The Pastoral is Political

This week, the federal Department of Health and Human services announced a broadening of protections for the exercise of one’s religious freedom. In general, freedom of religion in healthcare has been in the purview of the patient: the ability for people to ensure that their medical treatment does not violate their religious practices. This week’s… Read More

Monday Prayer

A prayer for today, adapted from Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” Holy God, we stand before you in repentance and prayer. We know from experience that freedom is never free. Throughout history, the struggle for freedom has not been well-timed. More often than not, those who strive hear the response, “Wait!” It is… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Defense Edition

The pastoral is geeky, at least. I’ve had an episode of Star Trek (TNG, for those of you who care) stuck in my head this week. The one in which the Enterprise encounters one of many unknown phenomena: this one washes waves of energy over them which threaten to tear the ship apart. So, of… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: False Equivalencies

“So, what are y’all saying about… all this?” It’s the question of the day in clergy groups: how do we, as clergy, as the Church, address what is going on in our nation, especially to often-divided congregations? What’s the role of the Church in the political – not partisan: political – sphere? When do we… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political

Adapted from the remarks I gave at the first-ever LGBTQ Pride event in Rochester, NH When I was in high school, friends wondered at my participation in a faith that they saw as exclusionary. Specifically: how could a queer person participate in a religion that excluded gays? I didn’t understand, then; I was lucky, in my… Read More

Friday Prayer

The word comes to us: Diagnosis, injury, disaster. Our hearts break the pain cuts into us unbearable within our own beings. Unthinking, we utter the analgesic to our own pain: “You’re in my prayers.” The word came to Jesus: a widow, whose only son had died leaving her entirely alone. His heart broke, the pain… Read More