Laura Jesson 09-23-2016

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I hear from others that telling our stories is the way to freedom. I keep hearing that sharing our testimonies is how we grow and change, connect and love. I keep hearing LGBTQ people say that coming out was the best thing they ever did. I keep hearing that hiding and pretending is harmful, dangerous and unhealthy. I keep hearing that it’s so much better to be real and live out your identity.

I hope they’re right.

the Web Editors 09-23-2016

1. WATCH: 6-Year-Old Boy Asks Obama to Bring Syrian Boy to Live With Him

You need this today.

2. The Price of Mass Deportation

The U.S. could lose $4.7 trillion if every undocumented worker were deported.

3. Michelle Alexander Leaving Law to Teach at Union Theological Seminary

The New Jim Crow author says, of her decision, “This is not simply a legal problem, or a political problem, or a policy problem. At its core, America’s journey from slavery to Jim Crow to mass incarceration raises profound moral and spiritual questions about who we are, individually and collectively, who we aim to become, and what we are willing to do now.”

the Web Editors 09-22-2016

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The District Attorney of Tulsa County announced on Sept. 22 that Officer Betty Shelby will be charged with manslaughter in the first degree for fatally shooting Terence Crutcher.

Officer Shelby shot and killed Terence Crutcher on Sept. 16 after Crutcher’s SUV stalled on a street and police arrived to investigate. Dashcam and helicopter footage of the shooting was released by the Tulsa Police Department on Sept. 19.

Elaina Ramsey 09-22-2016

There is an unmistakable energy when women come together. In my experience, a boldness and brilliance fills the space in rich and surprising ways when women are gathered.

Such was the case as more than 1,500 women from across the country attended the recent We Won’t Wait summit in Washington, D.C., to organize and strategize for a better life for their families and communities. But this was no ordinary conference.

Sammi Sluder 09-22-2016

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It is time for the American church to engage in this liberation for singles. As we have seen with racism and imperialism, cultural ideologies can transform into oppressive theologies, which then need to be answered with a call for liberation. This must include repentance and reconciliation, relinquishing of power, and making room for a new system to be put into place — a system that is made by, cares for, and affirms single people.

Karen Gonzalez 09-22-2016

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As an immigrant woman and a Christian, I’ve loved the book of Ruth ever since I realized Ruth was an immigrant, welcomed into the family of God. And I’ve often been surprised by the interpretations of the Biblical story, in which Boaz is the hero and no one else has any agency. I find this odd because, as I read Ruth, what I see is that Boaz did nothing more heroic than exactly what was required by God’s law: He welcomed an immigrant from a neighboring community.

Jim Wallis 09-22-2016

Footage before Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by police. 

The protests that break out on the streets in the aftermaths of killings are not just about the latest individual case, but the lack of trust in a system of policing and criminal justice that justice needs to be put back into. The protests are about accountability in an age where police who use excessive force and act outside the law that they pledge to protect are almost never held accountable.

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And that’s OK. God did not call them, and does not call us, to comfort. Instead, God calls us to hard work and hard places. Our deliverance does not come when God releases us from those places of division, but when we lean into them, fully accepting why we are there — not to share God with a godless people, but to learn and act on the essential lesson that we are all God’s people.

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“I think there are a lot of nones who miss singing in the choir, who would love to go into a building and hear a moving speech, but the minute someone starts talking about the Bible they check out. It no longer feels applicable to them. That’s a big challenge to the church.”

the Web Editors 09-22-2016

Police in riot gear, Oakland, Calif. Image via Thomas Hawk/Flickr

The Los Angeles Times reports one man critically wounded and at least seven more injured in the protests, which continued for a second night in the face of growing tensions and anger over police handling of the circumstances of Scott's death. Protesters threw rocks and smashed windows, and police officers in riot gear fired tear gas and nonlethal bullets into the crowd.

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