April 14, 2015

People enter the academy for a variety of reasons. Some of us love books and learning and see the academy as an avenue for life-long learning; others are passionate about a particular area of knowledge and inquiry and desire nothing more than to talk about it with others who share their passion; some colleagues of mine are gifted teachers who seek to open the minds of young people or to help them develop their intellectual curiosity; one colleague even told… Read more

April 13, 2015

My husband and I took our daughter on her first college visit last week. We were on spring break and for once, I was able to take the week off with my family (thank you sabbatical!!!!). There’s a great small college near where we were staying and we decided to drop in and check it out. She’s only a sophomore in high school but we thought it might help make the process more real for her. The school is a… Read more

April 11, 2015

A couple of years ago, when my daughter was in seventh grade, I got a notice from her school that I could go and sit in on her first sex education class. I was surprised at how few parents actually showed up and far more of us were parents of girls than boys. The film they showed was from the 1980s, complete with ginormous pads that are so outdated to look ridiculous to these kids, not to mention the clothes… Read more

March 30, 2015

[third in a series of posts addressed to understanding denominations and ecumenism] What would you die for? To save your children? To save your spouse? To ensure world peace? To promote your religion? Would you die rather than renounce your beliefs? Which ones? As we enter Holy Week, I often think about Jesus’ death and try to figure out what to make of it. (more…) Read more

March 23, 2015

[this is the second in a series of posts addressed to understanding denominations and ecumenism] I’m a PK (preacher’s kid) and a cradle Presbyterian. Family lore has it that when my grandparents married, my grandfather was a Republican and an Episcopalian and my grandmother was a Democrat and a Presbyterian. They agreed that they needed to make some compromises and so they became Republican Presbyterians. My grandmother later confided in me that while everybody knew where they went to church,… Read more

March 21, 2015

When I joined the Presbyterian Church in 7th grade, I was required to memorize the Westminster shorter catechism. Yes, I said memorize and no, I wasn’t required to memorize bible verses, I was required to memorize what we believe as Christians. I still remember how torturous this process was. The first question was “What is the chief end of man?” Yes, you heard me right, “man.” After all, this was the 1970s. Inclusive language hadn’t quite infiltrated into our Christian… Read more

March 18, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, I published a blog piece prompted by a new report on the lynching of blacks from the time of Reconstruction to the World War II. The piece was also picked up and published as an op-ed by several regional newspapers in the South. While my thoughts on lynching, racial privilege, and accountability didn’t garner any comments on my blog (thought not much has – speak up people!), I got quite a number of personal emails… Read more

March 16, 2015

When I first watched the videos of young, white fraternity brothers casually singing their song of racism and lynching, I was transported back to my own college days in the mid-80s. I can’t be absolutely sure I heard that song but it was painfully familiar in a sickening and repulsive sort of way. I sort of knew what was coming before they sang the next words, which makes me think it was buried in the deep recesses of my conscious. (more…) Read more

March 9, 2015

With a teenage daughter in the house, I seem to get this question much more frequently on Sunday mornings than I used to. Especially since the nine-year old, who follows her sister’s lead in everything, has began to sing this refrain as well. I grew up as a “PK” or a “preacher’s kid.” This was not a question that got asked in our house. Unless you had a fever of a 104 or couldn’t keep down your breakfast, you were… Read more

March 5, 2015

March 8 is International Women’s Day. It is a day set aside to speak out for issues of justice for women – specifically issues related to women’s economic, political, and social freedom and equality around the world. Its origins lie in the socialist movement of the early 1900s (it was first celebrated in 1908) and the emphasis is political, activist, and oriented toward social change. I MUCH prefer it to Mother’s Day! While mother’s day is nice, it can also be… Read more

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