An Open Letter to My Brothers (in light of #MeToo)

[Note: I realize that many of you who read my reflections aren’t ‘brothers,’ but sisters and non-binary siblings. But I’ve been encouraged to share these words – originally urgently written and shared on social media – more carefully and more widely, in hopes that we male-bodied types can do better. If you are not male, I beg your indulgence – and please feel free to share this with a man in your life who could use the challenge + encouragement.]

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Post from Nicole Stamp about concrete ways men can help in regards to the #metoo campaign.

If you feel uncomfortable during conversations about sexism (or racism, or ableism, or cultural appropriation, or whatever- because all these systems are related, google “kyriarchy” to learn more), the only correct response is to be quiet and listen and try to focus on the topic at hand rather than centre your own feelings. It’s hard. It’s worthwhile.
Thanks for trying to be decent men. We see you.”

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“I Have Disarmed Myself” | The Wisdom of Hazrat Inayat Khan

Someone said to Murshid, “I heard them talk against you.”

“Did they?” said he. “Have you also heard anyone speak kindly of me?”

“Yes,” the person exclaimed.

“Then,” said Murshid, “this is the light and shade to life’s portrait, making the picture complete.”

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Who’s Listening?

By Andrew Forsthoefel for Garrison Institute

Andrew Forsthoefel on the gift of being deeply listened to during an eleven-month walk across the United States.

Where would you find yourself if your need to be right and your addiction to certainty dissolved into a willingness to listen? Who would you be, then? And who would we be together—as a country, as a planet—if each one of us actually knew what listening was and how to do it because we had, over the course of our lives, been deeply listened to? This kind of listening does have to be learned and that is the only way to learn it: to receive it.

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The LGBTQAlphabet – six letters will never be enough

For this year’s Pride, we collaborated with The LGBT Community Center, NYC’s home and hub for the LGBTQA community, to create a film celebrating the entire LGBTQA Alphabet—twenty-six ways to share who you are and how you love. Because all voices deserve to be heard.

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“How do your beliefs and spiritual values inspire you to do meaningful work in the world?

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Prayer of Confession

We stand today on blood soaked land we have inherited
From a centuries long heritage of violence
Which was born in the genocide of the indigenous
And whose industry was built by the forced labor of slaves.

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Taking One (Knee) for the Team

Race relations in the U.S.A. all too often play out like this:

African-American people: “We have a problem in this country with race, and it is important to us.”
White Americans: “Be quiet!”
African American people: “Lives are impacted both in the past and now.”
White Americans: “Get over it!”

I wish I could say this were an exaggeration. Sadly, I have seen these responses quite literally on the social media pages I manage and elsewhere.

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Survival @ 2.5 Minutes to Midnight

For 70 years, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has maintained the Doomsday Clock, a graphic representation of the level of danger to the planet from nuclear weapons and other threats. Partly because of the election of Donald Trump, it has moved the clock from 3 to 2.5 minutes from midnight. The danger has been dire for many decades, and now it is worse – but only by a small increment.

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Islamophobia: misinformation and blatant lies

Lots of people are worked up with fear and misinformation. Sometimes it seems that facts just don’t matter anymore. But don’t give up! Keep paying your dues to the reality club and keep your Islamophobia decoder ring handy. Don’t let people who are taken in by every anti-Muslim snake-oil salesman that comes around derail your commitment to what I think Jesus would want us to do: to treat “the other” with respect and dignity. Practice hospitality. Build genuine relationships with those who are excluded or lied about. And maybe, “all of a sudden,” a whole new world will emerge.

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100 Year Old Sewing Dresses and Planting Gospel Seeds

Eva Bossenberger is 100 years old. Eva, who has enjoyed sewing since she was a child, makes dresses to pack in Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts. She prays that every girl who receives a dress will hear the Gospel and come to know Jesus as her Savior. Learn

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Hate. No. Radical Love. Always.

The other side – no matter how vile, how much they hate me – are human beings. Stereotyping and dehumanizing them is wrong. Causing harm to them is wrong. Period.

No matter how wrong someone is, we must not treat them inhumanely.

They might be the problem. They might shout at us. They might threaten us. But hate is never the solution.

Hate is a narrowing; it makes the table more and more narrow, inviting fewer and fewer people to be with us. Love invites more people to join us.

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How to Respect Patient’s Religious Beliefs During Treatment

By Adventist University Academic Resource

In times of illness and injury, many people turn to religion and spirituality for comfort and healing. So it makes sense that these parts of a person’s life should be incorporated into their care. The good news is that there’s growing support in the medical community to address religious and spiritual issues in patient care. In fact, organizations like the American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Family Physicians and American Nursing Association have stressed the need for greater understanding of a patient’s belief systems, particularly when dealing with treatment options and end-of-life issues.

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Spiritual Care During Times of Disaster

Spiritual health can often be a casualty of war in times of unprecedented upheaval and change. There are a number of shifts that occur in times of disaster in regards to an individual’s faith, beliefs and spiritual practices. I think sometimes this can get neglected or overlooked, especially by mainstream media coverage, and yet it is every bit as important as our emotional and physical well-being. People not only seek the basic survival needs – shelter, safety, water, food, sanitation and sleep – but they also yearn to make meaning of what is happening in relation to God and in relation to each other.

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Meaningful Work AND Meaningful Salaries!

The weakness of the labor unions in our day has eroded the wages, health care benefits, job security, retirement programs, and even the safety of the workplace. When labor unions were growing, spiritual communities articulated the causes labor supported but in our era the church has been far too silent on labor issues. It isn’t just for union members that we need to find our prophetic voice, it is for the whole population because we all benefit when salaries are increased and the challenges of economic vulnerability in retirement, illness, and unemployment.

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Family and Politics: Why I’m Against ‘Keeping the Peace’

There are times when we need to speak up.

We live in an age of sharp division. According to the Pew Research Center, an “overwhelming majority” of Americans (86%) believe the country is more politically divided than it has ever been before. These political and ideological differences aren’t merely a matter of red or blue states; these same sharp divisions exist within many families, potentially alienating parents from children, sisters from brothers. When we disagree with those we love about some of our most closely held beliefs, must keeping the peace always mean keeping quiet?

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India.Arie Sings “I Am Light”

Watch as singer/songwriter India.Arie performs the song ‘I Am Light’ from her new album, ‘Songversation’

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Undaunted Grace

The earth turns, seasons turn,
and we turn homeward, seeking
a place we’ve never been.

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