‘Mother to Son’ Amplifies the Voices of Black Mothers

Jasmine Holmes spotlights the realities black families face. As he breathed his last obstructed breaths, George Floyd called to the mother who died before him, “Momma! Momma!” Black mothers, in our communal tradition, hear Floyd calling to us, too. George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown not only could have been our sons, but they were our sons. When we hear the news of their deaths, our chests tighten and our tears flow. We are praying with... Read More

Military Ministries Prepare for Potential US Troop Withdrawal From Germany

Trump plan creates uncertainty for evangelical churches serving soldiers—and new opportunities. An Assemblies of God church in Heidelberg, Germany lost two-thirds of its worshipping members overnight when a US military base closed. One day in 2015, it was a congregation of 300. The next, 100. That’s how it goes for ministries serving United States soldiers stationed abroad. “You always have to adapt,” said Kirk Priest, pastor of LIFE Church Heidelberg, a Pentecostal... Read More

Churches, Coronavirus, and the New York Times

Describing churches as a “major source of Coronavirus cases” is odd, since that’s not even the case their own article makes. The New York Times just published an article with this headline: "Churches Were Eager to Reopen. Now They Are a Major Source of Coronavirus Cases." Headlines are chosen by editors, and don’t always tell the whole story, of course. However, the lede continues: "The virus has infiltrated Sunday services, church meetings and youth... Read More

Churches, Coronavirus, and the New York Times: Churches Are Taking the Virus Seriously, but the New York Times Needs to Take Churches Seriously

Churches are taking the virus seriously, but the New York Times needs to take churches seriously. The New York Times just published an article with this headline: "Churches Were Eager to Reopen. Now They Are a Major Source of Coronavirus Cases." The lede continues: "The virus has infiltrated Sunday services, church meetings and youth camps. More than 650 cases have been linked to reopened religious facilities." "More than 650 cases" in churches. Out of three... Read More

On Eliza Hamilton’s Faith

You have no control who lives, who dies, who tells your story– so let’s not forget hers. I’m not an historian, but I am a fan of the musical. When I read Chernow’s book, upon which the musical is based, it led me to seek to learn more about Eliza Hamilton’s faith. As the musical is launched, I thought it worth a quick look at her deep Christian commitment. While the first Secretary of the Treasury has his portrait currently printed on every $10 bill and is the... Read More

Where Two or More Are Gathered, the First Amendment Should Protect Them

Why voluntary organizations deserve the same rights to speech, religion, and assembly as individuals. The Christian tradition has a lot to say about community. People weren’t made to be solitary individualists. Aristotle may have been the first to describe man as a “social animal,” but he was not the first to recognize our inherent sociability. The Scriptures describe God creating human beings to have fellowship with him. As God himself has eternal fellowship within the... Read More

665K Ministry Jobs Covered by Paycheck Protection Program Funds

At least 11,500 Christian employers accepted $150,000 or more in government stimulus loans. Well over a half million pastors, church staff members, and ministry employees kept their jobs and continued serving their communities during the pandemic thanks to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, according to a list released last week. As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed in March, the government offered grants to cover payroll costs for employers,... Read More

Families Keep Going, In Pandemic and Health

Our households are bearing the brunt of COVID-19 shutdowns. It’s time for new levels of creativity, flexibility, and support. The spring semester ended with my elementary school children waving to a computer, offering their goodbyes and “I miss yous” to faces on a screen. The present-tense-ness of the farewell struck me particularly hard: It wasn’t “I will miss you.” Children have been missing their teachers and classmates for months. Over the past couple... Read More

Jesus Proclaims His Purpose

Although we may long for and relish Jesus’ miracles, we must always long for Jesus and his real purpose more. As a child, did you ever have your intentions questioned by your parents? Did you spontaneously proclaim your love and appreciation for them only to have them look at you suspiciously and respond, “What do you want?” Despite your genuine intentions (that time), they misunderstood your purpose. Jesus knew the purpose of his ministry, but the people around him often... Read More

Adopted Children Have Already Been ‘Re-Homed’

A therapist and adoptee asks: Are we seeking to serve or be served by our children? A common term for adoption placements is “forever family,” indicating the child has now been legally and symbolically grafted into a new home. After being relinquished (voluntarily or not) from their birth family, some children stay with the first placement that follows. To their biological connections and culture, they might say, “goodbye forever, family.” On the more extreme end:... Read More