Last night an average of 111.3 million Americans watched the Super Bowl. I have to be honest, I went to bed for the game went into overtime and I did not know that the Patriots won until later today.
While I did watch the game, I was blown away by the commercials. Many of which began in development a year ago.
Commentators took their blogs, newspapers, and screens to declare which were the best and the worst. While I do not intend to add to the commentary clutter, some of the commercials gave me the “feels.” They were short films that communicated deep truths that we need at a time such as this.
by Emma Johnston
“One of the most effective means of disengaging the church from the work of justice is making injustice a philosophical concept” – Soong Chan Rah.
Over the past three years, I was a full time seminarian at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. From the very first class, my faith was challenged. One of the most beautiful things of the seminary environment is that your faith is questioned, broken down, and then built up through deeper learning and understanding of Scripture and its interactions with other texts, and the ministry that we are engaging in during our internships.
In September of 2015, my small group and I endeavored to learn more about systemic issues in our world. Our focus was the death penalty and for them, and for me, it was a chance to challenge our beliefs and to engage in a conversation that is often not had on college campuses. We watched the movie Dead Man Walking, and some of the young women still felt like capital punishment was a viable option, whereas some were challenged to reflect more on the justice system that our country champions but on both sides, there was compassion and a willingness to listen and question themselves.
Katrina: After the Flood, Gary Rivlin, Simon & Schuster, 2015.
It’s hard to believe that it has been ten years since Katrina rolled through New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf. It also marked ten years since Rita left her mark on southwest Louisiana. The focus has always been on New Orleans, perhaps because of the storm that followed in Katrina’s wake.
In his new book, Katrina: After the Flood, journalist Gary Rivlin portrays the dysfunction, the politics, and the blatant racism that followed the storm. On assignment for The New York Times, Rivlin spent most of the year after Katrina living in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. In that time, he put his attention on “the mess ahead.” This is reflective in his writing.
The book begins when Katrina landed in August of 2005. As I read just the first few chapters, I was struck by the level of inhumane decisions that were chosen. Based on what, exactly? Fear? Uncertainty? Racism? I felt sick reading the stories that open this book.
The Rev. Nancy Robinson is an ordained deacon in the Virginia Conference and, along with her husband Kip, missionaries to Sierra Leone. She reflects on the reality of Ebola in our lives as God’s people in the world.
Kip and I, General Board of Global Ministries missionaries to Sierra Leone, are currently exiled to the United States and are asked not to return until a later date to be determined by those in leadership; Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church and leadership in Sierra Leone. We are standing in the gap, sharing the story of an amazing people and help those here in the States to understand the context and put a face on what is a concern on all of our minds.