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SETTING THE INNER COMPASS – September 2021

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.

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  • 3 mins read

    The month of Pride is over but our continual work for queer inclusion is never finished. When the pride flags are taken down off corporate buildings, churches, or homes, queer people are still fighting for their rights. Pride 2021 was filled with empowerment and hope and it is our work,

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  • 11 mins read

    Mark’s pericope of the anointing woman (Mark 14:3-9) provides a poignant model of cisgender allyship to the transgender community. The anointing woman shows extravagant care to Jesus as a demonstration of the value of his body and as an acknowledgment of the painful transition he is about to endure. Jesus’

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  • 12 mins read

    Picture it: Rainbows. Everywhere. Rainbow balloons. Rainbow t-shirts. Rainbow flags. Rainbow signs. You feel the heavy humid air and smell the rainclouds preparing to unleash on the protest, yet there is joy and excitement filling the streets. It was Saturday, June 29th, 2019—Manila’s Pride Parade, and the LGBTQ community of

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  • 14 mins read

    I spent the summer of 1994 being trained as a chaplain at the largest Level I trauma hospital in Atlanta. I was twenty-three when I began the program. At that point I had only peripherally met one person who I knew was HIV-positive, and I questioned if my life experience

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  • 15 mins read

    I know you; you’re an ally. You read the books, you listen to the podcasts, and you wear the pins. I get it. (Here’s a secret — I have all the pins, too.) Recently, I was quarantine cooking and listening to the Queerology podcast, “On Performative Allyship and Black Joy,”

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  • 12 mins read

    When I first came out of the closet ten years ago, I didn’t think of it as a political act or as an act of bravery or as an act of defiance. For me, I came out because I was tired of living a lie. I knew that I could

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  • 12 mins read

    The Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce is a business chamber dedicated to the LGBT community and advocates for LGBTQIA+ rights in the work place along with other queer advocacy platforms. At the beginning of September, the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce decided to allow CoreCivic into its chamber and accepted

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  • 8 mins read

    From its creation in 1968, The United Methodist Church has struggled to hold traditional interpretations of biblical sexuality with a theology of an inclusive and grace-filled God.  In the Book of Discipline, the guiding organizational document for the UMC, we state that sexuality is “God’s good gift to all persons” and

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  • 14 mins read

    In social justice and in Sunday school, we need to pay more attention to the lessons we can learn from kids. When I joined a volunteer committee to rework my church’s Sunday school policies, I was reminded of the recent Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic, On the Basis of Sex. The

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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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Hallowed but not Sacred: An Epiphany of Capitol Violation

Moderate and progressive Christians have always found it hard to take Donald Trump seriously as a false messiah, much less an actual one. In the name of Trump, some 1000 or so extremists invaded and occupied the Senate and House chambers for several hours on January 6, prompting many Republicans and Democrats to refer to those sites as “sacred” spaces that had been desecrated by force and vandalism. For some, democracy may itself be sacred, by which they mean of highest value. The ritual of publicly counting the electoral votes from the states was thus a sworn duty that was interrupted. Such public ceremonies are

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