The Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette's hymn lyrics on subjects from gun violence, health care and immigration to natural disasters and the environment have been sung around the world in sanctuaries, on college campuses, in Bible school classrooms, and during street protests.
Held in living rooms and kitchens, house church services can be on Sunday mornings or on weekdays after work. Rituals are reshaped to fit the inclinations of the group or tossed aside altogether; in place of sermons are discussions. Music might be a ditty composed on the spot by a congregant.
Even before the tiki-torch marches in Charlottesville, the violence, and the president's equivocal blame-laying, preaching in the Age of Trump has been fraught territory for faith leaders nationwide, many of whom confront congregations painfully divided by politics,
When Hillary Clinton first mentioned to the Rev. Dr. Bill Shillady, a friend of 15 years, that she would like to be in the pulpit, he recalled thinking she was kidding. Throughout the 2016 campaign, he had sent her daily devotionals, knowing that she leaned heavily on the faith lessons of her United Methodist traditions to withstand the grueling race. Still, he didn't picture her preaching - even though she insisted to him, "I'm serious."
"RiME" is part of what game aficionados are calling an emerging niche of artistic, narrative games that propel their players into a world that forces them to consider moral, ethical, and spiritual issues such as life, death, responsibility, and purpose in the world.
The sanctuary of Christ Centered Church is a small and spare 65-seater in a storefront in Philly's Fairhill section, more than packed on Sundays for sermons and Bible studies that empathize with the members' challenges without excusing the life choices they've made.
Kristin E, Holmes is a general assignment reporter in the suburbs. She has worked at the Inquirer since 1982. She has covered police, courts, religion, municipal government, and obituaries. She wrote the newspaper’s first blog, Spilled Inq.