Braxton Brewington 9-26-2022

In Leviticus 25, God instructs Moses and the people of Israel to institute a year of Jubilee. Every 50 years, at the blast of a trumpet, the Jubilee would mark a moral and economic shift in society: Slaves were set free, land was returned to its original owners, and any outstanding debts were eliminated (25:1-12). Similarly, in Deuteronomy 15, God says that every seven years, creditors should “remit the claim that is held against a neighbor” because “the Lord’s remission has been proclaimed.” In the New Testament, Jesus instructs his followers to pray “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12, Luke 11:4). Scripture is clear when it comes to debt abolition and the freeing of the debtor: God demands a society that delivers justice and freedom to all and rejects a society that physically and rhetorically shackles its people.

O God of all creation, as ocean waters warm, / we grieve the devastation that comes with violent storms. / We pray for people struggling— who need your help and grace / on every flooded island and in each flooded place.

Sarah Einselen 9-22-2022

When about 50 people found themselves stranded last week on Martha’s Vineyard, the island’s nonprofit social services agency called on local churches to help. “We rallied and did what any decent human being would do if strangers showed up,” local pastor Rev. Charlotte Wright told Sojourners this week.

Juliet Vedral 9-21-2022

Gutsy introduces us to dozens of trailblazing women who are living lives of justice, truth, love, leadership, humor, and reconciliation. The show, produced and hosted by Hillary and her daughter Chelsea Clinton, while not explicitly “faith-based,” is rich with examples of women cultivating the common good. In a recent interview, Chelsea Clinton told me that there are as many ways to be gutsy “as there are women in all of our lives.”

Mitchell Atencio 9-21-2022

On Sept. 13, Pew Research Center released four hypothetical scenarios that model what the religious landscape of the United States might look like if current demographic trends continue. The four models projected that the U.S. population who identify as Christian would decrease from 64 percent in 2020 to between 35-54 in 2070.

The WCC convenes an assembly only once every eight years. The agenda always includes electing a new, 150-member Central Committee, approving reports and making formal statements on pressing international issues. But that’s not at the heart of what happened in Karlsruhe, nor has it been in the four previous WCC Assemblies I’ve attended.

Lauren W. Reliford 9-15-2022

If you or a loved one have been impacted by suicide or self-harm, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Scripture teaches us that when one person suffers, we all suffer. Yet if you are in a place of active suicidal ideation, or having self-harming thoughts, it can feel like you have been completely swallowed by the dark; it’s a lonely and terrifying place. But here is the truth: You are wanted on this earth.

We are students of theology. One of us (Amar) has just recently graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary. The other one of us (Yanan) is currently in his first year at Princeton Theological Seminary. Bringing our perspectives together, we hope to offer advice for seminarians from two sides — beginning and end — of the degree program.

Because being Catholic was not the norm in my community, I was often teased about our non-contemporary music and the liturgy, and I was accused of worshiping Mary. Mostly, I was told over and over again that I wasn’t a Christian. The latter happened all the way through college. I was so boggled by this because I knew I had what the Baptists liked to call a personal relationship with God. Yet I was told by children and adults alike that it wasn’t valid if it didn’t fit their formula.

Mitchell Atencio 9-12-2022

A group of students, faculty, staff, and alumni from Seattle Pacific University filed a lawsuit against the university’s board of trustees after over a year of protesting policies that do not allow full-time staff and faculty in same-sex relationships to be hired.