Communities

Christ Episcopal Church in Matagorda, Texas

The first bishop elected to the Episcopal Diocese of Texas was a slave owner who pushed for loyalty to the Confederacy during the Civil War. The first church in the diocese, Christ Episcopal Church in Matagorda, was built by slaves. Now, Texas Episcopalians are addressing the church's history of racism and slavery by dedicating $13 million to help heal the communities injured by it.

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I'm sitting in an outdoor eating area in Jakarta, sweat dripping down the back of my sundress, gazing at the young Muslim woman across the table from me. It's a thousand degrees and humid, and I can't figure out how she can look so comfortable in her black hijab and long sleeves.

The physical contrast between us feels emblematic, as does the table that separates us. It may as well be an ocean. Neither of us belongs in Indonesia, yet here we are—me as a middle-class American on an overseas work trip, her as an Afghani refugee trapped in a country that has no place for her.

I'm keenly aware that neither of us has chosen these identities, that it's merely the happenstance of our births that has placed us where we are. My obvious privilege hovers over us like a disco ball, but neither of us mentions it.

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via Little Free Pantry Project / Instagram

According to Feeding America, an estimated 1 in 8 Americans are food insecure, that's roughly 40 million Americans including more than 12 million children.

And yet at the same time, 40% of the food produced in American goes uneaten, ending up in landfills.

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If I were the type of person who allowed himself to relax for even a second, I imagine that sitting outside in the sun with a beach read in one hand and a cool, refreshing drink in the other would be a wonderful way to spend a summer afternoon. And until this morning, I would have allowed myself to imagine that cool drink to be anything. Even a nice cold glass of bubble tea.

BUT NOT ANYMORE. NOT SINCE I'VE READ ABOUT A 14-YEAR-OLD WHO DRANK SO MANY BOBA PEARLS (tapioca pearls) THAT HER STOMACH WAS ALLEGEDLY FULL TO BURSTING WITH THEM! ALL STARCHY AND UNDIGESTED.

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Communities