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Friday roundup: Five things worth paying attention to this week

7.13. 2018 Posted By: Joanne Gallardo 230 Times read

Here are five things worth paying attention to this week. These are designed to expose you to a perspective you may not normally come across in your daily lives.

1. Joy

This summer, my congregation is doing a series on “joy.” While there are a good number of Scripture verses on joy, church can sometimes be a joy-less place. The weight of our daily lives, the harshness of the world around us and the solemnity we bring to worship can make us forget that God desires joy in our lives. More than just a greeting card sentiment, joy is something that comes from being rooted and grounded in the love, grace and mercy of God. Watch for ways you can incorporate joy into your spiritual life this month.

2. Nanette

Hannah Gadsby recently released a stand-up comedy special on Netflix. Immediately, my social media feeds blew up with affirmation for the Tasmanian comedian. As I watched, I found it to be part stand-up routine, part TED talk, part sermon. Gadsby shares with us why she’s leaving comedy, and through glimpses into her life of hilarity, trauma, and yes, art history, we see the true meaning of respect and what it means to love those who may be different from us. Settle down with some tissues and be prepared to open your mind.

3. Won’t you be my neighbor?

While on the subject of tissues, I suggest bringing an entire box if you go see Won’t you be my neighbor?, the documentary about Fred Rodgers. As a little girl, it was Mr. Rodgers who taught me it’s OK to feel “big” feelings such as anger, sadness and fear. I was also reminded how special I was at the end of each episode. This documentary/bio flick includes interviews with Rodger’s sons, wife and close associates who let us in on the “real” Mr. Rodgers: the same man we saw on our TV screens weekday afternoons.

4. Veggies

I admit it, I sometimes struggle to get enough vegetables in my diet. With all those bread options out there, I find myself distracted. I admire my friends who seem to cook and prepare vegetables without a second thought. As I move to a more plant-based diet, I found a recipe that is super easy, healthy and delicious.

5. Deeper meaning

Kristen Powers is not someone I typically want to read, but I made an exception with this article on depression, suicide and our culture. In the days after the suicides of both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I sought out articles and blogs that expressed my conflicted feelings of sadness and social urgency. Having struggled with depression for a number of years now, I was afraid I’d find pithy, unhelpful think pieces on the subject. And I did. But I breathed a sigh of relief with this article. Powers names the stress and loneliness that comes as a byproduct of a culture that worships financial gain and goal achieving. And while medications and therapy help some, we should also work at changing our way of thinking as a society, valuing deeper meaning and connection over financial and vocational success.

Joanne Gallardo is pastor of faith formation at Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship, Goshen, Indiana.

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