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Courtney Ray

Fashion and Fragility

I try not to live in an echo chamber. That is, I try to listen to a diversity of beliefs—even and especially those I disagree with. But despite my best efforts, I seem to have been blithely unaware of the persistence of one issue. I thought it had died unceremoniously, but the past few weeks have shown that this “controversial” topic is as fervent as ever. That is church dress. Quite recently, I’ve seen an uptick in postings among individuals and in groups about the “proper church attire” for Divine Worship.

Until Next Time

I remember traveling home from the subway in New York City as a young person. Always on high alert. Listen for footsteps. Always looking for someone walking too close or too fast. As a teenager, you might be “grown” enough to go places alone, but grown people get hurt, too. Think of your child walking home alone after a quick run to the neighborhood store for some snacks. It’s pretty dark. But you’ve always reinforced the importance of being vigilant. Besides, your community is pretty safe and the store isn’t that far.

More Than Mild Martin

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What the MCU Can Teach SDAs

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It is easy to underestimate the importance of representation when your identity is seen as the “default.”

Why We Will Aways Have Segregated Conferences

It’s February. And in the United States, that means it’s Black History Month. It’s time for college campuses to ask the school’s gospel choir to perform for chapel. It’s the time of year when non-Black pastors call on their Black colleagues to pay an annual visit to their pulpits. Or, if they have no one on whom to call, it’s time to preach on unity and diversity and the reasons we should tear down racial divides.

Of Greens and the Gospel

Every culture around the world has some particular way to ring in the New Year.

Ears to Hear: Pastors, Seminarians, and #MeToo

A few weeks ago, journalist Danielle Young at The Root published a recollection of her own #MeToo account. It’s worth the read. It’s not about being raped or molested. And for that reason, she almost didn’t write about it. It’s common for many to minimize their experience because it doesn’t involve being dragged into a dark alley and forcibly brutalized.

Oops! The Best of Intentions

We always celebrate protesters after the protest is over. In that moment, though, the people living through it find it hard to possess an appreciation for those who usher in change. Five centuries after penning his 95 Theses, Christians worldwide commemorate the heroic actions of theologian Martin Luther, which spawned the Reformation. Quite different from the dramatic nailing scene that has been captured in popular retellings, most Lutheran historians agree that it was likely a much quieter gesture at first.

Until It Happens To Me

Caleb Keeter, guitarist for the Josh Abbott Band and lifelong advocate of gun ownership, performed at the Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the late hours of October 1, 2017, this became the site of the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Disaster Response in the Eye of the Storm

It is easy to criticize those we do not know or do not like. And nothing brings out our inner critic like a high-profile natural disaster. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, there was a great deal of finger pointing regarding the response times of various private organizations, including Christian churches. Joel Osteen’s Lakewood church received the brunt of the criticism: he’s a well known, affluent person, who many people already perceive to be just a 21st-century snake-oil salesman.

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