Voices

Old Pointe Comfort, The National Council of Churches, and How to be an Antiracist

Posted on Nov 25, 2019

I grew up in Tidewater, Virginia, and am the product of Virginia public schools. I remember many of the field trips I took growing up. I remember visiting the battlefields of Yorktown where I learned Cornwallis surrendered to Washington in the American Revolution. I remember visiting Jamestown where we learned about one of the first English colonies of North America. I remember visiting Colonial Williamsburg to learn about colonial life.

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I, too, Sing America

Posted on Oct 31, 2019

After 28 years of living in this country, I recently became a United States citizen. For most people born into privilege, it is difficult to fathom what this means and how difficult this journey often is. While every immigration story is different and everyone's process may not take as long as mine, each immigrant I know - documented or undocumented - has tread some path "through the blood of the slaughtered" to be here. My story is no different.

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In Solidarity with Refugees

Posted on Oct 11, 2019

While the Alliance of Baptists' board of directors was meeting Sept. 26-28, our nation's Administration continued on its trajectory of turning its back on refugees seeking safety, shelter and hope with the announcement of the lowest cap on refugee resettlement in recent history. Heartbroken and devastated by the announcement, the board released a statement condemning "..in the strongest terms the Administration's recent decision on moral and biblical grounds." 

Simultaneous to the announcement, the church universal was preparing for the celebration of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Observed annually on Sept. 29 since 2014, the emphasis is an occasion for the church to express concern for many different vulnerable people on the move, to pray for the challenges, and to increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers.

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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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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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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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What Do We Say?

Posted on Aug 08, 2019

What do we say after El Paso and Dayton?What do we do? Each morning I get up and check to see if we're in another war or if there's been another mass shooting. Last Sunday I got up to the news of two mass shootings. May God comfort those in grief. May God have mercy on us and who we're becoming.

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Responding to the Responders

Posted on Jul 26, 2019

First responders come running toward the crisis while most of us are panicked trying to run away from it. They are some of our most vulnerable and at-risk public servants. Not only are they willing to put themselves into potentially dangerous situations to keep us safe, but the high levels of sensory exposure can lead to health challenges and shortened lifespans. So who takes care of them?

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What do you do with a calling you're not supposed to have?

Posted on Jul 11, 2019

One of my dear friends asked me this question, from a novel she'd been reading, a couple weeks before my ordination. Fully supportive of my vocation to ministry but fiercely loving and protective of her friend, she expressed concern that my church might be setting me up to fail. Would I have a place in the institutional church? In Baptist life, of all places? 

I understand her worry; the same thoughts have given me pause since I first discerned Spirit's gentle tug two years ago. An openly trans woman preaching is hard to imagine. Like a Baptist sitting on the front pew. 

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Henry lauded as 'tireless and vocal advocate for equality and justice'

Posted on May 31, 2019

W. Craig Henry, an attorney and longtime lay leader in his Monroe, La., church and the Alliance of Baptists, has been honored with the Heart of the Alliance Award. A former president of the Alliance and one of its most generous supporters, Henry was cited "for his deep investment of time, energy, gifts and love, which have advanced the spirit of the Alliance of Baptists." 

Reflecting afterwards, Henry said he first learned of the Alliance in a published article soon after its formation in 1987. "In the midst of the turmoil in the Southern Baptist Convention, the Alliance sounded like just the home I was looking for. I immediately mailed a check and have been writing checks ever since!" Concerning his service to the Alliance, first as vice president and then as president, he stated, "I like to think that I provided some important leadership in helping us reach beyond our regional southeast United States roots." 

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