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Author: Steven Teague

Best of Enemies: How the power of friendship can make peace between rivals

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” – Abraham Lincoln In 1971 I was a devout student in Chapel Hill, NC and – of course – so focused on academics I scarcely realized Durham and Duke University are right down the road. Little did I know the earth was about to shift on its axis. History was about to be made. A major motion picture would come from it. A long-time Raleigh News and Observer columnist recently says this moment in 1971 was the the event that held Durham together through a dark time...

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A legacy of faith and political action

Eighty years ago, a 33-year-old Christian theologian named Dietrich Bonhoeffer returned to his native Germany after a short stay in the United States. He would not live to see his 40th birthday. The Lutheran and Episcopal Churches, as well as other religious bodies worldwide, recently commemorated the annual remembrance of German Lutheran pastor, theologian, and resister of Nazi totalitarianism and terrorism. On April 9, 1945, after being in held prisoner for two years, Bonhoeffer was hanged for his association with others who resisted Hitler and the atrocities his party committed against Jews, Germans, among others. Evidence showed the group...

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A Church Disunited: Wesleyan movement faces schism after public vote on political view of faith

I have read, watched, and listened to responses to the recent decisions of the United Methodist Church, at their global meeting in St. Louis. A friend and colleague, the Rev. Dr. Frederick Schmidt, said it well: “Protestantism is made for schism and our tradition of national conferences or conventions has become a thin veil for the political maneuvering and animosity that is rife in the public square.” Rev. Schmidt is right on. In my years of ordained ministry, I have been part of church bodies that splinter and divide by votes and political maneuvering. It is sad. Dear UMC...

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A Dream Beyond February: Overcoming our tribal nature to build a diverse church and a real community

I am a confessing white, privileged priest with more blindspots in my ego than I like to admit. I am grateful for a month each year – February – when people of different races and religions meet together for programs, speeches, dinners, and worship services. For a month we specifically focus on, learn about, and honor accomplishments of our citizens of African origin and heritage that have gone unrecognized, particularly by people like me. Years ago I directed a program for churches on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. The area was deeply segregated by race, class, and income....

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