August 30, 2015

Pastor Letter

This past week on my worship and sermon planning retreat, I had occasion to listen to the “daily” news feed more than I usually do. How depressing? I hope you don’t watch this stuff on a regular basis.

Of course there was the “big story” of the Stock Market drop of a 1000 points (and then back up), with the counter points of “doom” signals of the end countered by optimistic reassurances. Then came the reports on the multiple shootings, gang related or police involved in our area, with more comment than information. This was followed by the embarrassing intoxicated rantings of a Los Angeles area coach followed by the apology press conference. And of course capped off by the reporting of a presidential candidate’s tweets belittling Megan Kelly.

And all this was repeated on the early evening news, late night news and early morning news (with the obligatory “lite” reports on animals….). No wonder people get disillusion, fearful, depressed and cynical if this provides the framework for our reality.

Unfortunately, the banality of much of the coverage we see obscures the deeper, ongoing profound developments here and abroad that call for wisdom, compassion and an enduring eye on justice.

Abstaining from “news” doesn’t foster a faithful discipleship response either. I have friends that don’t read a paper or watch news, even online because it’s “too depressing.” I get that. But ignorance can be just as isolating as news overload. Sorting through the “commentary” channels, clearly biased reporting and outright manipulation is an ongoing challenge.

Part of informed discipleship is locating outlets that still maintain journalistic integrity and can provide information and insight on a broad range. You may want to identify several, not just one. Hearing from non US sources also expands the perspective. That may sound like a lot more work than turning on 20 minutes of “nightly news,” however; you may be surprised at the scope of our human family you encounter. I always appreciate the reflections from our LAUMC family who provide access to more thoughtful news streams.

Pastor Mark