July 3, 2020

“The one who started the fire shall make full restitution.” Exodus 22:6b U.S. House of Representatives member, John Conyers, (Democrat from Michigan) and I (United Church of Christ pastor and author) were the invited speakers at a two day conference titled, “Visions of the 21st Century: A Conversation about Reparations for Blacks in America” at Bethune-Cookman College in Florida, back in 1998. The purpose of the event, as reported in the Orlando Sentinel, was to consider, “whether America should make... Read more

April 13, 2020

The quest for wholeness begins in brokenness. What is not broken cannot be mended. What is not wounded cannot be healed. Reintegration begins with separation. It takes the possibility of losing nearly everything before we are willing to try nearly anything. Recovery, of any sort, begins with hitting bottom. But first comes the painful admission that things have not turned out the way we had hoped. All our denying, lying, blaming and shaming do not halt the painful downward spiral... Read more

March 24, 2020

I belong to a group of people who receive a daily briefing email from Gov. Cuomo of New York. Here is a small part of his statement from this morning: “Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, liquor stores and other essential businesses will remain open…” Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, once referred to anger as a “dubious luxury of normal people.” Play around with anger, he seemed to insinuate, and you play around with fire. Anger, apparently, can be... Read more

March 16, 2020

Former Mayor of Tallahassee and a Democratic, first-ever, black candidate for Governor of Florida, Andrew Gillum,  lost the election by a razor-thin margin. He was also recently busted in a hotel room where police were called in response to a suspected drug overdose. Three people were in the room, including Gillum who was considered, by police report, unable to coherently communicate due to being under the influence of alcohol and, possibly, other drugs. He has since announced that he will... Read more

March 10, 2020

According to widely accepted data, people touch their face 15-20 times an hour. Yes, an hour. It would be easier to ask someone to stop breathing than to stop touching their face. If I asked you to stop breathing, you would take a deep breath; remain still and hold your breath. It would be impossible to be unaware that you are holding your breath. You might close your eyes or time yourself which would bring more intentionality to the task.... Read more

March 6, 2020

A former legislator who was decidedly against “gay marriage” and accused of looting taxpayers by lavish spending to make his office look like Downton Abbey has now come out as gay and is thanking LGBTQ activists for their good work but his family didn’t invite him home for Easter. Here comes responses like anger, scorn, retribution and forgiveness. People are complicated. People have mixed emotions and irrational thoughts. People in recovery from addictions often hate themselves for what they have... Read more

March 2, 2020

It may sound callous and cavalier to say that there is a “silver lining” or some other cliché that can be culled from the coronavirus but, in my experience and in the experience of many like me ~ it is true. How often it is that we hobble along or strut through believing that we are in control of things and that we can manipulate outcomes using our prowess, minds, willpower and collective experience… until something like the coronavirus comes... Read more

January 3, 2020

I know clergy persons who carry licensed pistols into the pulpit and several houses of faith that have armed, licensed people carrying pistols during services. When Dylann Roof killed eleven people at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston ~ many people from many faith traditions attended a meeting called by the Suffolk County Police Department and Homeland Security and openly questioned whether they should have armed people in their houses of worship. Many people were aghast at the question,... Read more

August 20, 2019

Is it acceptable to disproportionately incarcerate people because of the color of their skin, their national origin, or their economic class? Of course not! Is it acceptable to disproportionately incarcerate people because they have a disease? Of course not! The prisons are not, for example, flush with diabetics who cannot consistently manage their blood levels. Is it acceptable to disproportionately incarcerate people because they are suffering from a substance use disorder involving alcohol and other forms of drug addiction and... Read more

August 2, 2019

Addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer. Whether you live on Park Avenue or on park bench; whether you have been to Yale or to jail; addiction is right here, within or beside you. There is no family, religion, school, hospital staff, police department, military branch, government, race, ethnicity, economic class, sovereign nation, rural community or urban metropolis that has not been or is not presently suffering under the whip of the cruel taskmaster named Addiction. If you do not accept... Read more

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