The Politics of Christmas in the Age of Trump

Will-OBrien-150x150.jpgBy Will O’Brien

For several years, the Alternative Seminary in Philadelphia has offered an annual Advent program called “Peace on Earth and The Politics of Christmas” Alternative Seminary coordinator and frequent contributor to the Radical Discipleship blog Will O’Brien leads the discussion on how we reclaim the domesticated biblical narrative of Jesus’ birth with their powerful message of challenge to worldly powers.  Folks in the Philadelphia area are encouraged to join this year’s program on Saturday, December 7. You can also spread the word via the Facebook page.

Can we liberate Christmas from its cultural captivity and rediscover the truly prophetic story that speaks to the crises of our world today? Continue reading

Sermon: Nonviolence;“Thou shalt not stand idly by the blood of a neighbor” vs “Do not resist the evildoer” and “turn the other cheek”

roseBy Rose Berger
January 10, 2017, Sojourners Chapel

Leviticus 19:15-18; Matthew 5:38-48; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24

Thank you to Karen and the Chapel Committee for inviting me.

Usually when I preach I like to do a deep dive into scripture that unlocks scripture’s liberating power on us here at Sojourners.

But today we’ll take a different direction. I was asked to speak specifically about the conference I attended in Rome last year on Nonviolence and Just Peace. Continue reading

Small Acts of Resistance

IMG_2726.jpgBy Vickie Machado

Resistance seems to be at the forefront of political action these days. Marches and protests manifest feelings that have been rising for some time now. As a former organizer, I appreciate this energy, passion and drive. However, often times I have been asked (usually by those opposed to such forms of nonviolent resistance): “Why? What good does this do? What is the outcome?”

Again, thinking like an organizer, I want to say: I understand your perspective. Some of these larger protests lack an “ask” or a particular direction. Normally representatives would be called, letters written, and petitions delivered. From a media standpoint, not every protest will make the news—especially peaceful gatherings and vigils— again displaying a sense of failure. They are a whisper in wind. Without a tangible outcome, where does this leave us? Continue reading

Sermon: Grounded in the Bedrock of Faith

beatitutudesBy Joyce Hollyday. January 29, 2017,
Circle of Mercy, Asheville, NC

Micah 6:8; Matthew 5:1-12

On the night of January 19th, the eve of the inauguration, several of us from Circle of Mercy’s immigration mission group gathered at the home that Bill and I share. We kept a vigil in the tradition of the Watch Night Service.

Watch Night is typically traced back to New Year’s Eve of 1862, when enslaved communities stayed up all night waiting for the Emancipation Proclamation to take effect on January 1st. When I was collecting oral histories among African-American UCC churches during my time as an associate conference minister, I was told that the custom is actually much older—that enslaved families stayed up every New Year’s Eve, because January 1st was when masters decided whom they would sell off. Families facing the imminent threat of separation spent all night singing and praying and hoping that they would be together for another year. Continue reading

Change comes from actions, not votes

dor-dayBy Brendan Walsh, Viva House Baltimore Catholic Worker. Reposted from The Baltimore Sun.

It is noteworthy that November 8 is Election Day and Dorothy Day’s 110th birthday. Dorothy was co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement and is currently on track for sainthood in the Catholic tradition.

Long before Dorothy was involved with the worker movement she was a journalist writing for The Call and The Masses in New York City. She was also a suffragette advocating for the right of all women to vote. She was arrested at the White House demanding that right and went on a bitter hunger strike while imprisoned in Occoquan, Va. Continue reading