The Pastoral is Political: Spiritual Beings Having a Political Experience

We were on a road trip, and we started a conversation with the Wendy’s employee who had just taken our order. With no people in line and an almost empty restaurant, she seemed happy to chat with us. “I’m studying to be an LVN,” she enthusiastically proclaimed. A first-career medical technologist myself, I was interested… Read More

Pastoral is Political: Until We All Win

My social media timelines are filled with pictures of Serena Williams, arguably the greatest athlete in the world, angrily yelling at the tennis umpire in the U.S. Open. I don’t watch tennis, football is my sport, but I have to say that I have been a big fan of Serena’s for a long time. It… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Climate – and Culture – Change

Did you notice the sea change? The climate change? The culture change? The water we drink, the air we breathe, our world, is increasingly polluted. And I don’t mean the climate change affecting (just) our water and air and world. I mean the change in our culture. The United States climate has taken a turn… Read More

The Pastor is Political: The Pastor Halo

I recently had to file a complaint to the Office of Child & Family Services about the inspection of a summer camp that takes place on our church property. A new summer camp is trying to get  underway and the mandated surprise inspection did not go well. The director had only 2 campers, both autistic, and had… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: The Political Can Be Yeast

Many aspects of pastoral ministry are oriented in justice-seeking, in hope-phoenixing, in the hand-over-sweaty-hand work of healing the world. The gift from my ordination thirty-seven years ago I’ve kept longest is a folded piece of paper containing Marge Piercy’s poem, “To be of Use.” which says, among other wonderful things — “I love people …who… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Church Seasons

Jesus said, “Have you never read what David did when he & his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, giving some to his companions too. In the same way, the sabbath was made for humanity’s sake — humanity was not made for sabbath’s sake. The… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: It’s All Connected

On this auspicious day, my attorney is pleading my case in my capitol city, having been arrested in the General Assembly building for “trespassing.” I spent a large part of my summer participating in the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Convened by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and Rev. Dr. Liz… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Choosing the Main Thing

There’s a lot coming at us these days—families separated at the border; health care under threat; racial profiling everywhere, from lemonade stands to police stops to coffee shops to funerals (funerals!); multiple political maneuverings to keep track of and decide which are important and which are “nothingburgers;” multiple indictments handed down against Russians this past… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: Being Prophetic in a New Call

Just this past week, I started a new call in my hometown.  I am ecstatic to be the senior pastor of this congregation, and they are excited for this new chapter in their church. As this is a congregation with a variety of political and theological views (like most in my denomination), I’m finding it… Read More