Christmas values – day 5: Love

This is part of the twelve-day series on the values of Christmas I am writing in an attempt to stay in the season of Christmas through January 6. “I got my mom a STERLING SILVER NECKLACE!” my ten-year-old friend said proudly to my grown-up friend and me just before Christmas, so proud of himself for having pulledContinue reading “Christmas values – day 5: Love”

Christmas Values – Day 4: Hope

There is a certain gallows humor among hospital chaplains, I’ve been told — it’s a way to blow off steam in the midst of carrying so much grief for so many people. But it’s something that doesn’t generally leak out beyond those who live the experience, because there’s still some reverence for what is sacredContinue reading “Christmas Values – Day 4: Hope”

Christmas values — day 2: joy

I woke up this morning feeling sorry for homophobes. If you know me, you might be surprised by this reaction, because I don’t tend to suffer intolerance. And at some point in my young life I realized that God doesn’t screw up people, so if God made people gay, I probably shouldn’t keep telling GodContinue reading “Christmas values — day 2: joy”

The Ballad of Harry Moore

Preached at First Congregational Church of Oakland, December 14, 2014.I’ve had the story of one of our forebears on my heart recently on this Black Lives Matter Sunday. So while I was supposed to preach “People Get Ready,” my sermon this morning is actually “The Ballad of Harry Moore,” as written by Langston Hughes andContinue reading “The Ballad of Harry Moore”

The Single Rev by Choice – For a Season

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON FIDELIA’S SISTERS ON DECEMBER 9, 2014: You know the poem about how people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime? Singleness sometimes feels like it has come into my life (unbidden) for a lifetime, but I’m choosing it for this season. God and I have had wordsContinue reading “The Single Rev by Choice – For a Season”

This bridge called my back in this new civil rights movement moment

Navigating “not Black or White” and “Nonviolent but not non-violent” as an ally and activist I suspect every woman of color in America has at multiple points felt that Donna Kate Rushin wrote the Bridge poem for her. As I wonder whether the bonds of friendship with my radical anarchist friends of color will hold andContinue reading “This bridge called my back in this new civil rights movement moment”

“Things taken: Finding Healing on foreign soil this Thanksgiving”

18th annual Berkeley Multifaith Thanksgiving Service Northbrae Community Church, host Message by Sandhya Jha, Director of the Oakland Peace Center and Director of Interfaith Programs at East Bay Housing Organizations   It is a real honor to be here this evening. I have worked with a number of you on affordable housing issues in Berkeley,Continue reading ““Things taken: Finding Healing on foreign soil this Thanksgiving””

A pastor’s lament: 60 years later, and we still don’t give a s*** about each other

Last night as we waited for the Darren Wilson verdict to return, I went to the right place: I went downtown, where faith leaders and anarchists and socialists and nonviolent youth movement leaders and queer activists of all races had convened because we needed to be a public witness but more than that, we neededContinue reading “A pastor’s lament: 60 years later, and we still don’t give a s*** about each other”

About and not with: the big failing of the immigration debate

When my father went through his interview for US citizenship, he talked so much about Jamestown and Williamsburg (where we had gone on vacation) that eventually the INS interviewer threw up his hands and said, “OK! ENOUGH!” At least that’s the way my mother tells the story. I remember the naturalization ceremony in downtown Akron whenContinue reading “About and not with: the big failing of the immigration debate”

My friend’s installation and my own journey in ministry

Don’t get weary. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t get played. Do you. That was the charge given to my friend the Rev. Jacqueline Duhart as she was installed as Associate Minister for Faith In Action at First Unitarian Church of Oakland on October 5.   It was a good Sunday, and a deeply self-reflective one forContinue reading “My friend’s installation and my own journey in ministry”