outsider

Judy Brown 11-04-2015

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I was at a retreat recently with a facilitator who is known for pushing the envelope a bit regarding Roman Catholic Church teaching. The question posited throughout the weekend: Whom should we accept as brothers and sisters in faith?

During the retreat someone asked the facilitator how we should approach ministry in our churches in regard to the gay and lesbian community. A fellow retreatant replied, “Invite us to speak for ourselves.”

Who better to speak on challenging topics than those who are living inside the issue?

Sarah Heath 08-28-2012
Sarah Heath. Photo by B. Wilson Photography.

Sarah Heath. Photo by B. Wilson Photography.

I hadn't a clue that I was on the forefront (apparently) of a huge trend when I got my first tattoo or when, at age 20 while visiting London, I was daring enough to pierce my nose. While sartorially I may fit in, beneath the surface, surrounded by my likewise trendily tatted and pierced friends, I don't fit. In fact I had to stop attending that church because I was tired of feeling as if whom God has called me to be isn't OK.

Even at the very place I had gone to connect with God, I still felt a distant from God's people.

Here's the catch: I am not just your average church attender. I am a young, by all accounts "hip" female pastor. After a couple of years of hard work at a prestigious seminary, I am blessed to be one of the those set apart for ordained ministry. I am, in fact, the preaching pastor at a church in southern California....

I am stuck between two worlds — the evangelical world where I am too liberal (by virtue of my vocation and career) and the mainline Christian world where I often feel disappointed by the lack of passion. I don't think it would be as bad if people in both worlds didn't feel the need to question who I am. But they do.

 

Anne Marie Roderick 10-05-2011

800px-US_Navy_101108-N-8977L-001_Sara_Ukley,_a_morale,_welfare_and_recreation_fitness_instructor,_teaches_yoga_during_a_health_fair_and_aerobic-a-thonJust a few days after I returned from my respite in the mountains, Israeli forces killed eight Turkish nationals and one American on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla. Protests erupted all over Israel and Palestine.

In the midst of this tragic chaos I found myself visiting my yoga center more often than usual, hoping to find another glimpse of the peace I had tasted so vividly just a few days before. Perhaps these wise, centered people could offer a perspective that would look forward to a vision of understanding, or reconciliation -- a vision too often missed by politicians, military officials, media, and even activists.

Cathleen Falsani 09-23-2011

deeper photo collage"Jesus' spirituality was magnetic. Wherever he went, people gathered. His love, understanding and compassion toward humanity was overflowing and people traveled from afar to find solace in his teachings and to breathe life into their spiritual lives. His message of inclusiveness was seen as a threat by the religious leaders of his time -- whose very existence relied on a system of exclusivity."

Theresa Cho 04-13-2011
Silence, when used effectively, can be a beautiful thing. As a mother of young children, five minutes of silence would mean five minutes of sanity.
Debra Dean Murphy 01-24-2011
I used to live in a world where God was a given and unapologetic faith was the lens through which the world was seen and interpreted.
Andrew Wainer 11-04-2010
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Nadia Bolz-Weber 05-24-2010
All the Christian archetypes were already in place on the very first day.
Aaron Taylor 05-21-2010
Sometimes in life you learn best not from the times that you shine, but from the times that you act like a total ignoramus. It seems that racism and fear of outsiders are on the rise in the U.S.A.
Bill Quigley 02-01-2010
Smoke and flames rose from the sidewalk. A white man took pictures. Slowing down, my breath left me. The fire was a corpse. Leg bones sticking out of the flames.
Seth Hoy 10-16-2009

For many years now, religious leaders and diverse faith groups have contributed much to the ongoing immigration debate.

Soong-Chan Rah 10-15-2009
A frequently asked question these days relates to the role of the church in civic society.
Becky Garrison 09-28-2009

Fans of gonzo political activism may remember the Yes Men's infamous stunt in which Andy Bichlbaum posed as a Dow Chemical spokesperson named Jude (patron saint of the impossible) Finisterra (earth's end).

Julie Clawson 05-01-2009
As I process the conversations I had recently at EVDC09 (a gathering of emerging church participants to discuss the future of Emergent Village), I realized that one of the topics that keeps surfaci
Ed Spivey Jr. 04-27-2009
This is the first event in Sojourners history where the White House has had a role, any role, aside from the one where they call the local police and ask them to remove us from the sidewalks.

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