by Marisa Fraley, Staff Writer
As religious leaders, it is important to be aware of what is going on in our world. Recently, news of the refugee crisis in Europe has dominated our news feeds. I encourage you to be informed on that issue as well as responses from various sources. Below, I have compiled a mix of other stories that are also relevant to the work that we do.
Justified or not, many people hold pastors to a higher standard than everyone else. As people involved in ministry we know we are only human and make mistakes just like those in our churches. However, because many people hold pastors to a higher standard they trust us more readily. Furthermore, we are viewed to be a representation of who God is, often more so than your everyday Christian. Therefore, a violation of their trust affects people’s view of the church as a whole.
Court Clerk Kim Davis cited religious beliefs as the reason she refused to uphold her duty as a public official to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land. The amendment of separation of church and state has been misinterpreted by some for years, and now Kim Davis has taken freedom of religion in this instance to mean that she can refuse a constitutional right to people.
Ever since Pope Francis became Pope he has made waves parting with the traditions of his predecessors. He’ll be coming to America in a couple weeks. In advance of his trip, he used technology to listen and speak to different people from his faith tradition. He heard their stories of adversity and the strong faith they had as they persevered. Not only are the stories he listened to inspiring for all of us, but his desire to really connect with the everyday person, listen to their stories, and offer kind words is something we should all strive to do in our respective ministries.
Someone or a group of people decided to set fire to a Planned Parenthood building in Washington, most likely in a form of protest against the organization. What exactly does this achieve? Furthermore, if in fact the person or persons who set fire to the building were against abortion for religious reasons, does their theology of God tell them that burning a building is justified?
The news is so often filled with stories of violence and other depressing stories. Sometimes we need to hear positive stories of change within our society. Just as Jesus reached out to the downtrodden and the outcast, Kim Carter has reached out to those in our society that we can ignore and pretend don’t exist, and she shows them they have value and are loved Children of God.
I wonder what stories made you pause recently?