How green funeral and burial practices can be part of the Black Church tradition, aesthetics, and sensitivity to ecological justice
By Sequola Collins
Funeral rites and rituals are of great importance to the Black Church, and Black Church funerals, for most spiritual and practical purposes, have been exempt from adaptation and change. Although we might not quite be ready to go back to bathing, dressing, and sheltering the deceased to lie in repose in the front rooms of our homes, many Black Church funeral practices have remained unchallenged as capitalization in the funeral industry has increased.
I would argue that…
The Racial Wealth Gap and the Case for Reparations
By Christopher S. Campbell
Imagine two groups playing a game of Monopoly. The first group makes several fruitful trips around the board and amasses an enormous amount of wealth, enabling them to purchase Park Place and Boardwalk and to build several major hotel chains. As their wealth continues to grow, they are able to purchase more and more property and build their net worth.
The second group has not had a chance to play the game. After some time passes, the first group is forced to give the second group an…
Now it’s time to speak out against hate and stand up for each other
By Daniel Lee
Bright yellow mustard spread on two slices of white bread. Or perhaps rice with a little bit of sesame oil mixed with some ramen seasoning packets. Ask any immigrant child, and they will have a number of quick and easy recipes like these that helped them get through the afternoon — that after-school time of being alone and hungry, with parents often working long hours and without having much to eat at home. …
The Lenten invitation to healing and community
By Katherine H. Smith
It seems hard to believe that we are already deep into the season of Lent. In a typical year, this might have been a time to pause in our hectic lives. Slow down a little. Be a bit more reflective. This is the time of year that we take try to take inventory, pausing for a while to reflect on our sin and brokenness.
This year, though, it sure feels to me as though we’re already well down the road to Golgotha. We are weary travelers through this wilderness…
Bigger than my fear of all that is shifting in this difficult year is the fear that, when everything is said and done, all will be the same.
By Jerusha Matsen Neal
“I will tell you a mystery … the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51–52
My cousin John was a gift given to my aunt and uncle after many years of trying to have a child. He had a wide smile and bright, curious eyes, making anyone to whom he spoke feel important. …
Our response to the challenges of our time should be centered in the story of the gospel
By L. Gregory Jones
I have been reflecting on two novels, one of which has stayed with me since its publication three decades ago, the other of which I just read a couple of weeks ago. The one I just finished a couple of weeks ago is Apeirogon, by Colum McCann. The word apeirogon in the title refers to a geometric shape with what is said to be a countably infinite number of sides.
By J. Ross Wagner
On June 1, during a speech in the Rose Garden, President Donald Trump proclaimed himself “your president of law and order, and an ally of all peaceful protesters.” Meanwhile, outside the White House, officers in riot gear backed by mounted police used smoke canisters, pepper balls, flash-bang grenades and billy clubs to break up an overwhelmingly peaceful protest on the north side of Lafayette Square.
Having demonstrated his ability to “dominate the streets,” the president then walked across the square to St. John’s Episcopal Church where he posed briefly for photos. Standing stern faced and holding…
By Sujin Pak
Imagine that the world as you have known it has ceased to be. Imagine that the logic with which you approached your life now no longer seems to hold. Imagine that a hope in a bright future is now called acutely into question, if not seemingly demolished altogether.
You don’t really have to imagine this. For many, this is the reality in which so many and we ourselves are living.
This is the reality in which the disciples in Luke 24 were living. Their whole world had fallen apart. All their hopes and dreams of a new…
By David Emmanuel Goatley
The tornado damaged or destroyed houses up and down the block. It was like something out of a scary movie. But it was all too real.
Utility poles were broken. Trees were uprooted. Shingles were scattered. Toys were tossed. Clothes were cast about. It was a mess.
Peculiarly, you could see a house here and there standing unharmed by the violent storm that passed by a few hours earlier. How in the world did those few buildings escape damage or destruction?
One of those homeowners whose house escaped damage said, “The Lord blessed us.” …
By C. Kavin Rowe
Whether we love it or hate it or something in between, the existence of Christianity in the modern West is taken for granted. Its long history of penetration into almost every layer of almost every society in the West makes it virtually impossible to conceive any part of the Western world without some semblance of Christian influence.
Such influence does not mean, of course, that Christianity in the West is here to stay, or that some independent metaphysical law in the unfolding of human history requires Christianity to persist. Indeed, many of the more powerful contemporary…