Joe Kay

Joe Kay

Joe Kay is the associate minister at Nexus United Church of Christ, Butler County, Ohio. He also writes a weekly blog at https://joekay617.wordpress.com. His email address is listed on the blog, in case you care to contact him directly.

Posts By This Author

Trying to Make Hate Look Pretty

by Joe Kay 03-03-2017

Love recognizes that everyone is an equally beloved child of God and must be treated as such by our words and actions. Love values everyone’s dignity and worth as equal to my own. By contrast, hate rejects another person’s equal value and worth. It sees those who are different from me as less than me in some ways. It creates the conditions for people to be abused and mistreated.

Christians Can't Sit This One Out

by Joe Kay 01-19-2017

Of course, God’s values weren’t popular with many people then. Or now. So many people today say that love and compassion and equality should be excluded from most areas of our lives. They advocate far different values: privilege, exclusion, discrimination, wealth, power, violence, domination.

Jesus challenged all of it. And if we’re to follow his way, we must do the same.

Resistance in a Manger

by Joe Kay 12-20-2016

This sight of poor refugee parents and a humbly born baby surrounded by dirty shepherds and visitors from other religions and races and cultures should jolt us. It’s meant to. The manger shows us a world far different than our own, one that we’re being summoned to create with unconditional love and inclusion.

The Silence on the Bus

by Joe Kay 10-11-2016

Screenshot, via Washington Post/Access Hollywood.

When we come across bullies and predators in our world, we can respond with revulsion, or with silence. Bullies and predators want to have cheerleaders around them, encouraging their awful words and deeds. If we won’t applaud them, bullies and predators want us to at least abstain from criticizing them. 

That’s why we’ve seen such a pushback against so-called “political correctness” by hate groups.

Love Is Risky. But Fear Is Worse.

by Joe Kay 09-29-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

To be led by the spirit of a loving God means that when we see fear and pain and need around us, we head toward it. That’s the job description. Look it up.

3 Things to Remember About Working for Peace

by Joe Kay 09-21-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

Injustice is at the root of our problems as humans. When people aren’t being treated as equally beloved children of God and are denied equal opportunities for the things we all want, then division and anger grow. If we want peace, we have to be want justice. To be a peacemaker means to challenge the injustices.

Seeing Our Shared Humanity in an Olympic Village Laundromat

by Joe Kay 08-15-2016

It’s good to remind ourselves of this underlying truth of our human family. We hear so many fearful voices in our world nowadays saying we can’t trust those who are different from us. They insist that we can’t let people from other countries get close to us because we don’t know who they are. Instead, they want to build walls and patrol borders and practice exclusion.

America Has Never Been One. But It Has Been United.

by Joe Kay 07-21-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

At times like this, it’s good to remember that our founders valued our vast differences and set up a big government of checks and balances that would force us to compromise and cooperate. Government fails — and we fail as a nation — when people go to Washington and statehouses insistant on getting their way, without compromise.

That attitude is an un-American attitude. It goes against the heart of what makes us who we are. It makes us unravel.

To My LGBTQ Friends: Thank You for Your Courage

by Joe Kay 07-06-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

In the past year since the Supreme Court ruled for marriage equality, many of my gay friends have thanked me repeatedly for being a straight ally. At first, I didn’t know quite how to respond. I’d say something along the lines of, “You’re welcome, of course! I’m just glad I could help in some way.” Somehow, though, that answer seemed inadequate.
 
Or I might have followed up with, “It’s just sad that it took so long and involved so much pain to get to this point. I’m sorry for that.” Which is better, but still lacking. Something more needed to be said.

Bullets and the Radical Welcome

by Joe Kay 06-16-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

Something incredible happened there after the murders. Family members publicly forgave the killer. People filled the church the following Sunday — some sitting on the very spot where blood had to be cleaned from the floor – and proclaimed their commitment to compassion and forgiveness.

And the next Wednesday night, they did what they’d always done on Wednesday night. They held a Bible study. They welcomed anyone who was interested, and sat together in the same room where nine people had died and committed themselves to the Spirit of radical welcome. The topic of discussion that day: the power of love.

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