Author Archives: Robin White

The Rev. Robin Kaye White grew up in a farming community in Central New York State: she is descended, on both sides of her family, from dairy farmers, and is most alive, still, in rural North American landscapes. A voice major, she studied Music at Ithaca College; then earned her MDiv at Lancaster Theological Seminary and did graduate work at Princeton Seminary and The Theological Institute of Advanced Theological Research in Jerusalem, Israel. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), White was recently a Co-Moderator of the National Board of More Light Presbyterians. White is passionate about liturgy—“the work of the people”—and preaching. In her sermons, she strives to illuminate the original context of scripture and tease out its messages for the fraught present. She has had the privilege of “holding space” for the dying and their loved ones and experiences this ministry of presence as a gift: she is most willing to go with people as they journey to desert places. She states: “I have lived my life by adhering to Paul’s words in his letter to the church at Rome, ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.’” She is just as likely, though, to quote Rachel Held Evans as St. Paul: “This is what God’s kingdom is like: a bunch of outcasts and oddballs gathered at a table, not because they are rich or worthy or good, but because they are hungry, because they said yes. And there’s always room for more.” A Lesbian-Pescaterian-Presbyterian, Reverend White is most alive out of doors, whether hiking, biking, kayaking, golfing . . . or just sitting on a rock. (Banner and Author photos by E.B.-Herring, taken at Pendleton SC's Liberty Hall Bed & Breakfast.)

Desert Angels

“In Mark’s version of the temptation story, just before Jesus is driven into the wilderness, he sees the heavens open and the Spirit descending like a dove. Mark tells us that Jesus, still wet from his Baptism, is driven by the Spirit into the wilderness. This word for ‘driven’ is the same word used when […]

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Come & See (John 11: 1-45)

“Like an infant swaddled, Lazarus is bound in strips of cloth, his face wrapped in bands of fabric. ‘Unbind him and let him go.’ The fetters of death and despair are unfastened. The shroud of hopelessness is stripped away. Jesus stands at the entrance of the tomb, facing death, and says, ‘Take on hope, all ye who […]

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Grace Amidst Mess

“Throughout the years, Calli has taught me so much about living with frailty and an illness that is not only ‘messy,’ but which can lead to more and more serious and even fatal afflictions. I have learned to let her be a dog despite my desire to keep her from doing things that might aggravate her […]

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Not Impossible

“Advent in general, and in the year 2020 more specifically, arrived with an unimaginable—not imaginable—host of negativities: skepticism, bitter certainties, despair, and cynicism nipping at the outer flanks of what we hope is true. We pondered these bitter convictions: that certain mistakes can never be unmade, that loneliness is the final word, that death is the end, that […]

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Are We There, Yet?

“It is about being ready for an arrival, as well as about not being ready for a delay. We’re oh so ready for a vaccine, for a return to the analog world, for decisive victories and equally decisive defeats, for a release from the multitude of limbos we all inhabit. We are ready and willing […]

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Nevertheless, She Persisted: Matthew 15: 21-28

“What we find in this story is a Jesus who doesn’t say what we expect him to say, doesn’t act the way we expect him to act. At first glance, this seems to be one of those rare instances where Jesus isn’t all sweetness and light. New Testament Scholar Marian Soards says this story has a high […]

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And Now for Something Completely Different: Psalm 145

“I wanted to do something completely different this morning as I fear the sermons preached to an empty sanctuary may be getting tiresome . . . at least they are for me. I haven’t had much feedback regarding my Sunday videos. However, over the past few weeks, some of you have offered me suggestions: perhaps […]

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I Can’t Breathe: Acts II

“This is the day that God’s breath, the Holy Spirit, was breathed forth into our church, but now a viral pandemic rampages as we wonder and worry if there will be enough respirators and ventilators to provide life-giving breath. How long will there be breath? For 100,000 of us, there is no longer breath. And now, as […]

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I Will Take You to Myself: John 14: 1-4

“Oh, how my own father and I struggled to say good-bye. I sat at his bedside throughout his last night, holding his hand, stroking his head, administering morphine under his tongue. Knowing his death was imminent, my brother Rod had chosen to stay the night and was asleep in an upstairs bedroom. I have sat […]

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Letter from Anderson, South Carolina

“The road from Jerusalem to Emmaus was about seven miles long—a two- to three-hour walk. It is a long walk when your loved one has died, or you’ve lost your job, or a relationship has been severed, or your church is shuttered. It’s a long walk when a family member or dear friend is ill or in need […]

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