The Pastoral is Political: The Absence of Tension and the Presence of Whiteness

I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate… who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Beyond Pro-Life v. Pro-Choice

Earlier this year, I had an encounter that shook me in a powerful way. I was speaking on a panel of religious leaders at a sexuality education conference. I was by far the most progressive person on the panel. A woman who worked at an abortion clinic asked about finding chaplains, as so many of… Read More

The Pastoral is Political

Breaking the Silence is not Breaking the Silent Night I spent a lot of quality time in Advent talking about rape. I was reaching out to congregations in the United Church of Christ to sponsor a resolution to come before the denomination’s General Synod next summer in Milwaukee entitled, “Supporting Survivors of Rape and Sexual… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Here is the Reason

I recently read Where The Red Fern Grows out loud to my son. If you’ve never read this before, I’m about to spoil the hell out of this book published in 1961. Ready? The dogs die. Okay, with that out of the way, I want to talk about why I nearly couldn’t finish this book, which… Read More

Pastoral is Political: For the love of God

A few years ago I began an exploration on spirituality with members of the church where I am the priest. We asked questions like, “What is spirituality?” and, “What does spirituality mean to you.” Almost to a person I heard, “I yearn for deeper spirituality”. And yet, none of us could really articulate what that… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Looking at the Relationship Between the Pastoral, Political, and Personal in My Grief

Four weeks ago my life changed. I was on a video call with some faith-based activists and organizers from around the country when my phone wouldn’t stop ringing. I ignored it until my aunt sent me a text indicating that something that happened to my grandmother. I immediately dropped everything and called my mom to… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: Be Alert this Advent

Yesterday we entered the season of Advent, a time in the church calendar where we are called to slow down and simplify our lives as we wait and prepare for the coming of Jesus, the One who came to us in the flesh as a refugee baby 2000 years ago and who will one day… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: Where’s the Village?

“Well, honey, do you think this work is making a difference?” I ask my daughter, Lucy.  As a college student in New York, her part-time job is to be a Democracy Coach for high school students.  Twice a week, she travels to Harlem on the bus to meet with the students, under the wise eye… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Short-Term Memory

We are the dead; short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. from In Flanders Fields by John McCrae Sunday, November 11, 2018 was the one-hundredth anniversary of Armistice Day, the end of World War One in Europe. The festivities have been… Read More

Pastoral is Political: Election Issue

It’s the day before the midterm elections here in the Not-Yet-United States of America. You can feel the buzz on the interwebs. I spent months trying to figure out what GoTV was, thinking I was missing a new Netflix or Hulu, only to finally figure out it means “Get Out the Vote.” I’m receiving nudges… Read More