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My blog on racial justice began many years ago, while I was still in seminary and wrestling with a thesis on race and racism in biblical interpretation. Today I also blog at State of Formation, a joint project with Andover Newton Theological School and Hebrew College. Recent blog posts are listed below. Click on the title to continue reading each post.

State of Formation

  • Beyoncé, Black Power & the White Church
    Posted by Elizabeth Durant on February 10, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Preparing a sermon recently as a guest preacher to a white christian congregation, I turned to the African-American lectionary for inspiration. (In Christian tradition, the lectionary assigns readings to Sundays within a calendar of church holidays, from Lent (starting now) to Easter to Christmas.) I was surprised to find that Transfiguration Sunday, the last Sunday […]

  • Racial Justice Organizing: Religion of the “Nones”?
    Posted by Elizabeth Durant on November 5, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    I circled the block, looking for a downtown parking spot on a busy weeknight. Everyone else was hurrying home from work, but I was heading out to attend a meeting of the Portland, Oregon chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). As I navigated parking, building access, elevator, and finding the room, I juggled a big […]

Racism is a White Problem

  • Liberation, Not Interfaith Conversation: How Can White Christians Stop Talking & Start Acting for Racial Justice
    Posted by liz on December 1, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    The Problem with ‘Welcoming’ My home church recently hosted a summer-long series of guest speakers under the theme “Expanding Our Faith.” Eager to gain insights from other religious traditions, we invited a rabbi, an imam, a Zen Buddhist monk, and an indigenous storyteller to preach on four consecutive Sundays. Our team chose songs, wrote prayers […]

  • Wait, I’m Not “Special” Because I’m White? Thoughts on Internalized Superiority
    Posted by liz on October 8, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    I was privileged to have a conversation recently with a young Black activist who I deeply admire. I was surprised when she suggested that there is nothing remarkable about the white part of white supremacy. In different cultures around the world, in the past and present, groups have acted in similar ways, creating and maintaining brutal, dehumanizing and oppressive […]


I also keep an increasingly-irregular blog about poetry, parenting, and adoption.

  • The Real Reason People Believe in God
    Posted by Liz on May 7, 2016 at 3:20 am

    I’ve figured out why religion came into being. This just in time, as it turns out, because I’ve changed careers and am now a licensed (someday to be ordained) minister in the United Church of Christ. (If you’re snickering, stop. Programming nerds can TOO be pastors…it just means every third sermon we preach has a story line from […]

  • Unexpected Outcomes of 3: The Preschool Formula for Managing Your Expectations
    Posted by Liz on December 30, 2015 at 4:29 am

    There’s a big black dog currently circling the island in my kitchen. He is not my dog. He is a friend’s dog. His name is Stan, but we call him “Stan the Manly,” “Stanislaus,” “Stannis,” or “Manley Stan.” Today I asked my daughter, who is now 3.5 years old (STOP THE PRESSES!) why Stan the […]