How to Survive the Sequester, Syria, and Other Threatening Headlines (Luke 13:1-9)

By Matthew L. SkinnerCurrent events, like much about our lives, frequently leave us hopeless, fearful, and uncertain. Religious faith isn’t a matter of wishing away these experiences; it involves perceiving God in the midst of our hardships.I still remember one Friday night when I, an overly sensitive preteen, made a conscious decision to stop watching the nightly news with the rest of my family. I found what I saw too depressing and threatening: crime after crime, yet another house f … [Read more...]

Climate Change and Setting the World on Fire

MelissaBrowning

By Melissa BrowningIt was Earth Day, 1988. I was in my fifth grade “Earth Science” class, a place where one might expect to talk about the importance of caring for the earth. But this was not what we were talking about that day. At least, we weren’t talking about it until one student asked our teacher about the hole in the ozone layer and whether or not she should stop using hairspray. Our science teacher replied by saying that hairspray wasn’t a problem because the end of the world was comin … [Read more...]

Giving Up Guns for Lent (Luke 4:1-13)

Eric_Barreto2

ByEric D. BarretoObviously, Jesus didn’t own a gun, never said anything directly about firearms. He couldn’t have.Of course, that won’t solve the debates now broiling this nation about violence and the people and tools that perpetuate it. Nonetheless, the fact that Jesus has nothing to say about guns has not stopped a number of pundits from extrapolating Jesus’ ethics on gun violence. In recent days, some Christians have tried to construct a case that Jesus himself would support self-de … [Read more...]

We’ll Walk Hand in Hand?

SBuckhanonCrowder-2

By Rev. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder, Ph.D."The old avocations by which colored men obtained a livelihood are rapidly, unceasingly and inevitably passing into other hands; every hour sees the black man elbowed out of employment by some newly arrived emigrant, whose hunger and whose color are thought to give him a better title to the place."-Frederick Douglass “Learn Trades or Starve” (1853)The Obama Administration and a bipartisan group in the Senate are making serious turns to tac … [Read more...]

Immigration Reform and the Challenges of Generosity (Luke 4:22-30)

By Matthew L. SkinnerCharity doesn’t leave us unchanged, which is just one reason why it’s hard to make ourselves do it.To be more specific: when we extend generosity and justice to others, it alters our relationship to them. Especially when those “others” are foreign to us. Hospitality has ways of making the people who receive it come inside and stick around, whether we really want them to or not.We see this on display in Luke 4:22-30, which tells the second half of a story about Jes … [Read more...]

The Abortion Debate: We’re All in This Together

By Barbara K LundbladThis is a memorable week: on Monday the inauguration of President Obama on the holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., and on Tuesday the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court. Some people will celebrate all three with thanksgiving. Others will find nothing to celebrate – especially the decision of January 22, 1973 that struck down state laws banning abortion.The 40-Year Impact of Roe v. Wade on the United StatesThe S … [Read more...]


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