A Word from Laura

Woman of color holding a protest sign that reads: "Love knows no borders". (Photo from PMA)

(Photo from PMA)  Those of you facing your first week without a paycheck because of the shutdown are on all of our minds and hearts this week.  While some of you are tackling deferred projects, others of you are holding together skeleton staffs of essential employees.  We’re all concerned about workers whose livelihoods and ability to provide food and shelterRead More →

“We are fragile creatures, and it is from this weakness, not despite it, that we discover the possibility of true joy,” according to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, opening the first chapter of his book with the Dalai Lama, The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World.  Simply imagining Bishop Tutu saying this makes me smile.  His words have thatRead More →

The Coming of the Light

It’s no accident that Advent is a celebration of the coming of Light into the darkest time of year in the northern hemisphere, or in a season when we see social needs all around us, or when we wonder how we’re going to get along with a certain person in our lives yet another year.  Advent coincides with a timeRead More →

Western Friends, This Sunday coincides with Armistice Day – now Veterans’ Day – when we will remember the centennial anniversary of the end of World War I, the “war to end all wars.”  The word “armistice” literally means “arms stand still,” referring to the cessation of fighting. As we prepare to remember and honor those who have served our country,Read More →

Although All Saints’ is an ancient tradition, the only thing I knew growing up was that it was the name of my neighbor’s Episcopal Church.  All Saints’ Day is the tradition of remembering those who have died in the past year, usually members of a church or loved ones. Some Christian traditions make the distinction between All Saints’ and AllRead More →

Western friends, A civil servant recently shared her gratitude for Western, a church where she can be true to her values without the cognitive dissonance her work sometimes requires.  As next week’s mid-term elections approach, and in this season when we talk about the impact of Western’s ministry, I give thanks that social justice remains a priority that transcends partisanRead More →

No one has ever accused me of being part of an angry mob.  Public demonstration or peaceful protest?  Yes.  But “mob” mentality?  Never, at least, not until this month.  For me, the words coming from the administration are not so much about my political affiliation, but about the values shaped by my faith, especially women’s rights and social justice. IRead More →

During the Civil War, a man asked President Lincoln if he thought God was on the Union’s side, and Lincoln replied, “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side…” Lincoln’s statement rings in my head frequently, especially when I find that a prayer or hope has political ramifications.  Or whenRead More →

As mother of an almost-teenage girl, as pastor of women who have survived sexual violence, as a former teenage girl with a story of my own, as a human being and person of faith reading Christine Blasey Ford’s account of sexual assault, I felt my heart both sink and ignite.  Professor Blasey Ford’s story sounded too much like other storiesRead More →

Last Saturday, as concerned groups all over DC were preparing to protest the white nationalists gathering this past Sunday, Western hosted what we called “A Mindful Response.”  If you missed it, you missed something that wasn’t exactly a counter-demonstration, nor was it standard worship, nor was it just mindful meditation. We at Western were learning to “be church” for the largerRead More →