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Another World Is Possible

This sermon was delivered to Cleveland Park Congregational Church of Christ in Washington, DC on Palm Sunday (3/25/18). Listen to the audio recording  here.  Scripture Passages: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29, Mark 11:1-11
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I’m excited for the opportunity to share some thoughts with you this morning, but you will have to excuse me if seem a little tired... You see, yesterday myself and a dozen-or-so members from our church took part in the March For Our Lives – a nationwide demonstration calling for an end to gun violence via comprehensive gun control measures. The march was planned by students from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, where less than two months ago a former student carried out a mass shooting, killing 17 people. Like you I was shocked and heartbroken by this tragedy. More innocent people – children- murdered in their classrooms. And to make this loss even more…

The Last Letter

You are sitting back in your chair, 
chin raised, 
eyes closed, 
trying - desperately - to get 
comfortable. 

But the discomfort is inside.
Pain - like an unwelcome
squatter - 
has set up camp in your 
chest, 
your back, 
your legs. 

You tell me your story. 
My heart breaks - 
for the bodies betrayal,
for all that could have been, 
for all that you are. 

But you are not bitter, 
not angry at fate, 
only sad. 
Sad for too little time, 
and concerned for your boys. 

Will they be okay?
Will they recover?

I tell you not to worry, 
to trust in the strength God has given them. 

They ask to visit,
but you say "don't 
concern yourself." 
I tell you to let them in. 
The cure for pain is in the pain,
says Rumi. 

You ask if I will read to you.
From the Bible, 
you say. 
You hand me your own. 
I reach out and take hold of its well worn cover. 
I flip through the pages, 
highlighted 
and 
underlined. 
Ancient words brought back to life in florescent flashes
of wisdom heeded, 
assurance passed down to the next generation
in wor…

Taking A Long View

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Scripture: Deuteronomy 3:23-29 Last weekend I had the immense honor of participating in Georgetown Universities “Let Freedom Ring Celebration!” at the Kennedy Center. You see, once a year Georgetown hosts a free concert honoring the legacy of Dr King, and each year they commission two original songs based on a specific aspect of King’s life. This year they chose to focus on Rev. King’s last sermon, which he delivered in Memphis Tennessee the day before his assassination. He went to Memphis in support of striking African American city sanitation workers. The workers planned a sit in to protest unequal wages and working conditions imposed by the mayor. Most of the people who packed the sanctuary that night were sanitation workers.
            In his sermon, Dr. King made a number of biblical illusions to support his message, but he chose to end with a reference from the 3rd chapter of Deuteronomy, which happens to be one of our lectionary texts today. In this chapter, Moses is telling Go…

Beloved

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This sermon was delivered at the Medstar Georgetown University Hospital Protestant Worship service on October 19, 2017. 
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So, I’ve been on this organizing-kick lately. It started with de-cluttering our apartment, but has quickly become an all-encompassing obsession. I’ve done pretty well with getting rid of clothes, excess towels, old people magazines, and general kitsch we’ve inherited over the years… so this week I’ve moved on to dealing with digital clutter.             While digging through thousands of pictures and word documents, I’ve come across a ton of old cover letters. You know what I mean by cover letters, right? I despise writing cover letters, don’t you? They are so awkward and self-congratulatory, and somehow I always use vocabulary I never use in regular conversation:
“Dear Sir or Madame, I am writing you on the behest of myself, as I have many accomp…

Charlottesville

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For clarity: 
David and I went to Charlottesville in response to a call for clergy and faith leaders to peacefully confront a white supremacist rally called "Unite the Right." The rally was convened because of a recent city council decision to remove the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a prominent public park. Two weeks before this rally,  the NC chapter of the KKK was in town to protest and the scene turned ugly. Now, with white supremacists coming from all over the country, local faith leaders and other anti-racist groups (such as Black Lives Matter and Showing Up For Racial Justice) were asking for anyone committed to non-violent direct action to join them for a counter-protest. We were not able to attend the non-violence trainings held on Friday night, which is why we did not participate in the action directly.

What I've tried to do is detail what our day was like as honestly and plainly as I can. We didn't have a lot of information about what w…

When Women Marched On Washington

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Last Saturday I attended the Women's March on DC. 

I want to start by saying that I wrestled with the decision to attend or not. I read many of the articles and blogs written by women of color, who had (and have) serious concerns about what this march was really about and what it could possible do to create substantive change. I hear those critiques and they are not unfounded. The last thing POC/WOC need in the long fight for justice is more empty gestures of solidarity. I felt torn because I wanted to march. Not because marches change all that much, but because I think it is important to show up for one another. I also want to build deeper relationships with people who share the conviction that another world is possible. 

I asked David what we should do. Would marching distract us from making real change? What could we do to better combat the "isms" that infect everyday life? How can I speak up for the rights being denied to me, while at the same time, acknowledging the m…