News

ICE Raids and Mustard Seed Kin-dom

Posted on Sep 22, 2019

He said therefore, "What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches."

There are some folks who say "kin-dom of God" rather than "Kingdom of God." This type of change in nomenclature challenges us to imagine that God's dream for this world is something other than an idealistic Camelot characterized by top-down power. Instead, kin-dom encourages us to think about what it means to be family here on earth. 

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Have You Helped Welcome a Refugee? Sign On Now to Protect Refugee Resettlement

Posted on Sep 22, 2019

The refugee resettlement program is in grave threat of being dismantled through a very low refugee admissions goal to be set before September 30th. Decision makers urgently need to hear the moral voice of faith communities and stakeholders who have participated in the refugee program and helped resettle refugees. 

Read the letter to go to Members of Congress, State Elected Officials and Secretary Pompeo and sign on here.

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Sister Trip: A New Kind of Mission

Posted on Sep 22, 2019

In early June, I traveled to Cuba to learn alongside the Women's Leadership Initiative cohort of Central Seminary and Cuban pastoras from the Fraternity of Baptist Churches in Cuba (FIBAC, or as seminary president, Molly T. Marshall affectionately called them the Sorority of Baptist Leaders in Cuba). 

While preparing for my trip, the most common response I encountered when people heard that I was going to Cuba with my seminary was, "Oooooh, YOU'RE GOING ON A MISSION TRIP?!" 

And that's where I cringed.

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You are light. Period.

Posted on Sep 09, 2019

This summer, I've celebrated, laughed, had water balloon fights,argued, talked, sung, cried, and run into the ocean alongside youth who are both wonderful and exasperating. And I am convinced, time and time again, that they are the light of the world. They are the playful and musical and thoughtful and messy and radiant image of God. They are "rascally inventions of holiness abounding," in the words of Gregory Boyle, and they remember that they belong to each other, on several occasions being quick to remind me of this.  "Aww, what cute friends," I said to JJ and J and a few other youths as they walked in a stumbly line together ahead of me, arms thrown over each other's shoulders, tripping and giggling and running into things. "We're not friends," J said matter-of-factly in the way she says most things, turning around sharply. "We're family." Then she turned back around and kept prancing forward with her family, some literal and some chosen.

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Building the Dream of God

Posted on Sep 09, 2019

Recently, my friend Paula passed along the Summer 2019 issue of Hunger News and Hope. She correctly assumed I would be interested in a couple of the articles which expressed the work of good people dealing with the immigration issue and how it relates to food insecurity. As it happens, these are two issues that we work on at Englewood Church in Kansas City and our associated food sovereignty and security project Englewood Community Farm. The articles, Food Security and Migration by Adrienne Kruse and The Border Crisis by Jeremy K. Everett speak to the connections between the new flood of people crossing at the southern border of the United States and how the new flood is connected to food insecurity both in their country of origin and their country of destination.

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Jesus Never Closes

Posted on Sep 09, 2019

Driving through Rockville, Maryland on a Saturday afternoon last month, I was a little nervous. I kept going over in my head what to say, coming back to the thought that this was going to be a very different partner visit. It's always an honor to meet new friends of the Alliance, thank them for their generosity, and tell the Alliance story. This time was no different: I would be visiting this partner for the first time, and I would also be visiting them for the last time. The church was selling everything it had and giving everything away.

Twinbrook Baptist Church was founded in 1956. It began its partnership with the Alliance in the 1990’s, and since the very beginning, it has radiated a spirit of openness throughout the Rockville community. 

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Racial Justice and Multicultural Community to Study White Fragility

Posted on Aug 29, 2019

The Racial Justice and Multicultural Community of the Alliance of Baptists is beginning a study of White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism,by Robin DiAngelo (with a Foreword by Michael Eric Dyson).

In the introduction, Robin DiAngelo writes: "Socialized into a deeply internalized sense of superiority that we either are unaware of or can never admit to ourselves, we become highly fragile in conversations about race. We consider a challenge to our racial worldviews as a challenge to our very identities as good, moral people."

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Join Us for An On-Line Conversation About the Alliance Covenant & Mission

Posted on Aug 29, 2019

The newly proposed Alliance Covenant & Mission was revealed at the Annual Gathering at Calvary Baptist Church, D.C. this past April. Small group discussions offered initial feedback on the proposed covenant at Calvary.

To include more Alliance folks on the shaping of our covenant, we are offering an on-line conversation during the evening of Tuesday, September 17th. The Alliance will host two conversations. The first will be held at 7 PM Eastern (6 PM Central / 4 PM Pacific) and a second at 7 PM Pacific (9 PM Central / 10 PM Eastern). Members of the Covenant Conversation Team will be on hand to facilitate the discussion.

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Our Freedom Summer

Posted on Aug 29, 2019

"I want to be consumed by this," she said.We were sitting in the fellowship hall of one of our partner Alliance churches on a sweltering summer evening. During the day we had been in Selma, Alabama. We walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, praying prayers written by Martin Luther King, Jr., and visited the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute on the other side. We were on a "Freedom Ride," and Selma was our last stop.

Our youth ministry spent the 2018-2019 year learning about freedom. We spent our time learning freedom songs, the stories of freedom movements from the abolitionists to the Civil Rights Movement, and reading the Bible with freedom fighters from Frederick Douglass to King. 

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Worship Is Boring, Unless It's Not

Posted on Aug 08, 2019

In the past couple of years I've had thefortune of worshiping in close to forty congregations, speaking on my book, Practicing Midrash, or visiting out of town. Several churches have impressed me with their creative approach to worship--using the arts, mixing music genres, adding movement to what is typically an hour of sitting. Unfortunately, I have also been amazed at the number of worship services that are just plain boring.

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