By Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder. Fifty years later, poverty is still an issue in America. I cannot say I am the greatest dancer. I enjoy all types of music. The rhythms of my eclectic taste often entice me to move. Naturally, I easily find myself swaying this way or that way. My feet are not far behind. Only sheer foolishness would compel me to compare my dancing with grace and gifts of Beyonce, Tina Turner, or any champion from Dancing With… Read more

By Nyasha Junior. Student loan debt in America by the numbers. Irresponsible. Foolish. Impulsive. Recent college graduates with substantial student loans are sometimes regarded in these terms. Those who attended college decades ago, with a $15 per credit hour, may assume that these graduates are spoiled Millennials who “should have known better” than to agree to the loan terms. Many recent college graduates are facing crushing student loan debt and high unemployment rates. According to the Federal Reserve, student loan… Read more

By Greg Carey. Frustrated with the gun violence epidemic, Shane Claiborne transforms modern weapons into tools of life. “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15, NRSV) Paul’s examination of the conflicted self stands as one of the classic statements in Western culture. Borrowing from Jesus, we often say something similar: “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38; Matthew… Read more

By Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson. A veteran and military spouse speaks about the challenges facing her community. “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you” (Genesis 22:1 NRSV). Was God really directing Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac? Why? When this text was written, child sacrifices were fairly commonplace. Across ancient cultures, many… Read more

By Anathea Portier-Young. Magdalene is a residential program that helps women who have survived lives of violence and prostitution.   The 2013 Global Slavery Index reports that nearly 30 million women, children, and men are enslaved around the world today. Their slavery has many forms. For millions, especially women and girls, it is prostitution, forced marriage, or other sexual and reproductive exploitation. Others—an estimated 16.4 million—are forced into labor in spheres ranging from domestic work and agriculture to construction and… Read more

By Ingrid Esther Lilly. Creatures “mentioned” in the Book of Genesis that are threatened by climate change. Pope Francis recently proclaimed, “Safeguard Creation, because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this!” The IPCC, NASA, the AAAS, and an overwhelming majority of scientific societies strongly warn of the human causes of climate change. The near universal scientific consensus is that our activity endangers the stability of the planet’s future. Last Monday, the EPA announced its most aggressive… Read more

By Dr. Karyn L. Wiseman How the story of the Nigerian girls came to the world’s attention. Can you imagine sitting in a public space and all of a sudden everyone around you starts to speak in a different language? And yet somehow you still understand them? Can you imagine the cacophony of sounds this event would cause? Can you envision the power it would take to make this astonishing moment happen? Is it a miracle? Possession? Paranormal activity? It… Read more

By David A. Sánchez The recent focus on the kidnapped girls in Nigeria shines a light on the suffering of women and girls all around the world. Perhaps it is due to my ongoing fascination with Jewish and Christian apocalypses that the motif of suffering is constantly on my mind. I am always struck with John the Seer’s words of praise and encouragement in his letters to the seven churches of the Apocalypse that are patiently enduring persecution, affliction, distress,… Read more

By Mary Hinkle Shore The Soul Repair Center was set up to focus on moral injury and the terrible toll it takes on military veterans. If you have to reassure someone that you’re not abandoning them, it may be because they feel you slipping away. In John 14, Jesus is responding to the anxiety of those he loves. “I will not leave you orphaned,” he says, but it is not clear how he will keep that promise. In a few… Read more

By Eric D. Barreto Undocumented immigrants like Thelma live in fear of deportation and losing their “home.” When I was a child, my vision of heaven was riddled with roller coasters and populated by Disney characters. Let me explain. Growing up in Puerto Rico, the American “mainland” to our north was for me a dreamland of sorts. You could catch a glimpse of it on television shows depicting Main Streets lined with impressive trees. And of course, there was Disney… Read more

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