statues & monuments

I am making my way through the Fordham Law Review article on the Ten Commandments. Dense reading, but fascinating. Courtesy of Paul Finkelman, when he heard I was teaching on Honor your father and mother. The first thing I learned is that even the numbering system of these laws varies between Jewish, Catholic, and various Christian texts. There

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owning it

Apparently, we have moved on from Black History Month to Women’s History Month. Something about the word “history” repels me, even as I find myself appalled by how little I (we?) know. Dynamic teachers abound, and I am friends with some of the best. Sadly, my classroom history experience neither excited me nor taught what

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letting go

My Lenten assignment was late this year. I wasn’t really listening for instructions; I was afraid to hear about giving up something else. Which I could hardly bear to consider.  Give us the bread we need for today. Matthew 6:11 (CEB) So it wasn’t until Sunday night that it came to me. When my guard was down.

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broken pieces

Water gushed into the newly renovated women’s shelter. Can they move (back) into NCF while they repair the damage? Of course! What a gift to be able to say yes. Our building has been a continuous resource to the community throughout the pandemic- housing Austin’s Place to be a year-round shelter for the first time ever, serving as

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financial insights

Twenty-two hours of driving allowed for a full book’s listening on the way to west Texas. Another twenty-two hours back, another book finished. I loved listening to the snippets of other languages and immigrant accents and that made these books by first generation American authors come alive. Some texts are meant to be read aloud for

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more access

I am spoiled (in many ways :). But especially that I get to listen to newly recorded NCF music- even before the musicians hear the final version- each Saturday night when Michael uploads music for me to insert into the service. And if I crave a previously-recorded song, I can search it out for worship. But I have

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Share the Wealth?

Last week, I shared my experience of the barriers to personal charity, how individual impulses of generosity will not accomplish reparations. Today’s story addresses the difficulty of sharing assets. Not to discourage, but to highlight the need for prayerful creativity to work through our defenses. May the Holy Spirit show us a real path toward

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birthday wishes

Turning into my bank, I was chagrined to see steam billowing from beneath the hood of a pickup truck in the parking lot. Yikes. It looked bad. Expensive. The decal on the side advertised a local landscape guy. A black man about my age peered into the engine; the truck was his business. Not mine.

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Breakfast Memory

Vern Fein reliably contacts me in January to promote the MLK prayer breakfast, which will be a virtual event this 36th year. As we will all be brewing our own coffee, this memory reminds us of the unexpected possibilities for personal encounters when we can again be together. Blessings and love to each of you, wherever you are. -Renée

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our nation, ourselves

How do we pray for our country? King David was a poet and musician. He broadened the reach of his kingdom through wars and alliances. He was a lover. Of God, of friend, of women. David enjoyed popularity with the people. He knew how to pray.  O God, endow the king with Your judgments, the king’s

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