Monday Musings, February 7, 2022

Siblings in Christ–

Grace and peace to you this Monday morning. As I gathered bits for this edition of Musings, I’ve broken one of my unwritten/unspoken rules. There are pieces from some of the same sources–NPR, Diana Butler Bass and Smithsonian Magazine. I try to have a diverse collection and this week–well, there is diversity of thought and some repetition of sources because, well, they’re just too good not to include.

Here’s the list for the week:

  1. How ‘Woke’ Became a Four Letter Word
  2. The Mystical Body of Zoom
  3. Brian Flores on Taking a Stand Against the NFL
  4. Tracing Your Ancestral Roots is Easy When You’re White
  5. Artists at the Center: Celebrating Black History Month
  6. Francis Collins on COVID-19 politics: ‘The culture war is literally killing people’
  7. A Church is Suing After a Town Says It Can Give Away Free Meals Only Twice Per Week
  8. Ted Lasso
  9. Soul
  10. NASA Plans to Crash the International Space Station Into the Ocean in 2031
  11. Red Gerard
  12. Orchids!

  1. How ‘Woke’ Became a Four Letter Word: My friend and pastor, Jan Edmiston puts some of my own thoughts into this blog post. In this current state of our world, somehow telling the truth, including other voices at the table, or drawing attention to the ways some of us have been unfairly advantaged is a bad thing. I don’t think so. An added bonus is this article from yesterday’s Plain Dealer. Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III: “…we learn even more about a country from what it chooses to forget.”
  2. The Mystical Body of Zoom: There has been some conversation recently about the desire to return to in person worship–get rid of Zoom and all be in the same room. I get that and I also know that Zoom has made worship accessible in ways in person was not possible. Here, Diana offers a reflection on the power of the online experience. Interestingly, she has a conversation with the pastor of Circular Congregational Church in Charleston, SC–a congregation I know from my time there.
  3. Brian Flores on Taking a Stand Against the NFL: On the eve of the Big Game, not all is well in football land. And why we thought this sport would be immune to overt and latent racism….
  4. Tracing Your Ancestral Roots is Easy When You’re White: Here’s a sobering thought–When tracing family history, many Black people can’t go any farther back than 1870. The names of enslaved people weren’t listed on Census documents. For White people however, a much different story.
  5. Artists at the Center: Celebrating Black History Month: Black artists speak about their life and their work. Give a listen.
  6. Francis Collins on COVID-19 politics: ‘The culture war is literally killing people’: Francis Collins identifies as an evangelical and is heartbroken that more white evangelicals haven’t been vaccinated. According to Collins, many white evangelicals have been “victimized by the misinformation and lies and conspiracies that are floating around, particularly on social media and some of it in cable news.”
  7. A Church is Suing After a Town Says It Can Give Away Free Meals Only Twice Per Week: An ordinance in Brookings, OR restricts the number of times a church can serve free meals to people in need. This evidently comes as a result of increased services for those people without homes. The only nonprofits offering meals are churches.
  8. Ted Lasso: I realize I am late to this train….and oh, this show! I am still in the first season–up to episode 9 so no spoilers, please. There is so much good theology going on I can hardly stand it! I don’t watch a lot of TV and will confess, I’m hooked on this one. Diana Butler Bass here offers her thoughts–a compelling character may surprise you.
  9. Soul: Dr. Mark Hyman (who I included last week as well) has another movie recommendation. Of Soul, he says: It’s so easy to get caught up in life, going after whatever is next instead of focusing on our purpose and appreciating what’s right in front of us. That’s the theme behind this whimsical Disney film and one of the reasons I love it. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a great flick to watch with the whole family that will be sure to leave you reflecting on your unique gifts and how to enjoy what you have, while you have it.
  10. NASA Plans to Crash the International Space Station Into the Ocean in 2031: Some interesting information about the ISS and where it will have its final resting place after retirement.
  11. Red Gerard: Yes, it’s time for the Olympics–and a local lad from Rocky River is the favorite for the gold in snowboarding. As a related aside, if anyone knows of virtual realities where I can experience the thrill of ski jumping and luge without actually having to strap on skis or lying down on a sled, please let me know!
  12. Orchids!: It’s never too late or too early to enjoy the beauty of the earth!

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