icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle



Meeting Darlene Silversmith was a surprise. It happened while I was serializing To Drink from the Silver Cup on my blog. She must have found the blog through a Facebook post and commented something like this: “Wow! Christian Reformed [CRC and the church I grew up in] and in the Navajo Nation. Have to read this.” After she’d read a few chapters, she shared some of her own story about being in the CRC. Darlene is Diné, and her family roots are in Crownpoint, New Mexico, although she was born in Oakland, California, her birth there being one more example of the colonization of indigenous people. It was US policy, especially in the 1950s and 60s, to try to integrate Diné into the society at large through a program known as relocation, in which Native people were sent to urban areas to vocational training programs, where it was hoped they would settle.

Darlene’s Facebook posts intrigued me, as she was clearly very involved in the CRC. At the time she was going through its Leadership Development Program and seeking what is known in the CRC as a license to exhort, which means basically a license to preach without being ordained. At the same time, she was clearly aware of and raising consciousness about the need to decolonize Christianity. I asked if I could interview her at some point when I would be in the area. Her reply was a single word: “Sure.”

As my book tour evolved, it turned out that I would drive through Crownpoint en route to an event in Cuba, NM. We agreed to meet at Read More 
Post a comment


LGBTQ People and Church Rule-makers

Did that word synod grab your attention? To me, the sound of the word conjures visions of a sinister conclave, if I let my imagination run a little wild. I see hooded men, faces obscured, lining the walls of a subterranean dungeon. In origin, the word is quite innocuous—coming from the Greek where it meant simply assembly or meeting. In today’s English it refers to ecclesiastical governing bodies. And those, as we all know, sometimes do take sinister action.

If you have ties of any sort to the church I grew up in, the Christian Reformed Church (CRC), the word might get your attention because that church just held its annual synod. The body was to decide, among other things, on recommendations to pastors who are asked to respond to same-sex marriage in one way or another. This was not even about whether to affirm LGBTQ Christians’ membership in the church or our validity as Read More 
Post a comment