Speaking and preaching will only take a congregation so far. Real and sustained progress requires a change in cultures that demand people hide a part of who they are. “We must become congregations in which people are welcome to be their whole selves,” Snell writes. “When we do the work of making our congregations welcoming to those with mental illness, we can live into a vision of the fullness of the body of Christ, accompanying all and excluding none.”

Sean Hawkey 4-22-2019
Photos of faith leaders offering sanctuary, civil disobedience during London’s Extinction Rebellion

Christians are stepping up to show their leadership on climate action in London this week during the Extinction Rebellion protests that have occupied four key positions in central London over the past week. The Extinction Rebellion has three stated demands of the United Kingdom government: declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2015, and "create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.” In the collective nonviolent efforts to achieve these goals, over 950 have been arrested.

Sri Lankan military stand guard inside a church after an explosion in Negombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

Sri Lanka said on Monday it was invoking emergency powers in the aftermath of devastating bomb attacks on hotels and churches, blamed on militants with foreign links, in which 290 people were killed and nearly 500 wounded.

4-19-2019

Holy Week for Christians represents a dramatic movement from pain to hope. We deeply feel and lament the pain Jesus Christ endured for us, but we also feel our personal pain and the world’s pain. Then we rejoice as that pain gives way to the eternal hope. 

Jamar A. Boyd II 4-18-2019

The Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas, Louisiana, U.S. April 4, 2019 is pictured after a fire in this picture obtained from social media. Picture taken April 4, 2019. Courtesy Louisiana Office Of State Fire Marshal/Handout via REUTERS

The stark contrast in media coverage and social concern reveals the deep and isolated silos which humanity can and chooses to abide within, magnifying the complex avenues of empathy and sympathy while examining the enactment of independent agencies to ensure certain spaces and structures are protected or resurrected.

the Web Editors 4-18-2019

Holy Week, cults, spring healing, prison abolition, and more!

Jim Wallis 4-18-2019

Smoke rises around the altar in front of the cross inside the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool

Holy Week for Christians represents a dramatic movement from pain to hope. We deeply feel and lament the pain Jesus Christ endured for us, but we also feel our personal pain and the world’s pain. Then we rejoice as that pain gives way to the eternal hope that is always available to us through the resurrection—a hope that is not just for ourselves but for the world. We say “Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!” with a joy that surpasses understanding.

Image via Yunuen Bonaparte

“A teacher once told me it would be better if I didn’t tell people I’m gay,” said Jed McDonald, a Pasadena City College student and former youth in foster care.

“I think she meant it as helpful advice because she wasn’t a mean teacher, but it didn’t feel that way,” McDonald said.

 Martin Luther King Jr. Mural at the National Historic Site in Atlanta, GA.

What is at stake in the conversation regarding the decline in religious life is not just the future of our faith institutions but the future of humanity. We are living through a time just as Dr. King described, where reactionary forces seek to double down on the failing status quo through the rhetoric of scarcity, isolation, and walls. In response, a prophetic faith kindles the imagination of humanity helping us to create new pathways to respond to the challenges of our time that are rooted in not in fear, but in possibility and the values of justice and peace.

Photo by Ihor Malytskyi on Unsplash

Good Friday and Easter Sunday are not just moments of remembering events of 2,000 years ago but a celebration of an ongoing reality. Examples of resurrection come in unlikely places. Recently, I found one in a 2013 study of brain scans or people recovering from severe addictions.

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