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 His email address is listed on the blog, in case you care to contact him directly.

Posts By This Author

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 /

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 /

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

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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

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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

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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.

Archie Bunker and Me

by Joe Kay 06-08-2016

Image via Jim Ellwanger/Flickr

Fearing those who are different from us seems to be our default setting as humans. It’s true for me. I’m more comfortable in groups of people who are more like me in some ways. People who think like me and have similar life experiences. Yeah, there’s that little bit of Archie in me, too. It’s just a human trait, I suppose, woven throughout our history and religious texts. And so is this: the moral and spiritual imperative to push past our innate fears and learn love each other and appreciate our differences. 

Who Would Jesus Pee With?

by Joe Kay 05-13-2016

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The gospels provide short, thumbnail descriptions of what Jesus is passionate about: Feeding the hungry, healing the broken, sheltering the homeless, visiting the imprisoned, sharing everything with those in need. Trying to love everyone unconditionally. Being compassionate and accepting. The gospels go on and on about this. 

Peeing? Not a word.

A Mother's Day Liturgy: 'That They May All Be One'

by Joe Kay 05-06-2016

The liturgy for this Mother’s Day is unintentionally perfect. It’s from John, the part where Jesus is praying for his dear friends at the last supper.

What does he pray for them to be? Great preachers? Saintly saints? Perfect people? Nope. He prays that they will be one – one with each other, one with God.