All posts filed under: Current Affairs

Statement regarding the new statue of Blackstone in Pawtucket

Current Affairs / Reconciliation / Rhode Island

My statement regarding the statute of the Rev. William Blackstone in Pawtucket RI: It was with surprise that we learned today of the William Blackstone statue erected in Pawtucket. It is regrettable that such a monument would be approved and given municipal funding without seeking more input from our Indigenous neighbors. Colonizers like Blackstone are a troubling feature of our American history, and we would do well to reflect on the opinions of those who were on this land […]

Encourage one another, lest we lose heart

Current Affairs / Rhode Island

From our diocesan newsletter this week: Usually, this time of year, I’d be writing a message encouraging you to unplug and relax in these final days of Summer. But this year, as much as we wanted to do so, national and global events and the resurgent pandemic make all that feel impossible. The sad truth is this is the second summer in a row that we can’t take a breath. This long slow series of […]

Has the Pandemic brought an end to our hyper-mobility?

Current Affairs / Religion

Susan McWilliams Barndt has a brief essay posted on the new site “Current” that talks about the implications of new sociological data showing that Americans are moving less and putting down deeper roots than they have in decades: Rooting for the Future – Current: Because we know that the more people move, the more they tend to be focused on their individual selves rather than on their communities, favor “duty-free” relationships, have less of a […]

The Lent that never ended is about to begin again.

Current Affairs / Religion / Sermons and audio

In this past year, it seems we’ve had the longest Lent ever. And now we stand ready to start Lent again before it feels like the previous one is over. But this Lent is different. It brings with it a promise that we can walk with Jesus and participate in hastening the redemption of our community. In Rhode Island the government is choosing a different strategy to vaccinate the population. Other states are working to […]

A new version of the Lost Cause begins to emerge

Current Affairs / Religion

David Blight, author of the magisterial biography of Fredrick Douglass, explains how we may be seeing the unfolding of a new cultural/political movement in this moment: David Blight: How Trumpism May Endure – The New York Times: The important Lost Causes in history have all been at heart compelling stories about noble defeats that were, with time, forged into political movements of renewal: the French after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 and the profound need […]

The Great Theophany

Current Affairs / Sermons and audio

This week, the first week of the Season of Epiphany, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lord’s Baptism and hear how, when Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordon, he was fully revealed as God’s beloved Son. It is not just the full revelation of his identity to the world, but it is the revelation of God as it’s one of the only accounts in which all three persons of the Trinity are present […]

Love is the way to a more perfect union

Current Affairs / Sermons and audio

Is there something for the Church to say to the Nation in this moment? The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, The Most Rev. Michael Curry preached a stem-winder of a sermon that does a pretty great job of answering that question. In the second part of the sermon he says: We don’t think of it this way very often but love for each other is a value on which our democracy depends.  On the […]

The Atlantic: Cognitive Dissonance in the Pandemic

Current Affairs

Two social scientists describe how their work on Cognitive Dissonance explains the irresponsible public health behaviors that many humans are exhibiting in this pandemic. After a description of research into the behavior, and a frank admission that this is the way our brains work, they go on to explain how they understand what’s happening. (I’ll add that they do not mention, but that I suspect, that there are people who know this human mechanism and […]

FAQ: How to protect yourself from COVID-19 aerosol transmission

Current Affairs

In the absence of clear guidance from US government agencies right now, public minded researchers have created a document that summarizes, in one place, the best information we have. For people like congregational leaders trying to make decisions about worshiping indoors this coming winter, finding good information has been hard. This is worth bookmarking. From the beginning of the document: The goal of these FAQs is to provide information to the general public in an […]

Good nutrition can contribute to keeping COVID-19 and other diseases away

Current Affairs

There are many reasons why there are racial disparities are observed in COVID-19 morbidity. I’ve not heard people talk about the implications of living in a “food desert” as one of them. Grayson Jaggers, USC Asst. Professor has laid out a case of why the worst expression of the western diet is directly causing deaths among people who can’t get health food: Good nutrition can contribute to keeping COVID-19 and other diseases away: Scientists know […]