Selfie Culture and True Community (Isaiah 63:7-9)

The modern world for the last four hundred years has been largely committed to the autonomous self, an individual who is without social burden or obligation. From the mathematical logic of Rene Descartes to the Enlightenment rationality of Emmanuel Kant, our Western world has taken a dramatic “turn to the self.” Many people who have never heard of Rene Descartes or Emmanuel Kant have embraced the unburdened self as the center of all reality. This in turn has led variously to consumer satiation fo … [Read more...]

Beijing +20 and Michelle Obama: What Is Women’s Work? (Ruth 1:1-18)

By Lisa Davison.Sumter Faith Clinic is a free clinic to treat the uninsured and underinsured.Recognizing the incredible gap (between those with health insurance and those without it) in the health care system in their area, Nurse Practitioners Mary Wysochansky and Anna Stinchcum decided to do something to address the program.  These two women founded and opened the Sumter Faith Clinic in Americus, GA. The clinic serves the uninsured and the underinsured in Sumter County, GA.  Funded p … [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...]

Freedom: For Everyone or Just People Like Us? (2 Corinthians 12:2-10)

By Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder.For one year, five French students of different faiths traveled the world to document different models of interfaith dialogue. There are people who irk us. Something about their ideas, talk, or disposition gets under our skin. Their idiosyncrasies are like sandpaper to our souls. To be honest, we are perhaps just as irritating. The way we talk on the phone in public, how we drive in rush hour traffic, our aggression getting off a train or standing in line … [Read more...]

Sell All Your Possessions! (Acts 4:32-35)

By Eric D. Barreto.Teresa Ghilarducci talks about economic inequality, the power of a living wage, and why this is a faith issue.Inequality is a relentless blight. The hopelessness too often engendered when a lack of resources aligns with insufficient educational access, the easy prejudice of one's neighbors, and the ubiquity of oppression is dehumanizing and crushing.In recent days, much of our political discourse has focused—at least in words—on economic inequality. From the left … [Read more...]

Immigration: Journey to a New Life (Psalm 107: 1-3, 17-22)

By Lisa Nichols Hickman. The faith communities of Laredo, Texas, help immigrants. All too often, Lent is about ‘my’ personal journey to the cross:I’m giving up… My Lenten discipline is… During Lent, I’m trying to…. During Lent, I’m fasting from...But Psalm 107 will have none of that “me, my and I.” Even when attempts are made to live beyond this presumption of self, we still land all too often in our own backyard.  Instead of giving up chocolate, we add compassion on my t … [Read more...]