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#6 / Jonestown Theology: Lenten Explorations in the Valley of Death

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God is never lost. In the midst of great evil, God is there. I have long wondered how Jonestown fits into such ideas. In the 1970s, Rev. Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple founded the settlement in the jungles of Guyana. After a few years of communal living, Jones led his followers to commit a […]

On Conflict: Conversations with a Disciple

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  *Christian Parks is accompanying me again this summer. Throughout our time together, we will post brief snippets of our conversations.   C: How should Christians engage conflict?   J: Brother Christian, we are called to create moral conflict. We are called to trouble the waters. We are called to cause a disturbance. I’m not […]

The Slap

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Sitting on a park bench… I saw a woman slap her child tonight. The offense was hitting another child. I watched the little girl take it. What else was she supposed to do? Before I could react… They were gone. Peace seems impossible. You can’t teach a child not to hit by hitting.

The Closing Prayer at WE ARE NOT AFRAID: LGBTQ Responses to Hate

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*Prayer given on 10/11/15 at a rally to respond to recent beatings and murders in the Dallas Gayborhood. Almighty God…you are known by many names and found by many paths…we thank you for your presence with us tonight. Let us first apologize to you and our neighbors. We repent for all the times that we […]

Social Pain

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  * This interaction is derived from a recent conversation that I had with the Rev. Dr. Garth Baker-Fletcher at his home where he is recovering from hip surgery. A retired professor, Baker-Fletcher is the author of Somebodyness: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Theory of Dignity (1993), Xodus: An African-American Male Journey (1996), My Sister, My Brother (with his […]

Lenten Reflections from the Executed: #515 Jose Villegas / April 16, 2014

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*These reflections are taken from pieces of the last words of the last 40 persons executed in Texas. Jose Villegas- “I am at peace.” In a world of violence and fear, we work so hard for peace. Unfortunately, I think that peace is far more about being and trusting than it is working. Jose Villegas […]

Learning to Die

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  There was a moment in my journey of faith that I realized that following Jesus meant death. In that moment, I realized that, “death is the way, death is the truth and death is the light.” One has to die in order to experience the fullness of Jesus. On occasion, I am vividly reminded […]

The Violence of Demanding Peaceful Protest: The Missteps of Clergy in Ferguson

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“We don’t want anyone getting arrested or lashing out in anger.  It is your job to keep people calm.”  These are the words that a local clergyperson shared with me before I traveled to West Florissant Ave. to participate in demonstrations in Ferguson.  Throughout the night, clergy consistently congratulated each other that everything seemed to […]

The Death in Ferguson

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“Love is going to fuck you up.”  The ominous words rang out from a woman standing on the street corner.  Pointing at me, the woman declared, “You are going to have to die before you can love anybody here.”  I knew she was right.  The Prophetess of Ferguson reminded me of all the times I […]

Prayer for Racial Reconciliation and Justice at Cathedral of Hope

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We are a church…we are a congregation forged out of oppression and marginalization.  This is a church that is no stranger to violence.  Many of you have experienced violence in your own lives…and against your own persons.  The death of Michael Brown and the events that have followed in Ferguson, Missouri have reminded us that […]

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