This month the New York Times Magazine has been releasing a
remarkable set of essays titled The
1619 Project.
 August marks 400 years
since the first ship bearing enslaved Africans docked in Virginia colony. 

This is more than a recounting of history.  The project, in its own words, “aims to
reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and
placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at

“We commit…” 

These two words could be spoken at a child dedication, a
baptism, or a wedding.  Each of these occasions
honors a particular way of being in relationship.  One in which mutual commitments offer
themselves as fertile soil for growth and flourishing.

These words also show up in the middle of our new Membership
Commitment statement.  Congregational
life is, if nothing else, relational. 
Our relationship with one another. 
Our relationship with creation and the Divine.  “We commit…” is followed by seven different

In a recent interview with poet Ross Gay, Krista Tippet suggested that his work could be summarized as seeing “joy as a calling precisely in a moment like this.”  The “moment like this” is our present condition of environmental degradation, blatant white nationalism, and general anxiety about the trajectory of our nation and species.  These are precisely the conditions that can make joy seem irresponsible — the possession of the privileged few, or those oblivious to reality.  Not so, says Ross Gay.  Not...

I arrived back from vacation last Wednesday.  Usually this time of year is slower – a natural
time to step away.  But this last week
hasn’t been slow – due mainly to our congregation being in the thick of
immigrant justice work these days.

Last Wednesday we hosted the monthly Interfaith Justice
Table breakfast, attended by clergy and non-profit leaders.  Edith had some time to update people on the
large fine issued against her from ICE.  Her
attorney is looking for ways to issue a legal challenge to the excessive fine,
received by about 10...

Last week I, along with a number of other people from CMC, attended the biennial Mennonite Church USA Convention in Kansas City, Missouri.  These conventions are always packed full of good conversations with friends, meaningful worship services, challenging and thought-provoking seminars, and lots and lots of walking (my step counter was over 30,000 one of the days). 

All of the worship services this year had the same central scripture passage that was unpacked by various speakers in different ways.  That passage was John 20:19-23, where Jesus appears to the disciples after the...