How to Stay Connected and Inspired in America

Some of us recently witnessed (or participated in) the largest public demonstration our country has ever seen.

The Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, January 21, 2017 was a historic day, seeing 2.5 million people around the world take to the streets to support causes such as women’s reproductive rights, climate change and criminal justice reform.

Now that everyone has returned home, hung their pussy hats in the hallway, and attempted to return to some sense of normal family/work/life balance, the question has been asked, “What next?”

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Jesus acted — so should we

Jesus acted.

He also wept. He spoke truth to power. He taught about wealth and power. He welcomed all manner of people into his presence. He called outliers to be disciples.

Most of all, he acted. Faced with a situation, he did something. He fed hungry people, he healed the sick, he protected the vulnerable. Instead of building an institution, he traveled around. Instead of promulgating doctrines and institutional rules, he took action.

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Milo Yiannopoulos’ trash talking tanks

I believe free speech not only has its limits, but that it also has a level of responsibility to promote civil discourse for the welfare of others, and reject hate speech which is a precursor to violence.

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I Was Wrong About Homosexuality

By About Alex Camire

How gracious can you be to someone while standing firm in the belief that their orientation is a sin? That’s how I was to my recollection. I wasn’t incensed or abrasive, I even pointed out that I wasn’t the type of Christian to ever stand with the signs that said God hated him (as if that would make me look better). When asked what my beliefs were about him being gay, I made all the standard arguments there were, while being as kind and respectful as I could. And at some point, I said I believed that if he prayed and sought God fervently that the feelings of same-sex attraction he had could go away.

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Being Christian

What does it mean to live in a liberating, transformative faith community today? We need a different linguistic narrative along with a different set of cultural practices to give expression to this task. This means a new understanding of the Eternal Reality—the reality we call God—a new understanding of community and of the personal moral and ethical choices we make in our everyday lives. This also means new approaches to the language and symbols used in public worship for the Christian community (such as the meaning of communion, the response to scriptural texts, and the words used in sermons, hymns, congregational prayers and other forms of Christian liturgy).

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Why I am praying for President Trump…

A Facebook friend puzzled over my last post, wondering if it implied a kind of us-vs-them outlook. What I intended was assurance to those of us apprehensive about the Trump-Pence inauguration, including possible Trump voters, who may themselves now face loss of health care coverage, rising prices, diminished Social Security and Medicare benefits, reduced personal safety, and international insecurity.

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Resistance, Resiliency & Revival

It’s Black History month in the United States. Our new President has rolled out some truly terrifying Executive Orders his first dozen days in office. If you have a pulse you’re doubtless aware, so I won’t take up pixels enumerating them here – ’cause this post isn’t about him. These orders – with their policy and cultural ramifications – have led to some beautiful acts of resistance across the country and around the world.

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Being true to your own faith

Have you ever been scared? When people criticize your ideas, how do you remain courageous enough to keep your faith?

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Just the Facts, Ma’am

Partisan hostility is not new but social media has certainly ratcheted up the rhetoric so that we quickly fall into hostile name calling of one another and asserting that every politician we don’t like is just like Hitler. In this time when so many important ethical issues are up in the air we cannot be silent but we should be exacting in our honesty. We need the courage to raise our voices in advocacy and even in protest but we must embrace the spiritual character that asks us to speak the truth in love so that we can persuade rather than alienate those with whom we communicate.

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ABN AMRO threatens to stop financing company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline

ABN AMRO, the Dutch bank, today announced that it will end its financing for Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) if the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) will be constructed without the consent of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, or if further violence will be used. The Dutch Fair Finance Guide, Greenpeace Netherlands and BankTrack welcome the decision of ABN AMRO, and call on other banks, including ING in the Netherlands, to follow this example and end all outstanding finance to the pipeline and the companies behind it if no agreement is reached with the Sioux Tribe about the pipeline.

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The Irony Behind Trump’s Travel Ban And Holocaust Remembrance Day

Trump’s public statement commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day omitted any mention of Judaism, anti-Semitism or the Nazis’ systematic program exterminating European Jewry. The omission was not only hurtful to remaining Holocaust survivors, their families, and friends, but it was dismissive of its six million victims during World War II.

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Stranger As Neighbor in a Promised Land

Contrary to the old adage, fences do not necessarily make good neighbors. In our election campaign season this last year, the winning candidate promised to build a wall and have our neighbor pay for it. We’ll see. Now by presidential executive order, an indefinite ban on all refugees from certain predominantly Muslim countries entering our country has also been put in place.

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Who is My Brother’s Keeper?

This picture has been going viral lately.

It is easy to draw conclusions from it. You see a homeless man with a sign asking for money. Standing next to him is a Wal-Mart employee with a “Hiring” sign. The Wal-Mart employee is looking right at the homeless man (as if to invite him to apply), but the homeless man is not looking at the Wal-Mart employee.

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Trump’s First Days: I Thought I Was Done Grieving but I Was Wrong

By Brian Henry

Like many liberals and progressives, I was shocked and dismayed after the election of Donald Trump, and I went through a very real “grieving” process as I came to terms with what had happened. I thought I had accepted the reality of the election results and even felt reasonably self-assured about the future of the country and of the Democratic Party on Inauguration Day. And yet, on Day 3 of Trump’s presidency, I found myself entering a second “grieving” process having perceived the magnitude of the election in much sharper focus.

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The Women’s March on Washington highlighted old and new tensions

Many women of color did indeed attend the marches. Angela Peoples went to the march in D.C. wearing a Trump-like red hat that read “Stop Killing Black People” and carried a sign that read “White Women Voted for Trump.”

However, it must be noted that there is a difference between marching for everyone’s civil rights versus marching because white women now recognize a diminishment of their white privilege.

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Marching On

Like a cosmic singularity, the jam was so tight and strong, so energetic and energizing, that it ended with a Big Bang. The movement really began when the marchlesss marches ended, after the long waits at crowded subway stations. We got home, turned on our screens and gazed awestruck at the images of ourselves standing shoulder-to-shoulder, filling squares and boulevards and bridges, spilling into side-streets. Now we move from protest into organized, long-term activism to stop the inhumane, immoral, and unpopular agenda of Trump and the Republicans.

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Winona LaDuke speaking on the Rights of Nature

Winona LaDuke speaking on the Rights of Nature at the University of Oregon November 19th, 2016.

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A Taste of Embrace Festival, 2017

In May 2017, people from all over the world will gather in Portland, Oregon to share knowledge and wisdom, learn from each other, celebrate, be inspired, and find the tools needed to create and enliven local movements within our communities. Together we will explore sacred oneness, Christ consciousness, eco-spirituality, social justice and the way of universal and personal transformation that honors the Divine in all.

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