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Rev. Winnie Varghese
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The Rev. Winnie Varghese is the priest for Community Outreach at Trinity Church in New York City. She is a native Texan with family roots in the ancient Mar Thoma church of southwest India (State of Kerala). She has been active in peace and justice work as a board member of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship and a writer for The Witness magazine. She is featured in the Via Media and Living the Questions teaching series. She has served as the rector of St. Mark's in-the-Bowery and Episcopal Chaplain at Columbia University and UCLA.

Entries by Rev. Winnie Varghese

Our Thoughts and Prayers Are Not Enough

(12) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 2:25 PM

Another mass shooting, this time at a community college in Oregon.

It is long past time for gun reform. Get in your pulpit. Go knock on a door. It is time, and it is up to us.

As religious people, most of us know what to do when confronted...

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Is Christianity Dead in the West?

(5) Comments | Posted September 4, 2015 | 4:02 PM

Desperate people are breeching the borders of Western Christianity from the South and the East, or so say the Prime Ministers of Hungary and Poland.

There might be no issue that the Bible is clearer on than how the foreigner and immigrant are to be treated, and if you're...

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Atticus Finch Meets Black Lives Matter

(1) Comments | Posted July 13, 2015 | 1:00 PM

If the last years have taught us anything, from the murder of Trayvon Martin on February 6, 2012, to the first anniversary of the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, August 9, 2015, it could be that being a supportive ally or advocate like Atticus Finch is...

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Episcopal Bishops Did Not Reject Divestment from Israel

(52) Comments | Posted July 10, 2015 | 10:02 AM

I like a good headline as much as anyone. Last week The Episcopal News Service ran this headline: "Bishops Overwhelmingly Oppose Divestment in Israel, Palestine".

Except, they didn't.

The Episcopal Church met in its triennial General Convention in Salt Lake City, June 24-July 3....

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The Martyrs of Mother Emanuel

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2015 | 5:11 PM

Maybe there's no better way to die than to die in church. You don't have to worry about those nine beloved children of God who were shot at Mother Emmanuel AME. They went home. Our faith tells us they are with God in glory.

There might be no more...

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Garland, Texas vs. Pam Geller

(3) Comments | Posted May 6, 2015 | 12:00 AM

I grew up in Garland, Texas on Princeton Street where my parents lived until a few years ago. One of my first memories is the icy January day my parents and their friends gingerly brought my new baby brother and our very woozy mother home from the hospital to our...

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A Holy Remembrance

(5) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 3:41 PM

On Palm Sunday at St. Mark's in the Bowery, we end our service with the Passion reading, the story of Jesus' last days and his crucifixion. We walk out of the service and pick up bamboo crosses and t-shirts to "plant" the yard with a commemoration of deaths in the...

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The Time Is (Still) Now

(2) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 11:55 AM

Two police officers were murdered in New York City Saturday. Awful. Terrifying. Undeserved.

The title of the sermon about that would be: "This S#$T is scary." And, Ralph and Anthony at St. Mark's would say "Amen."

I am intrigued by how quickly people have been willing to exploit...

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The Stones Cry Out

(1) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 2:11 PM

If you have a building, I have an ask. Use your building to express your solidarity with Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley ... .

We have an 8' banner hanging on our portico that says "Black Lives Matter."...

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Finding Sanctuary

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 4:11 PM

In the world of Christians there is a difference of opinion as to where salvation happens. Salvation is understood as reconciliation to our true state in God. For some that's all about social justice. For some that's all about personal holiness. All of those terms have lots of potential for...

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The Ministry of Reconciliation

(1) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 10:15 AM


When I was four or five, my younger cousin and I cut my accordion in half. Yes, I had an accordion at age 4. It was a birthday present, and we wanted to know how it worked. We were both pretty sad about...

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Procession or Riot

(3) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 2:00 PM

I come from processing people. My mother's family church holds the mother of all processions. Seriously. It is for the birth (tricky date to verify but very popular for celebration) of the Ever Blessed and Glorious Mother of our Lord Jesus, Mary. If you think you know of a better...

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Whatever Happened to Inclusive Language?

(3) Comments | Posted July 30, 2014 | 5:32 PM

Earlier this month the General Synod of the Church of England decided women can become bishops. Earlier this year the Church of England celebrated 20 years of ordaining women as priests. The Episcopal Church is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first ordinations of women this month as...

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Be a Witness

(3) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 4:32 PM

In John 3:11 Jesus says: "We speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen," in response to a question of how we can be born from above or as we would say today, saved.

Sometimes as religious leaders, it seems that all...

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Torture Is to Baptism as the Demonic Is to the Holy

(24) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 3:59 PM

During Holy Week (the week before Easter) this year I got a voicemail on a day that felt too hectic to deal with voicemail on a landline. Who does that anymore? The message was "Hi, This is Alan Ginsberg. I'd like to get baptized when the bishop comes to St....

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Washington National Cathedral Charges Admission

(28) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 1:58 PM

This time of year I walk around humming something like this and now often with this disturbing visual of Stephen Colbert.

Advent is a season of expectation in the church. Advent is the season before Christmas during which we anticipate the birth of Jesus and the...

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Lawrence O'Donnell on Louie Giglio

(190) Comments | Posted January 11, 2013 | 11:08 AM

I'm a fan of the news and political commentary as delivered by MSNBC. I watch Rachel Maddow religiously, and I watch Lawrence O'Donnell while waiting for Jon Stewart. I bet you can guess my position on most current social issues.

I am an Episcopal priest, not an evangelical, but...

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Let's Throw Our Demons Off the Cliff

(75) Comments | Posted December 10, 2012 | 4:05 PM

Priests get asked to do strange things. A few weeks ago I was asked to give the invocation, an opening prayer, at an annual event to celebrate the accomplishments of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Social Responsibility.  They believe being a good citizen is good business. I got...

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Hate Crimes against Sikhs Should Be Documented

(1) Comments | Posted October 1, 2012 | 3:34 PM

On September 19 the United States Congress held a hearing on Hate Crimes in response to the shooting at the Gurdwara in Oak Creek, WI, the first hearing on Hate Crimes since 2009. On August 23, 2012, a bi-partisan group of Senators sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder...

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The Glorious Episcopal Church

(77) Comments | Posted July 16, 2012 | 4:19 PM

The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, AP, Christianity Today, The Advocate and many others covered the General Convention of The Episcopal Church because we passed blessings for same sex couples. Brilliant! In addition, the New York Times and Wall Street...

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