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Friday roundup: Five things worth paying attention to this week

8.16. 2019 Posted By: Joanne Gallardo 566 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. Death and dying

A few weeks ago, I moved my dad, who was recently diagnosed with end-stage liver cancer, into my home. He spent two weeks with me before passing away. This was a very brief but painful time. I know many people experience the pain of losing a parent. This time around – my mother died in 2006 – I was able to experience the dying process up close. As we begin to change from summer to autumn, we’ll soon see “dying” all around us, dying that will give way to new life. I encourage folks to think about our life cycles as we see colors and landscapes change around us.

2. Self care

“Self care” has been a buzzword in many circles for quite some time. Eat a bunch of pizza? Self care! Spend a lot of money online? Self care! Drop your responsibilities? I was practicing self care! While these examples are extreme, it seems that most any indulgence or giving in to vices can be viewed as caring for yourself. What I like about this article at Forbes.com is that it teaches us that self care is a discipline, and it looks different from the everyday splurge. Self care can be turning off the TV so you can go to bed early, eating a healthy dinner so that you feel better later or talking with good, healthy people in your life.

3. Century Spice Road

I was introduced to this game a few weeks ago by a friend, and if you love board games involving moderate strategy, this is for you. Players have four actions available to them as they “travel the world” for more spices. If the dog days of summer are too hot and muggy in your area to go outside, I would highly recommend this as an alternate activity. Find out more about the game here.

4. Whitewashing race studies

A colleague of mine posted this fascinating and infuriating article about a white male student who published a peer-reviewed article that dared to do several things. He criticized Black Lives Matter for not being more like Martin Luther King Jr., used phrases like “black exceptionalism” and made statements steeped heavily in white revisionism. If you’re a white person and you don’t stop using the word “woke” after reading this article, then I don’t know what more there is to say.

5. Your family

Here is an opinion piece I wrote for TheMennonite.org on my experience at MennoCon19. Whether or not you’ve been able to experience a Mennonite convention, I hope this denomination has felt like a home for you, and its members, your family. If it hasn’t, you’re not alone, and I fully believe one day we can be a home and safe space for all people.

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

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