Six years ago, over the course of several months, I had the joy of teaching my daughter American history.

My children were in their fifth year of homeschooling and my wife had asked me if I was interested in teaching — I eagerly accepted. For weeks, we slowly worked through conversations of a foreign people showing up in an inhabited land, growing from an insignificant cloister of individuals seeking religious freedom to a mass of many forcing the First Nations communities westward, while painfully persisting under the thumb of Great Britain to the east. …


Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

UPDATE 12:40 PM (CST) 4/3: With the changes presented by the Federal Coronavirus Task Force on April, 2, many banks are experiencing delays in getting systems set up for processing applications. Keep in contact with your local bank to ensure you can submit your application as soon as the institution is able to process them.

Allow me to add that I am not a lawyer nor a banker, be certain to check with those appropriate parties for more legal and/or financial information. Also, this information is constantly and quickly changing as we noted during the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force…


Gathering of members from The First Baptist Church of Waukegan (IL) after service

Update: Here’s the second week’s presentation. (Things are getting even better.)

In light of the need to stress social distancing (I’m preferring to say physical distancing because humans need social interaction to survive), at this moment in time, nearly every church I am aware of has taken up the challenge of streaming their services, primarily through FaceBook Live or YouTube. For me, however, the pastor of a small church with limited resources and regularly intimate worship services, I was interested in a bit more.

I believe our congregation needed to maintain our Sunday morning “vibe;” an experience of participatory community…


Photo by Erez Attias on Unsplash

A few days ago, I found myself in conversation with a great friend and mentor who pastors a vibrant Catholic congregation in Chicago. “We are Catholic, and we believe in transubstantiation: the elements are the Body and Blood of Christ.” Given this, he shared a compelling question: if we are afraid of coming to church and receiving the Holy Communion, do we believe in the power of Christ’s blood, or have we been living a lie for the past 2,000 years?” …


Photo by Add Weed on Unsplash

Every so often, a story comes along that needs no in-depth prologue, masterfully written introduction, or Pulitzer-Prize-winning lead-in, and this is it. Marijuana legalization is coming to Illinois in 2020, and it will directly impact the state in ways we can only begin to imagine (including generating potentially $170 million in tax revenues). We are witnessing the impact of legalization in nearly a dozen other states and the District of Columbia. That number will probably continue to increase in the next election cycle.

But as the world seeks to engage this reality head-on, many pastors, religious leaders, congregational communities, and…


Artist’s statue at St. Sabina Catholic Church on Chicago’s South Side

Several years ago, I found myself serving as an Individual Development Specialist at a local Chicago organization focused on helping people obtain full-time, long-term career opportunities. In this role, I worked the front lines as a counselor for my first-year Master of Social Work degree. I served by working with men and women to sustain the experiences circumscribing their employment — family dynamics, mental health wellness, sight and hearing accommodations, support for children, and residential status. I met with individuals when they first arrived, directed them to support services, visited them regularly post-placement. And I listened. A lot.

I recall…


Court of King’s Bench; an English court of common law created in the late 12th to early 13th century.
Court of King’s Bench; an English court of common law created in the late 12th to early 13th century.
Court of King’s Bench: a common law legal system in the early 12th to 13th century. Image via WikiMedia Commons

Last Sunday, during our church’s Family and Friends service in Waukegan’s Hinkley Park, I found myself engaged in a conversation that’s lit Cook and Lake counties ablaze with opinions. Last week, five teenagers drove to a North Shore suburb with the alleged intent of burglarizing. As they walked up one driveway, they were confronted by the 75-year-old homeowner, who ultimately fired shots and killed the youngest of the teens. After a high-speed chase that ended in Chicago, the remaining five were brought into custody. Following these events, the Lake County State’s Attorney saw fit to charge the four African American…


African American Black fathers are involved during Father’s Day
African American Black fathers are involved during Father’s Day
Donte Meeks Sr. teaches his nine-month-old son how to walk outside their home in the Park Manor neighborhood on April 16, 2016. (Photo by Stacey Rupolo)

The Myth

On Jan. 15, 2018, I attended an Illinois gubernatorial candidate forum here in Chicago. Seven candidates were present, Democratic and Republican, answering questions about their potential futures in office. While the event featured several key moments, one of the most alarming statements came from former state Rep. Jeanne Ives in her response to the source of violence in Chicago.

“The problem is the gun violence in this city of Chicago, predominantly. And you know how you’re going to solve it? Fathers in the home,” she stated. …


Beyond Coexistence of Christianity and Islam in Ghana

Originally written four years ago, during the summer of 2015, while on a 9-week Pilgrimage in Ghana … oh, the memories.

It’s 3:42 am, pouring outside, and I hear the sounds of Islamic prayers. Years ago that would have driven me crazy — probably one year ago that would have driven me crazy.

My wife suggested I bring earplugs on my travels to block out the sounds and sleep peacefully. She uses them with me to … ugh … help her sleep better (not at all because I snore). But it doesn’t sound foreign anymore; it actually sounds beautiful. Many of us may not know that Arabic and Hebrew both share a common ancestry. As I dived into the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, this language, reminiscent of…


3 weeks into this pilgrimage thing and I’m all busted up

I’m broken. Literally.

My left leg hasn’t quite scabbed over from the motorbike accident. The scrape fully covers the part of the knee that bends so every move of my leg is painful and it is still sensitive to the touch. Seems I had the least serious of the injuries from the accident, but in the worst of places.

Might right leg is numb and from my shin to the bridge of my foot I’ve paresthesia and complete loss of feeling. Truth be told, while I’ve been waiting for electricity to publish…

Saeed Richardson

Policy advocate, pastor, programmer, father, and husband living a life of organized confusion, trying to make the world a better place, one word at a time.

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