The Pastoral is Political

Playing in the Fields of Hope I’ve been playing in church for a long time, mostly with children, sometimes with adults. I learned a new game, “God’s Musical Chairs,” from Jeff Doucette, pastor at Enniskillen & Tyrone United Church in Bowmanville, Ontario. We are members of an online international church called CASA. God’s Musical Chairs… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Footprints in the sand

Ten years ago I lived on the foothills of the Santa Ritas, a small mountain range in southern Arizona. Backyards were separated by deep rocky crevices called arroyos, ancient pathways for rain water that runs off the mountains during the summer monsoon season. The arroyos are vital to the environment, providing greenery for food and… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Called to Serve and Protect

Children in cages, concentration camps, and jails – hungry, abused and scared as hell. Young people shackled by and to the (in)justice system via electronic monitoring and/or criminal records that hold them back like the proverbial ball and chain. Families grieving yet another child lost to senseless gun violence – their gifts, dreams, and promise… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Pastor as Preacher

I don’t know about you, but I don’t know how to preach without being political. When the latest tragedy: be it gun violence, a natural disaster or the latest racist incident comes to pass I can’t not address it. Just picking the text for the day is a political act. Am I contending with the… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: The First Pride Was a Riot

As Alicia T. Crosby reminded RevGals last week, the first pride was a riot. In her beautiful description of being a barrier between hate speech and pride celebrations, Crosby asks us about how we assure safe space for LGBTQ+ folx: How are you positioning yourself between people experiencing oppression and those calling for and actively… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: How To #MakeLoveLouder In Protest and Pride

How are you positioning yourself between people experiencing oppression and those calling for and actively engaging in their subjugation? How are you reflecting and affirming the sacred beauty present in those experiencing marginalization?
I ask these questions because I think it’s necessary for us to consider how we are physically, materially, and politically oriented as ministers of the Gospel of Jesus. Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Our Transgender Children

“Sasha” (not her real name) has just finished the third grade. She began her school year with the name given her at birth, a name reflecting that she was originally gender identified as “male.” By the end of the year, she had chosen a new name, and we were referring to her by her preferred… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: Free Pastor Betty Rendón!

Last Wednesday night, I gathered with ELCA Greater Milwaukee Synod Bishop Paul Erickson and a couple hundred clergy and community members outside of the Kenosha Detention Center for a prayer vigil. That morning I found out that ELCA Synodical Minister: Pastor Betty Rendón, her husband, nephew, and daughter were arrested and detained on May 8.… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: The Person is Political

How many times have we heard—or even used—the words, “It isn’t personal”? Usually these words are used to apply procedural and policy guidelines to everyone regardless of who they are. And there is a sense in which that is fair and a good thing. Yet in another way, these words mean “I am not interested… Read More