The Pastoral is Political: Transracial WTF

The story only broke late last week, and already I’m tired of talking about it. Yes, that story. The story of Rachel Dolezal, the woman who had been living her life as an African-American until recently when she was “outed” by her estranged Caucasian parents. It’s a story that had Black folks scratching our heads and… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Sheep, Soteriology, and Witness

I seem to always get assigned the Revised Common Lectionary readings that are about sheep! It’s the fourth Sunday in Eastertide (Shepherd Sunday), and the RCL has moved beyond accounts of Jesus’ appearance to his disciples after his resurrection. We’re now getting into the matter of what the resurrection means. We’re dealing with some deeper… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: The Testimony of Women

Many of us woke up to the news that the controversial Rolling Stone article “A Rape on Campus” had been retracted by the magazine. After a scathingly critical review from the Columbia University School of Journalism, which cited “journalistic failure,” Rolling Stone was forced to retract (and the article’s author forced to apologize for) the piece that… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Coming Soon

Are you yet tired of Lent? Is contemplating your sin taking its toll on you spiritually, emotionally, physically, or otherwise? Is the weight of your transgression bearing down upon you? Do you feel those fasts and sacrificial Lenten practices? The Revised Common Lectionary readings for the fifth Sunday in Lent anxiously await the crucifixion and lament… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Wade in the Water

My daughter’s teacher has been doing a fantastic job teaching her students about some important figures in Black American history this month. One day my child came home from school and told me all about how Harriet Tubman had helped slaves escape to freedom in the northern United States. I was pretty impressed by what she knew.… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Dry Bones

“Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.” -Ezekiel 37:5 For Black History Month I’ve been collecting stories of some young African-American leaders in my denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA). It’s work that I feel is very necessary, being that we are in a denomination… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Time’s a-Wastin’

There’s a lot of talk of time and a beautiful tension in this week’s Revised Common Lectionary readings between urgency and waiting. Hurry up, Jonah. Go tell Nineveh what I said! Hurry up, Nineveh! You’ve only got forty days left or else! Hurry up, church at Corinth! The present form of this world is passing… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Whose House?

Every year I salivate over a specific wine: a Mâcon-Charnay from Domaine Renaud. Since I can’t order it because wines can’t be shipped to my state in the U.S., I try to keep an eye out for it at local wine dealers. Sometimes I luck out. Most times I don’t. But it’s my favorite wine and it’s… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Faith Without Works

This edition of The Pastoral is Political is coming to you today because on Friday I was participating in the Vigil for Justice: People of Faith Lighting the Way here in Washington, DC. Imagine faith communities from numerous religions and traditions lining along 16th Street NW from the White House all the way to the Maryland border… Read More