The most natural way to describe myself is to start with a description of my family and home town as they have shaped me in the most important of ways. My father is the Senior Pastor at University Baptist Church, Chapel Hill and taught me some of life’s most important lessons including the therapy of yard work, the secret to a great steak (hint: garlic salt), what it really means to be a Tar Heel and how to love the Lord. My mother is a first grade teacher at Trinity School, in Durham and taught me the virtues of grace, patience and the lesson of not-putting-ketchup-on-all-your-food. I have a younger brother named Aaron who is much funnier than I am and a younger sister Ellie who is constantly humbling me with her sassy attitude and many talents.
I was raised in the beautiful, scenic and hospitable state of North Carolina and have lived most of my life in Chapel Hill. Being a preachers kid meant I spent most of my wakening hours either in school or doing free labor for my dad at the church as a proxy janitor. Despite the long hours at church, being part of a loving faith community was invaluable to me as I grew up. The church family fostered my spiritual, personal and creative growth as I grew older and taught me the importance of critical thinking, social justice and a faith-filled life. Being a preacher’s son also gave me a window into the reality that all of us, even those who seem to be well composed, are broken and in need of grace.
Growing up in Chapel Hill, I became an avid Tar Heel fan and attended the University of North Carolina where I studied Economics. Most of my extracurricular time during college was spent singing with an a cappella group called the Clef Hangers, hanging out with community of Christian guys at “Mrs. D’s House” or playing basketball, frisbee, football etc.
I have followed Sojourners for a long time now. It has always been a reminder to me that we, as Christians, are called to love God and show that love by serving others. I’m happy to be on board for this year as Sojourners and excited to continue to see God move in big ways!
Posts By This Author
A North Carolina Christian’s Response to Pastor Charles L. Worley
This week is one of those weeks where everyone seems to be talking, tweeting and blogging about the same video. I received it from several concerned friends with commentary like, “More bad news from North Carolina,” or “How can a loving God hate so much?” The video, which has quickly gone viral in the past 24 hours, is a clip from a recent sermon by Pastor Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina.
Following President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage, pastor Worley took to the pulpit to rage against the issue of “queers and homosexuals”. However, it is his proposed “solution” to the “problem” (eerily reminiscent of Hitler’s “Final Solution”) that has the blogosphere abuzz (read: up in arms).
Worley proudly pronounces that he has found a way to get rid of all of the “lesbians and queers”: lock them all inside a fenced-off area and simply wait for them to die out on account of their inability to reproduce. In the video, his pronouncement garnered several hearty “Amens” from the congregation.
Unfortunately, this explosive video is just the most recent in a long stream of gay-marriage-related stories making headlines from my home state of North Carolina. After all, mine is the state that just passed the draconian amendment to its constitution, commonly known as “Amendment One”, banning same-sex marriage and all domestic and civil unions (never mind the fact that same-sex marriage is already illegal in our state). It seems that a day does not go by where I don’t hear a quote or read an article where another pastor has taken to the pulpit to remind his congregation that “homosexuality is wrong and against the Bible!”
This breaks my heart.
Rick Perry, Superman and Immigration
Rick Perry was recently asked by a nine-year-old "If you were a super hero, what kind of super hero would you be?" His answer to the child's benign question was simultaneously predictable and profound: Superman.
Mandatory E-Verify: Immoral and Bad Business
I admit it: A few years back, when I first heard about the E-Verify program, I thought it sounded reasonable. The program was described to me as a way for employers to voluntarily verify the U.S. citizenship of their employees by cross-checking their information with the online databases of the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security administration. I knew that there were flaws in the system, which sometimes misidentified workers as undocumented even when they were not. However, I thought, what employer doesn't deserve the right to check the employment eligibility of his or her workers?
Alabama Clergy Sue to Stop Anti-Immigrant Law
When the Alabama legislature passed their infamous, anti-immigrant law (HB 56), the religious community in the state immediately cried foul. Jim Wallis and other national leaders condemned the law as unjust and immoral.
HB 56, which will go into effect September 1, attacks virtually every aspect of immigrants' lives. Among many punitive measures, it authorizes police to detain anyone they suspect is undocumented, mandates criminal penalties for those who transport undocumented migrants, and demands that public schools determine the immigration status of all students.
One Year Later, Big Oil Still Isn't Sorry
One year after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, life has not returned to normal in the Gulf.
Why Your State Should Follow Utah's Example
The Truth About the BP Oil Spill
Deportation is Not a Family Value
The DREAM Act is Not Amnesty
Undocumented Farmworkers Need Support
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