothers in Central America cry for their c … [Read More...]


Prayer for Moral Week of Action: Day 2, Education

Since late spring of 2013, Rev. William J. Barber II and the HKonJ Coalition in North Carolina have led the Forward Together Moral Movement to expose extremists' plans to re-make government in America from the state house up. Over 1,000 people have been arrested for civil disobedience over the past 16 months.Announcing a Moral Week of Action, the Forward Together Moral Movement spread to 11 other states yesterday. Read news coverage of yesterdays events from North … [Read More...]


Love Is the Final Fight

The first Tuesday in August is National Night Out in neighborhoods across urban America. Roadblocks stop traffic on one block or another as old men roll grills into the street and the young fellas gather for a pick-up game. Grandmas put their lawn chairs out on the sidewalk, and little girls skip rope double Dutch until they fall over on the ground laughing. I love these block parties. They’ve been a staple of summer life in Walltown since before we came here in 2003. But I didn’t go to Nat … [Read More...]

Wilson Hartgrove, Jonathan and Dinsmore, Julia

Julia Dinsmore: Singing Freedom’s Song

I led a workshop in Minnesota last week for the good folks at Collegeville Institute. (If you don't know them, check em out here. They're doing great work to support faith-rooted writing in the world.)A highlight of the week was getting to hang out with Julia Dinsmore, freedom singer, medicine story-teller, and great porch sitter of the North country. Grandma Julia, as she's known to the Movement, reminds me of our Grandma Ann here in Durham--of Fannie Lou Hamer, Sojourner Truth, Julian of N … [Read More...]


Our Children’s March: What 1963 Can Teach US About the “Border Crisis”

As images of kids at the US/Mexico border continue to feed the 24-hour news cycle, I'm reminded of Birmingham in May of 1963 and the pictures that gripped the nation that spring.What we're calling the "border crisis" is today's Children's March in the struggle for immigrant justice. The real question is not how to "address the crisis" but rather what the faces of these children demand of us as a country?In the history of America's Southern freedom struggle, the Birmingham campaign of 19 … [Read More...]


Malaysia Flight 17: The Wreckage of Broken Promises

While the world mourns the devastating loss of nearly 300 lives and the shock of a commercial airline downed by military weapons over Ukraine, we cannot help by ask, "Why?"Not only why would Russian-backed forces in Ukraine shoot down a civilian plane, but why is Russia grasping for control of Ukraine in the first place?A generation after the so-called end of the cold war, why are Americans once again afraid of the Russians, demonizing its president as a barbarian who rides horseback … [Read More...]


Go to Hell! God’s Gracious Word to American Christians

For every season, there is a message. "Do not be afraid." "Let my people go." "Take up your cross." "I have a dream."In America today, I've come to believe, God's Word for us is, "Go to hell."Unbeknownst to most Americans, our justice system changed radically in the late 20th century. Like most countries in the modern West, roughly one in a thousand Americans were in prison in the early 70s. Today, we incarcerate 1 in 107 Americans. Over 7 million adults are currently in jails, in … [Read More...]