Newspaper Prayers: Monday, March 19th

Headlines from the New York Times for Monday, March 19, 2018

This Preacher Would Be Happy to Share Your Bowl of Açaí

(This is an upbeat article from Saturday’s New York Times. I have included a few excerpts from a fairly long article.)

LOS ANGELES — On a strip of Wilshire Boulevard, not far from where the rapper Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down in a drive-by shooting some 20 years ago, a black plastic pool had been placed on the sidewalk outside the El Rey Theater. It was a balmy December afternoon, and the theater had been transformed into an assembly for Zoe Church, a two-and-a-half-year-old evangelical congregation that got its start in a nightclub on Sunset Boulevard.

Today was Baptism Sunday and nearly a dozen adults signed up, cheered on by a crowd of mostly 20-somethings who were gathered behind a metal barricade. Chad Veach, the 38-year-old founder of Zoe, who moved to West Los Angeles from Seattle in 2014, chewed gum as he danced to a pop gospel playlist blaring overhead. “Let’s go!” he shouted, clapping. A pair of muscular men dunked a woman in the waist-high water. She surfaced, arms pumping the air, as a friend snapped photographs that were later posted on Instagram. Continue reading “Newspaper Prayers: Monday, March 19th”

Tic Toc

Tic Toc is a poem written by Zach Bower on his 25th birthday.  He was incarcerated and living in the “hole” in Potosi, Missouri.  The date was September 26, 2006.  Zach is scheduled for release in November 2019.

Melting it fades and drips

comes – goes – and sticks.

Then it just pools

thick – clumped handfuls.

Spit it out! Now!

Explain it how? True!

Why do we allow

this shit to continue?

Because time is golden?

My time was stolen,

or given away??? Continue reading “Tic Toc”

Newspaper Prayers: Friday, March 16th

Headlines from NPR On-Line for Friday, March 16, 2018

Syrian War Enters 8th Year, Trailing Smoke And Suffering In Its Wake

The Syrian war crossed a wretched threshold Thursday, marking seven years since the start of the protests against President Bashar Assad’s regime. Within months Assad had sent troops to crush the uprising, sparking a civil war that has gathered antagonists at a rate only exceeded by its human costs — which, by many estimations, have left roughly 400,00 people dead and displaced half the population.

But the milestone meant little to the civilians and medics huddled in basements in eastern Ghouta, the disputed suburban sprawl just outside Damascus. There they hid in squalid conditions, as many have for weeks, from the relentless blasts sounding out a dreadful beat above them. Continue reading “Newspaper Prayers: Friday, March 16th”

Newspaper Prayers: Thursday, March 15th

Headlines from Christianity Today On-Line for Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Real St. Patrick

‘Tis the season for parades, green beer, shamrocks, and articles talking about why St. Patrick’s day isn’t all about parades, green beer, and shamrocks.

First, a few misconceptions about Patrick:

Patrick isn’t really a Saint with a capital S, having never been officially canonized by Rome. And Patrick couldn’t have driven the snakes out of Ireland because there were never any snakes there to begin with. He wasn’t even the first evangelist to Ireland (Palladius had been sent in 431,about five years before Patrick went). Patrick isn’t even Irish. He’s from what’s now Dumbarton, Scotland (just northwest of Glasgow).

Patrick was 16 years old in about the year 405, when he was captured in a raid and became a slave in what was still radically pagan Ireland. Far from home, he clung to the religion he had ignored as a teenager. Continue reading “Newspaper Prayers: Thursday, March 15th”

Newspaper Prayers: Wednesday, March 14th

Headlines from the New York Times for Wednesday, March 14, 2018

National School Walkout: Florida Shooting Spurs Protests Today

Thousands of students, emboldened by a growing protest movement over gun violence, will stand up in their classrooms on Wednesday and walk out of their schools in a nationwide demonstration, one month after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Florida.

The 17-minute protests unfolding at hundreds of schools are intended to pressure Congress to approve gun control legislation after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and will come 10 days before major protests in Washington and elsewhere. Continue reading “Newspaper Prayers: Wednesday, March 14th”

Newspaper Prayers: Tuesday, March 13th

Headlines from the New York Times for Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Good Leaders Make Good Schools (excerpts from an editorial by David Brooks)

The solutions to the nation’s problems already exist somewhere out in the country; we just do a terrible job of circulating them.

For example, if you want to learn how to improve city schools, look how Washington, New Orleans and Chicago are already doing it. Since 2011 the graduation rate at Chicago public schools has increased at nearly four times the national average, to 77.5 percent from 56.9 percent. The percentage of Chicago students going to two- or four-year colleges directly after graduation increased to 63 percent in 2015 from 50 percent in 2006. Continue reading “Newspaper Prayers: Tuesday, March 13th”

Newspaper Prayers: Monday, March 12th

Headlines from the New York Times for Monday, March 12, 2018

The Tipping Equation

At restaurants across America, servers calculate how far is too far, weighing harassing behavior against the tips they need to make a living wage.

The balancing act plays out every day in restaurants across America: Servers who rely on tips decide where to draw the line when a customer goes too far. Continue reading “Newspaper Prayers: Monday, March 12th”