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“Selma, Lord, Selma”

From Admiration to Action Five children (4 girls and 1 boy, who departs in the opposite direction halfway down) are walking down steps of the 16th Street Baptist Church. They are discussing typical girlish things. “I got my hair pressed

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Don’t Display Your Solidarity, Express it!

9 mins read

Article originally published in the Presbyterian Outlook on November 15, 2016: https://pres-outlook.org/2016/11/dont-display-solidarity-express/ This is not a piece about Standing Rock and the water protectors. This is a reflection to expand the narrative of what happened during the clergy action visit to Standing Rock on November 3, 2016. For information about

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A Presbyterian Affirmation for Election Day

3 mins read

The Voice of a Congregation on Faith & Politics: Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church, Pearl River, NY In the brief statement that follows, a congregation first lifts up key values—not policies or positions—and then calls out divisive rhetoric. They go to scriptural themes and the Book of Confessions. We would note the

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Christ, Culture, and a Broken Democracy

27 mins read

We are in the midst of a strange election season, to say the least. I have heard more people say, “I’m just not voting,” or “I don’t have anyone to vote for,” in this election than in any other in my lifetime. In an extremely polarized society, perhaps the one

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Faith in the Public Square – A Time for Choosing

12 mins read

In March 1948, theologian Reinhold Niebuhr graced the cover of Time. His appearance came at the end of two decades in which Niebuhr had risen to cultural prominence not just as a religious thinker, but also as one of the country’s foremost political leaders. Mainline Protestantism was riding high, and

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An Open Letter on Urban Ministry

5 mins read

To Our Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Brothers and Sisters September 6, 2016 Dear Colleagues Across our Church: We are prompted to write by the tragically early death of our brother in Christ, the Rev. Eugene “Freedom” Blackwell, pastor of House of Manna in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Eugene joined the church triumphant on August 29th,

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Muzzling the Word of God

16 mins read

A Response to the Foothills Presbytery Overtures I try to avoid getting bogged down in the details of church polity. Generally, this is because I think it leads us to spend too much time looking inward and debating minutia when that time and effort would be better spent looking outward,

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Faith Leaders Influencing the Debate on Drug Sentencing

10 mins read

Clergy and faith leaders are successfully flexing their political muscle with lawmakers in Washington, DC, to end mass incarceration. Last month the new chairman of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), was confronted by three Iowa bishops — a United Methodist, a Catholic and a Lutheran — who

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