Author: Neal Jones

Church-State Separation: One More Reason to Vote

I think most of you know that I am active in a DC advocacy organization called Americans United for Separation of Church & State (AU). Representing more than 300,000 supporters in all 50 states, including people of all religions and no religion, AU believes that … read more.

Grateful Moments

A pandemic with no end in sight. Unemployment and closed businesses at rates not seen since the Great Depression. Uncivil civil discourse from so-called leaders. Social isolation and its accompanying depression, anxiety, and addictions. These are indeed dark times. And yet. A phone call from … read more.

Summer Plans Unmade and Remade

Beginning July 1, I will take my annual vacation and study leave during the months of July and August. As is the case with almost every other person on the planet, most of my plans for the summer have been upended by the pandemic, beginning … read more.

We’re All in the Same Boat Now…Or Maybe Not

In some conversations since this pandemic began, I have caught myself saying, “Well, we’re all in the same boat now.” But the piece below from an anonymous writer has made me stop saying this. It has reminded me of what should be obvious—that none of us experience … read more.

A Larger Sense of Self

In a sermon recently, I spoke about different ways we may understand ourselves as a person. The smallest definition of self is made up purely of ego. This definition is essentially self-centeredness, seeing oneself as a separate, individualistic entity. That’s the kind of self that is encouraged … read more.

Social Action This Year

Thanks mainly to the dedication of Lisa Jochum, our social action at MLUC over the past couple of years has focused mainly on antiracism work in book discussions, screening films, hosting Jubilee workshops, and teaching Beloved Conversations classes. This year, however, we are expanding our … read more.

Grateful Faces

Whenever I ask someone these days, “How are you?” the answer is almost always the same: “I’m too busy!” There’s no question that this is a particularly busy time of the year, but busy seems to be the best description of our lives throughout the … read more.

Farewell to Jan Cauffman

I suspect I’m not the only one around here who feels both happy and sad about Jan Cauffman’s departure as our Parish Nurse. I’m happy that she is heading in an exciting new direction in this later chapter of her life, pursuing what she calls … read more.

Death by Incarceration

Did you know that Pennsylvania is one of the few states left in the country which still mandates life-without-parole for first- and second-degree homicide? In fact, Pennsylvania has the 2nd largest population sentenced to life-without-parole in America. Of these 5,300 inmates, most committed their crimes … read more.