Friday roundup: Five things worth paying attention to this week

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.

Right now the government shutdown is on my mind. The longer this shutdown continues, the more ripple effects we will all feel. As of Jan. 2, 380,000 federal employees were on furlough, while another 420,000 were working without pay. One impact of the shutdown is the affect it is having on the national parks, monuments and historic sites operated by the National Park Service. With this in mind, I encourage you to learn about the issues—both causing the shutdown and its impacts. As a people of reconciliation, let’s learn so we can reach out to help God’s creation being negatively impacted—both the people and the places.

1. Balance your news. Read or listen to a variety of news sources—liberal, conservative and in between. You may not agree with the spin they put on the facts, but you’ll better understand and be able to dialogue with whoever the “other” might be.

2. Share the stories. Last week my parents hoped to visit the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kansas, one of the sites closed during the shutdown. The site helps visitors learn about this milestone in the history of the civil rights movement. Start a conversation about desegregation with a great book like Mixed: A Colorful Story by Arree Chung.

3. Related to number 2: Almost a decade before Brown v. Board of Education was Mendez V. Westminster. Learn about this case in Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatluh.

4. Learn about the early days of U.S. National Parks and experiences in God’s handiwork through a nonfiction book, or a good novel like the “Vintage National Parks” series by Karen Barnett.

5. Learn more about immigration and the Bible with a study like Strangers in the Land: A Six-Week Devotional Guide in Immigration, the Church and the Bible published by Sojourners or Our God is Undocumented: Biblical Faith and Immigrant Justice by Ched Myers.

Jennie Wintermote is a native Kansan, an interim pastor, a graduate student and director of the Western District Conference Resource Library. She loves reading, scrapbooking and trying to figure out what it means to live out her faith every day. She also tries to remember to blog at

Jennie Wintermote

Jennie Wintermote splits her day-time hours between the Western District Conference Resource Library in North Newton, Kansas and Anabaptist World. Read More

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