News

Resurrection dance at Chartres

Posted on Feb 17, 2018

Last summer while I was visiting the labyrinth at Chartres in France the cathedral announced newly discovered liturgical information. The announcement, provided on an eight-foot-tall banner, stated that several authenticated texts provided the new information, though it did not provide any citations or source material. (If you have walked a canvass labyrinth, finger walked a pottery labyrinth, or seen pictures of one, there’s a 50 percent chance it’s been a rendering of the Chartres labyrinth.)

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Lean into disrupting binary choices

Posted on Feb 17, 2018

In November of 2017, messengers to the annual meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention cast their votes to ‘monitor’ congregations within their state-body that were also affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Kentucky Baptists were and are concerned that the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s Illumination Project, which is reportedly being released this week, might recommend removing the Fellowship’s nearly eighteen-year-old hiring ban on LGBT individuals.

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There is no line

Posted on Feb 17, 2018

There has been a lot of attention recently on immigration reform. You have probably heard people say they don’t oppose immigration, but “people need to get in line and wait their turn.” The problem with that sentiment is that most of the time, there is no line. 

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Open Shuhada Street

Posted on Feb 17, 2018

Standing near a checkpoint in Hebron, the second largest city in the West Bank, Palestine, our ecumenical group of travelers with the National Council of Churches watched as a gentleman carrying a couple of bags of groceries was denied passage. Wearily, he turned to walk another way home—a grocery store errand lengthened because of the oppressive 23 checkpoints within one square kilometer that prevent Palestinians from walking on their own streets.

Our group passed through the turnstile checkpoint with few questions and emerged on the other side to discover an astonishingly quiet and scarcely traveled street. Most call it a ghost town when compared to its bustling activity prior to the Israeli occupation. Shuhada Street, which once served as the main marketplace and thoroughfare for the Palestinian people of Hebron, is now almost entirely closed to its 200,000 residents.

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Gathering lifts up six faith leaders who exemplify hand-to-the-plow activism

Posted on Jan 30, 2018

Martin Luther King Jr. ... Abraham Joshua Heschel ... Dorothy Day ... Fannie Lou Hamer ... Thomas Merton ... William Barber II.

They are past and present religious and social icons who each individually made and are making an impact on the world. Together, however, the group of American faith leaders is a collective example of hand-to-the-plow engagement the Church could and should learn from. 

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A moment of change for Zimbabwe

Posted on Jan 30, 2018

"We thank God at least there's peace in Zimbabwe," said a woman I gave a lift to town some six months ago. 

I struggled on how to respond and reasoned, "Peace does not only mean the absence of war. We could say, 'there's no war in Zimbabwe, but it's difficult to say that there's peace.' 

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Spirit abounds in young adult network

Posted on Jan 30, 2018

There is a fresh wind and fresh fire blowing through the Alliance of Baptists, and it comes in the form of a new Young Adult Network.

As the Alliance intern this semester I am excited to help usher in this new spirit, and I invite others to join in as we connect on experiences and issues relevant to the life of progressive-minded young adults.

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Living the beautiful gospel story

Posted on Jan 30, 2018

This past Christmas was the first Christmas that my daughter knew Santa wasn't real.  She actually found out back in the fall once she realized that I was the one who snuck quarters under her pillow for her teeth. When I confessed to being the Tooth Fairy, a chain reaction of concrete logic took her to Santa Claus. 

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Unity Flag a symbol of justice for all

Posted on Jan 22, 2018

As a minister at College Park Baptist Church in Greensboro, N.C., I am proud to serve a congregation whose members live out the Alliance of Baptists' commitment to the pursuit of justice on a daily basis. As this work is carried out through a variety of methods and in diverse community settings, it is clear that many social justice streams continue to intersect in profound ways.

While the work done on behalf of each of these individual causes is no doubt crucial in its own right, a positive symbol that integrates visual aspects of these different movements into one design could potentially be meaningful to all communities that support basic human and civil rights for all people. The Unity Flag is an attempt to do just that, utilizing designs and colors from several human rights/social justice causes and bringing them together in one design.

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Between fear and exhilaration

Posted on Jan 22, 2018

With my college-age children enjoying a longer Christmas break than exists in high school, we drove up to West Virginia for a day of skiing once the holidays had passed. With school-age children back in class the slopes were generally clear for us to ski wherever and however we wished.

 
After a couple of easy runs, my three were ready to head to the top of the mountain. As I stood at the top of a steep black diamond slope a brief wave of fear swept over me--as it always does when I return to ski after nearly a year's absence. What am I thinking? Can I still do this? One false move and I will surely break something. A moment later I lived into the fear, pushed off and in seconds felt the exhilaration of flying down the slope.
 
I've felt similar moments in ministry.

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