Sunday, July 28, 2019

Unsung Hero Antoinette Tuff - Sermon from July 28, 2019

Our unsung hero for today is Antoinette Tuff, a school bookkeeper at McNair Discovery Learning Center, an elementary school in Decatur Georgia, who talked a man who came into her school with an AK47 and enough bullets to kill at least half of the 800 children there that day, into giving himself up before anyone was killed. It happened on August 20, 2013. In her book, Prepared for a Purpose, she gives credit to God for what she was able to do that day, and she believes that she was in that place and time, as Mordecai said that Esther was, filling in for the front office secretary during lunch, because she was somehow able to find the words and the tone to keep this young man from carrying out his plan. She also makes it clear that she was only able to do that because this man came in talking, while most shooters come in shooting. And she does not believe in arming teachers. She said if she had had a gun that day, in the mental state she was in and he was in, they would likely all be dead.

Antoinette Tuff has not had an easy life. Her father abandoned the family when she was 2. When she was 10, her mother got cancer. She survived, but with the cost of the treatment, she couldn’t pay the rent, so she and Antoinette were homeless for 13 months. Her son was born with multiple disabilities which got worse as he grew. and she is his caregiver. A few months before her ordeal on this day, she found out that her husband, the only man she had ever loved or been with, was in love with someone else. She was so distraught that she tried to and almost succeeded in killing herself.  And less than five minutes before the gunman walked in the door, she received a call from the bank telling her that her bankruptcy repayment plan was being cancelled due to lack of payment, and that if she didn’t come up with $14,000, which she didn’t have or have any way of getting, in 10 days, she would lose her house and her car. But it was because of all these trials, she says, that she was able to relate to the gunman, who, she learned from her time with him, was self-loathing,  had given up hope, and planned to kill himself after killing everyone else.

The gunman came in agitated and shouting, “We are all going to die today,” and she says she had never been so afraid in her life. Minutes later, another staff member, unaware of what was happening, walked into the office, surprising the gunman, and he started firing. The man fell and Antoinette thought he was dead, but the bullets had landed just to the right of him. The gunman told him to get up and go tell everyone what was happening, and he ordered Antoinette to get on the intercom and announce it, then to call 911 and a news helicopter so that everybody could witness it. While she was on the phone, the gunman opened the front door of the school and began shooting at the police who were arriving. At that moment, when he was distracted, she could have run out the back door. She wanted too.  But she was paralyzed with fear. She said, “I tried to move my feet but nothing happened. If I didn’t run now, I might never get another chance. The gunman finally stopped shooting and walked back into the front office, and I was still there, behind the desk. Turns out, I wasn’t supposed to run.”

She watched as he filled five magazines with bullets and stuffed the rest, hundreds more, into the pockets of his cargo pants. He began pacing back and forth, then called someone on his cell phone, his mother.  He said to her, “I’m the person on the news. They are going to kill me for what I did.  I shot at the police.” Antoinette said she surprised herself by jumping into the conversation. She told him that he didn’t have to die.  That no police had been killed. But he wasn’t listening to his mother or her. He went to the door and started shooting again. And she heard herself yell to him, "Sweetheart, come back in here. It’s gonna be you and me, and we will work this thing out together.”And even though he was bleeding from being cut by flying glass, and seemed on the brink of losing all control,he did as she said. He came in, and for close to an hour, whenever he appeared calmer, she talked to him. He said to her, “I don’t care if I die. I have nothing to live for. I’m mentally unstable. I’m not on my medication. I should just shoot myself.”

She told him about her trials, how just a two weeks before, she had pulled over on a busy highway, got out, and walked through two lanes of traffic hoping she would be killed and how the next week, she had asked a friend how to get a gun because she could not bear the pain of living any longer. She told him that God was with her then and that God was with him now. And that there were people who could help him. And eventually, he said, “I don’t want to hurt no kids.  I want to go to the hospital.” She was able to get him to put his gun on the desk and lie on the floor. The police came in and arrested him.  No one died.

She said that what she believed finally reached him was her compassion for him. She said, “He needed someone to listen to him. The person there was me. Though he spoke with hatred, I listened with love. Though he struggled, I saw his worth. And though he dwelt in darkness, I searched for his spark” She was practicing that 23rd Psalm that she read every morning.

 Ms. Tuff’s idea of God and God’s role in the world are a little different from mine, but I understand hers, as she is a Baptist and I was a Baptist, and I admire her faith and the courage and compassion that it gave her to save all those children that day. When Modecai asked Esther  to do what was right for her people because she was the only one who was in a position to do so, she was afraid that if she did, she would be killed. Mordecai said to her, “Maybe you were placed here for such a time as this. Antoinette Tuff believes with her whole heart,that she was placed in that front office for such a time as this, and at the end of her book, she challenges us to be on the lookout and be prepared for the opportunity to be there for someone who needs us. May we accept the challenge.


Our first reading is by school bookkeeper Antoinette Tuff, on the day that a gunman walked into her school.

A short stocky, 20—year-old man, who lives on a wooded street in Decatur, gets up and dresses all in black. He opens his backpack and fills it with several boxes of bullets, until he can fit no more. He loads another magazine into an AK 47 assault rifle that can shoot more than 5 hundred rounds in less than a minute. It’s one of the deadliest weapons in the world. He drives to the McNair Discovery Learning Academy, waits for someone to walk out, then sneaks in. He turns right at the first room he sees, the front office. Its door leads to a hallway that leads to the classrooms of hundreds of children, who are sitting at their desks or writing on chalkboards, innocent, unaware, in more danger than they could ever comprehend.  Because this man is inside their school, holding his weapon with both hands, waving it at me. He yells, “We are all going to die today.”

He only had to shoot me to get to his first classroom filled with children. All that will take no more than 3 or 4 seconds of time, the slightest tug of the trigger, and then will come the nightmare, the hell, the recurring horror—Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and McNair will become “McNair.”
As I sit there, hands trembling, heart racing, I ask one simple question:
“God, what are we going to do now?”

Our second reading is Psalm 23, which Antoinette Tuff read every morning before going into work.
O God, you are my shepherd.  I shall not want.  You make me lie down in green pastures.  You lead me beside still waters.  You restore my soul.  You lead me in right paths for your name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you are with me.  Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil.  My cup overflows.  Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in your house my whole life long.

Our third reading for today is from the book of Esther, chapter 4.
Esther sent her servant to talk to Mordecai, who told him that the king was planning the destruction of the Jews and to ask Esther to go to the king, her husband, and entreat him for her people. Esther replied, “All the people know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, all alike are put to death.” Mordecai replied, “If you keep silent for such a time as this, deliverance for the Jews will rise from another quarter, but you and your father will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.”
Esther replied, “I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Unsung Hero Bayard Rustin - Sermon from July 21, 2019

Our unsung hero for today is Bayard Rustin, who devoted his life to the fight for civil rights for African Americans and to shine a light on the problem of poverty in America. He planned and executed the 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. King delivered his ‘I have a dream’ speech. But he didn’t get the credit for it, because he was openly gay, and some of the movement’s leaders thought that it would be a distraction.

Rustin was born into a Quaker family in 1912 and learned the Quaker values of nonviolence and peace at an early age. He was a singer, which paid his way through college.  In 1937 he joined the Young Communist League because he agreed with their progressive views on racial issues, but at the start of WW II, when the group’s focus moved to support for the Soviet Union, he left it. He was a conscientious objector during that war, as we heard in the reading, citing his pacifism and the military’s racial segregation for his refusal to register for the draft, which he was sent to prison for. He continued his activism in prison, writing almost daily letters to the warden and leading strikes to try to get some racial equality for his fellow prisoners. He studied Gandhi’s non-violence and went to India after Gandhi’s assassination to learn more from his disciples about how to run non-violent resistance campaigns. He came home from there declaring that America needed more “angelic trouble makers” who were willing to put their bodies in places so that wheels could not turn, so that business as usual was disrupted.

Like almost all black activists, then and now, he was surveilled by the FBI for his entire life. He was convicted in North Carolina for sitting with a white man on a bus, a crime for which he spent 22 days on a chain gang.  His writing and speaking about how the chain gang reduces humans to things to be used helped get it outlawed in North Carolina. At the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, Rustin was invited to advise Dr. King on non-violence, and he became like an older brother to King, who was only 25, helping him think through the political and social dilemmas he was facing. When Dr. King decided to protest at both national presidential conventions, prominent democrats, who did not want protests at their conventions, threatened to go to the press and say that King and Rustin were having an affair. Rustin was pushed out of the inner circle, and Dr. King distanced himself from him. When some tried to bring him back, as they needed him for his organizational skills for the proposed March on Washington, Roy Wilkins, the executive secretary of the NAACP was adamantly opposed.  He said, “I know you are a Quaker, but that’s not what I’ll have to defend. I’ll have to defend draft dodging.  I’ll have to defend promiscuity. The question is never going to be homosexuality. It’s going to be promiscuity, and I can’t defend that. And the fact is that you were a member of the Young Communist League.  I don’t care what you say, I can’t defend that.”

 Dr. King and John Lewis came up with a plan. They nominated A. Phillip Randolph, a respected member of the movement, as the official director of the march, and he appointed Rustin as his deputy, and Rustin organized and ran the March. Even though 3 weeks before the march, Senator Strom Thurmond announced that it was being organized ‘by a communist, draft dodging homosexual,’ it went on as planned, and it re-energized and inspired people to continue to work for civil rights for all Americans. After Dr. King’s assassination in 1968, the movement once again pushed Rustin out. Rustin was also a target of Black Power leaders like Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael, who accused him of being a sellout because he believed in nonviolence and working with white people to make progress for black people in America. Some even resorted to calling him Fag in their speeches.  But he was always willing to debate them, and he continued to call for cooperation and unity among the races. Rustin kept up his non-violent resistance and work for human rights until his death in 1987. To some, he was too radical. To others he was not radical enough. But he always spoke the truth as he saw it, even when it meant that he was unpopular. And he never wavered in his belief that we are one human family, and that we are meant to be together rather than separate.

At the end of the documentary, Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, was an interview with actress and human rights advocate Liv Ullman, who traveled the world with Rustin in his later years. I think it illustrates perfectly the kind of person that he was. She said, “We came to one refugee camp. And they needed blood. A lot of us were really afraid to give blood.  And the first one to say, ‘We will all give Blood. Here’s my arm.  Get going.” was Bayard. And there was nobody who dared to say ‘No.’ And I who have been so scared of that all my life,  I’ve never done it in a hospital even, I was lying there on the ground and I did what Bayard did.  I gave blood. And I have never felt so good in my life. It was the way he did it. It was normal.  This is what we are supposed to do. It’s normal to care about somebody at your side.” May each of us, with our different backgrounds, gifts, personalities, and experiences, follow the example of Bayard Rustin and find ways to work together as one family for the common good of us all.


Our first reading for today is from the letter Bayard Rustin wrote to the draft board in 1943.
The Conscription Act separates black from white—those supposedly struggling for a common freedom. Such a separation also is based on the moral error that men virtually in slavery can struggle for a freedom they are denied. This means that I must protest racial discrimination in the armed forces. Segregation, separation, according to Jesus, is the basis of continuous violence. That which separates us from one another is evil and must be resisted. I admit my share of guilt for having participated in the institutions and ways of life which helped bring fascism and war. Nonetheless, guilty as I am, I now see, as did the Prodigal Son, that it is never too late to refuse to remain in a non-creative situation. It is always timely and virtuous to change—to take in all humility a new path. I appreciate now as in the past your advice and consideration, and trust that I shall cause you no anxiety in the future. I want you to know I deeply respect you for executing your duty to God and country in these difficult times in the way you feel you must.
Sincerely yours, Bayard Rustin

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Unsung Heroes: Rev Troy Perry - Sermon from July 14, 2019

When I gave the opening remarks at the Pride service at Main Beach last month, I acknowledged those folks on whose shoulders I stand. The primary one is someone most people haven’t heard of: Rev. Troy Perry, founder of Metropolitan Community Church, or MCC,  the first denomination with a positive outreach to the LGBTQ community, so many of whom had been spiritually and emotionally damaged by church and its teachings.

When I came out to myself, and then my family, having grown up Southern Baptist, I wasn’t 100 percent sure that God still loved me. One of my then husband’s friends, a lesbian, told us about her church, Christ Covenant MCC in Decatur, and invited me. The acceptance I found there, and a theology that said that not only was I not going to hell, but I was loved just the way I am, was the foundation for my journey into ministry. That MCC church was where I was first ordained.  And I have Rev. Troy Perry and the denomination he started to thank for all that has happened since then.

MCC was founded in LA in 1968, a year before Stonewall. Rev. Perry said he always knew he was gay, and he also felt called to preach, but in the Pentecostal church where he was raised, being gay was a sin. When he told his pastor about his attraction to men, he told him to find a good woman to marry. At age 18, he married that pastor’s daughter. Together they had two children, and he became a pastor in the Church of God in Santa Anna California. When he was outed to the church council, he was immediately fired, and his wife divorced him.

When his first same-sex relationship ended, he attempted suicide, and the love from friends and neighbors and strangers that he received during his recovery made him realize that he was loveable just the way he was. And he started a church so that others like him, who had felt hopeless enough to want to end their lives could also feel loved and cared for. His first church service was in his home.  9 friends and 3 strangers came. When the congregation got too big to continue there, they took whatever free space anyone offered them. In 1971, a building at 22nd and Union in LA went up for sale, and Troy decided they were going to buy it. For weeks, he brought in large trashcans to pass for the offering. They raised the money to buy the building, and a thousand people attended its dedication. His mother was their first heterosexual member, and she became a mother to all those who had been rejected by their own mothers and fathers. As the LGBTQ community across the nation heard about a church where they could be loved and accepted for who they were, Troy began receiving letters asking to start one like it, and a denomination was born.

He also became active in the fight for equal rights for gays and lesbians.And when some folks in the gay community wanted him to tone down his rhetoric, he quoted  Jesus in Luke 4:18,

 “Where I find oppression, I am going to bring deliverance” and added, “We can’t sit around waiting for someone else to deliver us. We have to do it.” Although New York gets the credit for having the nation’s first Pride Parade, to celebrate the first anniversary of Stonewall, Troy and his congregation actually held the first one, in LA, a few hours before New York’s. The theme was “Unity in Community,”and 50,000 people showed up to participate and watch.

 In 1973, when the church was destroyed by a fire “of suspicious origins.”  Troy convinced his angry and heartbroken congregation to have church in the street in front of the burned building, saying, “No one can chase us away.” In 1978, He went on a 16 day hunger strike on the steps of the federal building in LA to raise money to fight Proposition 6, which would have banned gays and lesbians from working in California’s public schools, a fight won after the initiative failed to pass. And in 1979, he joined with lesbian activist Robin Tyler to lead the March on Washington for the LGBTQ community.

When AIDs arrived in the 1980’s, Many MCC churches were holding a funeral a day. And when Jerry Falwell declared that AIDs was God’s judgment on homosexuals, Troy Perry went on every television and radio show that would have him to declare that, ‘No disease is a gift from God,’
and he and  his member churches walked through that awful valley of death together.

You might have noticed that I mostly refer to him as Troy, rather than Rev. Perry. That’s because he said to everyone he met, “Call me Troy.” With everything he has accomplished, he has remained humble, choosing to empower others rather than make a name for himself. He embodies these words, often attributed to Harry Truman, “You can get a lot of good done in the world if you don’t mind who gets the credit for it.”  The documentary about his life, which is on Amazon Prime, is entitled, Call me Troy. 

In the early 2000’s, when mainline churches began accepting gay and lesbian members and then pastors, MCC saw many of its churches choosing to leave to join these larger denominations,  primarily the United Church of Christ, as our church in Decatur did, and where I was also ordained. Many denominations have come a long way since the days of telling gays and lesbians that they were going to hell.  And that’s a wonderful thing.  Being a part of a church with a diverse membership like ours, gives us all the opportunity to support and learn from each other. I am very proud to be a UCC’er.  But without Troy Perry and MCC, I don’t think there would be so many open and affirming mainline churches today. He was the first to reach out to gay and lesbian people and convince them that they were who God created them to be and therefore worthy of God’s love and care. One of those was me, and I am forever grateful. May we honor our unsung heroes like Troy Perry and draw on their courage to continue working for justice and equality for all God’s people.


Our reading  is from the invocation at the National March for Equality in 2009, given by Reverend Troy Perry, founder of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches.

As we gather in the shadows of the U.S. Capitol,
let us, together, invoke the spirit of those who came before us, and the spirit of all who prepared us for the journey toward justice and equality.
who in the early 1950's for the first time
gave a public face to the transgender community
raised consciousness around transgender issues
and taught us to recognize gender as well as sexuality.
the World War II veteran who in 1961
became the first openly gay person in the U.S.
to run for political office
as a candidate for mayor of San Francisco;
the openly gay African American
who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Dr. Martin Luther King
and who organized 1963's March on Washington.
who died too soon at the hands of anti-LGBT violence,
and all whose lives have been touched by anti-LGBT hate crimes;

I invoke the spirit of Christine Jorgenson,

I invoke the spirit of Jose Sarria,

I invoke the spirit of Bayard Rustin,
I invoke the spirit of each of our brothers and sisters,

In this moment of history, and in the history of this moment,
– surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
– surrounded by the spirits of all who prepared our path,
– and joined by that Spirit who unites us as one,
We reaffirm our commitment to work for that day
when justice rolls down like rivers,
and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Unsung Heroes: Rev Dr Liz Theoharis - Sermon from June 30, 2019

I said 2 weeks ago that I mentioned Delores Huerta once when I was preaching last year about Cesar Chavez and the farm workers movement.  I did the same thing with Rev. Dr. Liz TheoHarris when I talked about Rev. William Barber and the Poor People’s campaign. But reviving Dr.King’s original Poor People’s Campaign was actually an idea that Rev. Theoharis  had been thinking about and planning for  years, and she is the one who approached Rev. Barber about  it. Almost all the photos you see when there is news about the campaign feature Rev. Barber front and center, with Rev. Theoharis standing to the side. And she is always mentioned second, as Rev. Barber is more well known.  But she is no shrinking violet, as we heard in our modern reading, and there is a video on YouTube where she is addressing a congressional committee on poverty and she speaks truth to power boldly and powerfully.

The issue of poverty has been her focus for her entire adult life. She has spent decades  organizing alongside poor people in grass roots campaigns across the United States and around the world, Her parents were social activists, and she says that she was ‘raised to see the work of ending poverty as what you were supposed to do.”When she moved from Milwaukee to Philadelphia for college, she began visiting “Tent City,” an encampment of homeless families  trying to survive one of Philadelphia’s hottest summers. It was run by the people who lived there. They shared goods and what little money they had with each other. They watched one another’s children when parents worked.  And whoever had a car drove whoever needed a ride.

It was here that she discovered the true power of people working together to understand problems and find solutions, and she realized that that was how all organizations should work. She co-founded and is the coordinator of the Poverty Initiative at Union theological Seminary, which has partnered with local groups, including domestic workers in New York, who fought for and won a wage increase, and  grassroots organizations in Vermont, who fought for and won Universal Health Care. And she is the founder and co-director of the“Kairos center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice,” which exchanges lessons with social movements globally.

In seeking ordination in the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), she insisted, against the church’s conventional wisdom, that building an anti-poverty movement was as much a part of Christian ministry as preaching, and she was granted ordained status, a very bold move for Presbyterians, who called themselves in seminary, “The Frozen Chosen.” In 2013, she invited Rev. Barber to be one of the keynote speakers at the launch of Kairos, and they decided to join their networks to start the new Poor People’s Campaign, where people could come together and try to right the wrongs of society, just as Dr. King had done 50 years before, saying, “It is wrong for 64, 000,000 people to make less than 15 dollars and hour, when there are 400 families who make 97,000 dollars and hour. This movement, like her previous ones, is led by those most impacted, and began at the local level. They build coalitions with organizations that have similar goals and now have an infrastructure of people who want to partner with them, including community and faith leaders, activists, and allies across the country. She says, “When those most impacted by injustice band together with moral leaders and advocates, that’s when change begins to happen.  The center of gravity is the local work that people are doing to build a deep and broad and strong foundation for a long-haul movement. We help people who are working for and demanding change to connect and stay organized until they get that change.”

Her commitment to work alongside the people that are suffering from the injustice in our world is what most makes Rev. Theoharis a hero to me. All of her organizations are multiracial, multi-class, and inter-generational. And she names her local partners in every statement she makes.  When she and Rev. Barber visited activists at the border, the marchers were 99% Latino, and she made it clear that the campaign’s presence there was to support the marchers.

Rev. Theoharris’ way of living and being in the world is an example for all of us especially those of us with privilege, to pause before we enter a movement we know little to nothing about and try to force our solutions on it. Every movement needs allies, and we who are in minority groups appreciate our allies.  But, as Debbie and I talked about at the Pride festival, allies to any group of people who have fewer rights than they do can’t possibly know what they have gone through because we haven’t walked in each other’s shoes.

That made me think about our work at the homeless drop-in center.  We who have never been homeless do not know what our clients go through daily.  I am so privileged that I was a junior in college when I first saw someone in downtown Atlanta reach into a trash can and take and eat what was left of a McDonald’s hamburger.  I was so shocked that I thought I couldn’t possibly be seeing what I was seeing. So when, many years later, in seminary, I felt called to work in homeless ministry, I went out to the parks in Atlanta and spent days asking homeless people what they most needed from those of us who had resources.  The number one answer, by the way, was socks.

Homeless people in big cities have to walk all day, because the moment they sit down, they can be charged with loitering and vagrancy. Their shoes might not be the best, but having a supply of clean, dry socks made all the difference.

We don’t presume to know what our clients at the center need.  We ask them I think they know that they have our respect and that we are sincerely seeking to be a resource and their advocates. We don’t always succeed. Nobody does.  We are all human, and we all sometimes think that we know what is best for someone else. Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis is our reminder to always be open to learn from those who are the most impacted by injustice and to work with them and walk beside them in their quest for justice and equality.


Our modern reading is from Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-founder of the Poor People’s campaign: a National Call for Moral Revival, talking about using non-violent civil disobedience to try to get people to hear the truth.

There’s a quote I find very useful from Dr. King. In talking about law and order and civil disobedience, he says there is a reason for red lights.

But when there is an emergency, when someone is bleeding, the ambulance is supposed to drive through the red lights.

He said that we need brigades of ambulance drivers who are willing to ignore the red lights of the current system and drive with their sirens on full, so that it will cause people to have to pause and think about what is going on. What kind of world do we live in? And does it have to stay the same as it is?

Our country is facing an emergency. So you have to do things to break through. So people are engaging in non-violent civil disobedience.

In Kansas, when folks were arrested trying to enter the capitol, the language used in charging them said that they were violating the capitol, as if the building was a victim to poor people and clergy coming together to talk about how they have been victims to low wages and lack of healthcare and policies that hurt the poor.

It is not a crime for poor people to starve to death in this country. It is not illegal for people to die because they don’t have healthcare in this country.  But it is illegal to come together and try to get our state or our nation to raise wages and make sure everyone has healthcare.

Our biblical reading for today is Isaiah 58: 1-9, from
The Message translation.

    They’re busy, busy, busy at worship,
    and love studying all about me.
To all appearances they’re a nation of right-living people—
To all appearances they’re a nation of right-living people—
    law-abiding, God-honoring.
They ask me, ‘What’s the right thing to do?’
They ask me, ‘What’s the right thing to do?’
    and love having me on their side.
But they also complain,
But they also complain,
    ‘Why do we fast and you don’t look our way?
    Why do we humble ourselves and you don’t even notice?’
    You drive your employees much too hard.
You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight.
You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight.
    You fast, but you swing a mean fist.
The kind of fasting you do
The kind of fasting you do
    won’t get your prayers off the ground.
 This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
    to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, and cancel debts.
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
    sharing your food with the hungry,
    inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
    putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
    being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
Do this and the lights will turn on,
    and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
 Then you’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’
Tell my people what’s wrong with their lives.
Well, here’s why:
“The bottom line on your ‘fast days’ is profit.

New Vision and Progressive Christianity

 New Vision is a Progressive church. That doesn’t mean that you must be progressive to be a member here. It mainly means that your pastor an...