Divesting of Power


Readers of this blog will not be surprised that I was disappointed by the decision of the 221st General Assembly of the PC(USA)—at which I was a voting commissioner—to divest from Hewlett Packard, Motorola Solutions, and Caterpillar because they profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. I have consistently opposed divestment—not because I am […]

What Comes After Divestment?


One of the things I was dreading about GA221 is another round of the fight we’ve been having about divestment for the past decade, a debate that has dominated much of my GA experience. I knew it would get ugly, and it has. Friends are treating each other like enemies. I confess my own complicity […]

Support for a Just and Peaceful Compromise of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict


I really believe that the discussion paper on the Middle East conflict prepared by my friends on the Ecumenical and Interreligious Work Group of the Presbytery of Chicago is a compelling “third way” for Presbyterians to engage this issue. In order to get it into the stream of GA221, I’m submitting the following as a […]

The Things That Make For Peace


I was happy to sign this open pastoral letter to the Presbyterian Church (USA): AS PASTORS AND LEADERS, we are deeply disturbed by the escalating conflict within the PC(USA) over the Church’s policies toward Israel/Palestine. Conflict over these issues, of course, is nothing new; what is new is the focus and tone of that conflict. […]

Hoping for Polarity Management at GA221


One of the most influential mental models that I came across during my time serving on the first Mid Councils Commission (2010-2012) was the concept of polarity management. On the recommendation of one of the executive presbyters we met with, I picked up Barry Johnson’s book Polarity Management: Identifying and Managing Unsolvable Problems. You can […]