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Building a Culture of Peace

Building a Culture of Peace

August 30, 2013 | For me, there's something incredibly compelling and inviting about the BPFNA's mission statement. Gathering lies at the heart of what it means to be the church and, in spite of our fierce defense of the principles of individual freedom, at the heart of what it means to be Baptist too... And the statement speaks poetically and meaningfully of that calling – to build a culture of peace rooted in justice… to change the world. Read more »

Give us Bread

August 1, 2013 | I want to add a final word of my own to these perspectives on daily bread. Throughout today’s service the songs and readings have referred to bread in various symbolic ways. My symbolic word would be to add the bread of compassion. I know this gets away from Lukan practicality, but I have been wrestling with the disparate responses to the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. I recognize the verdict as legal under the existing laws of the state of Florida, but I am troubled by the ethos that placed those same laws on the books, that encourages a man to patrol his neighborhood at night with a loaded gun, that targets another man because of his skin color and dress. I know the defense of and outrage over the verdict breaks down along racial lines. We continue to live in a country and culture that is deeply racist. This case along with that of Oscar Grant and others has helped to blow the cover off our hidden racism. Along with elements of the debate over immigration reform, the breadth and depth of our lingering racism has been exposed. We cannot continue to live like this – in fear, mistrust, hatred and hurting. Read more »

The Pigment of Our Imagination

The Pigment of Our Imagination

August 1, 2013 | As “white” parents of “black” children through transracial adoption, we have become quite aware of our skin privilege...We US Americans live in a country where browner bodies have less value than paler bodies, where a dark-skinned Marissa Alexander can be sentenced in Florida to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot in front of her abusive ex-husband; while a lighter-skinned George Zimmerman can pursue an unarmed dark-skinned teenager, provoke a confrontation, and shoot him to death and be found “not guilty”. This is the world into which we send our boys. Read more »

Salvación a través de la amistad

Salvación a través de la amistad

July 25, 2013 | ¿Qué significa ser “amigo o amiga” de alguien? ¿Cuántos amigos o amigas tú tienes? ¿Quiénes son estas personas que consideramos amistades, pero amistades de verdad, de las buenas? No hablo de personas que conocemos o de compañeros y compañeras de trabajo; sino de AMISTADES; personas en las que podemos confiar y que confían en ti. Hoy día, con facebook y todas esas plataformas de conexión virtual, parece que las personas tenemos miles de “amigos”, pero en realidad hay muy poca conexión personal. Read more »

Saved by Friendship

Saved by Friendship

July 25, 2013 | What does it mean to be “friends” with someone? How many friends do we have? Who are these people that we consider our friends and why do we consider them “friends” and not just “people we know” or “acquaintances”?...Today we are going to talk about friendship, and what does it mean to be transformed and to be saved by it. How does that apply to our work as peacemakers in today’s world? Read more »

Radical Hospitality in the Real World

Radical Hospitality in the Real World

July 23, 2013 | Perhaps this is the radical hospitality I have to learn to practice – to welcome both the wheat and the tares into my heart -- to embrace and tell the lovely stories of grace along with the wrenching stories of unredeemed grief and the stories that I don’t yet know how to define or understand. I think this is also a practice of peace-making – both because I have to – we have to – make peace with the fact that this is the world in which we live – and because, if we are to act, it can only be by keeping our hearts open to both the deep, deep pain of this world and its deep, deep joy and beauty. Read more »

Transform Me, Transform You, Transform the World!

Transform Me, Transform You, Transform the World!

July 8, 2013 | From May 13-24, 2013 Lee McKenna and Evelyn Hanneman led a two-week Conflict Transformation Training of Trainers near Asheville, North Carolina. Over the course of this training, 13 people from Canada, the United States and Mexico shared a unique experience of training, learning, Bible Study and prayer that for many was indeed a transformative experience. Read more »

A Declaration from Archbishop Malkhaz Songhulashvili

A Declaration from Archbishop Malkhaz Songhulashvili

July 3, 2013 | On May 17, 2013 approximately 40,000 anti-gay protesters attacked a group of LGBT activists attempting to hold a 30 minute-long silent protest. The Archbishop’s declaration on this issue was immediately published has been widely circulated in Georgia. Read more »


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