Predators, Profit, and Precarity

el-refugio.pngBy Joyce Hollyday

To get to Lumpkin, Georgia, you have to really want to be there—or be taken against your will. The highways wind southwest of Atlanta, roughly paralleling the Chattahoochee River, for 143 miles. The town is parked on red clay amid tangles of kudzu, its square a cluster of shuttered storefronts next to an abandoned gas station, where the only visible signs of life on a mid-morning in early January were at the courthouse and a store labeled Christian Gun Sales (motto: “Guns Cheaper Than Dirt”). Continue reading

Prayer for the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

USMC-09611By Bill Wylie-Kellermann

Spirit of the Universe, whose moral arc you make to bend toward justice,
thank you for birthing our brother Martin, right on time, into our history, into the journey of transformation for which we yearn. For uttering him in the Word, and forming him in the womb.

We lift him up this day in the communion of ancestors, summoning him from among all who have ever interceded and struggled for justice. Continue reading

When it Rains

rainBy Jordan Leahy

When I was a kid, I was terrified of thunderstorms. Celestial rumblings and quaking ground elicited great anxiety until much later in life than I care to admit. When I saw the clouds approaching, I’d prepare a makeshift nest in the closest beneath the staircase. I’d take books or a card game and hide out until the storm passed.

In adulthood, I find such storms soothing, a relief from summer heat and time to be close with my family. Storms create a time for various activities of stillness and rest. When the clouds come into view, anticipation builds at the coming refreshment. Continue reading

My spouse was one of the clergy standing before the white nationalists in Charlottesville

PASTORS+By Liza Neal

My spouse was one of the clergy standing in a line before the white nationalists in Charlottesville.  We both knew God is calling us to stand up to white supremacy.  We understood the risk.  Only one of us was going because we didn’t want our child to lose both parents.

That weekend I thought a lot about Peter’s wife.  She is barely mentioned.  In the synoptic gospels Peter’s mother-in-law has a fever, Jesus heals her, and she offers hospitality.  You can’t have a mother-in-law without a wife… Continue reading

Sermon: Fig Cakes, Tamales, and a Heap of Raisins

tamalesBy Joyce Hollyday
Circle of Mercy: October 1, 2017, World Communion Sunday
1 Samuel 25

We held a sheep-shearing day every spring at Swan Mountain Farm, where I used to live. Mark, the chief shearer, always started with the rams because, he explained, they “come with handles.” Mark grabbed Charlie by the horns and wrestled him over on his side. Charlie, like all the sheep, began that morning as a massive ball of fluff, as wide as he was tall, his wool discolored a dingy brown by dirt. By the time the clipping was done, he was a skinny thing, and the thin layer of wool left on him was shockingly white. As soon as he could get his feet under him, Charlie escaped into the pasture. Mark then repeated the process with Chip. And when he ran into the pasture, the two rams, not recognizing each other with their new haircuts, aimed their horns, charged at each other, and butted heads repeatedly. Continue reading