“Reconciliation” and “Unity”

Before arriving to the 11th Assembly on the World Council of Churches, I had no expectations or really any idea as to what I was about to attend. “Reconciliation” and “unity” were heavily sprinkled throughout the merchandise and materials we received, and those words were heard and seen more than any other throughout the entirety of the assembly. As those words echoed through the halls and auditoriums, the diversity of the world’s Christian traditions gathered. From the most progressive denominations to the most orthodox, Christian leaders from all over the globe came together to discuss the injustices of our current time. Friends and colleagues who haven’t seen each other for years were found laughing and reminiscing about times long past when they had worked together. It was truly an amazing experience to behold, and yet it was a haunting and mind-blowing event, at least for me.

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Setting the Inner Compass- August 2022

Reading poetry is one of the ways some of us nourish our faith, a way we set or reset our inner compass and stay focused on the big picture, on the spiritual journey. I know that is true for me. ‘Setting the Inner Compass’, is a column where I share poems that I find meaningful and hope others do as well.

I was getting ready to write an introduction to a poem about grace by the Persian poet Hafiz when I learned that Frederick Buechner had died. I stopped writing and took some time to reflect, remember and be grateful for his life and work. The obituary in today’s (8/17/22) New York Times with the headline:

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FFPCUSA and MRTI Recommend United Approach to Divestment

We are living amid an existential and devastating climate crisis, demanding a moral and theological response across global institutions. The urgency of this crisis has only escalated since fossil fuel divestment was first introduced at the General Assembly in 2014. At that time and in the years since, there is one thing that Fossil Free PCUSA (FFPCUSA) and the Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) have agreed upon: the gravity of the crisis requires an urgent and robust response.

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Abolition and the Cross: Reimagining Society and Salvation through Restorative Justice

I was recently at a book club facilitated by Abolition Apostles, a Christian abolitionist ministry, where we discussed the book The Fall of the Prison: Biblical Perspectives on Prison Abolition by Lee Griffon. Micah Herskind, a Public Policy Associate at the Southern Center for Human Rights and a Christian abolitionist, led that day’s session and said something that has stayed with me since. He was speaking about retributive justice and its connection to the Christian faith and said, “Do we believe in prisons because we believe in Hell or do we believe in Hell because we believe in prisons.”

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