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

The Pastoral is Political: Getting Thanksgiving Right

Thanksgiving. The compound word strikes fear in my mortal heart. But this year, it’s not just the decision between cornbread or bread dressing. It’s not just dread over Uncle John’s belligerence at the table. And it’s not just the divide between the blue family and the red family. This year, we have to do better… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: End White Supremacy in the White House

Last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center released an incredibly important report that seemed to fall under the radar as the media focused on details about the impeachment hearings. In the report, we learned that Katie McHugh – former editor of the alt-right Breitbart News publication – leaked over 900 emails that Stephen Miller sent… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Beyond Civility

I’ve recently become aware of an organization called The National Institute for Civil Discourse because they launched a “Golden Rule 2020” campaign on November 3. Many mainline denominational leaders participated in the gathering that led to this campaign and subsequently endorsed it. As a result, in my social media feeds, people I respect offered very… Read More