Faith & Guns

Guns & Faith Communities, part 1: St. Sabina, Father Michael Pfleger, & Chi-Raq the Movie Homicides in DC: Say This Name Prayers and posts on gun violence and related topics

Guns and Faith Communities (part 1)

We glimpse a faith community and how it is addressing rampant gun violence in Spike Lee’s 2015 film, Chi-Raq [pronounced: shy-RACK]. Chi-Raq is satire, not documentary, and has its critics and controversies. But the film does offer a powerful view of what the real St. Sabina Catholic Church, on Chicago’s Southside, and many congregations like … Continue reading Guns and Faith Communities (part 1)

Morning: Blessing, with Echo of Gunshots

How lovely are these tents! not far from housing that has seen better days and housing that has seen too many awful ones. I love the place of Your house, reached through streets collecting cigarette butts, the odd chicken wing, echoes of homicide. Through Your abundant love, I enter Your house, where these peaceful walls … Continue reading Morning: Blessing, with Echo of Gunshots

Faith Communities & Gun Violence

How are faith communities responding to the ever-growing plague of gun violence in our midst? As some communities are just beginning to find their voices on this issue. East Washington Heights Baptist Church held its first public response to gun violence just recently, for example. The church, in DC’s Hillcrest neighborhood (Ward 7), organized a … Continue reading Faith Communities & Gun Violence

Prayers and Meditations

Communal Prayer Amid Gun Violence, written for Temple Micah‘s observance of Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Morning: Blessing with Echo of Gunshots, summer 2015, shared with Temple Micah on August 22, 2015 Prayer in the Midst of Bullets and Bombs, written for summer service at Temple Micah, 2015 High Priest’s Prayer for Those On Fault-Lines, written … Continue reading Prayers and Meditations

Life, Liberty, and the Promise of Peace

Readers may have noticed a long silence on this blog. But I have not been entirely silent. At start of June 2015, I began an additional blog, #SayThisName, to mark those lost to homicide and police action in the District of Columbia. Since then, I have personally typed out and said aloud the names of … Continue reading Life, Liberty, and the Promise of Peace

“If a corpse be found…”

Chapter 21 of Deuteronomy (Shoftim: Deut 16:18-21:9) tells the Israelites what to do, upon entering the land, “if a corpse be found..the identity of the slayer not being known.” This is the elaborate ritual involving the Red Heifer in which the elders of the nearest town must be prepared to declare, “Our hands did not … Continue reading “If a corpse be found…”

Prayer Warm-up: From Self to Community

Part of the early morning warm-up for prayers — along with awareness of our blessings and awakening body, soul, and mind — is moving from what Mishkan T’filah [Reform prayerbook] calls “self-fulfillment” to “social imperatives of community.” And that means beginning to move through the individual joys and concerns that we brought with us to … Continue reading Prayer Warm-up: From Self to Community

Flags, Horns, and Walls

This week’s Torah reading closes the Book of Numbers, leaving the People — who have journeyed for 40 years, losing many people in the process and raising new generations — poised to cross the Jordan. The narrative includes a 42-stage recitation of journeys: “These are the stages of the children of Israel…” (Numbers 33:1-49). Each … Continue reading Flags, Horns, and Walls

How Systemic is Our Awareness? (Beyond 19)

What would it mean for reports about Dante Servin, armed off-duty Chicago police officer, and Rekia Boyd, the unarmed 22-year-old citizen he shot to death in March 2012, “to be systemically aware” (see yesterday’s post)? Should we be focusing on a judicial system that let Servin off on a technicality this past Monday (4/20/15)? Should … Continue reading How Systemic is Our Awareness? (Beyond 19)