I was in a meeting with my supervisor last week, moving steadily through a list of agenda items. Reflect on five year celebration. Check. Discuss plans for upcoming program review. Check. Share dismay at strategic planning event conflicting with Good Friday. Check. Sort of. My intentions were clear. I wanted to make a simple statement [...]
One of the greatest risks when we enter interfaith exchanges is that we bring our scrapbooks of faith rather than the real, messy experience of it. And then, with our scrapbooks open on our laps, we [unintentionally] compare the ideal of our own religious or philosophical beliefs with the actual of another. For some, this act is indeed intentional–maliciously so–but for many of us, it’s a place we slide into without even recognizing we’ve done so.
To my friends and family in the American Baptist Churches, USA, I have been a proud member of American Baptist churches for my entire life. I am the daughter and granddaughter (twice!) of American Baptist pastors, my sister-in-law is ordained by an ABC association, and my husband and I eagerly seek out ABC congregations when [...]
For me, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is first and foremost a Baptist minister, and a child of the same. “Reverend” is a title that he earned with his education and his occupation, but also a title to which he was called, bringing unparalleled dignity and relevance to what it means to serve society as a religious leader. To fully experience our national recognition of his birthday, I find myself hungering for a celebration of this aspect of his legacy–the particular religious and spiritual roots of what have become for many of us universal values of community, justice, and racial and economic equality.
I am a relatively recent, but wholeheartedly enthusiastic fan of Krista Tippett, host of American Public Media’s Being, formerly Speaking of Faith. Listening to her this week as the opening lecturer for Calvin College’s January Series, I had one recurring thought. I want her job. Krista’s paycheck and purpose coexist, the result of her insatiable [...]
I believe we human beings are a unique mix of feminine and masculine energies, the gift of both nature and nurture. In my experience, this mix of gendered elements, both fixed and continually shaped by environment, is key in how we approach dialogue–what draws us in, and what turns us away.
Brad Bannon’s post, responding to Honna Eichler, brought this two-year old post from my blog to mind. I still whisper of what my “formation” might mean–my own acknowledgment of the power in the voices above, within, and to the side (thanks, James Croft) of me. Thanks, new friends, for bringing these words back to my [...]
Despite the resistance to seminary I described in my previous post, I have moaned on many occasions, “I wish I could just go to school full-time.” I am meandering my way through seminary, indulging in one class each fall, spring, and summer term. With a full-time profession that supports my family of four, it is [...]
For years I was both drawn toward and resistant to the notion of seminary. I was resistant because, in my mind, seminary was something that led absolutely and necessarily to ministry in the church (Christian church, that is)—an occupational fearzone for me after years in the “fish bowl” of church life as the child and [...]
Jennifer Sanborn is a proud mother and spouse, accomplished director of the Women's Education and Leadership Fund at the University of Hartford, student of spirituality at Hartford Seminary, and emerging voice in interfaith curiosity, questioning, and understanding.