An Uneasy Peace: Interfaith Relations in a World of Religious Radicals

An Uneasy Peace: Interfaith Relations in a World of Religious Radicals On Sunday, September 17, I had the privilege of attending the annual Harmony Walk sponsored by the Interreligious Forum of Greater Harrisburg along with other interfaith organizations. The yearly event, which coincides with the United Nations International Day of Peace, brought together a collection…

Spaces of Fear

Last night, we heard from author and historian Taylor Branch as he shared “King’s Dream for Justice: Then and Now” for the American Democracy Lecture.  Now, we hear from Messiah College student, Arion, who offers a reflection on the lasting impact racism and segregation has had on our own city of Harrisburg.  With the growth…

A Tribute to Jim Weedon

I first met Jim Weedon in the Fall of 2014, on the front porch of his home in Harrisburg, PA. Jean Corey and I had driven there that afternoon to talk with him about his experience as a member of the 1954 Eastern Negro League Baseball Team, The Harrisburg Giants. I had been feeling anxious…

Ghosts

I see ghosts all around me. In the shadows of a city once bustling with culture, In the absence of brown faces, In the presence of white.   I see ghosts all around me. In cracked cement that will never be filled, In crumbling brick and stone, In “No Trespassing” signs where no one would…

The Lord’s Back Was Black

The poem is Jesus speaking to a slave master while he beats his slave. It explores the paradoxical reality of Christian slave owners in the 19th century. It speaks from the perspective of Jesus who identifies with the oppressed, persecuted, and marginalized. This assumption is drawn from the passage when Jesus spoke to Paul saying…

Welcoming Difference

On April 4th, I joined a small group of Messiah students, and alumni in attending the Sixth Annual Freedom Seder at Beth El Temple in Harrisburg. The topic of this year’s event was immigration, and the refugee crisis, focusing on how the three major monotheistic world religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, are called to…

Blind Spots in the Pursuit of Social Justice: A Chinese Christian Perspective

My life in China always brings a contrasting perspective to me when I try to understand the social issue(s) I face in the U.S. So does social justice. After becoming disillusioned by the Chinese government’s response in ensuring social justice in 1989, most Chinese tried to pursue social justice for themselves as individuals. In reality,…

Sweat and Sanctification

Mitakuye Oyasin – all my relations. In this land of free speech, there are millions of voices. As the lyrics of our national anthem float through the air of athletic stadiums across the country, some athletes make their voice heard as they silently take a knee. When the game is over, the Internet, television, and…

Color and Canvas: Finding Unexpected Voices in Public Art

This spring I had the chance to take a road trip to Portland, ME, and spend a day moseying around the city.  Wandering up and down Congress Street, a modern building with large glass panels hanging over the front doors caught my eye. Frosted text covered the windows: “مكتبة.”  “Bibliothèque.”  “Library.” Intrigued, my friend and…

Resistance

Yearning, dissenting, striving A freedom song among the cotton stocks A harbor steeped in revolution Patchwork hope along the tracks of a perilous ride Remembering, lamenting, achieving From Yorktown’s final drumbeats To barefoot children’s first steps Arms of freedom reaching out and drying paint on picket signs Endurance, resilience, memory Flowing verse from the lips…

A Response to Kelly Brown Douglas

The Following is the Transcript of a Speech Delivered at the 2017 Humanities Symposium by Denise Brown. As I opened [Kelly Brown Douglas’ book, Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God] and began reading, I found myself walking down the sidewalk with Trayvon Martin. The hurt that I had given to God rushed…

Solidarity Is(n’t) Dead

Solidarity Is(n’t) Dead They Say that Solidarity is Dead And I wouldn’t disagree It’s always been “us against them” That’s blatantly clear to see – “What about us” we chorus “Stop killing us” we cry “Black Lives Matter” we scream “All Lives Matter” they reply We exalt our concerns, but they’re met with denial Watching…