Author Archives: Robin White

About 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, and currently serves North Anderson Community Church (PCUSA), and its diverse, inclusive, compassion-driven congregation. Over the church door is inscribed the word Ephphatha, or “Be opened!” (Mark 7:34), and the congregation lives out that mandate. 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)

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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Desert Angels (Mark 1: 12-13)

“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 Jesus […]

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Revelation in White

“Seeing may be believing, but there are times when something so remarkable happens that we cannot believe even our own eyes. Years later, after Eli had died, I was living in Wilmington, Delaware, where I hiked on a 2,000-acre wildlife refuge, accompanied by my new Yellow Lab, Simon. One warm September afternoon, as we leisurely wandered along […]

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Star Trek (Matthew 2: 1-12)

“The journey must have begun after sunset. When you follow a star, you can only walk at night, when the world is not so busy, so noisy. When you travel at the rate of a star, too, you move very, very slowly. Since stars pass across the heavens over a period of months, there is […]

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Singing the Faith (Luke 1: 39-55)

“Mary’s words imply more than just hope for the future. She sings not of things as they will be, but of things as they are changing. She does not say, ‘God will bring down the powerful from their thrones’ but, instead, ‘God has brought down the powerful from their thrones.’ The world she depicts is […]

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Grace Amidst Messiness

“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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Cost Consciousness: Luke 14: 25-35

“What we hear from Jesus in Luke today, I believe, are words addressed to impetuous volunteers. In essence, Jesus says, ‘Think about what you are doing and decide whether or not you are willing to stay with me all the way. It is going to cost you something, so calculate that cost and choose to come […]

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An Extravagance of the Heart: Luke 7:36-50

“The nameless woman of Luke 7—labeled sinful—is a precious, bold illustration of the disturbing discoveries inherent in discipleship. Her ears are fixed on the ministry of Jesus, and she is inspired to hear in a manner that many of her peers do not understand. She stands with Jesus and where she stands in relation to […]

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