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I am from Chicago where a white supremacist shooter went on a rampage in July of 1999. He killed Ricky Birdsong, a friend and a member of my church, whom we called Coach. Coach was loving, jovial, very committed to reconciliation, and deeply devoted to his family. He lived in an affluent neighborhood and he was doing great work with his life. Coach was walking home from the playground with his two kids. The white supremacist had just shot at five Jewish people in the neighborhood where I used to live, and then drove to another Jewish neighborhood. My guess is he went looking for a Jewish person, just happened to see my friend Coach walking down the street with his kids, and decided a black man would do. Read more
I know I am not alone, but as a woman I often feel alone. It seems that so few Christians understand the importance of including women in worship and the language of worship and of not speaking of God in solely masculine terms. I am convinced that when we limit our language, we limit God, ourselves, and others. However, in addition to being biblically faithful, making my language inclusive has opened up new ways of experiencing God and the world. But the world doesn't always seem to want new ways of thinking. What is a feminist Christian to do? Read more
Various members of the faculty and student body have made significant contributions to the understanding of the sexism inherent in the traditional use of the English language. In order to build on their efforts and in response to the request of the faculty, the Office for Women's Concerns has prepared this booklet as an aid to the use of non-discriminatory language. Read more
I've never heard a sermon on Jesus saying, "Follow me," that was addressed to men only. Yet, my analysis of the meditation is that I've apparently heard a few too many messages in the Church that have, intentionally or not, excluded me. Read more
My favorite hymn is Martin Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” Something must be wrong, because according to an article I recently found on the internet, that is a “manly” song.  Read more
From the simple chorus "Jesus Loves Me" to the classic Charles Wesley hymn "Jesus, Lover of My Soul," Christians of all eras have sung about God’s love. Even when well-informed by Scripture, worshippers naturally use the language and symbols of their cultures when speaking of God’s love. Since romantic ideals predominate the language of love in the American culture, many have argued that romance is overrepresented in our contemporary praise and worship music. Read more
Inclusive language—language hospitable to all people and the whole creation—has perplexed the church in our generation. Some people have radically rewritten hymn texts, some have stubbornly opposed any changes at all, and some have sought a middle ground. Some editors simply include unaltered and altered versions of hymns back to back so that congregations can choose one version or the other. Read more
In the counseling room, I often hear women say, “I never saw it coming….” Or, “I saw the signs but didn’t act on them.” When it comes to spiritual abuse, what are warning signs we can look for? How do we recognize spiritual abuse, and what should we do about it? Consider these examples.  Read more
Things are getting bananas, people.  Toddlers are wearing tiaras. Parents are giving teenage girls breast enhancement procedures for their Sweet Sixteens. Dark-skinned girls are lightening their skin with bleaching products. Chinese women are getting their legs broken—on purpose!—in leg-lengthening surgeries. It’s nutty, right? Read more
Do you make choices with your head or heart? In the kingdom of God, the fruit of the Spirit encompasses both emotion and reason, as people throughout the Bible learned when they followed God’s call. Read more

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