Here are five things worth paying attention to this week. These are designed to expose you to a perspective you may not normally come across in your daily lives.
1. “How are you doing?”
Are you tired of asking this question? Me too. It sounds rather trite given today’s circumstances. If you’re looking for something else to say, this article not only gives you ideas of what to say instead, but also gives you ideas for how to take it a step further.
2. Keep checking in
The other week many of us read about the New York City emergency room doctor who took her own life after becoming overwhelmed with her work surrounding COVID-19 patients. Even for folks who don’t struggle with mental illness, it can be a challenging time right now. This week, keep checking in with your loved ones. Asking tough questions about how people are doing, if done in a loving way, are helpful, not harmful.
3. Check those policies
Right now, much of church life has slowed down. While there is still plenty to do, your church “long-term projects” are likely on hold. Now would be a great time to look at those policies and procedures regarding keeping the most vulnerable safe. Has your church recently updated its policies on harassment and misconduct? What about in regards to children? Dove’s Nest has this great resource if you would like to re-work (or start over) on your child and youth protection policies.
4. Baked oatmeal
Now is the time for baking. Maybe you have more time on your hands or you just want to relieve stress. Blogger Rebecca Barret-Fox posted what I think is a foolproof recipe for some pretty fantastic baked oatmeal.
5. Ahmaud Arbery
As this list of things one can safely do “while black” grows ever shorter, jogging has been added to the list. Ahmaud Arbery was out for a jog when he was gunned down in southern Georgia. While his perpetrators have now been arrested, author Daman Young reflects on how these acts of violence are so commonplace that our main talking point now is how “ethical” it is to watch the video evidence. For a very real and sobering perspective, read here.
Joanne Gallardo is pastor of faith formation at Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship in Goshen, Indiana.