It was a hot and muggy week in the City of Big Sweaty Shoulders. Things at the day job have been slow, so I’ve spent a lot of time reading in between rigging different box-fan and window configurations (no a/c in this 100-year-old former convent) or answering random questions from contractors (lots of upgrades going on at our office right now!) My in-laws are in town this weekend, which means that I am capping off a busy, hot, humid, bustling, and fun week with more hot, humid, bustling busyness and fun. I couldn’t wish any better for myself or anyone else.
“Church, we need the kids” by Christina Embree
One of my ministry contexts is the Sunday morning children’s ministry at the Community Church of Wilmette. They desperately want scads of children, like the old days. They have some pretty awesome kids right now, which I am trying to remind them of every week. The thing I hear all the time is “We need children and young people. They are the future of the church.”
Nope. Not even a little bit right.
They are the present.
“The Martyrdom of Cecil the Lion” by Jacob J. Erickson
This essay is everything I’ve been wanting to say about Cecil the Lion. I went on safari a couple of years ago in Kenya. I still think about it pretty much every day. I’ve gotten a little bewildered at my friends on both the right and the left who express disdain at the outrage over Cecil. “Where’s the outrage and media attention about [insert atrocity or obvious injustice here].” I hear that. But to me it is obvious that this latest story of a wealthy white man exploiting Africa and Africans (notice how quick he was to shift the blame to his local guides?], fits into the larger context of colonialism, racism, privilege, and violence.
“[T]hese hunting-acts are just high-profile features in a much deeper, insidious lineage; hunting-acts like these fall within a larger theological history of environmental , gendered, and colonial injustice.”
“The Story We Tell with Our Stuff” by Courtney E. Martin
A friend of mine and I have been having a conversation about objects, and the meaning(s) with which we imbue them. This lovely reflection from the On Being blog has been a nice addition to my thinking.
“Doodlers, Unite!” by Sunni Brown
Consider this a “bonus feature” for my post about preaching this week. As I was thinking more about visually capturing a sermon, I ran across this TED talk. Also, interestingly, as I reflected about the process of crafting my first visual sermon I realized that, while the actual hands-on and intentional hours were about equal to what I’d spend writing a sermon, the non-productive hours (starting at the screen, pacing, etc.) dropped precipitously. As long as my hand was still moving, my brain was still processing. I’ve never enjoyed sermon prep so much.
May this Sunday bring you many moments of deep-breaths and chill-outs in the midst of summer’s heat and clamor.
Grace and Peace,