by Marisa Fraley, Staff Writer

As religious leaders, it is important to be aware of what is going on in our world. Below, I have compiled a mix of other stories that are also relevant to the work that we do.


1. US Special Forces Being Sent to Help Fight ISIS

ISIS has not been in the media very much recently. Whereas at one point, seemingly every news story included something about ISIS, there hasn’t been many stories about what is going on with ISIS. However, the US has decided to send Special Forces. As ISIS begins once again to fill our news pages, I think we should take it as an opportunity to educate our congregants and others about the complexity of the situation with ISIS, as well as about the true nature of Islam for most Muslims.


2. Leah Remini Writes Tell All about Scientology

Leah Remini of the ‘King of Queens’ TV show has written a tell-all book about her time in Scientology. She also had an interview on 20/20. While I imagine many things Remini will say about Scientology will not be very positive, it is always a good thing to learn more about a religion, especially from a member’s perspective.


3. Jewish Perspective on Sabbath

At a time in the semester when major papers, assignments, and tests seem to be happening all at the same time, it is important for us to remember to rest. This story is how one person practices Sabbath or Shabbat. It reminds us that when we pause we allow ourselves to better feel and experience God’s presence in our world.


4. Social Media Used to Reunite Families

Social media is something that can be very negative, but this story shows us a way in which it can be used to bring hope and connection. I find this man’s heart and mission inspiring as he aims to reunite disconnected families. He sees those he meets first and foremost as beloved brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and grandparents, refusing to allow someone’s living conditions to define who they are.


5. New Documentary Calling for Protest of Gun Violence

The Armor of Light is a new documentary discussing the disconnect between being ‘Pro-Life’ and pro-guns. For various Christian groups, there is a call for respect and appreciation of human life when it comes to the topic of abortion. However, the idea of respect for human life is lost when the issue is gun violence. It will be interesting to see the impact this documentary has on Christian groups, especially Evangelicals, as the argument is made by an Evangelical preacher.