Statement on the Tree of Life Synagogue Murders and Our Lives Together

Eleven Dead in Attack on Jewish Service. The headline came as it does these days, not as a shock - - for our society has become too violent for murder even on an unprecedented scale to shock -- but as a clear sign that evil stalks the places we used to think of as safe – the synagogue, the mosque, the church, the school, the neighborhood business. The Bible tells us God said, Thou shalt not … [Read more...]

Epiphany: Unity & Peace for All Nations by Gabriel Kwadwo Ofori-Okai

Matthew 2:1-2: In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage. Matthew 2:9-12: When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, … [Read more...]

Palm Sunday | Jesus Arrives

When they neared Jerusalem, having arrived at Bethphage on Mount Olives, Jesus sent two disciples with these instructions: “Go over to the village across from you. You’ll find a donkey tethered there, her colt with her. Untie her and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you’re doing, say, ‘The Master needs them!’ He will send them with you.” This is the full story of what was sketched earlier by … [Read more...]

Resolution on a Way Forward in Angry and Anxious Times

This resolution was brought to the Presbytery at its February 4, 2017 Stated Meeting by the Peacemaking Task Force.  It came out of a deep concern around increased racial and anti-immigrant violence in the Presbytery that has been occurring for the last few months.  It was unanimously approved and added to the minutes of that meeting.   This is a time of deep divisions in our nation, within … [Read more...]

Advent Three: Returning to Joy (Isaiah 35: 1-10)

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful … [Read more...]

A Reflection on the Orlando Massacre by Arthur Fullerton

Omar Mateen went to die Sunday morning. He left his home in Fort Pierce, Florida and drove two hours to a gay nightclub in Orlando with the intent to die and the intent to murder. We can not know what thoughts led him to choose death over life. We can not know what led him to choose to murder gay men of color as his last deliberate act on this earth. We do know he deliberately caused hurt and … [Read more...]

Don’t Give Up on Peacemaking by Earl S. Johnson, Jr.

At the end of April I gave a final test question to students in my class on biblical studies at Siena College: “What is the most difficult Beatitude (Matthew 5:1-12) to keep today?  Why?”  Several of them chose the seventh one, “Blessed are the peacemakers.  For they will be called the children of God.”  As one of them answered, “How are peacemakers expected to handle a threat like ISIS, who is … [Read more...]