Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis by Stephan Bauman and Matthew Soerens. Matt’s first book Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate is one of the best books I have read. This book offers perspective on how we can respond to and support the global refugee crisis.
Pondering Privilege: Toward a Deeper Understanding of Whiteness, Race, and Faith by (yours truly) Jody Wiley Fernando. Revised and now available in a print edition, Pondering Privilege is a quick read that explores issues of racial injustice and privilege for white people, especially those in the US church. It’s a great discussion started for small groups, leadership training, or college classes. Listen to a podcast interview that includes more background on the book at World Citizen Storycast. (The print version will be available on Amazon by next week.)
First Generation by Ijeoma Umebrinyuo
Here’s to the laundry man at the Marriott who told me with the sparkle in his eyes how he was an engineer in Peru. Here’s to the bus driver, the Turkish Sufi who almost danced when I quoted Rumi.
I’m afraid of dying by John Blase
Are you ever afraid of dying? I’m not talking about the dying that will deposit you directly into the Lord’s presence (as some hold). But the dying that will tear you from the fabric of here, here where you’ve seen wonders.
“Now it’s a circus. I am in shock,” said Asplund, who is 5ft 3in and weighs just 50kg (eight stone). “The Nazis are very angry, so I am a little ‘Oh shit, maybe I shouldn’t have done that, I want peace and quiet.’ These guys are big and crazy. It’s a mixed feeling, but I am trying to stay calm.”
Walking the beat in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood, where a new day began together by NPR Morning Edition
“Fred came to me and said, ‘I have this idea: You could be a police officer,’ ” recalls Clemmons, speaking with his friend Karl Lindholm during a visit with StoryCorps.
Clemmons says he didn’t like the idea much at first.
“I grew up in the ghetto. I did not have a positive opinion of police officers. Policemen were siccing police dogs and water hoses on people,” he says. “And I really had a hard time putting myself in that role. So I was not excited about being Officer Clemmons at all.”
How I made peace with my boobs in a brothel by Tina Francis
In early April, I accompanied a motley crew of brilliant women to Thailand. We were invited to learn about human trafficking by a nonprofit organization called Exodus Road. They focus on targeted interventions to find and free trafficked minors.
Still very jet-lagged, we prepared to visit Walking Street, a red light district in Pattaya. Our guide Matt warned us, “This is going to feel like baptism by fire.”
He was right.
Black lives matter and racial tension in America from the Barna Group. Interesting numbers here on all kinds of racial perspectives of liberals, conservations, whites, blacks, evangelicals, mainline, etc.
Can people of color really make themselves at home? by Kathy Tuan-Mclean
InterVarsity was like a house with all sorts of staff living in it. Most of the white staff felt like they owned the house. They felt free to move the furniture, decorate the walls, put their feet up, and cook the foods they liked to eat. But others on our team, though they “lived” in the house, were just guests. As a guest, it’s impolite to move the furniture or criticize the decor, and if you don’t like the food served, you don’t complain—because if you complain, you’re not invited back.
Let’s talk about white millenial racism by Jenn M. Jackson
Due to globalism and changes in access to travel, many people of color have broadened their worlds and gained exposure to social groups to which they might otherwise have no access. But, many Whites still live in highly segregated, highly isolated communities and report having very few friends of color. That could also be part of the reason many Whites think racism is basically a thing of the past. But, clearly, perpetual racial segregation and “tokenism” is still an issue for many Millennials of color. It’s a tale of two cities in racial politics.
Churches examine white privilege by Adelle M. Banks
In the wake of the continuing deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police officers, some white church leaders say they can no longer check off their racial-justice to-do list by hosting a Black History Month event. Instead, they are holding workshops that address white privilege — not experiencing or knowing the unfair treatment endured by nonwhites.
The gift of presence, the perils of advice by Parker Palmer
Here’s the deal. The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. It simply wants to be witnessed — to be seen, heard and companioned exactly as it is. When we make that kind of deep bow to the soul of a suffering person, our respect reinforces the soul’s healing resources, the only resources that can help the sufferer make it through.
When you’ve been hurt by church: 5 steps for moving on by Sheri Dacon
We expect the world to be cruel and harsh. We watch the news and we know about the violence and the mean-spiritedness of our society at large.
But those of us raised in Christian homes expect the church to be our safe place, our shelter from the ugliness of the outside, a place where we can be ourselves and be loved and welcomed despite our faults.
There are better things than riches by Joshua Becker
The prevailing view is that wealth is good, that it should be pursued, that material possessions and riches enhance our enjoyment in life, and that wealth provides opportunity to find greater fulfillment in life.
But recently, I have come to realize the pursuit of riches is based on a faulty premise. It is based on the incorrect rationale that the presence of money is always good—that it always brings benefit into our lives. This is not always the case.