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Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Social Justice Archives

A Beloved Lion, The Dentist Who Trophy-Hunted Him, and the Power of Shame

This week Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer admitted to hunting and killing Zimbabwe’s beloved celebrity lion Cecil, the most famous resident of one of Zimbabwe’s national parks and the subject of a decade-long study by Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Unit. Earlier […]

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Naked Feet … and the Gift of Reverence

When he slipped his feet into the tub of warm, herb-infused water, he did so almost apologetically. “Thank you,” he said, tentatively, an edge of either shyness or embarrassment in his tone as she summoned a foot to her lap. […]

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Help End Loan Shark Lending and One Cause of Poverty with This Short Survey

When this video recently went viral, I was rooting for the shark. Not so when it comes to loan sharks, who are one contributor to systemic poverty and sharply growing income inequality in this country. Friend Bruce Strom, whose story […]

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Poverty vs. Privilege

Lately, I’ve been learning about poverty and getting to know those in its grip, thanks to the”Open Door” community here in Atlanta. Open Door is a residential community in the spirit of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement, whose […]

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“The Power of Introductions,” Via Bruce Strom and Gospel Justice

I’ve featured the work of my friend and inspiration Bruce Strom, a lawyer who directs the organization Gospel Justice Initiative, at this intersection before. Bruce once had a cushy job as the senior partner at a corporate law firm, but […]

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I Can’t Breathe and the Widow’s Cry—A Guest Post

Fellow saint and sinner Saskia de Vries is a neuroscientist in Seattle, Washington and has posted before at this intersection between God and life. She, like so many of us, is grappling with the tragedies of Eric Garner and Michael […]

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Justice Advocate Bruce Strom Shares Stories from Frontlines

Yesterday we met Bruce Strom who is helping to grow and steer a movement of lawyers and churches giving a voice to legally disenfranchised (and poor) populations in this country. Today we get a bit more personal, with Bruce sharing […]

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Meet Someone on Frontlines of Injustice in America

Yesterday I promised you a treat: today is the first installment of an interview with Bruce Strom. Strom directs the organization Gospel Justice Initiative and is the author of the book Gospel Justice. I met Bruce after writing Grace Sticks […]

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Letter From An Atlanta Jail

Yes, any implicit self-comparisons to Martin Luther King Jr. stop with the headline. But seriously, last week I went to jail. Not for a civil rights protest, and no, not for being a great sinner, although I’ve had plenty of […]

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Fr. Barron on Pope Francis as TIME Magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2013

One of the gifts of Christmas family reunions (that, with the size and spread of a very large extended family only happen every ten years or so) is meeting a long-lost relative who you can get to know a bit […]

Holy Space 10: The West Bank

Some Facts About the West Bank: CITIZENSHIP: Palestinians in the West Bank are not citizens of any country.  Technically.  By most they are considered an occupied territory, and occasionally recognized as a full-fledged state.  However, since the Palestinian Authority is […]

Americans Divided on Definition of “Religious”

Religion Today recently posted the results of a survey of Americans’ understanding of the term, “religious.” Apparently the old divide between those who define religiosity based solely on faith and beliefs (historically Protestants) and those who take the concept to […]

Of Lightning and Lenten Resignations

With Pope Benedict’s announcement of his resignation still ringing in the ears- apparently even the cupola on St. Peter’s Basilica was struck with lightening just hours after!- today we embark on forty days of Lent. The timing of Benedict’s announcement […]

Happy Belated Birthday, Martin Luther King!

It’s because I’m black, isn’t it? I had just refused his request for money outside Barnes & Noble, my daughter in one arm, my son at my side, our arms laden with their new gift card purchases in the form […]

Visio Divina (The Visual Word): Advent Meditation 8

Embracing the Hope of Advent

Yesterday on the first Sunday of Advent the preacher talked about hope. We all were asked to write down something from our personal lives that makes us hopeless, and then bring those scraps of paper up during Communion; they would […]

Safe Houses

Yesterday Christians for Biblical Equality produced a list of various ways that churches can proactively address the problem of domestic violence both within congregations and the greater community. Rev. Anne O. Weatherholt, who is rector of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Maryland, […]

Cheeky Forgiveness

The night Paul LaRuffa was shot five times in cold blood would have been like any other.  He had closed up the restaurant and gotten into his car.  That’s when “before I could start the car or do anything, the window […]

A Year of Kingdom-of-God Living

“But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33 It’s rare that I remember my dreams, but the other night I did.  In the […]

From War to Peace: A Powerful, True Story of Reconciliation

The east African nation of Burundi has witnessed a long, bloody, and tragic history of civil war.  The same ugly tribalism and brutality between Hutus and Tutsis that have swept neighboring Rwanda- (resulting in 1994 in a genocide of more […]

A Riot in the Cathedral

Have you been following the story of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot and their so-called “punk prayer protest” against Russian President Vladimir Putin? The band, whose highest-profile members are three young women now facing a three-year prison sentence, has […]

“I’d Like to Talk to You About Cheeses”

It’s been a full week here for Fellowship of Saints and Sinners, so I wanted to take a short breather to reflect on some of the things we’ve been talking about,  and then offer a brief glimpse of what we […]

The Tragedy of Abortion

My husband warned me not to bring this issue up, because it’s one of those topics that makes people squirm and in some cases scream at each other.  But, I was often one of those kids growing up who would […]

Bruce Springsteen as Preacher and Prophet

Last week Bruce Springsteen kicked off his Wrecking Ball tour at the Phillips Arena here in Atlanta.  The pictures brought back memories of the first (and only) time I heard Springsteen live in concert at the Arena only a couple years earlier. […]

How I First Met the Invisible Children

The “invisible children” performed a praise song for us on the day we visited their makeshift home.  We had pulled in to this cluster of refugee huts at Uganda’s border with Sudan for an afternoon of worship together, while the […]

A Dog, A Chicken and An Armchair Theologian

My husband jokes that I cry at road kill, so you might imagine my reaction when yesterday’s stroll turned into a scene from the PBS program, “Predator and Prey.” The scene started out almost bucolic-like. There I was with two […]

“Exorcise Wall Street”

Author and activist Shane Claiborne has recently proposed an “exorcism” of Wall Street (as opposed to an occupation).  Claiborne takes the story of Jesus’ exorcism of the demon-possessed man, “Legion,” as biblical precedent for the idea.  What do you think- […]

God May Still Use the Church for God’s Mission. Maybe.

Yesterday’s exchange with a stranger on Facebook who saw Kevin Carter’s Pulitzer Prize winning picture and my accompanying prayer and proceeded to explain why my prayer, with its inappropriate, “Mother-Spirit” language, would not be heard and why I, an “unsaved […]

An Agnostic Christian’s Valentine’s Day Prayer

Forgive me, Father God, for seeking shelter in the statistics, so that I might never have been obliged to know that somewhere in the middle of the Sudan, an abandoned child bowed down to You in starvation, waiting to become […]

“The Toil of Freedom,” in Honor of Black History Month

“How do we embrace the toil of freedom?” That is the question that friend, screenwriter and producer Okorie Johnson sets out to answer in his forthcoming film, “Canopy.” As an introspective look at how one particular African American struggles to […]

“The Making of a Girl”

This video is an intimate look at the systemic nature of the commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking of women and girls.  The woman in the video who is narrating the story is herself a survivor of sexual exploitation, and […]

Food for Thought: Prayer as Social Justice? World Prayer Assembly, Jakarta

20,000 children will lead the May 2012 World Prayer Assembly in prayer for the world. Wow. Which begs the question: can prayer be social justice?  After watching this video sent on by organizers of the May 2012 “World Prayer Assembly” […]

Remembering Dr. King’s Peacemaking Legacy

When today we honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., who in 1964 received the Nobel Peace Prize for his heroic and painstaking work as a civil rights activist, I am struck by King’s words on the eve of […]

Was Jesus a Tea Party Member? Weird Sayings Continued…

“Jesus said to him, ‘What do you think, Simon?  When the kings of the world collect taxes or duties, who do they collect from?  From their own families, or from outsiders?’ ‘From outsiders,’ he replied. ‘Well then,’ said Jesus, ‘that […]

The Freedom Riders

“Make ready for the Christ, whose smile- like lightning- sets free the song of everlasting glory that now sleeps in your paper flesh- like dynamite.”-Thomas Merton Just the other day my son played his first basketball game as the only […]

The Advent Conspiracy: Weird Jesus Sayings Continued

“Foxes have their dens and the birds in the air have their nests.  But the son of man has nowhere he can lay his head.”  Matthew 8:20 “Black Friday” has come and gone, but the staggering figures remain.  Americans spent […]

Food for Thought: Would You Agree?

 

The Octopus and the Quarter

“How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!…It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”  Mark 10:23, […]

“Cry, Cry Africa.”

“Cry, cry Africa, only cry for southern Sudan.”  (The refrain of a song sung by the children of Amazing Grace Orphanage, in southern Sudan.) We had been warned that some times the Sudanese government sent Antonov bombers across the border […]

The Playground Police

Did you know that there are now apparently playground police   officers?  I got stopped by one yesterday. She was in full uniform.  The real deal: a City of Atlanta officer with badge, belt and holster to show for it. […]

Bare, Naked Power: Weird Jesus Sayings Continued

“Do not resist an evildoer.  But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well, and if anyone forces you to […]

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Another in my on-and-off-again, feeling-less-creative-but-more-convicted series, “What’s Wrong With This Picture?”  This is compliments of friend Jennifer Berkowitz via Facebook:

Injustice in Global Perspective

A friend forwarded on the following letter from a leader in the Coptic church in Egypt who will remain unnamed.  Five days ago authorities killed 26 peaceful protesters, most of them Christians speaking out against a recent deadly attack on […]

Previous Posts

A Beloved Lion, The Dentist Who Trophy-Hunted Him, and the Power of Shame
[caption id="attachment_5637" align="alignleft" width="300"] 13-year-old Cecil was the beloved resident of Hwange National Park, where earlier this July he was baited and killed for fun by Walter Palmer, DDS. The GPS collar Cecil was wearing ...

posted 2:54:27pm Jul. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Naked Feet ... and the Gift of Reverence
When he slipped his feet into the tub of warm, herb-infused water, he did so almost apologetically. "Thank you," ...

posted 2:19:02pm Jul. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Help End Loan Shark Lending and One Cause of Poverty with This Short Survey
When this video [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsDUQpUfRzg[/youtube] recently went viral, I was rooting for the shark. Not so when it comes to loan sharks, who are one contributor to systemic poverty and sharply growing income ...

posted 10:39:17am Jul. 09, 2015 | read full post »

The Recovery-Minded Church Available for Pre-Order—and a Peek at the Cover!
It's been too long! Vacation, a family lice infestation, sickness, and preparation for a home renovation—much of it occurring at the same time—fun, huh?—have kept me away from this intersection. But I couldn't not share my delight at the ...

posted 6:07:11pm Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Poverty vs. Privilege
Lately, I've been learning about poverty ...

posted 8:02:30pm Jun. 10, 2015 | read full post »

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