April 25, 2020

Guest Post: Rev. Selena Wright “Grief must be witnessed.*” One of the greatest gifts of being a pastor is that when tragedy strikes and people feel powerless to support those who are hurting, I know my role. I offer presence. I sit with the bereaved as a physical reminder of the love of God and community. So when my brother-in-law died 18 months ago, yes, we were there in the immediate days; but we live eight hours away, and I... Read more

April 14, 2020

Women make up 50.8% of the American population; but only 23% of the House and Senate. Women make up 47% of the U.S. workforce right now; but still earn only about 81% of what men do. I could go on. (And on, and on). I studied these and other depressing statistics when I wrote my book Resist and Persist: Faith and the Fight for Equality. It turned into a whole chapter about the inequities in our economy and our governing... Read more

April 11, 2020

Here it is, Saturday. And here we sit, waiting to see if he’s going to get up again. “Sunday’s coming,” so they say. But this year, that doesn’t feel exactly, precisely true. At least not in the usual way. Good Friday… now THAT felt real. Real as anything. Far too real for words. The death and the darkness were not figurative this year. We did not have to imagine ourselves into a place of grieving. The body count on the... Read more

April 10, 2020

“Into your hands,” he says. “Into your hands I commit. Into your hands, I lay my spirit.” So we lay down too. Today we lay down and die a little For the suffering that didn’t go with him.   Into his hands we lay the sins of the world. The crime of every child born hungry when there is more than enough. The grief of every mother  left holding an empty blanket.   Into his hands, we lay  the burning... Read more

April 4, 2020

The other day, my 9-year-old scientist was telling me all the ways this quarantine situation is actually going to be good for the environment in the long run, and I was like, I am supposed to be this kid’s teacher now??  How’s everybody else doing out there? Here in Kentucky, we’ve been social distancing for 3 weeks now. If I’m an optimist, I figure we might be halfway through (at least this phase) of this thing. On heavier days, I recognize... Read more

March 31, 2020

If you’d told me a month ago that a pastor in America would be arrested for holding a worship service, I’d have called fascism in a hot minute. But these are strange days, and the times have called for a radical shift in not only what is normal, but a shift in what is faithful. What is faithful–and wise, and compassionate–in this particular time of contagion is to stay home and not risk the further spread of disease. But some... Read more

March 26, 2020

Depending upon where you live, your life may or may not have been altered dramatically in the past two weeks. Depending on how seriously your leaders are taking this pandemic; depending on the effectiveness of communication; depending on the early spread of disease in your area; depending on a number of factors, you may or may not be ‘social distancing’ or sheltering in place. Your local businesses and the rhythm of public life may or may not have come to... Read more

March 13, 2020

There are many unknowns here. There is unprecedented territory ahead, and nobody can say how long it might last. So if it does come down to canceling services at your place, here are some things to remember, and some ways to keep "being the Church," even when you can't be in the church building.  Read more

March 10, 2020

Like many of you, I’m troubled by many things right now. I’m not panicking– I am, in fact, still traveling this week. I’m in a hotel as we speak. I’m not engaging with people. But I have my concerns. As a parent, I’m concerned about germs in the close quarters of public schools; I’m also concerned about kids don’t eat well or have basic necessities when school is canceled. As a pastor, I’m concerned about how houses of worship are... Read more

March 7, 2020

I’m getting weird deja vu as I start this post. Sometimes things I write sound weirdly familiar, but as I have written nearly 1000 blog posts in the last decade– plus 2 books and more than a few hundred sermons– I don’t always know if I have written a thing before, or if I have just thought it/said it somewhere. Which is to say, I may have said all this before; but even if I have, it bears repeating. Especially... Read more

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