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Bethany Seminary students creatively explore hospitality in the neighborhood—and across the world

These days, we are all swimming in the murky waters of theological, political, and social division. Swamped by waves of conflict and pulled down by undercurrents of dysfunction, it is reasonable to fear for the future of our communities of faith. But thats not the end of the story. As president of Bethany Theological Seminary, an agency of the Church of the Brethren, I have found a deep, clear reservoir of hope in the witness and work of our students and alumni.

Indigenous peoples and the pandemic in the land of inequalities

476 million indigenous people live around the world, of which 11.5% live in our Latin American region. In these years that we are going from the COVID 19 pandemic in our territories (indigenous or tribal at the Latin American level), the presence of many extractive companies, mainly uranium and lithium, has increased, land traffickers and among other monoculture companies with fires for the cultivation of oil palm, logging, putting vulnerable peoples at greater risk than what is already experienced.

The rights and dignity of the other

In the words of Prof. Rev. Dr John Langan SJ, a human right "is a right that a human person has simply by virtue of being (human), irrespective of his or her social status, cultural accomplishments, moral merits, religious beliefs, class memberships or cultural relationships.” 

Treating the underlying conditions

On May 24, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA hosted a memorial service for lives lost to COVID-19. In a time of physical distancing, the church ecumenical gathered online for “A Time to Mourn,” drawing thousands together to remember and lament. Grounded in our hope in the resurrection, the Rev. Elizabeth A Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, declared, “The body of Christ is COVID-positive.”

Struggle for truth, justice, peace and reconciliation

My first contact with Dr. Vinie Burrows happened in 1983 while I worked as a volunteer pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in “Hell’s Kitchen” in New York City. At that time she, as a feminist, Human Rights and peace activist, hosted a radio program, More Than Half the World, on Pacifica station WBAI in New York.

Does it matter if my ancestors owned slaves?

This week marks the 124th anniversary of the slave uprising in Haiti, which played an important role in the abolition of chattel slavery. Sunday, August 23rd is the UNESCO International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition. It is a day where the world is asked to pause and consider the legacy of slavery and the power of social movements like abolitionism.