Five things Friday roundup: End tyranny, make casseroles

A Midwestern approach to the election season and some of our closest relationships.

Chicken Mac‘n cheese.

1. Liturgy for Election Day (and beyond)

Being a part of Young Clergy Women International, I have access to some amazing liturgies, prayers, and church for the times we are living in. In seeking out some prayers for the day after Election Day (which I realize will have already happened by the time you’re reading this), I found this liturgy. It is meant to be for a time of “heightened anxiety, fear, and division,” which we all know will continue even after November 3. Written by Rev. Sarah Are and Hannah Garrity, it can be found here.

2. How to survive a coup

I realize that not everyone who reads this blog shares my political views. So before I post this article, I want to say that it assumes a position, making it biased. However, I want to give attention to the very real possibility we may be facing a coup or worse. I hope I’m wrong. I think the author of this article hopes I’m wrong. But if it’s accurate, we as Christians should dedicate ourselves to a non-violent, direct action approach, an approach used by the Civil Rights movement. That is the author’s first point on their list of “what to do.” The article can be found here

3. Friendships at the center of life

As a single person with no intentions of getting married, I often get frustrated with both the church and society at large centering on the importance of families and children. I love children, and families are great, also, as a faith formation pastor I am attuned to their importance. But for others of us, diminishing our important connections with others can be painful. Also, it puts tremendous pressure on spouses and children to be “everything” to their family. If we took what this article is saying to heart, we would put less pressure on our families and become more invested in our close friendships. I don’t believe this is a bad thing for the Church or our society. From the Atlantic I found this fascinating article that explores the dynamic of close friendship and its history throughout the ages as subverting the traditional mindset of marriage being at the center of life. 

4. Credentials terminated

When news broke out about the sexual abuse of Catholic musician David Haas (author of several beloved songs in our hymnal supplements), I was taken aback, but in that distant way where it’s more inconvenient than gut-hitting. I realize the tremendous privilege I have in saying that. Because of my degrees of separation, I can put him in the category of John Howard Yoder, distant and disappointing. When I found out about the abuses of John Rempel, a beloved professor of mine in seminary at AMBS, emotions hit on a visceral level. It made me more aware of my biases and reminded me to treat each act of injustice as an affront to all of us. As a survivor of sexual abuse and assault, I’m glad that certain arms of the church are taking a survivor-centered approach. I particularly liked what his former employer, Conrad Grebel, had to say in their press release found here

5. The most midwestern casserole you will ever make

I’m a proud rural Midwesterner. My accent, food taste, and even my personality (ope, yeah no, sorry!) reeks of the fields of corn and soybeans that I grew up around. It took a long time for me to admit that I can tell what kind of manure a farmer is using just by the smell. That said, I do love a good casserole and this one combines mac n’ cheese, bacon, and chicken. It’s easy, a bit processed (ope, sorry!) and fantastic for cold nights when you just want to hibernate with a loved one. The only thing that would make this more Midwestern is if it were covered in ranch (please don’t do that). 

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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