A National Day of Prayer

Nelson-Kraybill-addresses-LWF-Council-June-2019-credit-Lutheran-World-Federation-hi-rezFrom Nelson Kraybill (right), president of Mennonite World Conference and former president of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary

I applaud President Trump for proclaiming a National Day of Prayer, and suggest that he pray thus:

Merciful God, nobody is saying I caused the coronavirus, but I’m having trouble sleeping and have a few things to get off my chest. My decision in 2018 to dismantle the pandemics task force of the National Security Council and my recent attempt to cut funding for the Center for Disease Control were serious mistakes. Give me strength to admit to the nation, at least this once, that I am not always right. Lord, have mercy. Continue reading

Lent Bootcamp: Love in the Time of COVID-19

By Dee Dee Risher

Like each of you, I am spinning and dancing in the flux that is COVID-19.

My city, Philadelphia, is on lockdown, people asked to go out only for necessities or to the doctor. Every day I have gotten news of loved older ones exposed or friends who have COVID-19, schools and colleges closed, information overload. I’ve cancelled retreats and trips I have looked forward to for months, reeled home one college student from across the globe. I’ve been anxious about what the virus will do in Project HOME’s 900-resident community of formally homeless and vulnerable people, concerned and sad about life experiences cancelled, uncertain about how long it may go and how bad everything may get. You probably have a similar list of things falling, failing, the world shifting a bit under fear and responsibility.

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Love in the Time of Corona Virus

RudyBy Tommy Airey

“The only regret I will have in dying is if it is not for love.”—Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera (1985)

In the rapidly shifting week between last Tuesday night when the NBA announced that rim-protector Rudy Gobert (right) tested positive for Covid-19 and Monday when the current occupier of the White House horrifically changed his language and started calling the pandemic “the Chinese Virus,” the contrast between free-market Capitalism and free-range Christianity was unpixilating in my soul. To clarify, most so-called “Christian” offerings are factory farmed, unquestionably committed to free-market fundamentalist policies—and the rugged individualistic postures they cultivate.

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o, woman

Water Transfer 3

Re-loading cases of water to deliver to victims of water shut-off.

By Jim Perkinson, on John 4:5-42, for the beloved community that meets at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (right) at the corner of Trumbull and Michigan in Detroit.  

o, the waters, the waters, the waters

o jacob, my father
o leah, my mother
o rachel, crying after the lost ones Continue reading

The Naming Project

TNP_largeBy Logan Rimel

For seven summers in a row, I’ve gathered with the other directors and counselors of The Naming Project for a week at Bay Lake Camp in Deerwood, MN. Since summer 2012, I’ve been blessed to be a part of this faith-filled summer camp for youth ages 14-18 of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and a director there since 2017. Each summer, the counselors and directors work to create a space where LGBTQ+ and allied youth can explore the intersection and interaction of their faith, identity, and community. Continue reading

Yet You Do Not Receive Our Testimony

MLKBy Tommy Airey, a seven-minute sermon at Storydwelling, a community of belonging, ritual and resistance in Bend, Oregon

“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony.”–John 3:11

Nicodemus, like most powerful men, knows how to conduct a covert operation. He was a Pharisee from Jerusalem with a lot to lose if others saw him associating with Jesus of Nazareth, the radical Galilean rabbi. Nicodemus’ night call would be like the President of the United States secretly meeting with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960’s, when Dr. King’s approval rating hovered around 25% in white America. Continue reading

A Spirituality of Disconnection

CPIBy Mark Van Steenwyk, executive director of the Center for Prophetic Imagination

Any spirituality that nurtures abstracted love, generic unity, and vague justice is worse than useless.

A Jesus-shaped spirituality moves us to love specific people, to struggle for tangible solidarity, and challenges us to work for particular justice.

If your spirituality provides positive feels and comfort because it helps you cope with the pain of the world, without ever addressing that pain, then it is, ultimately, a spirituality of empire. Continue reading