Five things Friday roundup: Letting your light shine in a time of fear

Photo by Yann dos Santos from

1 – Psychological First Aid

As we enter colder months, many of us are heading indoors and are trying to limit our socializing to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This can have an impact on our mental health, as was evidenced during our early months of quarantine and beyond. The Washington Post examines the concept of “Psychological First Aid” and how it can help folks cope. While many of these ideas may seem self-evident, I found a few surprises. As a news junkie, I often want to take in as much as possible. One of the tips to maintaining good mental “boundaries” is to limit our constant stream of input, often brought on by the 24-hour news cycle. The article can be found here.

2 – Vote

I  am very much aware that for many years Anabaptists did not vote. In fact, many still do not but rather adhere to a “two kingdom” theology, meaning that the Church is of one “kingdom” and “The World” (writ large) is another. Peacemaker Lisa Schirch emphasizes that Mennonites have a responsibility to do whatever they can to do the most amount of good in the world, and that can happen by participating in elections. While a flawed system, one of the ways we can impact the world around us is by participating in important ways that make our voice heard. Check to see if early voting is an option for you, and request your mail-in ballots asap. 

 3 – Siempre, Luis
Luis Miranda, father of famous Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, has been involved in New York politics since the 70s. A colleague of famous politicians like Ed Koch and Chuck Schumer, Miranda came from humble beginnings and quickly ascended to become a political advisor focusing on Latinx affairs. A particularly interesting part of this documentary involves the similarities that Lin-Manuel Miranda draws between his father and the titular character of his Broadway hit Hamilton. This documentary can be found on HBO, and the trailer can be found here
4 – Not a Spirit of Fear
Recently in a Student Life meeting at Goshen College, one of our coaches brought up the verse from 2nd Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Being reminded of this verse struck me, as we are currently living in a culture of fear. There’s a fine line we all walk between “living our lives” and being cautious. Part of having a sound mind is listening to advice on how to be safe. Part of having a spirit of love is doing what we can to keep others safe. Part of having a spirit of power is recognizing that what we do has an impact on others. Let’s remember this as we come into a chilly season of unknowns. 
5 – This Little Light of Mine
I recently chose this song as a “song of response” to a sermon I gave. A musician in our congregation found this version from the Krokodiloes at Harvard. I pass this along to you and hope it brightens your day as much as it did mine. I hope it is a benediction to let our light shine! 

Joanne Gallardo

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

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