A Litany to Pray in the Wake of Gun Violence

You created us in your own image, an image of love and grace.  You have called us to live in peace with one another, to be instruments of your peace and justice in this world.  Surround us with your divine presence as we mourn and as we rage in the face of yet another mass […]

Winter Reading Suggestions from Young Clergywomen

Do you love curling up under blankets with a pile of books in the winter? Have you found more time to read – or needed to make time for your survival – in this pandemic? Young clergywomen (YCW) shared in our online groups some of what we hope to read this winter. Many of the […]

2020 Thanksgiving Prayer

God of all of us, Life as we knew it has changed. Thanksgiving as we knew it is different this year. We have lost people we love. We have lost gathering in the ways we used to gather. Some of us have lost jobs or trust or optimism. So we grieve today, even as we […]

When Christmas Isn’t Joyful: The Story of The Bird

I met my husband 15 years ago this Christmas, with all the trappings of a holiday romance movie: the snow was gently falling, he was in his new Army dress uniform, we talked for hours from the evening of Christmas Eve to the dawn of Christmas Day. I, young and feeling in love, went out […]

One Can’t Rush The Process of Forgiveness: A Personal Story of Sexual Trauma

Sexual trauma. Two uncomfortable words to see in print and to write about, particularly in the church. Sex is still a taboo subject in the church in the year 2018, although church folks are having quite a bit of it – whether it is wrong or right, single or married, ethical or unethical, or even […]

Blessing our Caregivers

Third Sundays in our congregation are healing Sundays. During communion, two healing ministers position themselves behind the altar rail, anointing oil in hand, to offer healing prayers and blessings to anyone who approaches them. Some people come forward to ask prayers for themselves – prayers for upcoming surgeries and for broken relationships and for grieving […]

Ripples of Love

Sitting at my studio table, I am renewed. As the light dapples through the open windows, I am surrounded by art and story. While I appear in solitude, I am never alone. The voices of those in my tribe echo, energy resides, the Spirit moves, and I am home. My heart is full. I’ve been […]

Meeting God in Broken Places: A Review of The Shack

When the novel The Shack was published in 2007, everyone was talking about it, particularly its unusual portrayal of the Trinity. Jesus as a Middle Eastern carpenter was hard to dispute, but the Holy Spirit in the personified form of an Asian woman? God the Father represented as a black woman seemed to raise the […]

Healing and Hope: Carol Howard Merritt’s Healing Spiritual Wounds

Unlike Carol Howard Merritt, I grew up in a small, progressive American Baptist congregation. In my church life, I grew up in a place that invited questions, encouraged me to pursue deeper meaning, and embraced me wholly as I was created. However, I also attended church camp. I loved camp, and it helped shape my […]

Dwell with Me in Darkness

I just want to know, God. When you spoke about binding up the broken-hearted, right there between good news for the poor and release for the captives, who did you have in mind?   Is there space for those who, long past the point that it’s socially acceptable to drown one’s sorrows in ice cream, […]