There was another shooting in a crowded public space late this week. This time it was in a movie theater in Lafayette Louisiana. Once again the shooter, John Houser, a white man with a criminal record and a history of mental illness and violence had a legally purchased handgun. And he had a hatred of “liberals”, a fascination with Neo-Nazism and a distorted understanding of the Gospel. As the New York Times reports: Mr. Houser […]
Beloved in Jesus, the Prince of Peace; Our hearts are breaking today as we take in the news of another mass shooting. Today’s crime, apparently motivated by racial hatred, has taken the lives of nine innocent victims while they were gathered in prayer and Bible study. Church bells are being rung across the nation calling us to prayer for the victims and for all who’s lives have been forever shattered by this tragedy. I […]
I’m waking to the news that there’s been a mass execution of Coptic Christians in Libya this morning by masked men who claim affiliation with the Islamic State movement. The victims died with the words “Jesus is Lord” on their lips. Violent actions like these, shared widely in an intentional media campaign, are carefully calculated to provoke a response in the rest of world, to bring about a world wide religious war. And here in […]
Jesus teaches us how to live in real, life giving community. Perhaps we need to by a lot more intentional about reorienting our focus from celebrating the life giving relationships and faith we find in church to going out into the world and inviting people in pain to find life with us.
Fourteen years ago I was asked to preach at a city-wide observance of the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington. What I said then has been very much on my mind as I've been following the news out of Paris and the murders of the journalists who worked at Charlie Hebado.
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury has released a tightly reasoned essay on the necessity of a thoughtful and coordinated response to the threat posed by ISIS and the extremist so-called “jihadists” around the world. The essay very carefully refuses to find a reductionist explanation, a simple way to understand what is, at its heart, a multi-faceted response to a number of local issues. The Archbishop writes in particular: “Every conflict is individual, and a […]
As a person who grew up on the border between the Midlands and Appalachia to essentially Yankee parents, who lived for a while in Tidewater and in El Norte (the US Southwest) and who now lives in Yankeedom, Woodward's book makes sense of things I've noticed but couldn't explain.
Jobs are going away. Even cruddy, dehumanizing jobs of the sort that so many people decried during the height of the Industrial revolution. With no work, and no way to provide for a family's needs, it's no wonder that we're seeing a breakdown in the structures of community.
So far today we're not hearing of any significant impact to the people or property of the Diocese of Rhode Island. Linda Grenz has been working the phones along with the rest of the staff at Diocesan House and seems to have made contact with most every congregation.
There are no answers now. Even if answers are found for our questions in the next few weeks, I'd be surprised if they were sensible, or even helpful. Terrible things seem to be like that; they exist outside of sense and reason. They happen and we struggle to find categories to understand.