The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis is Senior Minister of Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village of New York City. Jacqui and her multiracial, fully inclusive congregation work for racial, economic and LGBTQ/gender justice as part of their ministry to heal souls and the world. They believe faith is about Love. Period.
Posts By This Author
Finding Our Way in Post-Trump America
PEOPLE ALL OVER the United States, and indeed the world, flooded city streets en masse when media outlets called the presidential election for Joe Biden on the fourth day after Election Day in November, four days of a nation holding its breath. In a year marked with repeated tragedy, a collective sigh of relief found form in marching bands and dance parties. Eight months into social isolation brought on by the coronavirus, many felt, if only for a moment, united. That was on a Saturday.
Then came Sunday. The prophetic word from pulpits across America: There can be no unity without justice. As of this writing, we know that more than 73 million Americans voted for Donald Trump—neighbors, family, members of our churches. We are a divided nation, a divided church. We reckon with this reality even as we look forward with hope to a new year and a different administration. As we begin to mend our social fabric and heal from the compounded traumas of 2020, Sojourners invited leaders from various sectors to offer their thoughts on the way forward. —The Editors
Moving Beyond Pro-Life and Pro-Choice
As a Christian clergy who celebrates all the spiritual paths that lead to Love; as a woman who was unable to conceive and who grieved for years; as an aunt and grandmother who thinks children are precious, I resonate with the feelings of those who identify as pro-choice and pro-life.
Love Is Patient, Love Is...Strenuous
I don’t think we like it so much when Jesus is demanding. We like to nice him up, keep him holding up his hand in that beatific way. When Jesus gets demanding, when he acts like the Gospel is demanding, it kind of gets on our nerves.
Confessing Jesus' Name Means Confessing Revolutionary Love
I must confess that I am an African-American woman, a Christian woman, a woman who believes there is more than one path to God. Working in the Black Lives Matter movement with people of many faiths, I get a little fidgety when I hear the words “confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from the dead.” I think, “Hey, what about my Jewish friend Stef? She is not confessing the Lord-ship of Yeshua/Jesus. What about my friend Hussein? Is he not saved?” I just don’t like it.
A Note from Charleston
We saw a gathered crowd, a makeshift memorial, flowers and ribbons with the names of the beloved on them. We five walked our pilgrimage, paid our respects separately and together. I spoke to people from Charleston, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Texas. They were predominantly white, but people of all races – children and old folk — weeping, hugging. It was church, y’all, like when at first everyone is not there and then they come.
As we talked to community people, tourists and pilgrims, we also talked to CBS, CNN, some British folk, a black man who covers black news. Reporters were intrigued by our multiracial and multi-faith, interracial and interfaith, LGBTQ and straight, coalition of women. We spoke into the cameras about how we represented a culturally and ethnically diverse American truth.
What’s Going On: Mobilizing Against Gun Violence
When I was in high school, my family moved from a Black Chicago Southside neighborhood fraught with gang tensions to a nice, multiracial middle-class community further south. Yet, my mom and dad still drove my brothers everywhere, so they would not get shot walking to the basketball court or to a friend’s home because of their shoes, their coat, or the color of their shirt. It was the ’70s and Marvin Gaye’s anthem asked the question on the minds of a generation: What’s going on?
Decades later, it is still my question. Six Sikhs killed in worship in Wisconsin. Thirty-three shot dead at Virginia Tech. Twelve killed and 58 injured in a movie theater in Aurora. One teacher and 12 students at Columbine. Six women, eight little boys, and 12 little girls in classrooms in Newtown. Those babies still had their baby teeth. What’s going on?
Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund, cites these stats in her recent Huffington Post blog: 119,079 children and teens have been killed by gun violence in our nation since 1979. It is as though 4,763 classrooms of young people have been killed by guns. Twenty-two times more children and teens have been killed since 1979 than military personnel in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined. That cracks my heart wide open.
The shootings at Sandy Hook took our breath away. We felt in our hearts, this could happen to my child, to my neighbor’s child, and in my community. Unfortunately, in many communities, like my neighborhood in Chicago, we’ve known for a very long time that our children were in the line of fire.