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To Work and to Pray in Remembrance by Elise M. Edwards

Elise EdwardsOne hundred years ago, Jesse Washington was lynched downtown in Waco, Texas. Next week, on March 20th, some of my colleagues and I are organizing a memorial service to remember this horrific event and pray for a better future for our city.

We invited submissions of original prayers, poems, spoken-word pieces, music, drama, and other pieces of liturgy for this ecumenical memorial event.  We received a number of thoughtful, heartfelt submissions, but we also a question:

“Why in the world do we need a memorial for one person who was lynched?!?! In the reality of things, Jesse Washington was one of thousands of Blacks that were lynched in America during the time period.”

I thought the answer was so obvious that I initially brushed off the question. But as our group proceeded with the plans, I thought about the question and wondered whether our university community would understand why we…

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When “Christian Artist” Doesn’t Mean “Gospel”

Great insight…well said…

The UKGospel.com Blog

Today’s guest post is from Jendella Benson, a photographer, filmmaker and writer, as well as member of the UKGospel Team who you may have heard previously on one of the UKGospel podcasts.

In this post she writes about finding her place as a Christian artist in a secular world.


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If there is any part of the Christian life that is a dense grey area of debate and contention, it is how Christian artists should respond to the fact that they are Christian and creative.

When it comes to the realm of “the gospel” and “music” and “gospel music” in particular, a lot of people have a lot to say about it and I know many young Christian creatives who have been burdened by this expectation.

Back when I went by the name ‘Jeni Diamondz’ (I promise you, I was good!)

I was once a young idealistic Christian music artist…

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No words….

An on the ground view of the Flint, Michigan water crisis…

Voices from the Infant, Toddler and Family Field

Yesterday two of my friends and I had the honor of volunteering in Flint, MI for a small NGO called Crossing Water.   This is a volunteer organization started by some members of the National Association of Social Workers-MI chapter.  The goal of this group is to create connections among community groups in Flint to help serve impoverished communities who are deeply affected by the current water crisis.  What I saw was heart-breaking beyond words.  And it was only one day there.  I am trying to imagine living this way and I can’t.

We came to a low-income housing complex run by the Flint Housing Commission.  I saw a case of water on people’s doorsteps that had been delivered earlier in the day by volunteers.  There was no governmental system in the complex to test water, distribute water, or provide lead-testing to the children.  This is a complex managed essentially…

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On Being Both Pro-Choice and Anti-Abortion

What the Heart Holds:

In response to a discussion about violence and capital punishment a while back (which you can find here – http://bit.ly/1OUdMgi), a friend asked me about my views on abortion. When another friend inquired earlier this week about a link to those comments, it occurred to me that these particular nuances might be worth posting here. I don’t think I can rework them in any way that would make them better, so I’ll just go with the original format.

This is an incredibly difficult and divisive issue. People are so polarized that I have a difficult time locating myself within the broader conversation. But I suppose that’s no excuse for not trying, particularly in light of the recent controversies around Planned Parenthood (and for the record, I appreciate Planned Parenthood’s role as a provider of women’s healthcare).

Here is the original question: “You’ve been very vocal about this particular case and others…

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Finding Christ at Church: the Confessions of a Human Pastor

Updated HBCU Homecoming Commandments – Back By Popular Demand

sheilataylorclark

I’m headed to my college homecoming (HC) in another month, and I am super excited.  I went to an HBCU (Historically Black College or University), and I’ve noticed foolishness and ratchet behavior at HC around this time every year.  Since many of you out there are headed to your own homecomings as well, I thought I would list 10 helpful “commandments”  for homecoming behavior, if you will, as you journey back to the “yard”.  I’m doing this solely because I care:

  • Thou shalt not spend all your rent and bill money tryna “ball to you fall”. In other words, when you get back home, you gon’ need them lights and water.  So if you cain’t afford premium likka, water with lemon is the next best choice and is likely free.  MC Breed said it best “ain’t no future (i.e. lights, gas, water,) in you frontin’.”  Ask yourself if VIP is…

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The Religion of My Rape by Jennifer Zobair

What a powerful piece of writing.

Take good care of yourself…

painted hands, Jennifer Zobair Photo Credit: Brian Ziska

Whenever the epidemic of rape in Egypt makes the news, I am destined to think of Joyce Carol Oates.

Last summer, the author took to twitter to question whether Islam was responsible for the widespread incidence of sexual assault in Egypt, an argument people continue to make today. As a Muslim woman, I desperately wanted to respond to Ms. Oates’ tweets. I held my cursor over the “reply” button countless times. But I’ve been silent about the things I would have said, about why I follow Dennis Rodman on twitter, and why Pearl Jam is my favorite band, and how my heart shattered for women in Syria who felt like they had to be silent, too.

I have been silent.

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