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

The Pastoral is Political: #BeatingGuns

The grief that visited that church on the west side of Cleveland in Holy Week, rippling out in concentric circles from the gravesides of the lost, had already found its own transformation into activism, intervention, wrestling a new life out of the death that interrupted families and upended the lives of countless others. Read More

The Pastoral is Political: I Still Carry My White Privilege With Me

From the daughter of a RevGal teaching in Japan: This past Saturday I went to a local mall in Tokushima to do some shopping with my girlfriend, J. As we were walking to the ATMs, a few preteen girls and a mom came walking toward us from the opposite direction. I heard the girls start… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: Release Barabbas

“Release Barabbas for us!” (Luke 23:18) In Bangladesh, an 18-year-old student named Nusrat Jahan Rafi has died from the trauma of being set on fire, an attacked that caused 80% burn injuries on her body. The student had accused the school principal, an influential local leader, of attempted rape. Her family received threats after the… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Trans Visibility and Equality

Yesterday was International Transgender Visibility Day—a day to celebrate transgender people and raise awareness of discrimination faced by trans people around the world. Like International Women’s Day, Worlds AIDS Day, and International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, one day isn’t enough. Sex Workers, AIDS, Women, and Transgender folks—we all deserve more than 1/365th… Read More

Life “On the Inside”

I get questions… As I have continued my spiritual advocacy for LGBQ+ people on the inside (aka prison ministry to incarcerated LGBTQ+ people), I have discovered how little is known about life on the inside, including by clergy. So, here’s a bit of summary. Note: All of these aspects will vary, depending on whether a… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: We Need to Talk About Menstruation. Period.

Last night, I finally watched the Oscar-winning documentary (short subject) Period.  End of Sentence.  The film details the many women across our world who have missed opportunities for education and employment due to the lack of menstrual hygiene products.  Furthermore, women would use items like dirty rags, ashes, and leaves in order to avoid bleeding through… Read More