Until black lives matter
Adam Dyer writes that “Even in addressing racism, black lives have not specifically mattered.”
We cannot continue to speak or act in broad terms. There is no shortcut, no blanket application to address black oppression because black oppression is unique; just as every other oppression that is experienced is unique. What Black Lives Matter challenges us to do is address the specific issues surrounding black oppression without entering into the oppression olympics. The movement tells us that we can look at the unique social location intersection that one group represents, whether that is race, color, nation of origin, sexual preference, gender identity, ability, or relationship status (or any combination thereof) and take the time to appreciate, uplift, uphold and defend each and every one of them. (spirituwellness, April 6)
Kim Hampton thinks the indictment of Michael Slager is not a sign that #BlackLivesMatter protests are making a difference.
There is an assumption in most white communities that the police don’t lie about their encounters with the public. Communities of color (and poor communities) know that lie for what it is. (East of Midnight, April 8)
Imagine a congregation
The Rev. Phil Lund believes that spiritual practice in community is what spiritual seekers are looking for in the 21st century.
Imagine a congregation that looks at all the possibilities for spiritual growth . . . then finds ways to help individuals explore those practices within the context of a nurturing and supportive community.
Without dogma. Or judgment. Or guilt. Just the opportunity to “deepen their relationship with the sacred.” That’s the kind of religious community I see flourishing in the 21st century. (Phillip Lund, April 7)
The Rev. Dawn Cooley begins a series of posts about removing barriers to congregational participation in a changing religious landscape.
[W]e strive to meet people where they are. Not where we wish they would be, not where we thinkthey should be. It means meeting people in the lived reality of where they are.
The more we understand this, the more we realize that it is our calling to confront and seek to do away with whatever it is that prevents people from feeling as though they have a place at the table. This means intentionally looking at what accommodations a congregation can make to remove barriers to participation for all those who might find a home with us. (Speaking of, April 7)
Building the world to come
The Rev. Jude Geiger says that Christ was seen in Indiana this week—but not where many Christians thought they saw him.
They thought Jesus was seen in the pizza parlor in Indiana this week; martyred for religious freedom, as a store was “forced” to close after speaking words of hate in the guise of freedom. They were right. Jesus was there. He was flipping the tables and the trays crying out against the money changers of this day, who will cry religion but mean GoFundMe (over $700,000 and counting). (HuffPost Religion, April 3)
John Beckett outlines his approach to building the world to come.
This is where we can make a difference for our descendants: by adopting, embodying, and promoting values that will be helpful in the world to come—and that won’t repeat the mistakes our society has made. (Under the Ancient Oaks, April 9)
Tina Porter resists the urge to rant.
[Instead] of a rant, I will pray for the courage and the focus and the kindness to extend myself beyond my small sphere of influence in order to create the world that is possible when we look to each other not as problems but as shared solutions–when we look to each other as our neighbor who sometimes helps us and who we sometimes help . . .
because . . . we ARE all in this together. (Ugly Pies, April 7)
Life, death, and love
For the Rev. James Ford, whose beloved Auntie died on Easter Saturday, the Easter story is a fearful, wonderful, mysterious moment of awakening.
Easter as this moment, as this mind, as this heart, filled with all its sadness and all its glory. And with our fully opening ourselves to what is, with that complete disruption of what we thought was the way things are. And with that awakening into something new: mystery piled upon mystery. Wonder, and joy, and, yes, absolutely, fear. . . .
Nothing is missing . . . on this Easter day. We wake up to the whole mess. And we find it really is a blessing. (Monkey Mind, April 5)
Christine Organ has mixed feelings about selling a home where she grieved for a miscarried child.
We leave pieces of ourselves all over the world, and my grief in the dirt in front of that house on Nelson Street. But as I left pieces of myself here and there, I have also carried things with me. And, from that patch of dirt on Nelson Street, I carried hope, gratitude, resilience and courage.
Maybe it isn’t so much about what we leave behind, but what we carry with us that matters. (HuffPost Parents, April 7)
Diana McLean leaves the box of presumed heterosexuality.
For many years, my experience of my sexual orientation was that I was a heterosexual woman. And then, it wasn’t.
I’m not saying that I’ve secretly been a lesbian all this time and my relationships with men were somehow fake or less-than or deceptive. They weren’t. That isn’t what this means, at all.
The bottom line isn’t about past relationships. It’s this: my next partner, should I have one, could be of any gender. (Poetic Justice, April 7)