Category Archives: Commentary

Extending the true gift-giving season . . .

The longest and most unilaterally celebrated gift-giving holiday of the year is finally upon us. In fact its general gift-giving emphasis (to children in particular) has spiked its popularity as the most commercial holiday of them all, transcending age, race, cultural, religious, political, socio-economic and all other man-made differences on which we base our multiple prejudices. Not only is every individual affected by this one holiday in particular, it sets the annual economic gauge for numerous businesses and industries while creating extra jobs throughout year’s end–and sometimes beyond. Continue reading Extending the true gift-giving season . . .

Listening for signs of hope

by Jessie Palatucci,
Online Communications Specialist, United Church of Christ

This has been a dark season for many. Every time I look at a screen (and they are everywhere – in my hand, at my desk, on the side of buildings, at the bus stop) I am confronted by stories depicting vivid acts of hate.

Many of my friends and colleagues are increasingly fearful. They worry that they will come under attack because of the way they worship, the color of their skin, or who they love. And I can’t tell them they’re wrong to be afraid. Not in the face of mounting evidence on the evening news. Continue reading Listening for signs of hope

Attaining and maintaining the Spirit of Christmas . . .

Since childhood I have always loved Christmas, in spite of its annual over commercialization. Overshadowing it all for me still remains the tranquility of the original reason for the season, coupled with my earliest childhood memories of it as one of three children of a rural church pastor’s family during one’s most impressionable years.

The Christmas season in my estimation still remains one in which more people are caught up in the same momentum and sing from same musical scores making it the most unifying of all others, regardless of age, race, religion or lack of any. Continue reading Attaining and maintaining the Spirit of Christmas . . .

Giving people shelter is a Moral Duty

by Jason Carson Wilson,
is a Justice and Peace Policy Fellow

In the shelter of your presence you hide them from human plots; you hold them safe under your shelter from contentious tongues. Ps. 31:20 NRSV.

Plenty of human plotting puts LGBTQIA people in danger here at home and abroad. However, they face different levels of risk in America and elsewhere. In places like Uganda or Nigeria as well as other countries, being queer carries a death sentence by law.

What would Jesus do? He created community with so-called outcasts. Perhaps we should follow his model. Instead of casting these people aside, we should be welcoming them in with open arms. Continue reading Giving people shelter is a Moral Duty

Standing Rock and the Four Stages of Moral Maturation

by Brooks Berndt
Minister for Environmental Justice

From my days as a college student 20 years ago, I can recall reading about the real or imaginary efficacy of moral appeals in seeking social change. I can recall classroom debates over whether those in power ever end their oppressive ways as a result of appeals to their conscience. From my bookshelf, I can still readily find quotes on the subject. Martin Luther King, Jr., for example, once counselled against pursuing change with moral suasion but without power. This form of love he asserted was “anemic and sentimental.” Continue reading Standing Rock and the Four Stages of Moral Maturation