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Friday roundup: Five things worth paying attention to this week

9.13. 2019 Posted By: Joanne Gallardo

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. Untouchable

This is required watching for anyone who’s ever questioned the #MeToo movement. While difficult to watch, Untouchable serves as a career biography and an expose on Harvey Weinstein, starting off with his humble beginnings as a talent agent for musical groups and moving to his movie mogul era of money and power. Each part of his career includes multiple women’s accounts of sexual assault and misconduct, ending with his pending court cases. A difficult but necessary documentary.

2. 9-8-8

Mid-August it was announced that FCC Chairmain Ajit Pai will opt for a 3-digit number for the National Suicide Hotline, making it easier than ever to dial in for help. This number will likely be 9-8-8. Currently, the number is 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). Pay attention this week to folks in your life who might be able to find some help with knowledge of this number, referring them to the 1-800-273-8255 number until an announcement is made otherwise. Also, you can text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.

3. Drowning in Whiteness

This article by Ijeoma Oluo perfectly sums up what it’s like to be a person of color in a white space/place. “But you know really quickly that if you don’t know what white people want – what they’re doing and why; what’s going to make them mad; what’s going to make them scared; what’s going to make them happy – you will not be able to go anywhere.”

4. The ordinariness of Ordinary Time

In these days after Pentecost but before Advent, we are in the “green period” of Ordinary Time. Occasionally spotted with special feast days, we are in a period of liturgical “down time” as we eagerly anticipate All Souls and Christ the King Sundays. While some churches take a break from the lectionary and all things liturgical during this time, what would it mean to your spirituality if you observed special feast days? The readings for this time often include Jesus’ life and ministry. What if you incorporated them into your worship services? There are many “extraordinary” parts of Ordinary Time that aren’t caught up in “special” Sundays. What would it mean to your week if you paid attention to them?

5. Pumpkin spice

September has arrived again and, with it, all things pumpkin spice. I have been a fan of all things spice since I was a kid. I’ve loved spice cakes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin rolls and pumpkin spice-scented candles, among other autumnal-odored and flavored fare. Currently, I like to drink my pumpkin obsession. I am aware of an increasingly large group of people who roll their eyes at this proliferation of pumpkin. And I agree, there are times where it has been taken too far. But what I want to encourage you to do this week is to not only give the fad a try if you haven’t yet, but allow folks to have their joy wherever they find it, whether that’s in a fall-themed beverage, or a new TV show, or a baked good. We were created to enjoy our lives; let’s live into it.

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

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