Aug 11

Driving While Black in Chicago! by M. L. Hardy

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A few days ago, I was stopped by the Chicago police, while black, I mean while driving down the street. Their behavior during a routine traffic stop was so rude and disrespectful that it was quite traumatizing. Here is my story which I believe highlights at least three major problems within our society today. On …

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Aug 03

A Cautionary Tale by Pastor 2011

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  A Cautionary Tale I’m a pastor called to serve a small (30 member) congregation in the western suburbs of a large city. The congregation is mostly white, mostly elderly, and mostly tired. In addition to me, the part-time pastor, there is a part-time pianist, and a part-time custodian. Both the pianist and the custodian …

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Jul 17

Kith or Kin By Gregg Hunter

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he  will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” ­Matthew  6:24.  “And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” ­Mark 3:25  This has been a very trying couple of  weeks for every U.S. citizen. Seven deaths, seven  lives lost, two regular black citizens and five police offices. Outrage, frustration and  hopelessness have cycled through just about everyone’s minds. People have shed tears for their  lost loved ones and for the lack of progress on race relations in our country. I attended a  memorial service at my seminary, McCormick Theological Seminary, on  July 11 to grieve with  my fellow students and citizens of our wounded nation. Earlier that day I listened to an expatriate  from the Dominican Republic who grew up in Brooklyn and now attends seminary in Cuba  accuse the U.S. of being the primary problem with not just Cuba, but the world and especially for  violence towards those of African descent.   So much anger, so much pain, I have witnessed in the last few days. At the service, we  couldn’t even bring ourselves to sing songs of healing because what good are our songs when  they paper over feelings of a wound that still has not healed. I could barely bring myself to speak  and cried later that night in the solitude of my apartment. I thought I had no more tears to cry and  had moved forward, but it turns out I still had a reservoir of emotion that I had left untapped. I  am wounded, black people are wounded and our nation is wounded.  Yet, black people get wounded by the state and its institutions. We might not be  considered ⅗  human, but instead one could say ⅗  American, not fully woven into the fabric of the  American Dream and not melted into the pot fully. And therein lies the predicament I find  myself in. I am divided and I try to serve two masters and I am not standing. I am black and  American; I love my country yet my country has a strained relationship with people that look  like me. I suffer from the disease of “double­consciousness”, trying to be fully black and fully  American.  When I say I love my country, I mean it. I own a lot of U.S flag paraphernalia: shorts,  t­shirts, sunglasses, jackets, you name it I probably own it. I mouth the national anthem along  with the singer everytime I hear it played, imaging the rockets’ red glare and the bombs bursting  in air as the tune is sung. I cheer enthusiastically whenever I see red, white and blue clad athletes  take to their athletic fields of play, spirit rising and falling like rollings hills in those great  western parks like Yosemite with every second. There’s no other place I’d rather live. I love the  freedom we espouse, the opportunity we offer, the food we consume, the music we listen to, the  movies we produce; I love being a U.S citizen and the benefits that come with that.   Yet, those benefits came with a huge cost. This land belonged to other people and the  Europeans that came over seeking religious freedom, among other things, seized that land by  hook, crook and murder. Violently was the land taken and a trail of tears soaked the ground as  they travelled to reservations, prisoners in their own home. That was the first wound, the original  sin, the loss of paradise and Eden forever marred. Slavery was the second, Cain enslaving Abel  instead of killing him. Europeans stole Africans (sometimes even with the help of other  Africans) to work the newly stolen land of the “New World”, a vast frontier ripe with potential  riches.  When the United States won their independence from Britain, the Founding Fathers  reached a compromise on a problem the War for Independence had posed. They based the newly  formed government on the premise that “all men are created equal” (I apologize ladies, their  words not mine). Yet, they had not only maltreated the native peoples that lived here at first, but  now enslaved another group of people. If all “men” are created equal, then can we justify  keeping some in an inferior position? The debate raged and tortured the consciences of these  enlightened men. Much profit laid in maintaining slavery and plus, the “Negro” (they had too  much refinement to say “nigger” I imagine) was not a human but a mere beast to be put to work  in the fields. Others were not quite comfortable with the reduction to beastliness of the Negro  …

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Jun 16

My Hardening Heart

By The Rev. Shawna Bowman   We Tell The Truth About Ourselves I have a confession to make. Today I am angry. I can feel my heart hardening with hate. I’m angry and I don’t want to make friends or make nice or make it easy on anyone who has every abandoned, remained silent or …

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May 14

Muddling through Transformation — Student Noah Kruis

McCormick’s tagline, “Cross-Cultural, Urban, Reformed, Ecumenical,” was incredibly compelling to me as I was discerning my own call to ministry. Rooted in the Reformed tradition, in a small denomination with a specific ethnic heritage, I desired a theological education that would equip me with skills for improving Cross-Cultural, Urban and Ecumenical work within that denomination. …

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Apr 23

Senior Reflections — Fern Brown

I was accepted in McCormick in 2012. When I was going through the process, I thought I was applying for 2013, because I thought I had passed the deadline for 2012. The year 2012 would later become very meaningful to me because my mom died in March 2013. God allowed me and her to enjoy …

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Apr 20

The McCormick Herald — April 18, 2016

In this week’s McCormick Herald, you can find community announcements, an interview with senior Leslie Deslauriers, and Derek Elmi Burrsma’s great run-down of the Christian Reformed Church’s current initiatives to combat racism and focus on reconciliation. In 1857 a group of Dutch immigrants se led in West Michigan and founded the Christian Reformed Church in North …

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Apr 13

Senior Reflections — Alicia Hanner

In just 30 short days I will graduate from McCormick. I will put on a robe and a hat and be handed a piece of paper that will say I am a master of divinity… This is a strange reality to accept, a three year journey is coming to an end and because of the …

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Apr 13

The McCormick Herald — April 3, 2016

In this issue of the McCormick Herald you’ll find reflections on privilege, safe space, the Mental Health Advocacy conference, games, puzzles and more!  Our feature story is from Je Myoung Lee, reflecting on his experience traveling to India this January.  If you want to read Je’s post in English, please scroll down. 인도 여행을 다녀와서 맥코믹 …

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Apr 12

McCormick Prize 2016 Finalists

McCormick Theological Seminary and the Center for Innovative Ministry are pleased to announce the winning entries of the 2016 McCormick Prize for Innovation. The annual prize recognizes “impactful use of innovation in ministry,” and this year will award $8,000 in prizes to the winners. “The quality of this year’s entries was exceptional,” offered Director of …

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