The Pastoral is Political: How to Change

Content note: the following is my own opinion and reflection and is not written on behalf of the Board of this organization. At our very last group gathering for this organization, in January 2020, we were facing some big changes. Our Executive Director was moving to the next stage in her life and this group,… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: “I must decrease”

what might be considered a genuine middle age. My call grew out of childhood devotions and their reward. It included, if I am honest, some nostalgia for the sense of escape, the security of escape that I found within the large and imposing structure of the church – both its building and its liturgy. Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Consumerism Kills

In Biblical terms, the word for “consume” means to waste or burn away (the Hebrew is “shmad”). To consume literally means to burn up.  It is an act of violence.  To lay waste to. To use up, expend, dissipate. I think of this more and more as we continue to have conversations of about our… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Questions and Challenges

One of the most prominent topics of conversation in The Pastoral is Political has been an ongoing discussion of just what is political and what is appropriate to speak to from the pulpit (or, more broadly, what action is appropriate for ordained clergy to take and what is not). There are members of our congregations… Read More

Everything’s Hard, and I’m Tired

I spoke those words aloud to an empty townhouse as I literally fell onto my bed late yesterday afternoon.  They’re definitely correlated, and perhaps there is a causal feedback loop.  Because the tired-er I get the hard we everything is, which makes me all the more tired.   This morning, after a nap and a night’s… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: Holy Anger

Let’s talk about that dirty “A” word the Church so often dislikes… In the Church, we try to avoid “anger” like that mask-less person on the train who will just not stop coughing. I’ll never forget when I was in my first year of college and attended a retreat that was put on by the… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Making Friends with Uncertainty

We’re now nineteen months into a worldwide pandemic. In my town in the United States, infections of the Delta variant are beginning to wane, although deaths are on the rise. The hospitals are still operating, there are still a few available beds in the ICUs, schools are open, and for now, will still be wearing… Read More

THE PASTOR IS POLITICAL: Fashion is Power. Power Is Political.

Last week was New York’s fashion week, which always brings me joy, but is particularly elating since this means the COVID hiatus is over.  Looking at the photos from the streets made my heart sing. And Fashion Week reminded me of that time in CPE (clinical pastoral education) when our group leader asked us if… Read More

“I Just Don’t Want to Hear it from the Pulpit”

The most basic definition of politics is “the way that people living in groups make decisions.” Therefore may every sermon we preach be political. May it be consequential enough to have an impact on the decisions people listening will make, whether those decisions are about how they will comfort themselves and one another in a time of tragedy or about how they will reorient their lives away from oppressive behaviors. Read More