• My wife, Emily, and I had a marvelous mentor early on in our relationship: Rev. J.L. Niell. He worked long after his first retirement as a campus minister and lived into his 90s with great joie de vivre. I […]

  • It would be great with our city’s reputation for compassion and generosity to afford protection for the elderly, children and others during extreme weather such as the two recent cold snaps. Another consideration […]

  • AutoZone Park is definitely a community asset. I think the ideal is for healthy public/private partnerships, and the issue here seems to be finding the right balance. Councilman Conrad has a strong point and […]

  • Highland Area Renewal Corporation Nelson Mandela represented courage, patience and extraordinary leadership. His rejection of bitterness and revenge after the long ordeal in South Africa serves as a model for that […]

  • My favorite for many years continues to be Christmas Caroling. The look on the faces of those who get visited and serenaded is absolutely priceless! Our new “Friendship Center” group has plans for an outing to […]

  • Although I do not like the regressive nature of the sales tax, I plan to vote Yes in the referendum. The long term benefits of better early childhood education outweigh the negatives in this case, in my opinion. […]

  • Mark Matheny wrote a new blog post: Scale and history 3 years ago

    Which Memphis-area house of worship do you find most beautiful, spiritual, sacred? And why?

    That amazing spire at McLean Baptist, and the rugged beauty of Clayborn Temple, the former for sheer scale, the latter for history and hope of continuation. Can’t vote for “our own” but these two are special to me.

  • What should we – individually and collectively – be doing differently about hunger issues in our community? It is a vexing problem, needing action on multiple fronts. At St. Luke’s our MIFA food pantry supported by the University Council of Congregations plus Saturday and Sunday community meals feed hundreds every month. However, we know that this [...]

  • If you were addressing the nation on Wednesday, Nov. 7, the DAY AFTER the election, what would you say? What advice would you offer to your fellow Americans about the next four years? Fellow Americans, this is one nation. Perhaps nothing is more divisive than a partisan election, but we have freely chosen in spite of [...]

  • How do you define dying well?

    Surrounded with love, literally or figuratively by your faith community, you courageously face death not as the last thing but as the next-
    to-last thing in your life. Last comes the uniting and reuniting manifest in the promise of the “Resurrection and the Life”…

  • What is your favorite verse of holy scripture and why? Tough question…so many good ones! Well, here’s one that I have believed applies to Memphis ever since coming here in 1971: Isaiah 40:31… “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not [...]

  • Memphis is the second most generous city in the country, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. According to the publication: “Religion plays a major role in how much money Americans give to charity. The parts of the country that tend to be more religious are also more generous.” Why is this true? [...]

  • What are your views of the food-stamp program and the proposed cuts to it? Biblically, there is a powerful story that is apropos: in the Book of Ruth, she gleans the fields. What if we viewed food stamps like gleaning, and had the apparent harmony and interaction among poor and rich, private and public, that is [...]

  • What is your reaction to the Freedom from Religion Foundation suing the Memphis City Council? As a past “Chaplain of the Day” at City Council and County Commission meetings, I find it ridiculous to refer to our prayers as “egregious”! I would suggest an out-of-court settlement as follows: let the government bodies invite, in proportion to [...]

  • At St. Andrew AME, the Robinsons have a ministry called “The Right Start” — a new program that trains “Milk Missionaries” to guide new and expectant mothers, to help them reach their breast-feeding goals. Such public health matters are often thought of as government responsibilities. Does the faith community also have a responsibility when it comes [...]

  • The tragic mass shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, coming just a few days after the tragic mass shooting at the theater in Colorado, continues a deeply disturbing American trend. Since 1976, the U.S. has averaged 20 mass shootings a year – including 30 in 2003. Why is America such a violent place? Why are [...]

  • The ethics of anonymous online commenting: This is tough. I cherish the First Amendment, but personally, I think someone making public comments should have the courage and decency to identify himself or herself. There is a place for privacy, but for healthy civic dialogue about issues, contact info is a given. Perhaps this dilemma highlights one [...]

  • This week the Faith in Memphis panel reflects on the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo. Yet another horrible shooting! I think we all have a responsibility to identify and prevent perpetrators from committing such senseless acts of genocide. We also have a responsibility to make obtaining weapons harder. The notion of someone shooting back at [...]

  • What accounts for our such low and declining confidence in ‘the church or organized religion’? I am somewhat surprised and very concerned! Even though part of our prophetic tradition means going against popular culture for the sake of justice and righteousness, it seems that is not a major cause of the problem. Much more central to [...]

  • The Episcopal Church will now allow priests to conduct services blessing same-sex relationships. The denomination’s House of Bishops approved the policy Monday, and delegates to the national convention approved the measure on Tuesday becoming the largest U.S. religious denomination to approve such a ritual. What’s your response? Is this an…[Read more]

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