Living with OCD and Imagining a Gentle God

The Doxology we sing has the phrase “Praise God above ye heavenly host.” I didn’t know until recently that “host,” also used in phrases like “Lord of Hosts,” means “army.” Are we meant to fight for God, or fear God’s attacks? Are we meant to think in holiness in terms of violence? How many hymns have I sung that give thanks for Jesus’ shed blood? A hymn I sang in worship this year was “Let Us Build a House” by Marty Haugen, which has the line, “the cross shall stand as witness and as symbol of God’s grace.” Is the equivalent of the electric chair a symbol of God’s grace? I don’t believe it is.

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SETTING THE INNER COMPASS – HELIOPHILIA

April was National Poetry Month. Although this column began in 2020 as a National Poetry Month project, I skipped the April column this year in part because there are lots of places to find poems in April. One gift of National Poetry Month is that poetry is widely shared and new poetry anthologies are published. One of those new anthologies is You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World edited by the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States, Ada Limón. This fascinating anthology consists of 50 previously unpublished poems that seek to engage the reader in a particular landscape or aspect of the natural world. The book is related to her

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Wresting with Processes & Power When Seeking Corporate Change 

When it comes to justice issues, there are times when we wonder, “Does this process help us respond to the major justice issues of our time? Could this process be improved? Is our faithfulness to the calling of the Spirit or to our established process?” In recent years, there has been critique of the PCUSA’s process regarding corporate engagement and potential divestment from companies related to climate change issues.  The most common criticism is that the way we come to a divestment decision is too slow to respond to urgent crises.

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Biden’s Unclear Red Line on Rafah, Gazans Perish, U.S. Credibility Reaches a Nadir

The world watches as Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israeli military has largely ignored Joe Biden’s red line in Rafah. For months, Biden has stated his opposition to a major Israeli offensive into Rafah, a city of 250,000 where more than a million displaced Gazans, nearly half of them children, have temporarily settled, mostly in tents, as a supposed refuge from Israel’s genocidal campaign. However, Biden’s redline has been anything but clear. In February, President Biden said he would not support a major ground invasion into Rafah without an adequate plan to “protect civilians.” All the while, humanitarian organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that a Rafah invasion would lead to a “blood bath.”

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