Time to vote!

Today it is tempting to write something like, "I don't care who you vote for - just vote!" On one level, I mean it. Nationally, our voter turnout is, frankly, pathetic. As you can see, since 1948 we've never had higher than 65% turnout of eligible voters. Multiple years saw only 39%. If we could …

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Connections. It’s all about connections.

There was a lot to like about last weekend's Confirmation retreat. No, not everything was peachy. You can't throw 16 people who aren't used to spending that much time together into a fairly small space for 26 hours and expect nothing but sunshine and roses 🙂 We played a lot, and we snacked a lot, …

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‘Blessed are the peacemakers’

Today is Nelson Mandela Day; it could hardly occur at a better time. What the world needs now is a whole lot of people praying for - and working for - peace. Those of us who claim the name of Jesus better be leading those efforts, if we want to live up to that name. …

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Advocacy at work

Well, that happened fast. I guess sometimes it all comes together. Lately I've used this space, as I often do, to write about the Christian duty to engage in justice advocacy to alleviate hunger, poverty and oppression. Then Bread for the World picked up a little of what I wrote and asked if they could …

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A true must-read

Given that: 1. As followers of God in the Way of Jesus, my congregation (Woodridge United Methodist Church) strives to love God and love our neighbors. Which, as Jesus put it, means everybody. 2. A vital piece of loving our neighbors - and of UMC membership vows - is striving to fight evil, injustice, and …

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#BringBackOurGirls

Human trafficking. Dehumanization and abuse of women and girls. Intertwined roots in execrable theology. That, dear reader, is a hat trick of blog post subjects for me if ever there was one. I determined I would write a post on the 270 kidnapped Nigerian school girls and the global response, hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. I had the …

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Making US food aid more Methodist?

When we collected an Offering o f Letters (OL) at Woodridge United Methodist Church on April 28th, I shared that writing to support food aid reform put us on the cutting edge; that we were helping Bread for the World try out a new focus for OLs.  Food aid reforms in President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2014 …

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Record-breaking OL not done yet

Last Sunday, my congregation, Woodridge United Methodist Church, partnered with Bread for the World in taking an Offering of Letters. Rosie's story (see above video) was a key component of our presentation and perhaps part of the reason the OL produced 110 names on the petition to the President and 120 letters to our Senators. The …

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Responding to evil with a hope and a prayer

How often this week have you heard someone say, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of ______"? Boston, Iraq, Texas, Iran, Illinois...there's no shortage of people dealing with violence, disaster, pain, and tragedy. There never is. Has the "thoughts and prayers" sentiment gone the way of "how are you"? Tossed off with little …

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Remembering that ‘shot rang out in the Memphis sky’

I'm sure you don't need me to tell you this, but it was 45 years ago today (April 4) that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Yesterday, Fred Clark posted a long excerpt from Dr. King's April 3rd speech, often called the "I've been to the mountaintop" speech. It's fabulous oratory. Fred rightly pointed …

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