Poverty

Recapturing MLK's Radical Vision

I have become increasingly convinced that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has become the victim of identity theft. Too often we domesticate King, sanitizing his radical message and selectively choosing his words. Our nation embraces the King of Montgomery and Selma but suffers amnesia about the King of Memphis who called for a living wage, or the King of Riverside who spoke out boldly against the war in Vietnam. Dr. King would be deeply disturbed by the crass materialism and naked narcissism of [...]

Inner-City Smell-O-Vision

No words can really communicate the essence of what we are doing here. For that, you'd need Smell-O-Vision.


In case you didn't know, Smell-O-Vision was a system developed in the 1950s that released odors during the projection of a movie so that the viewer could actually smell what was happening onscreen. Thirty years later, cult filmmaker John Waters tried the same thing with scratch [...]

I'm an Idiot

Lately I keep wishing I was somebody else. Somebody different. Somebody better than me.


Don't worry. I'm not depressed. I am well aware that I have many good qualities and many more good friends. My marriage is strong. My kids are fine. Moreover, I am ever increasingly convinced that the God of love loves me, no matter what I do or don't do.


Unfortunately, none of those things changes the fact that, after nearly 45 years of countless growth opportunities, I remain essentially [...]

Being Poor is a Lot of Work

Until very recently, I had no idea how hard it is for some of our friends just to find somewhere to lay themselves down to sleep at night. I knew that inner-city families moved around a lot, but I didn't realize how much heartache and humiliation goes before and after most of those moves, both for the families and for the neighborhoods they come and go from in search of better space.


Part of the problem is low incomes, of course, which leave almost everyone around here one minor [...]

Smart, Green Community Development

"We have the ability to solve this crisis and avoid the worst of its consequences, if we act boldly, decisively and quickly", said Al Gore in is Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. He called on the U.S. and China, the worst polluters, to stop blaming others and take action "or stand accountable before history for their failure to act." God calls us to care for creation and the generations to come; we, too, will stand judged if we do not rouse from our doze and not only call for action on [...]

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