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Presbyterians and the American Civil Rights Movement

The recent, tragic death of George Floyd and the resulting Black Lives Matter protests currently occurring throughout the United States and the world have fanned the flames of a movement that has burned for over sixty-five years. With new names and organizations entering the movement, the fight for civil rights continues to bring light to the darkness that social injustice and hate crimes create. The current state of violence aimed at Black people and other minority groups has caused me to reflect on ways in which I have been both supportive of and problematic to the civil rights effort. In response, I’ve decided, among other things, to start this column which will focus on how the Church can positively participate in progressive justice movements. I am calling this column “Justice is a Verb”, which is a nod to Micah 6:8 where we are explicitly told to, “Do Justice”. This passage teaches us that Justice is an action.

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“The Need to Dream and A Chance to Heal”

On a chilly day in February of this year, I was enjoying a delightful time with one of my daughters, replacing the radiator on her hand-me-down, 240,000 mile vehicle. Changing the radiator in the middle of my southwest Baltimore street made for some unexpectedly wonderful encounters. There was our mail carrier who reintroduced himself after he and I had met at a neighborhood party. An older woman, impressed by my daughter’s dirty hands, said to me, “You need to come and get my son off the couch. He won’t do nothing.” There was the neighbor who used to do his own car work and offered to loan tools should we need any, another neighbor who I learned refurbishes motorcycles (“I’ve been riding them since before I had a driver’s license!”) and the random stranger who drew out an 8” knife blade to help us remove

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  • 12 mins read

    Earth Day 2016 was chosen for many nations, including the United States, to sign the historic Paris Agreement, negotiated at the end of 2015, to address global climate change. This was the most comprehensive agreement since the Convention on Climate Change was signed at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.

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  • 8 mins read

    I confess that in my recent years in the climate movement, even as I helped produce the 2020 Earth Day Sunday resource, I have experienced a sense of dread. God’s creation is groaning, as we are in the midst of a mass species extinction event, killer heat waves, increased suffering

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  • 8 mins read

    Lee:Unbound curated a series of articles and interviews on the doctrine of discovery and it got a lot of interest and people wanted to know more and to hear the perspectives of Native people. Because I feel like people don’t know how to connect issues. We have kind of conditioned

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  • 12 mins read

    My name is Fern Cloud. I am a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Tribe on the Lake Traverse Reservation located in northeastern South Dakota. And I was called to a ministry in 2004 with the Presbyterian church here at Granite Falls, Minnesota. It's on the Upper Sioux Dakota reservation near

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  • 14 mins read

    I have been asked to reflect upon extinction. First, perhaps because I write during a terrifying global pandemic, my thoughts turn to the massive explosions triggered as comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 broke up and slammed into Jupiter in 1994. Jupiter is but a speck in space…but so massive 1300

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  • 17 mins read

    Many people are experiencing our most recent days as if we were in the movie "Groundhog Day", where the main character finds himself living the same day, over and over again, with no clear end in sight; that is, until he begins to acknowledge his faults, makes efforts to better

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Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations Calls for a Global Ceasefire

On March 23, 2020, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a global ceasefire because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war…That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. It is time to put the armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.” Many nations responded while others did not. Not unlike the Olympic Truce, called for every two years before the Olympic Games, this ceasefire is necessary and hopeful for our world, but war and war business keep leaders fighting.

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