The Pastoral is Political: Ashes to Ashes

Ashes with worship? Ashes all day? Ashes to go? Ashes with glitter? As the liturgical calendar winds its way certain discussions can be predicted. With Advent its advent candles colors. With Ash Wednesday it’s the way in which we make/dispense ashes. Ashes are political. They are symbolic word act of our very real inability to… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: A White Person Walks into a Bar and a Melanated Person Sings a Psalm

In the United States it is the Martin Luther King, Jr. commemoration and one of three hundred and sixty-six days this year to think about race. We sing “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” the poem by James Weldon Johnson set to music by John Rosamond Johnson, but I’m not sure it is good today to… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Climate change denial is not an option

Severe flooding has already hit the UK, much of Europe and also parts of the USA this winter. If that wasn’t enough to concentrate people’s minds about climate change, then the loss of life, human and animal, and the loss of homes in Australia’s bush fires should have done. In the UK, the floods in… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: Embracing the Darkness

In the Northern hemisphere, we are just inching past the Winter Solstice.  Through Advent and Christmas overwhelm, through the longest nights and the gradual loss of sunlight, we are back now into growing light. As someone who has often felt that lack of sunlight in my body and spirit, I know the relief when the… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: Praying for the Powers That Be

Last week, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi was asked by a reporter the question “Do you hate the president?” Her response was passionate, knowing that her motivations had been misconstrued: “…as a Catholic, I resent your using the word ‘hate’ in a sentence that addresses me. I don’t hate anyone. I… Read More