Month: October 2017

Food Stamps and Fungibility

A week or so ago, a Facebook friend of mine posted about his experience meeting someone outside of a Chicago grocery. The person he met tried to sell him food stamps, offering $100 in purchases on her EBT card for $80 in cash. My friend thought this was funny, because this person was doing what

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Washington Post: Aid Groups Say They’re ‘Empowering’ Women with Cows and Chickens. They’re Not.

A lot of these programs were actually disempowering, Cronin-Furman found. They kept women at home, disconnected from their networks and from opportunities to organize. One government official told Cronin-Furman that despite years of training programs, she had never seen any of the women earn a living from these skills. “It’s not just that they failed to help,”

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The Present of the Church

This sermon was delivered at Church of Peace, United Church of Christ, in Rock Island, Illinois, on October 15, 2017. The scripture for this sermon is Mark 3:19b-31. Last summer, I went to the United Church of Christ’s General Synod. This is the big meeting we have every two years where delegates from all over

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Hubs and Networks (and the United Church of Christ)

Last week, my denomination — the United Church of Christ — released a bit of bad news. Fourteen people were laid off as the national setting of the denomination reorganized itself around new mission priorities.  Among the transitions are the combining of operations and global ministries; the combining of justice work and local church ministries; and the

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Carl Sandburg (‘A Revolver’)

Here is a revolver. It has an amazing language all its own. It delivers unmistakable ultimatums. It is the last word. A simple, little human forefinger can tell a terrible story with it. Hunger, fear, revenge, robbery hide behind it. It is the claw of the jungle made quick and powerful. It is the club

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Before Anything Else, They Are People in Need

If you’ve been paying attention to the news at all, you know that Puerto Rico is in crisis. While President Trump as tweeted attacks on the mayor of San Juan and other Puerto Rican leaders who have criticized the government’s response, FEMA and other agencies – both public and private – have been working to

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