Guns, Drugs, Sexual Violence: What Can We Do? (Hebrews 5:1-10)


By Mihee Kim-Kort.Magdalene is a residential program that helps women who have survived lives of violence and prostitution. The emotional, physical, and spiritual violence that we inflict on one other is a sign that something is amiss in our world. The statistics from the World Health Organization on sex work and disease paint the terrible truth that sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse are on the rise across the globe. The sex and drug industry “will tear up women and use th … [Read more...]

Pope Francis U.S. Visit: Love and Joy Trump Rules (Mark 10:2-18)

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By Sr. Simone Campbell.A 23-year-old Reading native struggles to find stable work that will allow her to maintain her apartment and support her family. I practiced family law in California for many years. I know the anguish of the breakup of a marriage. Often one spouse would come to me to try to untangle the legal mess of a marital relationship. What I noticed was how much ambivalence went into the process. So many wished that they could salvage the marriage but for a myriad of reasons … [Read more...]

Domestic Violence: Are the Children Safe? (Mark 10:2-16)


By Luke Powery.Safe Havens educates faith leaders on how to recognize and respond to domestic violence. There are many reasons for divorces and one of them is domestic violence. It’s true that there are women and men who experience domestic violence and never leave the marriage; they only want to cleave while others leave for their dear life. Domestic violence can be viewed as family violence but there are family members from whom we may rarely hear in these situations, namely children. M … [Read more...]

Pope Francis Visits U.S.: Greed Is Your Fatal Flaw (Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, 9:20-22)


By Amy Erickson.We asked people what they thought about Pope Francis. During his visit to Bolivia in July, the pope addressed an audience of farmers, trash-pickers, craftspeople, and un-unionized workers. He expressed his compassion for the poor and the marginalized and advocated passionately for them, but he did not stop there. As he did in his encyclical on climate change, the pope identified and condemned the systemic and structural causes of their suffering: the global idolization of … [Read more...]

Syrian Refugee Crisis: Our Chance to See God (Mark 9:30-37)

By Cari Jackson.Europe is dealing with its worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.Since 2011, more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the civil war. Close to 12 million, one-half of the Syrian population of 23 million, have been forced from their homes. More than 4 million have fled. What began as an act of civil protest has continued to expand to civil war, genocide, and mass exodus. It began as protest in response to the arrest and torture of teenagers who wrote revolutionary … [Read more...]

Free Speech: A License to Destroy or A Responsibility to Build Up? (James 3:1-12)


By Walter Brueggemann. Five Things You Didn't Know About Free Speech Around the World Many countries in the global community do not have the right to free speech. In the U.S., our right to speak out is protected under the Constitution. How well do we live up to the responsibility granted with that freedom?The Epistle of James is written to urge Christians to practice the ethic of Israel’s covenantal, prophetic tradition. In this particular text the apostle reflects on the e … [Read more...]