January 29, 2022

  You’re not really “inclusive” if you use inclusivity to gain power and prestige rather than make yourself vulnerable. Sometimes this is called “rainbow-washing,” when corporations use the flag of inclusion to make themselves appear more progressive and attract a larger market-share. But solidarity with oppressed communities means entering into the spaces of oppression and risking suffering the same kinds of exclusion those excluded have experienced. In other words, if you say you have a few gay friends but you... Read more

January 15, 2022

As habits of worship attendance had been changing in our culture long before the pandemic, and now have been made even more diverse during the two years OF the pandemic, it seems this might be a useful question to ask. When we talk about church, we often talk about the necessity of going to church. But in reality, at least in Christian theology, the encouragement to gather weekly is centered around one act during the worship service in particular–the reception... Read more

January 5, 2022

I’m feeling kind of lousy writing a political meditation on the coup attempt of January 6th, 2021 when I could or should be writing a theological meditation on the Feast of Epiphany January 6th, 2022. Yet here we are. I’ll be direct: I think there’s a very high probability the Trumplicans will get their way, and this will spell the end of democracy as we have known it (inasmuch as we have ever had it, which some would question). It’s... Read more

January 1, 2022

Although many of us have seen and read about the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, I suspect less of us know the context for the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike. This brilliant documentary helps rectify this lacunae. I recommend it highly, especially as we prepare for MLK Day this month. It includes interviews with sanitation workers employed during that period who participated in the strike. 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike from The CLEL on Vimeo.   Read more

January 1, 2022

May your laughs be full and breathy, slightly embarrassing your loved ones; may your philosophies be vital, and of diverse persuasions; may your cup be full to overflowing and hot enough to steam your eyebrows; may your friends challenge you to great deeds of introspection, and inspire you to give yourself away for the neighbor’s need; may you play more than is right or seemly; may your works of mercy arise spontaneously with very few good intentions; may earth, wind,... Read more

December 19, 2021

December 15, 2021 I’ve basically been reading science fiction and fantasy since I could read. I can still remember certain first reads, as if they were inscribed into my body: William Gibson’s Neuromancer, series by Lloyd Alexander and Ursula Le Guin, mind-blowing space opera from Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov, the whimsical fantasy of Piers Anthony, entry into the Forgotten Realms universe with Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman. When I settled in for my first year of college at Luther,... Read more

December 12, 2021

Although I did a lot of re-reading this year (including Suzette Haden Elgin’s The Ozark Trilogy and the entire Foundation series of Isaac Asimov), and I also filled some gaps reading books I’ve had on the shelf for decades (I actually read all of Finnegan’s Wake… yes, the whole thing) nevertheless I offer here the obligatory list of “great new reads of 2021.” I forced myself to only list ten, and I’ve excluded some books (like The Dawn of Everything:... Read more

December 11, 2021

Here’s a confession. When I picked up a copy of Jamie Lee Finch’s book on deconstruction, You Are Your Own: A Reckoning With the Religious Trauma of Evangelical Christianity, as usual the first thing I did was read the back cover of the book. Finch’s bio includes naming her as a “sexuality and embodiment coach, intuitive healer, self-conversation facilitator, sex witch and poet.” Now my confession: I know what all those things are, but I didn’t know exactly what a... Read more

November 30, 2021

I’m a huge fan of learner-driven education. It’s one thing to evaluate the needs of learners and adapt the curriculum. It’s a whole other to host a culture where learners take active ownership. For the winter and spring of this year, as a congregation we are going to experiment with a shift to learner-driven Sunday school and youth formation. An experimental collective. This approach is actually simple to describe, but perhaps complex because it is such a culture shift from... Read more

November 24, 2021

Reading Karen Olsson’s wonderful dual biography of the wonder siblings, André and Simone Weil. André, the lesser known of the two, was considered one of the last great poly-maths in the field of mathematic. Simone Weil is, well, Simone, an intellectual and saint and mystic and advocate for workers. Her impact continues to grow even if, as the biography indicates, she often felt the burden of the shadow of her mathematical brother. At one point during the Second World War,... Read more

Browse Our Archives