The Pastoral is Political: Parkland, Gun Control, and Following our Youth’s Lead

Another tragedy. Another mass shooting. Another 14 teenagers and 3 faculty/administrators senselessly killed by gun violence in the middle of a school day inside their school. We know how the pattern usually goes from here: Mass shooting.  – “Thoughts and prayers.” – A push for gun control. A pushback against the discussion about gun control: “It’s too… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: The Dangerous Theology of Women, Bodies and Pain

Please be aware that the contents of this article may present triggers for many readers. Recently, I read The Week’s article “The female price of male pleasure” by Lili Loofbourow.  The article speaks of the pain many women endure as collateral for men’s gratification.  Loofbourow states “Women are enculturated to be uncomfortable most of the… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: On Overload

Are you on overload? I’m on overload. Just in the past week alone, listening to two men threaten one another with nuclear weapons and watching the white nationalist/supremacist/Nazi rallies in Charlottesville has given us more than our souls have bargained for. There’s too much hate happening in our world, and we see it firsthand in… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Peace for Gaza

I would like you to take a few moments to picture the following: Imagine an area of land that is only a mere 360 kilometers, is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, and is surrounded by a tall barrier wall that shuts those who live inside the borders out from the… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Christ is Lord

In recent months, the doctrine of Christ’s Lordship has frequently come to mind… especially as it was emphasized in a time when dictatorships were on the rise in Europe. An example of this is seen in the Barmen Declaration, a document written in Germany in 1934 by Karl Barth, Hans Asmussen, and Thomas Breit. The Barmen… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Please, Call Me Out

He doesn’t come to worship every week. He shows up randomly. He sits in the back. But we’re a small church, and from up front, four steps up on that chancel no less, I can see everything. Sometimes I remind the congregation, especially on mornings when they’re all studying their feet or sharing snacks in… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Defense Edition

The pastoral is geeky, at least. I’ve had an episode of Star Trek (TNG, for those of you who care) stuck in my head this week. The one in which the Enterprise encounters one of many unknown phenomena: this one washes waves of energy over them which threaten to tear the ship apart. So, of… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: False Equivalencies

“So, what are y’all saying about… all this?” It’s the question of the day in clergy groups: how do we, as clergy, as the Church, address what is going on in our nation, especially to often-divided congregations? What’s the role of the Church in the political – not partisan: political – sphere? When do we… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: Last Christmas

So we light the Christ candle and we take that light into the world, hoping it will shine brighter than before, that nuclear winter will be a fear of the past, and that springtime resurrection will appear for us once again. Read More