Pray Hard, White America

White God,
Right God,
How are you holding up?
So many people are giving you a hard time these days,
saying that you don’t embody enough diversity
that you’re too removed from the streets.
They don’t know how hard you work
to keep your name palatable
among white churches.
Stay strong — don’t
cave to pressure.

White God,
Might God,
Can your masculinity survive
all of these heretical associations and insinuations with
non-cis non-white non-male non-hetero folk?
Take care! They’ll drag your reputation,
compromise the ineffable credibility
of your most holy testosterone
by their proximity, and then
who will conquer
the world?

White God,
Bright God,
They are spreading rumors
that the nighttime is holy too, but you and I both know:
darkness teems with uncertainty and suspicion
while righteousness rivals the noonday sun.
So let us believe that absolute truth
is only for those who can shine
in reflection of your pale
countenance against
the shadows.

White God,
Spite God,
Don’t let them coax you
from your judgment seat or persuade you to lessen the power
of damnation with all of this “inclusive grace” nonsense.
That’s the devil’s doing, the whispers of a serpent
telling people that they know better than you.
Cast out those smooth-talking demons,
strike down the liars with wrath,
stand fast with your sword
lest all hell break loose.

White God,
Right God,
how are you holding up these days?

A satirical prayer (just to be clear), wrestling with the racialized subtext of current events and religious culture in the U.S., in an effort to illuminate the sins of our systems and doctrines.

Upcoming Events

In the coming weeks and months, catch up with me at the following events:

As part of the Center for Progressive Renewal’s weeklong webinar series for church leaders, I’ll be hosting an hour-long webinar on Tuesday, June 16, entitled “Free to Believe, You and Me: Out-of-the-box children’s faith formation.” Join me for ideas to empower and enliven children’s spirituality in your congregation — and maybe teach a thing or two to grown-ups, too.

Attendees of the UCC’s General Synod in Cleveland at the end of June can find me and six other fabulous RevGals on Sunday morning in the convention center exhibit hall signing copies of the RevGalBlogPals’ newest book, There’s A Woman in the Pulpit: Christian Clergywomen Share Their Hard Days, Holy Moments & the Healing Power of Humor.

REVive 2015 – FINDING FAITH WHERE YOU LIVE: October 11-14
Where you are impacts how you are, according to a multitude of surveys on the best places to live, the healthiest states, the happiest small cities, the best companies to work for, and more. Where you are correlates to how you are. So friends, where are you? And how is your faith doing where you are? Develop practices for finding faith where you live at REVive 2015, a continuing education event of RevGalBlogPals. (20 Contact Hours – 2 CEUs)

Rachael HeckenbergInterested in having me speak at an event or facilitate a retreat? Drop me an email to brainstorm a speaking engagement — and in the meantime, I hope to see you online or in person at these events!


Psalm 130:3

If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?

I mark my own iniquities;
like a wrathful deity,
I catalogue them
and the weight of it
brings me to my knees.
Take notice please, O God,
of the trouble I’m saving you.
Let your judgment pass me by —
I am scourged already.
Find me in pieces,
having done your name
no justice with my self-scorn.
Tune the ears of my weary spirit
to your song of forgiveness,
that I might bow
in humility rather than
brokenness; and in humility
find grace, and in grace
find the strength
to stand.