A prayer, God, for human beings who don’t feel they have a prayer.
A prayer, God, for people who know what it means to be obsessed.
A prayer, God, for the confused who aren’t asking the rights questions and aren’t getting the right answers.
A prayer, God, for folk willing to live with a lot of lost or damaged relationships due to unresolved tensions or conversations delayed until forever.
Give us a prayer, a clear mind, new questions, and the courage to heal and be healed. Amen.
Let’s face it. Both Israel and the United States are occupiers. The Hebrew Bible even witnesses to ancient Israel invading a land that was occupied. And American history records native Americans were here long before European occupiers arrived.
What would l like to see happen? I would like to see American Christians admit that we are occupiers. I would like to see Jews admit that they are occupiers. I would like American Christians and Jews, especially Reformed Jews, to say loud and clear that our scriptures each contain varying theologies/portrayals of God, and that some of the theologies and portrayals of God deserve to be refuted. I would like to see Muslims refute harmful texts in the Koran.
Then, and only then, might we get somewhere with peace. Honesty about our scriptures is paramount.
God Is Red: A Native View of Religion, September 9, 2003, by Vine Deloria Jr.
Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto, January 1, 1969, by Vine Deloria Jr.
The Gospel According to Luke: All Flesh Shall See God’s Salvation (Phoenix Guides to the New Testament), October 8, 2012, by Greg Cary
Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict, by John B. Judis
Jesus Against the Scribal Elite: The Origins of the Conflict, by Chris Keith
Lead church to leave the Southern Baptist Convention.
Engage in homeless ministry which involves having homeless people on church property, including participation in Sunday School, including serving communion.
Lead church to practice the full equality of all people, including sexual orientation and gender identity minorities.
Write prophetic articles, which were published in The Charlotte Observer, including July 4th: A Dangerous Day for Christians, which upset patriotic Christians at Wedgewood and Wedgewoodians who were veterans.
Have a level of conflict that makes some people tired of conflict and so they go elsewhere for church.
Have liberal Christians in the church with children who support the liberal mission of the church but their main priority is to find a liberal church that has more programs for their children and youth.
Have a lot of beat up, rejected people in the congregation who bump into other beat up people who also aren’t always full of grace and forgiveness.
Have a blended worship among people from diverse religious/denomination backgrounds who all want the liberality of the church but not inclusivity with respect to music diversity.
Focus on worship participation/egalitarian worship as opposed to performance worship.
Upset fundamentalist gays who want acceptance but not other aspects of liberal Christianity.
Upset gays who want to remain in the closet, want the church to be accepting of gays, but do not want the church to be so out on the subject and refer to the subject so much, to the point closeted gays can’t bring their parents to church for fear of being suspected of being gay.
Inability to persuade some church members of the necessity to incorporate visitors and new members.
Don’t let control freaks control the church.
Don’t let people with money control the church.
Tell the truth about complex biblical interpretation and Bible verses which are not Christian.
Don’t accept traditional dogma, like God had to kill God’s son so God could love us.
Speak out against wars and the culture of war.
Insist on the church being congregational and not run by a few.
Take “Baptist” out of the church’s name, and add an alignment with the United Church of Christ.
Let a union meet on the church’s property.