Christ Has No Body On Earth But Ours

Christ has no body on earth but ours; Ours are the only hands which Christ can use to work, Ours are the only feet with which Christ can go about the world, Ours are the only eyes through which Christ’s compassion can shine forth upon a troubled world. Christ has no body on earth now […]

The Christian Calling — Resistance and Love

For most of last week and through the weekend, I was in Minneapolis, Minnesota, attending “Creating Change,” the 23rd annual conference held by the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce. Within the conference was an entire track of workshops and gatherings for people of faith called ‘Practice Spirit, Do Justice.’ I will be processing for a […]

Arlo Duba’s Forsaking of Smugness

I hope that the courageous statement on LGBT equality in the church by Rev. Dr. Arlo Duba in the January 24, 2011 issue of The Presbyterian Outlook is widely read and pondered upon. It has certainly provoked much reflection on my part. For me, and perhaps for you as well, one of the many remarkable […]

What to Watch for in the Southard Decision: What Kind of Church are We?

When I was a child in the 1950’s, my father delighted in telling a joke about the four approaches to the law in Europe: In England, everything is permitted except that which is prohibited. In Italy, everything is permitted including that which is prohibited. In Germany, everything is prohibited except that which is permitted. In […]

Marriage and Infertility

Last fall, one of the frequently asked questions about marriage and gay and lesbian couples was posed during a discussion at Princeton Theological Seminary: If gay and lesbian couples can’t have children then how can they legitimately be married since the primary purpose of marriage is the bearing of children? At the time, I replied […]

The Essentials of Life in the Church

10/1 The Synod of the Pacific Permanent Judicial Commission’s decision to uphold the vote of San Francisco Presbytery to ordain Lisa Larges is now written in the book of life. The decision is worth reading prayerfully in its entirety. The decision, especially the opinion of those who dissented, prompted me to recall the summary of […]

Our Labor Day Turn into the Hard Labor

9/10 Labor Day, for me, means the start of the new school year. The late summer days in September, with their slanting light and thin, spent warmth, still give me a sense of hope and anticipation for new areas of study and challenge. As I reflect, I am grateful for this week’s rise in hopeful […]

Time to Drink Our Shame to the Dregs

9/3 Shame, like all feelings, is a prayer. Shame is a prayer that says, “I am bad in my innermost being; please, God, heal me.” I was reminded of this last Friday as I read the Redwoods Presbytery Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC) decision in the disciplinary case against Rev. Dr. Janie Spahr for presiding at […]

Unions Are Not Marriages

8/20 I head across country in a few days to be present at the church trial of my friend and colleague, Honorably Retired Rev. Janie Spahr, who is being tried for presiding at the weddings of same-gender couples in California in 2008. As I think back on Janie’s long ministry, I recall the recent news […]

Next Steps After the Prop 8 Decision: General Assembly and Netroots Nation Guide Us

8/6 Like many of us, I was on pins and needles on Wednesday, knowing that federal district Judge Vaughn Walker planned to issue his verdict that day in the case challenging the constitutionality of the Prop 8 ban on marriage between two men or two women in California. I jumped up when CNN broke the […]