Entries by Jess Felici

The Twilight of Easter

One of the most complicated aspects of losing Lily has been proclaiming Good News in the midst of resounding darkness. In my anxiety over preaching on Easter, a Young Clergy Woman International colleague reached out and shared a sermon she had written in a dark time in her life. I leaned heavily on her words […]

Emergency! …But Whose?

“Doesn’t it suck,” my colleague commented to me, “when people call us in a panic because they didn’t read their email from weeks ago and now they want us to fix their problem?” Yes, it does suck. One of my growing edges as a pastor is learning how to prevent other people’s anxiety from engulfing […]

Fight, Flight, or…What?

My latte is mostly gone. I’ve done as much work as I can do at the coffee shop. I look at my day planner as I prepare to head to the church. And there, scrawled neatly in my own handwriting, in blue ink, is a reminder of my 2:00 p.m. meeting. I see it, and […]

Homegrown Terror: A Review of Patrisse Khan-Cullors’ When They Call You a Terrorist (a Black Lives Matter Memoir)

When I think of my own childhood, I remember playing barefooted in the backyard with my sisters. I remember planting pumpkin seeds beneath our jungle gym, that eventually grew into a reaching vine, stretching for the house. I remember an idyllic, safe childhood. This is not how Patrisse Khan-Cullors’ work, When They Call You a […]

The Darkness Shines in the Light

White privilege is marked by blindness to the ways our language hurts and harms others. The process of learning to see is, like the story in John’s gospel of Jesus’ healing a blind man by caking his eyes with mud made of spit and dirt, both messy and profound. In January, I attended a gathering […]

Why We Need More than a Framework of Rights in the Struggle for Justice

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated my home island of Puerto Rico. In less than 24 hours, over 3 million people lost access to running water, electricity and telecommunications. Hundreds of families became homeless; hundreds more lost the assets that provided for their employment. Healthcare services became severely limited, and the educational system was […]

The Need for Spiritual Agility

My middle school tennis coach used to arrange the balls in a small pile at the center of each half-court on occasion. As soon as we approached the courts, we knew the occasion was agility drill day. As fast as possible, our little, awkward, middle-school legs would go from corner to center, grab a ball, […]

Marching for our Lives: Called and Named

Looking younger than her eleven years, Naomi Wadler stepped up to the microphone to address more than half a million gathered in Washington, DC. She recalled how she and a classmate at her school in Alexandria, Virginia, organized an eighteen-minute walkout on March 14th, along with students across the country. With others, they walked out […]

Lament in a Purple Church

Increasingly, I look around at the state of the world and my response is to lament. My heart breaks at all the violence and injustice. In my ministry, I oversee and plan corporate worship every week and, correspondent with my personal desire to lament, I have grown in my desire to create space in worship […]