Articles by The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow
Bruce Reyes-Chow: Interview with Martha Spong about revgalblogpals and “There’s a Woman in the Pulpit”
Tuesday June 09, 2015
I recently had a chance to catch up with Martha Spong, the originator of the revgalblogpals community and editor of the recent book, There’s a Woman in the Pulpit: Christian Clergywomen Share Their Hard Days, Holy Moments and the Healing Power of Humor (Slylight Paths Books). With so many friends and colleagues who have been part of the blogging community and this new book, I am grateful that Martha took a moment to share a bit about herself, her ministry, and this book.
Saturday May 30, 2015
It really doesn’t matter with whom I am interacting or in what context I find myself, there are three pieces of advice that constantly swirl around my mind as I struggle to be a helpful contributor to society.
Saturday February 07, 2015
While not for everyone, many people find great meaning in and a deep calling to service as a church pastor. Some are paid and others are not, but what is pretty consistent is that a group of people often chooses who the pastor shall be. In my Presbyterian Church (USA) tradition we call this the group a Pastor Nominating Committee, but they are also known as pulpit nominating committees, call committees, pastor search committees, etc.
Sunday January 04, 2015
Selma is a story that has not been told at this scale, so being allowed a peek behind to curtain to see it unfold was truly an honor.
Wednesday September 03, 2014
If you are like me, Ferguson may seem distant and overwhelming. I also know that the ability to hold this perspective is a product of my not-black and middle-class-ish privilege. So, while we may not all be in a place where we can hit the streets or we may not have the credibility and standing to speak into all places, it is important that we find ways to stay engaged in these happenings.
Saturday June 28, 2014
in360 talks are short projected presentations meant to explore larger concepts, questions and issues through the individual sharing of particular ideas, experiences and perspectives.
Saturday May 31, 2014
This week someone stumbled upon an old blog post that I had written about guns and I was reminded again of the ways that politics and faith can so often turn into such a place of toxicity. I admit that I simply do not understand the motivations behind those who choose to engage in particular ways, but I do my best to live and speak my faith in ways that I believe God leads me to.
Saturday December 28, 2013
I write this list, not as much about that next generation, but to my own and those before me. For if we want our good work and our dreams for a better tomorrow to keep moving towards justice for all, we must do everything we can to stay in relationship with those who have been and will be taking our place at the table.
Friday September 20, 2013
Through a confluence of events this week, I watched a video that I made in 2010 in response to a few very publicized teen suicides. This was not scripted or edited. Just me trying wandering with words for myself and for our communities.
Tuesday September 10, 2013
Bruce offers his top 10 list of blogs you should be reading If you are in any way connected to the mainline-emergent-hipster-people-of-color-post-evangelical-christian world.
Tuesday August 27, 2013
Holy moley there are a ton of social media sites out there! Seriously, how the heck can anyone keep up with them all? After all, some of you church types have to do things like visit people in the hospital, prepare sermons, fix toilets and maybe, just maybe have a social/family life. This is where folks like me come into the picture.
Friday August 02, 2013
An excerpt from my new Kickstarted book, But I Don’t See You as Asian: curating Conversations about Race.
Saturday May 25, 2013
While I believe that we are called to tend the passions, talents and skills that reside within each of us, that does not always equate to being the best and most talented at them all. Sometimes tending our passions means allowing ourselves be, in the eyes of the world, mediocre.
Monday March 11, 2013
Here is my interview with Dr. Hal Taussig on his newest book project, A New New Testament: A Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts.
Monday January 28, 2013
After the recent Emergence Christianity Gathering in Memphis, there have been some interesting responses about Phyllis Tickle’s presentation, the future of the emergent church, the response to privilege, etc. As I have skimmed the blogs, I have seen feisty conversations with some valid critiques and, for the most part, respectful interaction.
Saturday January 12, 2013
I am a firm believer in building community by helping good folks get the word about projects that they are working on. Today, I want to help spread the word about MaryAnn McKibben Dana and her new book, Sabbath in the Suburbs: A Family’s Experiment with Holy Time.
Thursday November 08, 2012
While I doubt that I will be invited into the strategy meetings of the Grand Old Party, I do know that I may have the ear of some of our Grand Old Denominations. With this in mind let me not-so-humbly offer a few words of unsolicited advice.
Monday October 22, 2012
As one who is fully supportive of embracing and integrating social media into the life of the church, I am in no way advocating any kind of blanket limit, ban or rejection of this powerful communication medium. That said, let me point out three dangers that I perceive happening as I have watched some pastors' interaction on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Friday September 21, 2012
While the battles about worship and music are traditionally focused on the use of organs, guitars, hymns and drum sets, I have heard this same thing from those whom I would say have very creative music and worship expressions. So what it really comes down to is that many of us believe that the only true way to worship God is the way we do.
Saturday September 08, 2012
As a Christian and a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) I often struggle with Scripture and how God intends for me to live in the world. Jesus and our faith demands of us to make difficult decisions in life that often stand firmly against our own upbringing, our own wants and, at times, our friends and family. I believe that, today, the question of gun ownership and fighting gun violence is one of those times.
Saturday September 01, 2012
It seems that everywhere you look today, the church, especially within historic traditions, is talking about reaching that ever-elusive young adult demographic. Sometimes it feels like we are on some National Geographic safari trying to observe and conserve some rare creature, but all-in-all I think it’s a great endeavor and worth the effort. But...
Monday July 30, 2012
I asked my sister-in-law if she would be willing to share a short reflection on gun violence. As you many of you know, nearly four years ago, my own family was impacted by gun violence when my wife’s brother was shot and killed.
Saturday June 16, 2012
Heaven knows that I am no biblical scholar. I am a pastor with a seminary education who believes that Scripture holds God's inerrant truths, hopes and intentions for humanity. That said, I do not believe we get to that Truth by interpreting Scripture literally.
Monday June 04, 2012
One of the reasons that I am so committed to community: church, family, school, etc. is because I don’t believe we can move forward in healthy ways unless we understand our past.
Tuesday April 17, 2012
Over the past few months I’ve had the privilege of being part of two task forces charged with thinking about the future of the National Council of Churches in the USA in light of so many changes in the cultural, religious and ecumenical landscape in the United States. Easy peasy.
Bruce Reyes-Chow: Three Elements of Constructive Conversations on Race, Class, Gender, Sexuality and the -isms of Our Day
Friday March 23, 2012
We will not always agree with one another’s perspectives or tactics, but we must keep working towards a more just world. The alternative is to give into the brokenness that exists and retreat into a bubble of our own survival and individualism.
Thursday February 16, 2012
The Jeremy Lin story has sports, culture and religious pundits salivating because this is not only an “against all odds” story, but much much more.
Monday February 13, 2012
My name is Bruce Reyes-Chow and I too am a Christian. I am also a Presbyterian minister, a husband, a father and a Democrat. Identifiers claimed, I write to you today because I am frustrated with the singular version of Christianity that is dominating today’s public and political discourse.
Saturday January 28, 2012
Let me muse a bit on the recent developments concerning The Fellowship of Presbyterians and the newly announced Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO).
Friday December 30, 2011
As I come to the end of 2011, I am taking some time to look back at these three platforms in order to remember the journey, introduce myself to new connections and keep some important conversations going.
Friday December 23, 2011
As I go into these last days, like everyone else, I try to remember the many people for whom this is not a joyous time of the year. With themes of joyous parties, happy families and generous giving surrounding us, those who struggle with depression, estranged family and/or economic survival are often forgotten.
Tuesday December 13, 2011
While I do not in any way want to invalidate the genuine anger, frustration and calling my conservative brothers and sisters are feeling about the church, I want to challenge the idea that there is any ONE reason that the church has changed and is changing.
Sunday November 27, 2011
Here I offer a few of the myths that are circulating about Occupy San Francisco and then I’ll get to the whole latifundialzation thing.
Monday November 14, 2011
One of the things that I have noticed recently in many interactions regarding the nature of the church is an increased reclamation of what it means to be “radical” for Jesus.
Friday October 28, 2011
It’s been a long time since I graduated from seminary, 1995 to be exact. Much has changed in the world: recent generations have lived a life that I can’t fully comprehend, the landscape of American Christianity has changed and the church continues to play catch-up in finding ways to share its faith and tradition.
Tuesday September 27, 2011
Yes, Facebook has done it again. Not since the great “Rounded Corners Kerfuffle of 2008”³ has there been such an uproar over changes to the design and architecture of our beloved Facebook.
Friday September 23, 2011
With words and emotions of the the 9/11 10-year remembrance in the air, I thought this would be a great book to help me think about some of the harder questions confronting religion today. I was not disappointed.
Monday September 12, 2011
Bruce Reyes-Chow on the audience response regarding Gov. Rick Perry's executions: "I simply believe that no matter the circumstance, it is never justified to applaud at the death of another human being. Period."
Tuesday August 30, 2011
I get why people would create the dichotomy between spirituality and religiosity. Engaging in a religious life that demands being part of a community is often difficult and frustrating. But...
Saturday August 20, 2011
There is a fine line between name-calling and truth-telling: one is about tearing down the dignity of another human being and the other is about speaking a position or belief that helps move a body forward in positive ways.
Monday August 15, 2011
If you know a teacher, whether or not your kids are in public education, please take a moment to share a word of thanks.
Tuesday August 02, 2011
If you are like me, this past few days of punditry and chatter surrounding the debt ceiling debate has been quite overwhelming. But here's my response.
Thursday June 23, 2011
Here we go, my intentionally fuzzy list of perspectives and postures that might make you a Progressive Christian. Please keep in mind that I do not think that everyone need be one, but that there is a growing number of people who yearn for a drastically different approach to being the Body of Christ.
Wednesday June 15, 2011
Last week I saw this announcement about a new study on race by Michael I. Norton and Samuel R. Sommers from Tufts University’s School of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Business School. The general conclusion of the study is that basically, “Whites See Racism as a Zero-Sum Game That They Are Now Losing.”
Saturday June 04, 2011
Here is the Covenant for Our Future that was received by the congregation on May 8, 2011 when we officially dissolved the pastoral relationship between myself and Mission Bay Community Church. Feel free to “liberate” some and/or all of it for your use.
Wednesday June 01, 2011
One of the questions that has been asked of me is “So what’s next?” Some are shocked that I would leave a paying job without having another lined up, others think there is some super-duper-secret plan that I have yet to reveal and others are just rolling with it.
Saturday May 14, 2011
The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow responds to the new "Believe Out Loud" video encouraging inclusive attitudes in the church, and the controversy it has raised.
Saturday May 07, 2011
A few days ago when it was announced that Osama Bin Laden had been killed, I, like many others, found myself torn.
Sunday May 01, 2011
Long a supporter of removing barriers to ordination of called and qualified candidates, I join with two other former Moderators of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in offering this letter to the church...
Thursday April 28, 2011
I am sure you have seen the billboard/s in your town. The clipart inspired brown signage with words boldly proclaiming”Judgement Day, May 21”³ complete with a penitent and praying silhouette, a very cool gold sticker saying that “The Bible Guarantees it” and the broadcast time for the local sponsoring radio station.
Tuesday April 12, 2011
In a pluralistic age when the understanding of what it means to be "Christian" is so very complex, having these conversations with those whom stand on the various sides of faith will only help everyone see one another as complex human beings rather than demonized caricatures; created out of our own convenience and arrogance.
Saturday April 09, 2011
Simply put, the messages we send in word and deed about our girls have an impact on their ability to dream, struggle and thrive.
Tuesday April 05, 2011
Most church folks know that the two times a year that new people often come to church are on Easter and Christmas Eve. We also know that the number of folks that actually come BACK or develop a meaningful relationship with the church from those worship experiences is pretty low. So frustrating. Don't they like us?
Saturday March 26, 2011
It is far too easy - I might actually say lazy - to look at the divisions in the world and say, "If we could just live as if we were one in Christ Jesus, then everyone would get along."
Friday March 18, 2011
As I walked into the room, all I could think about was a father who chose fear, violence and intimidation as his parenting method. And as those feelings washed over me, all I could think was, "Someday my kids will walk into a hospital room during a tender time of life, they will see me and their first reactions will be love, acceptance and tenderness."
Monday March 14, 2011
For my non-Presbyterian readers, pardon the interruption for some musing about the denomination in which I serve, the Presbyterian Church (USA), but I suspect we are not the only ones in this pickle.
Saturday March 05, 2011
In his review of the new film "The Adjustment Bureau," Bruce notes, "There is a dance that is described that tries to make sense of pain and destruction in the world and answer the age old question, 'If God is all-powerful, why the is the world so messed up?'"
Friday February 25, 2011
While I applaud President Obama's recent decision regarding the Defense of Marriage Act, I for one believe that the government should get out of the marriage business all together.
Tuesday February 22, 2011
Our country and many of our states are beginning to make serious fiscal choices that will impact our lives, our children and our collective future, so now more than ever we must speak out for what we believe matters... in this case, public education.
Friday February 18, 2011
Here are "10 Things this Liberal, Social Justice Christian, Progressive Democrat has in Common with Conservative, Evangelical Christian, Tea Party Republicans," and why that's so important.
Tuesday February 15, 2011
With all due respect to my President's recent call for America to "win the future," while this might be a media-worthy rallying cry for our corporate national life, when the church engages in this kind of thinking, we get into trouble.
Saturday February 12, 2011
Despite the the fact that this was like many other conferences, it was different. Here are 10 ways in which this year's Creating Change Conference was a unique event and/or particularly interesting to this first-timer. In no particular order.
Thursday February 10, 2011
Bruce asks, "What are the strange, yet lovely things you have had to do because . . . well, you were the pastor?" and shares a few examples of his own.
Tuesday February 08, 2011
What my mother was teaching us was that no matter the person, the action or the ideology EVERYONE, known or unknown, deserves to be seen as a human being: in my tradition, a child of God beautifully and wonderfully made.
Wednesday February 02, 2011
Fear, anxiety and the insecurity . . . it seems that in varying degrees society today is driven by these things. What do we do?
Wednesday January 26, 2011
If the liberal or progressive church... is going to lead the way forward in the church and be part of a larger cultural conversation about morals and faith, we have got to quit shooting ourselves in the proverbial foot and driving people away from our particular approach to faith and life.
Tuesday January 25, 2011
If you caught any of the buzz and reactions about Amy Chua this past week, you would think that she is the worst thing to happen to parenting since the old lady in Hansel and Gretel.... let me stick my nose into the mess and see if I can add anything to the conversation.
Saturday January 22, 2011
Whether it is cooking, singing, athletics or juggling knives, most of us are probably contentedly mediocre at a great many things. And yet for some reason, we keep at these activities without expectation of superstardom . . . and we find joy in doing so.
Saturday January 15, 2011
I want to give a little background for why this pastor, father, etc. gives social media so much energy. And plus, I think it's a good idea to examine why one does certain things.
Monday January 03, 2011
Whether it is a "best" or "worst" list, it seems as if everyone is coming out with some list to end 2010 or begin 2011. So never wanting to be left out, here is my list of predictions for 2011 ...
Monday December 06, 2010
Some weeks ago when I started posting a few thoughts on race, I received this note from a friend of mine. He has given me permission to post this anonymously in order to gain some insight into one of the most difficult issues that arise in conversations about race...
Monday November 29, 2010
Like so many people, I woke up on Friday morning with a serious case of the "I cannot believe I ate a whole turkey" Day After Thanksgiving Blues. I rolled out of bed, slipped on some clothes and went out for, what I have not done in forever . . . a run.
Wednesday October 27, 2010
While a thinly veiled attempt to share my star-sighting a few weeks ago while on a trip to New York City, what happened AFTER I bumped into Michelle Rodriguez is the real story.
Tuesday October 05, 2010
I am one of those folks that has a pretty optimist outlook on life.... But there are days when I want to claim my rightful place in the Generation X Cynicism Brigade and flush all hope down the proverbial social toilet.
Wednesday September 22, 2010
As parents - no matter how you define that: directly or indirectly raising the children of the world - we must see parenting as a gift and a calling. If we do not, then the frustration and resentment could overcome us ...
Wednesday September 15, 2010
When one says "I don't see color," then we no longer have to acknowledge the realities of our own prejudice and privilege as well as the real experiences of the others. We stifle conversations that must happen around race in the US and squelch the possibilities of discovering together the one of the greatest gifts of US culture . . . our diverse racial and ethic backgrounds.
Friday September 10, 2010
Why bother to navitage all of craziness of social networking? Why invite interactions in and about the public square? Why open yourself up to such interactions? Why take so much time? Why engage with people that you don't even know? Again, why bother? Here are 5 reasons...
Thursday August 19, 2010
The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow writes, "We must keep talking about race and how we engage the conversation because how we live impacts the ability for people of color to, in my tradition, fully live into who God intends them to be." Read on...
Thursday August 12, 2010
In a study group the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow is part of, "one of the questions that we have been reflecting upon is, 'What or where do you consider home?'" Read on...
Wednesday August 04, 2010
The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow writes: "Understanding that no one is going to be convinced by a few words from a blog, here are a few of the reasons - not exhaustive or mutually exclusive - why I stand with and for members of my family, church, school community, friends and strangers seeking the legal right to marry..."
Friday July 02, 2010
As his term as Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA) draws to an end, and as the 2010 General Assembly is about to begin, the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow shares some good information--and offers some prayers.
Friday June 25, 2010
The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow writes, "Like most of us, I talk a good game when it comes to self care and sabbath taking, but like most I don't do it very well. I know that I try to take moments for myself when I can..., but the big chunks of vacation time have eluded me for pretty much my entire 15 years of ministry." What's your excuse?
Friday June 04, 2010
The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, moderator of the PCUSA, pulls together some suggestions of books to give new Christians. What do you think?
Wednesday May 26, 2010
The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow writes of a "middle place" in the religious discourse, a place "where we are forced to examine everything about how we live and what we believe."
Tuesday May 25, 2010
The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, moderator of the PCUSA, writes, "Charlene Li offers up a thoughtful book that helps folks to navigating all of this social technology hubbub, this time from the perspective of leadership." Read on...
Friday May 21, 2010
The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, moderator of the PCUSA, writes, "...we are in a time of transition like we have never known. At levels of society from civic groups to churches to government it does not take a bunch of studies for us to know that if we are going to truly thrive into the future, the ways in which we engage the world and one another have got to change." Read on...
Friday May 07, 2010
The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow writes, "A few years ago I wrote a post, 'Liberal or Conservative, Ugly is Still Ugly,' where I tried to make a case for the church to model a healthy discourse across and among the divides of theology, politics and ideology. Well...2.5 years later and I think it has gotten worse." Read on...