FYI: I've neglected my blog in recent months, so I'm posting some stuff I've sent out to my church during that time. This explains why some of the links and topics are somewhat dated. Here they are for the purposes of posterity.
Regularly, if somewhat spasmodically, I share a list of things I'm reading, watching and listening to with my congregation. If I remember to do so, I also post it here on my blog:
United Church of Christ in the News
- Did you see the new UCC on-line commercial made with the Council on Islamic Relations? If not, take a look at the new on-line video. It's called "Trading Places" and given the Executive Orders signed by the president this week, it's needed more than ever.
- "12 Faith Leaders to Watch in 2017"--Granted it's a list made by the Center for American Progress, so you know all of the folks on this list are religious progressives, but still it's nice to see UCC General Minister and President, John Dorhauer on the list.
- "Keep Hope Alive" an episode of the podcast "Into the Mystic" by John Dorhauer, UCC General Minister and President. I recommended this podcast in my sermon last Sunday and quoted from this episode. Given the political news, I am finding it hard to be hopeful. I needed these words about hope in times like these. (This is a link to the transcript of his podcast, which you can find on ITunes.)
- "Broken-down bus doesn't slow Kansas marchers, thanks to host church"--CCCUCC member Mandy Strawn shared this story in worship last week. Members of the UCC church in Manhattan, KS were on a bus that broke down on the way to the Women's March in D.C., so a UCC church in the D.C. area drove out to pick them up and bring them the rest of the way. Mandy and her family attended both of these UCC congregations.
- "600 marchers experience UCC extravagant welcome in Washington D.C."
- "Women's Marchers around the country celebrate call for change"
- "UCC, DOC leadership condemn threats against Jewish centers"
- "UCC churches affirm support for immigrant rights after Trump executive order"
- "Faith in the Future"--the creator of the UCC curriculum on environmental justice writes about a faith-based response to climate change
The Border Wall and the Muslim Ban
- "American 'Christianity' Has Failed"--There is no way to reconcile the executive orders to build the wall and to ban Muslims-including refugees--with the Sermon on the Mount.
Responses to the Inauguration
- "Atlas didn't shrug: An inauguration reminder of the things we must always lift high"--what do you get when you read the prayers of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ayn Rand's signature book? You get some pretty freaking awesome words that are appropriate for all the folks, like me, who found themselves discouraged on this Inauguration Day.
- "The call to raise minimum wage isn't over, thanks to faithful, worthy protesting" by Mary Sanchez. Although they are not mentioned by name in this great column by Mary Sanchez, the praise she gives to #FightFor15 protesters includes KC area clergy and faith leaders. They are my heroes.
American Christianity Following the 2016 Election
- "The Soul of a Patriot"--the wonderful Parker Palmer offers suggestions on how to keep your soul whole when "patriotism" conflicts with your spiritual values.
- "Under Trump, Christians may have it easier. They'll also be in grave spiritual danger."--I pretty much disagree with everything Michael Gerson writes, but I resonate with some of what he says. I've passed this on to conservative evangelical friends of mine who would never listen to anything I say, but who might listen to Gerson, evangelical Christian and speechwriter for George W. Bush.
- "Donald Trump, the Religious Rightâ€™s Trojan Horse"--Trump has an enacted a theocratic administration, even though many conservatives who voted for him didn't believe he would do so.
- "Rev. Barber: a 'Moral Center,' not a 'Religious Left,' Will Save Us in 2017"
- "The Guardian view on American Christianity: change and decay"--Perhaps the saddest thing about this editorial is that liberal Christians didn't even rate a mention.
- "Liquid modernity: Churchly challenges in 2017 and beyond"--Provocative questions about what it means to be the church in 2017 by the always great Bill Leonard.
- "Which Martin Luther King Are We Celebrating Today?"--A reminder that (conservative) politicians and Clemson football coaches who think MLK, Jr. was colorblind apparently have never read King.
- "Why are we 'untimely' if we seek justice? We follow Martin Luther King's example"--Excellent op-ed by Lora McDonald, executive director of MORE2, a faith-based coalition of which my church is a part. She points out how MLK's "Letter From a Birmingham Jail" is as relevant today as it was in King's day.
- "I Abstained From Sex for a Year to Donate Blood"--Recently I was approached about doing a blood drive at CCCUCC. I would have loved to do so, but we couldn't in good conscience do it.G ay men who are part of my church--even ones in decades-long monogamous relationships--are banned from giving blood unless they have abstained from sex for at least a year. It's a policy based on fears rather than facts, as this op-ed explains.
- "Anguish, Rage and Mercy as Dylann Roof Is Sentenced to Death"--"You can't have my joy," Bethane Middleton-Brown, Ms. Doctor's sister, told Mr. Roof. "It's simply not yours to take. You can't have it. So I guess you will spend the rest of your time being angry because you can't have it. The other thing that you will be angry about is because you didn't win."Then she added: "You couldn't make me hate you. May God bless you."
Medicaid Expansion in MO
- "In his final days in office, Nixon pardons Medicaid expansion protesters"--This case should have never been prosecuted in the first place. It's a horrible shame that the MO legislature has refused to expand Medicaid to provide medical care to thousands of Missourians in need.
The End of the Obama Presidency
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