Blog

Community

For decades I’ve heard Barbra Streisand’s voice crooning out words I know to be true: “People, people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world.”  Of course, I think that people needing people aren’t just lucky; they’re human.  I think we all need other people.  We all need community. Religious folk like to call … More…


Unholy Ghost

In the summer of 2002, I was a graduate student in religion who was tired of reading theology.  In search of summer fiction, I walked into a large bookstore and stumbled into a book that hit closer to home than I ever could have imagined.  There it was in the main display: Unholy Ghost: Writers on … More…


Overlooked

  Growing up in the Sunday school programs of black churches and in Catholic elementary school, I was taught that although there were many disciples, but there were only twelve apostles.  That is, there were many people who followed Jesus, but there were only twelve men who Jesus handpicked to preach the gospel.  These were … More…


Needing The Past

  My father was a student of history and ensured that I would be as well.  More specifically, he was a student of African American history.  I knew who Mary McLeod Bethune and George Washington Carver were before I went to first grade.  I read Carter G. Woodson’s The Miseducation of the Negro in the … More…


Peace and Comfort

        I like the way the gospel of John talks about the Holy Spirit.  In Jesus’ farewell to his disciples (John 14-17), he talks about a Spirit – a Comforter – that will come to bring peace to the disciples after his death.  I like how Jesus knows that his departure will … More…


Quiet Crash

In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston writes about the protagonist Janie Crawford’s relationships with her three husbands and how they reveal her evolving relationship with herself.  During an argument with her second husband, Janie realizes that “something fell off the shelf inside of [her].”  That wasn’t the end of the relationship, but it was, … More…


funerals for the living

I recently sat at dinner with a group of seminarians talking about whether or not theological education prepares student-ministers for the everyday tasks of ministry.  At this particular time, we spoke about how classes in liturgy prepare seminarians to conduct some of the key rituals of our trade: weddings and funerals.  Weddings are fun, we … More…


waiting

When I first finished divinity school, I subscribed to a journal of Christian spirituality called Weavings.  That was when I first heard of the concept of “active waiting.”  Often associated with the liturgical seasons of Lent and Advent, “active waiting” describes the way in which believers wait for a great spiritual event.   In the Christian tradition, … More…


breaking bread

  The disciples get a bad rap for not recognizing Jesus.  I’ve heard sermons about how we should not be like Thomas – we should not doubt (John 20:24-29).  We should not need physical evidence.  I’ve heard sermons about how we should not be like those men on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24: 13-35).  … More…


to connect and to create

  The camera pans to a living room. Dark hues mute an anguished woman’s face as her body blends into the couch. Quiet, sentimental music crescendos. Voiceover: “Are you depressed?” One last shot at the blank, bleak face. Not two seconds later the world is technicolor, the music upbeat. The woman runs in a field, … More…


Book Monica A. Coleman to speak at your event.

Monica speaks with heart and vulnerability as she discusses some of the most challenging issues of our day. She speaks out on issues that churches and society often keep silent: mental health, sexual and domestic violence and religious diversity. In the pulpit, she offers a refreshing view of how scripture leads us to community and social action. In academic lectures, she blends her knowledge of religion, cultural studies and literature with social issues to offer new visions of faith. In every setting, she shows audiences how our faith can free us to be more and more of who and how God calls us to be.

Read More

Book Monica A. Coleman to speak at your event.

Monica speaks with heart and vulnerability as she discusses some of the most challenging issues of our day. She speaks out on issues that churches and society often keep silent: mental health, sexual and domestic violence and religious diversity. In the pulpit, she offers a refreshing view of how scripture leads us to community and social action. In academic lectures, she blends her knowledge of religion, cultural studies and literature with social issues to offer new visions of faith. In every setting, she shows audiences how our faith can free us to be more and more of who and how God calls us to be.

Read More