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Rachel G. Hackenberg
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Rachel G. Hackenberg is a United Church of Christ minister, soccer mom of two, and the author of "Writing to God" and Writing to God: Kids' Edition; she blogs at Faith and Water.

Entries by Rachel G. Hackenberg

Dear White Preachers, Take Off Your Prophet's Mantel

(1) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 1:45 PM

Dear White Preachers,

I have been watching and listening to your reflections on the task of preaching to predominantly white congregations in the wake of the non-indictments in New York City and Ferguson, in the wake of the powerful movement in the U.S. and around the world to affirm #BlackLivesMatter....

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In Defense of the Holly-Lily Crowd

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2013 | 3:10 PM

For the first time in more than a decade, I am not attending Sunday worship regularly. For the first time in my lifetime, I do not have a home congregation with whom I can mark the liturgical year. A recent change in my job and geography includes a work schedule...

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White Women, Sarah, and Hagar

(6) Comments | Posted July 17, 2013 | 12:29 PM

Dear white sisters,

We are long overdue in examining, confronting, and upsetting our significant role in the systemic racism of American culture.

The six women who acquitted George Zimmerman on Saturday (five of whom are reported to be white and the sixth Hispanic) demonstrated the patterns of behavior...

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A Tampon and a Gun

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2013 | 3:12 PM

I am laughing and laughing over the Twitter news that feminine care products were being confiscated from those entering the Texas legislature to hear debate on an abortion bill. It goes without saying that super-plus tampons and winged pads pose a threat to the safety of...

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Not Enough Time: A Modern Eschatology

(7) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 10:00 AM

I pull myself out of bed at 6 a.m., feeling guilty and frustrated as my feet touch the carpet. The alarm first cut through my fog of sleep at 4:30 a.m., at which time I intended to dash off a dozen emails, pay the bills and draft a book proposal,...

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Don't Ask the Crocus (A Lament for Boston)

(5) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 12:28 PM

Don't ask the crocus, "Where is God?"
as though the crocus can respond to
our cries echoing over the flower beds.
The purple blooms have done their best
to disguise the traces of our bitter violence;
their job is not to soothe our seething conscience.

...
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What's the Character of Your Church?

(35) Comments | Posted April 11, 2013 | 12:02 PM

I am increasingly convinced that there are three kinds of churches -- three prevailing characters of congregations, with implicit theological underpinnings -- and that these three church types exist across denominations and worship styles, from small churches to megachurches, in rural and urban settings alike. As I see it, these...

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Joy to the Women

(4) Comments | Posted December 5, 2012 | 1:56 PM

Ah, Advent! Along with Christmas, Advent is the glorious and only time of year when Christians across the theological spectrum can agree on women's participation in God's work.

In Advent, we do not exclude women from signaling God's presence (Isaiah 7:14). Let the day arrive when the whole Church* welcomes...

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The Privilege of Detachment

(1) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 11:33 AM

Unless you live in New Jersey or New York City, where power and transportation remain severely disrupted and whole neighborhoods have become islands of ruin, life around the U.S. East Coast is returning to normal. There are still those without electricity throughout the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions, to be...

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Scrooge vs. Santa Claus: Rescuing God From Shallow Theology

(30) Comments | Posted October 15, 2012 | 12:53 PM

I'm tired of reading bad ordination papers: 12 to 20 pages of poorly written, theologically thin, unimaginative discourse, intended to represent a ministerial candidate's breadth of preparedness and depth of spiritual formation but more frequently sending me into despair over the future of leadership in the Church.

If it sounds...

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Hell on Earth

(158) Comments | Posted August 25, 2012 | 9:14 AM

A quick glance at the religious, political and socioeconomic landscapes of the United States easily reveals steeply increasing divisions and polarizations. Is your state blue or red? Do you identify yourself as "right" or "left," Republican or Democrat? Are you earning more than $1,000,000 or less...

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We the People, We the Institution

(2) Comments | Posted July 13, 2012 | 11:56 AM

In central Pennsylvania, where I grew up, Penn State is big. Huge. Penn State sports dominate the local news. Many area high school graduates aspire to attend Penn State's main campus. The Nittany Lion logo is everywhere. Whenever I drive home for a visit, the PSU blue-and-white bumper stickers on...

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Letting You Leave Church

(180) Comments | Posted June 6, 2012 | 9:18 AM

Dear Christians, both wounded and worried, leaders and laity, trend-watchers, naysayers, pastors, and all who pray for the Church's health and behavior to improve...

Departure is a sensitive and greatly feared concern in Christian congregations and denominations. Churches and pastors don't want their parishioners to leave. Denominations fret when churches...

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Retelling the American 'Kingdom of God' Story in Parables

(24) Comments | Posted May 4, 2012 | 3:52 PM

In every generation, people have told stories in order to make sense of life: its purpose, its disasters, its relationships, its unknowns. Each religion has its own stories that people of faith remember and hand down through rituals and sacred texts. Often, those stories are reimagined as they are retold...

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Retelling the American 'Kingdom of God' Story

(39) Comments | Posted April 18, 2012 | 3:28 PM

"What's that I smell in the air? The American Dream! Sweet as a new millionaire: the American Dream! Pre-packed, ready-to-wear, the American Dream. And best of all, it's for sale! The American Dream!" (Boublil and Schonberg, Miss Saigon. 1989)

The American Dream is a common motif in an election year,...

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Lent: Words in the Wilderness

(5) Comments | Posted March 20, 2012 | 12:24 PM

Please join the HuffPost community in "A Lenten Journey" for reflections throughout Lent, and join our online Lenten community here.

It begins for me on Ash Wednesday, as soft black palm ashes smear on my thumb and I meet each congregant's eye to say honestly, "Remember...

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