Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of five columns written by Ron Byler, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. executive director, to mark 100 […]
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. Deb Detwiler
Late last month, my Goshen community lost Dr. Deb Detwiler, professor of music at Goshen (Indiana) College. For over 20 years she taught many students, including me, the connection between music, faith and love. No one could run a choir rehearsal like Deb, and I don’t think I’ll encounter someone quite like her again. The Mennonite re-posted her article from the 2015 Autumn edition of Timbrel. In this article she shares with readers how God is bigger than cancer. You can read the article here.
2) Pastoring and Loneliness
Pastoring is a lonely profession. I was thrilled to find an article online written for Christianity Today in 1991 by my former seminary professor, Arthur Paul Boers, entitled, “Everyone’s Pastor, No One’s Friend.” Boers discusses the benefits as well as the downsides to pastoral emotional solitude.
3) Who owns a pastor’s body?
While on the subject of pastors, Layton E. Williams wrote an article about the pastor’s body for Sojourners. I felt this article very deeply. To quote Williams:
“The standard against which we (pastors) are measured upholds discriminatory and oppressive definitions of normativity. Whether consciously or not, the ‘ideal pastor’ image celebrates maleness over other genders. It celebrates heterosexuality, able-bodiedness, fitness and married status. In my denomination, at least, it also celebrates whiteness over other races.” Think about your pastor this week and how your congregation works at respecting their personhood.
4) Mother’s Day
Mothers Day is a great day to honor important women in our lives, but it can be difficult for some people. There are people who no longer have their mothers, wish to be mothers or don’t wish to be mothers, who can feel left out or hurt on a day that celebrates and tends to favor biological motherhood. In addition to getting your mother a card, think about the other nurturing people in your life. What do you want to tell them on this day? Go ahead and tell them.
5) Brown sugar oatmeal cookies
I’m not very good at relaxing in my down time. On a night that wasn’t taken by meetings or social obligations, I could only sit for so long before needing to do something. Due to having an excess of brown sugar, I found this recipe for brown sugar oatmeal cookies. So before the summer heat is upon us, let’s use our ovens one last time for some quality baked goods. Adding chocolate chips to this recipe helps.
Joanne Gallardo is pastor of faith formation at Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship in Goshen, Indiana.
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