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On Scripture

Black Friday: Can't Buy Love (Jeremiah 33:14-16 and Luke 21:25-36)

Karyn L. Wiseman, Ph.D. | Posted 11.24.2015 | Religion
Karyn L. Wiseman, Ph.D.

Let's work on all of this during this season. Let's talk to one another. Let's refuse to buy into the consumer mentality. Let's spend our time and resources on each other in more faithful and spiritual ways.

Veterans Day: War On Every Shore (Mark 13:1-8)

Rev. Shively Smith | Posted 11.09.2015 | Religion
Rev. Shively Smith

When wars initiate, conflicts ignite, and earthquakes hit, our service members and veterans act. ALL those who serve for justice, whether under the uniform of military or under the "uniform" of personal choice and moral code help make "the end" still be able to come.

Our Children Are Us (Psalm 127)

Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson | Posted 11.03.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson

When we see ourselves and others as God's heritage, we will be more diligent to help those who are lost because of maltreatment, violence and abuse. Troubled youth, runaways, delinquent youth, and all of the categories we use, are lost and need help to find their way.

Beijing +20 and Michelle Obama: What Is Women's Work? (Ruth 1:1-18)

Lisa Davison | Posted 10.27.2015 | Religion
Lisa Davison

Those involved in the organization of Beijing +20 are calling all of the countries that signed the Beijing Declaration and Platform to accountability. They are asking everyone to give careful attention to the advances that have been made and the unfinished items on the agenda for gender equality and female empowerment.

Religious Traditions: Destined to Compete? (Hebrews 7:23-28)

Rev. Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles | Posted 10.19.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles

Dallas has one of the largest Muslim populations and number of mosques in the nation. Yet, the call for Christians to protest at mosques, sometimes encircling the mosque while armed with rifles, continues. Google "Christians protest mosques" and see what's happened just in October.

Guns, Drugs, Sexual Violence: What Can We Do? (Hebrews 5:1-10)

Mihee Kim-Kort | Posted 10.12.2015 | Religion
Mihee Kim-Kort

I can only say, as I often do during communion when I partake of the bread and cup: Thanks be to God. I do so trusting and hoping that there is more beyond the forests of our world's darkness.

Pope Francis US Visit: Love and Joy Trump Rules (Mark 10: 2-18)

Sr. Simone Campbell | Posted 10.05.2015 | Religion
Sr. Simone Campbell

Pope Francis, like Jesus, responds to the children. Pope Francis literally lit up every time he was in proximity to children. One story really touched my heart. I talked with Seanta who was visiting Philadelphia from South Carolina for the meeting on the family.

Domestic Violence: Are the Children Safe? (Mark 10: 2-16)

Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery | Posted 09.28.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery

There is brokenness -- broken bodies and relationships -- so it is of no surprise per se when we see Jesus and the Pharisees engage in a conversation about marriage and divorce, topics that may heighten our awareness of human brokenness in our society.

Pope Francis Visits US: Greed Is Your Fatal Flaw (Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22)

Amy Erickson | Posted 09.21.2015 | Religion
Amy Erickson

During his visit to Bolivia in July, the Pope addressed an audience of farmers, trash-pickers, craftspeople, and un-unionized workers. He expressed his compassion for the poor and the marginalized and advocated passionately for them, but he did not stop there.

Syrian Refugee Crisis: Our Chance to See God (Mark 9:30-37)

Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson | Posted 09.14.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson

Because of the extreme anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment so pervasive in today's media, we must think not only about a governmental immigration policy, we must also think about and pray for a spiritual principle of welcome.

Communal Return and Personal Renaissance: What Forgiveness Makes Possible (Parshat Nitzavim, Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20)

Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi | Posted 09.09.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi

The promise of profound renewal during the upcoming High Holy Days is tremendous, but whether or not we will merit the fulfillment of that promise depends largely upon us.

Help End Hunger: It's Simple (James 1:17-27)

Greg Carey | Posted 08.24.2015 | Religion
Greg Carey

Feed a hungry person. The early followers of Jesus were in no social position to eliminate poverty or overturn the economic system of the Roman Empire. They could feed hungry people. Ending hunger is overwhelming. Growing produce for hungry people is not.

Ferguson 1 Year Later: Give Us Wisdom (1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14)

Lisa Sharon Harper | Posted 08.11.2015 | Religion
Lisa Sharon Harper

In Ferguson and across St. Louis, one year ago, I met several spiritual leaders who were facing just such a moment. Women and men alike stood before God and asked for wisdom in August 2014.

Theological Track Standing: A User's Guide to Unity in Church and Society (Ephesians 4:1-16)

Jacob D. Myers | Posted 07.28.2015 | Religion
Jacob D. Myers

The central point Paul wishes to drive home is that Christians ought to be a people of hope. It is to hope that God has called us (1:15). This hope does not rest upon human effort or actualization; rather, it is according to God's infinite mercy (2:8-10).

American Disability Act: Working Toward Welcome and Dignity for All

Lisa Cataldo | Posted 07.22.2015 | Religion
Lisa Cataldo

The truth is that anyone who could be called "able-bodied" (or "able-minded") could at the next minute be not so. Our physical and mental abilities are extraordinarily fragile, and in every sense temporary.

When War Becomes a Way of Life (2 Samuel 11:1-15)

Raj Nadella | Posted 07.21.2015 | Religion
Raj Nadella

This week's text -- 2 Samuel 11:1-15 -- suggests that the phenomenon of ordinary people being asked to fight unnecessary wars initiated by people in power is not entirely modern

All the Charlestons: We Press On for Justice

Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto | Posted 07.13.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto

A year punctuated with tragedies around racial inequalities culminated in a burst of hateful violence during a Wednesday evening Bible study at the Mother Emanuel church. And as these nine faithful souls have been laid to rest, I have been struck by a refrain that many of my friends have been voicing.

Freedom: For Everyone or Just People Like Us? (2 Corinthians 12:2-10)

Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder | Posted 06.29.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder

What happens when God is the one who pricks our emotional equilibrium? What is humanity's recourse when the Creator is the source of our angst? More personally, it seems we are not as accommodating of individual views or approaches to the "Divine." Just as people come from multiple social locations and backgrounds, so are their religious traditions. However, respect for such faith diversity proves challenging.

Gay Marriage: A Christian Response

Barbara Kay Lundblad | Posted 06.26.2015 | Religion
Barbara Kay Lundblad

Can a faithful Christian support the court's decision? What can we say in response to questions voiced by some Christian people?

Changing the Conversation: Black Lives Do Matter (Mark 4:26-34)

Bridgett Green | Posted 06.08.2015 | Religion
Bridgett Green

How does a social movement begin? How does frustration meet courage and conviction to bring a people together to engage in transformative work? What seeds do we plant to change a nation?Social movements do not form out of thin air. They arise out of people's suffering.

Scandalous Leaders, Scandalous Power (1 Samuel 8)

Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto | Posted 06.01.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto

There's an odd thing about political scandals, these falls from grace: They are so common that they shouldn't shock us anymore. And yet these scandals sell newspapers, draw eyes on television. We can always muster some outrage at these all too common crimes.

Jean Vanier: A Prophet for the 21st Century (Isaiah 6:1-8)

Lisa Davison | Posted 05.26.2015 | Religion
Lisa Davison

With all that is happening in the world today, it can seem like there is no hope and everything is going down the tubes with no way to stop the flow. Human suffering and despair are present in all corners of the globe.

Death Penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: A Call for Radical Mercy

Shane Claiborne | Posted 05.19.2015 | Religion
Shane Claiborne

It's hard to have mercy for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. It was Jesus who said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." And he certainly demonstrates that mercy on the cross as he forgives the people nailing him to it. But as a follower of Christ, mercy seems like an audacious thing to ask of us.

Sorry, Presidential Candidates: Hope Resides in Groans, Not in Your Rhetoric (Romans 8:22-27)

Matthew L. Skinner | Posted 05.18.2015 | Religion
Matthew L. Skinner

We rely on hope as a force to inch us forward. No one wants to believe that our best days as individuals or as societies are behind us. Everyone wants to be a hopeful person. Or, at least, there are plenty of people out there eager to make sure everyone feels hopeful.

Border Crossing: Astounding Hope in Laredo (Acts 10:44-48)

Mary F. Foskett | Posted 05.04.2015 | Religion
Mary F. Foskett

The Biblical story recounted in Acts 10:44-48 is also a story of transformation and relational border crossing between people who, though not at all strangers, were practiced at holding each other at a distance.