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Donna Schaper
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister of Judson Memorial Church in New York City.
She is the author of 29 books, most recently Grass Roots Gardening: Rituals to Sustain Activists from Nation/Perseus books. A new pamphlet is available from the United Church of Christ called "Twenty Ways to keep Sabbath." She also writes daily devotionals on the United Church of Christ WebSite,

Her current project at Judson Memorial Church is the New Sanctuary Movement, a place where immigrants about to be detained or deported can be sheltered. She also works on "Bailout", giving human beings a hand in a hard time. Bailout Theater meets every Wednesday at Judson with a free meal and great entertainment.

She runs a small consulting service for congregations and non profits called Bricks Without Straw which teaches fund raising, conflict management and how to do a lot with a little.

Check out for more information

Entries by Donna Schaper

Is the Pope Protestant?

(55) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 5:02 AM

Pope Frances has successfully gotten my Protestant attention. He may not heal the rift we made together during the Protestant Reformation of yore but it surely looks small from the perspective of today. Christians agree on much more than not, like how Jesus predominantly and preeminently loved the poor and...

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Pastoral Letter to my Electeds: We Can't Breathe

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2014 | 7:42 AM

I write with a heavy but hopeful heart. I know we can't close our eyes and pretend the video of Eric Garner's death will go away. I need to talk to you. I need to listen to you. I need to connect with you, now as a movement for justice...

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Day After Ferguson, Day Before Thanksgiving

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 11:35 AM

This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6

The names Wilson and Brown are such ordinary all-American names. Now they are forever linked in a piece of American history that will...

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Doing Thanksgiving Differently

(1) Comments | Posted November 21, 2014 | 1:13 PM

Thanksgiving is supposed to be about the groaning table, laden with fats and sweets, first the fats, then the sweets, sprinkled with a few vegetables as the "sides." Some argue that it is more about the leftovers, the left over fats and sweets and sides and vegetables. Either way you...

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Ferguson in October

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 5:44 PM

Is a trip to Missouri in your future? Ferguson for the weekend, anyone?

If you are one of tens of thousands of people who can't stand to hear another story about another black man being shot by another policeman, you may want to go to Ferguson, Missouri this October 10...

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Hobby Lobby: Lobby or Business?

(6) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 7:09 PM

Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. is a business with a new sideline acting as a theocratic political lobby and lawmaker. Bringing religious objections to the Obamacare requirement that employers provide healthcare coverage, including birth control, to employees, the craft store has opened a truly messy can of worms.

Hobby Lobby's...

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Ashes to Ashes, Stardust to Stardust

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 2:30 PM

If you want a spiritual practice, look outside Lent, not just on Sundays and please don't light a candle. Also ask the donor of your ashes to mark you not just as ashes to ashes, dust to dust but ashes to ashes, stardust to stardust. You are going somewhere. You...

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Moral Mondays Come to Albany: Morality Meet Cuomo's Budget

(0) Comments | Posted February 9, 2014 | 7:10 AM

The Moral Mondays Movement in North Carolina has performed a slight miracle. They have successfully argued that morality has something to do with money. Through the extraordinary leadership of the Reverend Barber, they have worn zip codes on their T-shirts, marched weekly on their governor and state legislature, and figured...

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Big Sisters Needed for the Poor

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 9:26 AM

If the Little Sisters of the Poor, who are suing the federal government on behalf of religious conformity, really believed in helping the poor, they would encourage Judge Sotomayor to decline their suit. Or they would withdraw it. The suit is embarrassing to their fundamental principles and mission...

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Most Women Under 40 Haven't Heard the Pro-choice Moral Argument

(67) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 12:10 PM

The Supreme Court will listen again to another anti-abortion niggle -- and therefore, It is time to positively repeat the moral argument in favor of what the Court has already decided. I write with great weariness. We have done this before. It is painful to have to fight for what...

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Abortion Again and Again and Again

(1) Comments | Posted July 25, 2013 | 11:17 AM

"It is a wise man who advocates non-violence to his enemies."

I wasn't the only one to get tired, fighting after Roe, to keep the (Ir)Religious Right from chipping away at our freedom. I had debated just one too many fanatical foes. I...

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Doma Down, Queers Up

(1) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 5:15 PM

The Supreme Court has done us a big favor. In supporting gay marriage, it has encouraged the larger movement for human rights for gay people to deepen and to spread.

I won't pop the cork on the champagne or say alleluia just yet. I want to get through the...

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Grand and Central at 100

(0) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 12:34 PM

A Prayer of Thanks for Grand Central Station on its Centenary

Great Designer, we give you thanks for the Beaux in the Arts, the clock in the center, the station grand and central by design, the tick of the clock rushing us to track 19, leaving no time to buy...

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Jesus, the New York Review of Books and Mass

(6) Comments | Posted May 1, 2013 | 3:05 PM

Jesus at Table

I read something about transubstantiation in the New York Review of Books. Transubstantiation is the idea that Jesus is real in the Mass, substantially, and that a kind of magic happens in the Mass, performed by a priest, that changes bread and wine into Jesus. The NYR...

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See You at the Boston Marathon Next Year

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 9:56 AM

Be Not Afraid
Psalm 46:1-2

By Ron Buford and Donna Schaper

A Boston policeman, right after the blast, said, "I need all the lanes open here." He meant it. His wise, if exhausted, command goes straight to why we all need to run in the Boston marathon next year,...

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Comprehensive Immigration Reform Is Refusing Blessings

(8) Comments | Posted April 4, 2013 | 12:53 PM

Immigrations are a blessing, not a curse. They are assets, not deficits. While they live with constant trepidation about whether their children will be separated from them, while many have been picked up for small offenses, like traffic violations and gone to jail only to luckily be released, they have...

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Preaching Jesus Against DOMA: Why This Pastor is on Her Way to the Supreme Court Steps

(29) Comments | Posted March 26, 2013 | 10:22 AM

This week I could refine my Easter messages. Or my Maundy Thursday or Good Friday service. I could surely sign more petitions about gun control or work harder on getting a date with Senator Schumer - my senator who spends more time dealing with the gang of 8 than he...

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Oscars Busted

(2) Comments | Posted March 3, 2013 | 4:35 PM

It would have been better if I got the boob song out of my mind before today. Ignoring the way it busted in on me would be the higher wisdom. Plus, its days later, and its cup size in the average person's hands has gone from a D to a...

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Through Earthquake, Wind and Fire, the Still Small Voice of Calm

(1) Comments | Posted October 30, 2012 | 2:45 PM

The first thing that happened this morning at 7 a.m. was that my 7-year-old neighbor, Zoe, ran out to visit me in my car, where I was charging my cell phone with my car charger and getting what news I could off the radio. Zoe said, "Let's go to Stuy...

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Santorum Is Right: It IS About Phony Theology

(17) Comments | Posted February 27, 2012 | 5:27 PM

Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum announced that this presidential race is about theology, and he is right. We may differ on the right to an abortion, on the injuries of capitalism, even on the adequacy of the president's theology. But we agree that theology is the core of our argument.

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