A Letter from Open Door Community

open door.jpgJune 2016

Dear Friends,

This is a letter we never thought we would have to write, and it’s breaking our hearts.

We have come to a time that the Open Door Community cannot move forward in the way that we have lived and worked for the past 35 years. While we plan to continue some parts of our ministry including our newspaper, Hospitality, we anticipate that in January 2017 our house at 910 Ponce de Leon Avenue, the location of our residential community and hub of our ministry, will close. The building will close; some of the ministry will continue. There are three primary reasons for this change. Continue reading “A Letter from Open Door Community”

What is Prayer?

ed loringBy Eduard Loring, from the April 2016 issue of Hospitality, the newsletter of Atlanta’s Open Door Community

“I will never pray again. I have prayed and prayed and nothing ever happens. I am finished.” So said the 90-year-old grandmother last week when her grandson Mark overdosed on heroin. Mark’s father died 6 years ago from esophageal cancer. Face, mouth, throat deranged. Spoken word distorted. Unintelligible if more than one syllable. Tobacco kills. God forgives a repentant addict; God does not stop the side effects of the sin, though the power of Love’s prayer, and medicine, exercise and nutrition can mitigate the fury of the Evil One and her daughters Tobacco and Heroin. Often heal. Continue reading “What is Prayer?”

Empire Cracking: Reflection from Open Door Community

the open doorThis interview was taken by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann as part of a writing project for Geez Magazine entitled “She is Breathing: Listening for Another World and an End to Empire.” It was published in the Winter Issue.

Lydia Wylie-Kellermann: Where are the moments for you where you are beginning to see a crack in the empire? Where is resurrection alive and being practiced? What is the story that lingers on your heart and keeps you moving forward? Is this the moment we’ve been waiting for? Is another world being birthed before our eyes?

Terry Kennedy:  I believe that one of the many great things that we do here that is counter to this revenge oriented society is our stand with those who have been condemned to die. Here at Open Door we visit those who are on Death Row, we write letters and vigil at the capitol when there is an execution. Continue reading “Empire Cracking: Reflection from Open Door Community”

The Open Door Has Enriched Me, Enlivened Me & Emboldened Me

Open DoorBy Melvin Jones of the Open Door Community of Atlanta

*This piece was first published in the April 2015 issue of Hospitality.
August 29, 2014, marked my 20th year of being buried in the bowels of the beast. On August 29, 1994, my DeKalb County judge sentenced me to 20 years imprisonment for a voluntary manslaughter conviction that I felt, and still feel, should have been adjudicated as justifiable homicide.

Because I was an outspoken prisoner activist and prison abolitionist, the administrative politics of the Prison Industrial Complex sought to silence my justice-based, morality- grounded outspokenness. I refused to shuffle my feet, scratch my head, prostrate in submission, or kowtow in hopelessness. As a result, the beast buried me for every single day of my 20-year sentence. Still, I rise…
Continue reading “The Open Door Has Enriched Me, Enlivened Me & Emboldened Me”


From Ed Crouch, a member of the United Church of Christ, Voices of Palestine, Palestine Task Force and INOC (Interfaith Network of Concern for the people of the Middle East). Published in the Sept-Oct 2014 issue of Hospitality, the newsletter of the Open Door Community of Atlanta.

An evening breeze whispers through
the ripe olive grove, “Ashes to ashes.”

Magnificent, thick, twisted trunks, rooted in
poor soil, withstanding drought for centuries, Continue reading “Arson”

A Hunger For Home

Eduard Nuessner Loring is a Partner at the Open Door Community in Atlanta (right), seeking to dismantle racism, sexism and heterosexism, abolish the death penalty, and proclaim the Beloved Community through loving relationships with some of the most neglected and outcast of God’s children: the homeless and our sisters and brothers who are in prison. Below are some highlights from a talk he gave at a worship service at Central State Prison in Macon, Georgia on October 28, 2013. Approximately 200 prisoners attended, and one has since come to live at the Open Door Community. Access the entire text in the July-August 2014 Hospitality newsletter. Continue reading “A Hunger For Home”