The best — and perhaps quirkiest — aspects of being Mennonite were on display in northern Indiana last weekend. The Michiana MCC Relief Sale is an annual fundraising event for the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a world-wide relief organization. The sale is part quilt auction, part junk auction, part garage sale, part bake sale, part county fair, part family reunion.
On the Blog
Being around people can be an anxious experience, if not draining experience, for many. But, how can we manage that trepidation and move forward? Alexandra Elle reflects on having the courage to show up and interact when it feels next to impossible.
On the Blog
For nearly all of Krista’s interviews nowadays, we live-tweet (@softweets) the verbal gems and meaningful points of the conversation so that we can provide some type of real-time dialogue with our online friends. But, we realize many of you either don’t use Twitter or just simply miss our tweets because of the busy pace of a day at work or home so we’re creating a catalog of those submissions for you to read in one place.
Following is our “Twitterscript” of Krista’s interview with Joanna Macy that took place over an ISDN line on July 13, 2010. As you may know, it was a wonderful conversation that made for an instant classic titled “A Wild Love for the World.” A former CIA agent and translator of Rainer Maria Rilke, a Buddhist teach and a philosopher of ecology, this octogenarian had many wise things to share that were wonderful nuggets for our Twitterstream:
A riveting piece from Religion Dispatches on an Mormon elder's apology over the LDS Church's activism on Prop 8.
As if Morocco and the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music weren't enchanting enough. A guest contribution with video by Hussein Rashid on the magical intimacy of Sufi Nights.
Richard Crouter’s elegant, concise book on Reinhold Niebuhr’s thought and legacy is a magnificent introduction to the life and work of this 20th-century theologian and public intellectual. I’ve been an armchair aficionado of this major thinker since the early days of this program when we produced a show and a magnificent (if you can forgive me for saying so) website we entitled “Moral Man and Immoral Society,” after one of Niebuhr’s significant works.
When I first lived in the upper Great Plains, I did so as a freshman at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. I still remember the day when my parents’ car pulled away and I was standing by my dorm wondering why I had decided to move almost 800 miles from my home in Montana. While I would miss my parents and friends, I began to miss the mountains almost immediately.
I felt like Beret, the female protagonist in Giants in the Earth who left her home in Norway and moved to Dakota Territory. The vast grasslands and harsh climate nearly drove her mad. When I would look outward, I would think, “There’s nothing to see.” Flat land seemed to stretch everywhere and yet nowhere. Corn fields and soy beans.
Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
In seeking out others to celebrate Tashlikh, our producer wrestles with thoughts on community even when being received warmly by a new one.
Recently back from a vacation I needed — and with fresh eyes on the intensity of the present moment — I think the most surprising thing about our name change process is how big and dramatic it feels. Names matter, and as clear as I am that our content won’t change moving forward, we are in fact changing our identity. I feel that personally — a little off balance, a little shaky, a little scared. I’m also feeling the upside of those same elemental human emotions: recharged, excited, expectant. But I have had the benefit of nearly two years of thinking about making this change, brainstorming it, seeking counsel about it, and finally reaching a decision.
Folks will donate to help one person in need more often than two. And when presented with those thousands or millions suffering? It's overwhelming and we do not act.
The news has been thick with polarized debates about proposed Qur’an burnings in Florida and the Park51 project. Tamara Lee, a listener from Hopewell, New Jersey, writes us looking for some advice:
While editing the site for this week’s retrospective show, I compiled a short list of the top 10 posts read on this blog, SOF Observed. It’s always interesting to see what readers really click through and what they share:
Following on Trent’s thoughtful post a few days ago, I share two pieces of helpful thinking that have crossed my desk. These refresh my spirit over media-generated confusion, false symbolism, fear, and vitriol. They are by a Jew and a Muslim, people who have been on our program in the past. I like to think that the ethos of discourse towards which they strive and we strive has its effect on the world, though what is distressing is so much noisier, and so distracting.
Yossi Klein Halevi has written an open letter to Imam Feisal in The New Republic. He opens up the “controversy” with a proposal that is provocative in the best sense of the word.
A good one. Martin Marty rarely swings for the fences, but when he does he knocks it out of the park. In today’s Sightings column, he takes aim at the son of Billy Graham:
Franklin Graham on Islam and Violence
by Martin E. Marty
There’s spirituality thriving in our houses of worship, often unnoticed and unappreciated. It flourishes in the ordinary give-and-take of congregational life, in person-to-person exchanges that Jewish thinker Martin Buber called I-Thou. And we would do well to better recognize this very common and accessible spiritual opportunity.