Day: April 28, 2010

Marys need small groups

In the gospels, you rarely learn of the faithful commitment and action of one woman alone. There are the Mary’s and nameless “other women.” For better or for worse, this kind of relationality is a woman’s legacy and a part of her creative response to challenges of legitimacy and social change. It is no surprise that the last major study of women clergy found that women who left ministry did so because they lacked a peer group.

Read More »

Nobody goes to church anymore, it’s too quiet

There are many complaints believers and nonbelievers might level against God in the big Western city today, but one thing you have to concede is that He is supreme at keeping the places where is He is worshiped silent. The withdrawal of faith from the urban house of faith has left some awfully dark holes filled with glorious, ecumenical silence.

Read More »

What Italian bishops are reading about paedophilia

“By the end of 1936, the severe measures taken by the German bishops in reaction to these very few cases, some of which were doubtful, seemed to have resolved the real problems. Quietly, the bishops also pointed out that among teachers in the state schools and in the very youth organization of the regime, the Hitler Youth, the cases of condemnations for sexual abuses were much more numerous than among the Catholic clergy.”

Read More »

Falling under the spell of charisma

Charisma — personal charm and magnetism — is a quality we look for in our leaders, including (especially?) the clergy. It’s not proven by this experiment, but it’s an interesting hypothesis that when we find someone charismatic the areas of the brain associated with vigilance and skepticism are deactivated. Charisma can be a force for good, but it can so easily be misused.

Read More »

Bp Kirk Smith: AZ law criminalizes compassion

SB 1070 can be interpreted to make acts as simple as feeding the hungry at a church soup-kitchen, offering water on a 100°+ day, providing a pew to worship God, or even taking children of undocumented workers for a ride in a church-owned vehicle a felony offense.

Read More »

Dorothy Height, civil rights hero

Ms. Height is widely credited as the first person in the modern civil rights era to treat the problems of equality for women and equality for African-Americans as a seamless whole, merging concerns that had been largely historically separate. The seamless whole included gays.

Read More »

Presiding Bishop featured on VOA

For Jefferts Schori, relatedness with others, including non-human “others,” leads naturally to a theology of compassion and activism. She is most concerned for the voiceless, the powerless, those, who in her words, exist “on the margins.” … “I read the gospels to say that Jesus is most passionate about those that are excluded.”

Read More »

God and the volcano, or: How we are not in charge

Volcanoes may have a part to play in the great cycle of endings and new beginnings that mark the history of life on our planet. Somehow, God is gracious in those terrifying prospects, too. Death and new life are the tell-tale signs, small as we are, of our being an Easter people – people of the crucifixion, and people of the resurrection. We simply do not have one without the other.

Read More »

The Father and I are one

The basic text for Christian practice is “the Father and I are one.” Christ came to save us from our sins, but only as the essential preliminary to our ultimate destiny. The source of all sin is the sense of a separate self.

Read More »