Five things Friday roundup: Called to deep empathy, creativity, service, and tastiness

Deep conversation. Photo by Priscilla Du Preez from Deep conversation. Photo by Priscilla Du Preez from

1)  Calls to go deep

This Lenten season, our denominational Leader materials have been using this theme of “depth” to describe our various encounters with God. Whether it be deep wisdom, deep healing, or deep growth, depth comes from a relationship of real connection. Where are the areas of your life that are calling for right relationship, better understanding, and true connection? 

2) Called to deep empathy

As a warning, I recommend this movie for ages 17+ for subject matter and violence. I don’t often recommend such an intense movie, but the subject matter makes A Promising Young Woman a must-see. Cassie is a woman in her 30s who lost her best friend to suicide after a sexual assault case at her university went ignored and dismissed. Cassie is consumed with her memory, and has taken to acting intoxicated at local bars to lure “nice guys” into taking her home, where she then lectures them after they attempt to take advantage of her. Her main goal is for everyone involved in her friend’s assault to “pay” for what they did. This leads down a dark path of revenge, loyalty, questionable morals, taking responsibility, and figuring out what “letting go” or “not letting go” means. As a survivor of sexual assault, I found this movie triggering and also exceedingly real and even healing. In a context that’s saturated in rape culture, women and men, young and old need to see this movie. 

3) Called to deep creativity 

During the pandemic, I’ve struggled a lot with creativity. I miss being in public spaces where energy, conversation, and atmosphere stimulate my brain in such a way that the laborious and dreaded becomes easy and fun. In this article from the BBC, noise, crowds, and changing stimuli create what some have dubbed “the coffee shop effect.” As such places slowly begin to reopen as safely as possible, and as more people become vaccinated, working in coffee shops is more of a possibility. 

4) Called to deep service 

As the US’s vaccine rollout is underway, there is a deep need for volunteers to help communities make sure the word gets out about vaccine availability and that people have the opportunity to become vaccinated. If you are bilingual, have administrative skills, have medical skills, or have a calming, encouraging presence, help out your community and volunteer with your community’s vaccine rollout. Even if it’s an hour or two a week, your help would be greatly appreciated and needed. 

5) Called to deep tastiness 

Beef stroganoff, in my youth, was something that came out of a Hamburger Helper box. I didn’t grow up with cooking, but have come to learn more about and even enjoy cooking from (mostly) scratch at home. This beef stroganoff recipe is a great comfort food weeknight winner. Meat substitute can be used in place of hamburger. I used shiitake mushrooms because they are objectively better.   This comes from Budget Bytes

Joanne Gallardo

Joanne Gallardo is conference minister of Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA in Goshen, Indiana. Originally from northwest Ohio, Joanne Read More

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