Our latest episode of Going Deep is with former UNC standout player Devon Ramsay, a strong student, a remarkable young man, and a legitimate NFL prospect during his collegiate career. Devon’s story lifts the veil on the nefarious nature of NCAA violations and collegiate revenue sports today. And Devon’s story is worth your time! Listen on iTunes or SoundCloud and find more information about Going Deep at www.shoopsgoingdeep.com
My first sermon at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, NC. After an intense week of violence in our country, the Good Samaritan raises some new/old questions about white supremacy and the moral ambivalence of white dominant institutions around race and power questions. Link here to transcript and audio.
He’s been stabbed in the back, he’s been misunderstood… And he likes to be known as the angry young man. ~Billy Joel, The Angry Young Man Another shooting. This one distinguishes itself as one of the worst mass shootings in US history. This one encapsulates a bizarre tangle of pathologies from homophobia to xenophobia to Islamophobia to obsessive violence and crackling hyper-masculine rage. This one set off a firestorm of new public rants, social media tongue lashings, and political appropriations. This one induces a new depth of despair around the blood chilling vulnerability of bodies who, by their very existence, … Read the full post
Today Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, NC voted unanimously to call me as their Pastor/Head of Staff.
My family and I are grateful and we are humbled even as we are still startled by the way God’s Spirit has been at work these last several months in our lives.
In January, after much soul searching and truth telling, John and I decided that it is time for us to step away from over two decades of big-time football. In football a turnover is called a “sudden change” and it means something either really good or really bad is about to happen! We weren’t sure what this “sudden change” meant for our family. We knew it was a leap of faith, but we trusted that good things were waiting for us beyond the world of football.
In an unlikely and providential twist our transition coincided with Grace Covenant looking for a new Pastor/Head of Staff. The interview process with them has been a profound blessing. From the beginning I was startled by the mysterious ways God was at work. And I felt like “if this all works out, it will be a miracle!” And here we are: an unlikely and miraculous opportunity to do something we had not expected. God’s call is clear for me to serve Grace Covenant and we are excited about what lies ahead.
I am grateful to return to parish ministry, a vocation that I love and that is profoundly life giving for me. I am excited for my whole family to be a part of Grace Covenant—a community living out the Gospel with vitality and radical love. Truly, this feels like a match made in heaven.
This is a huge transition for our family and we appreciate your prayers these next few weeks as we move to Asheville. My first day on the job is our 21st wedding anniversary, July 1. We are grateful for how the adventure continues!
This is my latest contribution to the WBAA Community Voices Project. It is on price-fixing and collusion in collegiate revenue sports. Take a look and a listen here.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out the new podcast John and I are doing, I hope you’ll take a listen. Episode 8 just posted. You can find links to all the episodes here. Our guests include New York Times Columnist, Joe Nocera, the legendary Sonny Vaccaro, and most recently sports economist, Andy Schwarz, who was the expert witness in the landmark O’Bannon vs. the NCAA case. We also have two in-depth episodes on concussions, two on sports justice issues with the panelists from our March 20 event “Concussions and Sports Justice,” and one on due process. You can subscribe on iTunes and find us on SoundCloud as well.
It was great to be in Chapel Hill over the weekend and preach at Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church. Audio Link to Sermon
Love does not create powerful empires or concentrations of wealth or military might. Love is not what fuels the tanks of commerce or political clout or financial success. Many would say that love slows things down, mires us in complication. Love is not the way the successful and the effective move–it’s not fast enough, it’s not ruthless enough, it’s not excellent enough.
It’s no coincidence that women have often been seen as the carriers of love–the mothers of how we are loved and how we wish to be loved. The domain of women has been traditionally seen as “behind the scenes.” Women are the nurturers, the familiar narrative goes. Women are the ones who provide a soft landing after a hard day, an understanding ear for all the stresses of the world “out there.”
The extended narrative is that women will have to become masculinized to “play the game” of public life. Women will have to learn to be “like men” in order to compete, in order to win, in order to make an impact. Underneath these narratives of nurture and impact are the contours of power in patriarchy. Imprinting women with the responsibility to love in a context where love is secondary or even tertiary to things like aggression and competition, means women will often relegate themselves to the margins of public power. Not because we think we should be powerless, but because that’s where we often feel the most at home. And sometimes ceding public power can feel like the price women pay to truly love–to love ourselves, to love who we love, and to love the world around us. The contours of power in patriarchy can distort not just women’s lives, but everyone’s lives in ways that carry the weight of this distortion of love. (read full post)
The NFL’s approach to concussions may not be a surprise to many who know how big businesses work. But we expect better from our institutions of higher learning. My first official contribution to the WBAA (West Layette’s NPR station) Community Voices Project explores the differences and similarities in approach. Click here to go to full post and audio.