STILL WAITIN’ FOR REAL SPRING EDITION
I hate to talk about the weather all the time, but this has been a doozy of a spring. Yesterday and today, it finally felt like we’d turned a corner here in central Indiana, with temperatures up in the 70s. However, by Monday they’re calling for snow flurries again — and here we are, just past the midpoint of April.
I’m as confused as this guy…
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MR. ZUCKERBERG GOES TO WASHINGTON
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From the Washington Post: Prominent pastor Bill Hybels announced Tuesday he is stepping down from his Chicago-area megachurch Willow Creek, just weeks after the Chicago Tribune published allegations of misconduct from several women….
…Hybels has denied all the allegations and said on Tuesday again that the church’s investigations found no evidence of misconduct. However, he told his congregation he felt attacked and wished he had responded differently. “I apologize to you, my church, for a response that was defensive instead of one that invited conversation and learning,” he said.”
Here is Nancy Ortberg’s perspective on Hybels and the flawed process of investigation.
This opinion piece from Vox quotes Boz Tchividjian, founder of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) about the dangers inherent in the American system of church, especially megachurches:
When a lead pastor is so closely identified with his church, Tchividjian said, whether in a small country church or a large megachurch, it creates a risky power imbalance between pastor and parishioner.
“In many communities … a pastor is one of God’s representatives of authority in the church,” Tchividjian said. “And it’s very difficult for anybody in those settings and report and disclose this behavior because what you’re doing is you’re actually indicting God’s representative. And oftentimes … that particular community doesn’t look too kindly on that.”
But Tchividjian expressed hope that the current cultural moment might provide avenues for parishioners to hold their spiritual authorities accountable.
“As Christians, we have to get back to the realization … that the church doesn’t belong to a pastor, a person, or even a congregation,” he said. “If we truly believe that, we should embrace transparency and truth.”
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AND WELCOME BACK, GARRISON
From garrisonkeillor.com: Garrison Keillor and Minnesota Public Radio have reached an agreement reopening public access to thousands of past shows of A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer’s Almanac.
“MPR wants fans of A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer’s Almanac to have free access to the thousands of wonderful performers and artists, musicians and poets whose work is included in those archives, and we want your fans to have free access to the decades of terrific material you created,” MPR President Jon McTaggart wrote in a letter to Keillor on April 5. A full copy of the letter is available at http://www.garrisonkeillor.com.
“What the agreement means is that I won’t sue MPR for damages and they will allow A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer’s Almanac archives to be available to the public again,” commented Keillor. “And it means that we move on to more interesting things, namely writing stories and creating a podcast. Compared to sitting in mediation, writing is one of life’s great pleasures.”
Within the next 15 days, MPR will restore public access to the thousands of past A Prairie Home Companion shows and broadcasts of The Writer’s Almanac. The public can access these shows by way of a link at http://www.garrisonkeillor.com. After three years, Keillor and his production company expect to relocate the archives to another platform. MPR also agreed to reopening The Writer’s Almanac Facebook page and to provide Keillor monies owed him under prior contracts.
MPR blocked access to the archives in November after learning of allegations by a woman who had been a freelance writer with Keillor’s production company. Keillor said that MPR’s reaction to the allegations was disproportionate. The settlement agreement doesn’t provide for any payments to the woman or her colleague, a former producer of the Chris Thile show, who claimed he was let go because of his knowledge of the woman’s allegations against Keillor.
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TAKE ME OUT TO THE BRAWL-GAME
From Will Leitch at MLB.com: If you take a step back from it, there really isn’t anything more ridiculous than a baseball brawl. Look at it like an alien might look at it. One human wearing a red uniform that some might confuse for pajamas takes a small round object and throws it at another human who’s carrying a wooden stick and wearing a blue uniform. The one in the blue uniform thinks the round object was too close to hitting him, or maybe even it did hit him, so he throws down the wooden stick and sprints toward the man in the red uniform, yelling and gesticulating wildly.
The two men then, oddly, do not proceed to fight, as much as they go through the motions of pretending to desperately want to fight, in what must look to the alien like a particularly awkward mating ritual. There’s a grab here and a push there, as well as a healthy smattering of scowls. Then a bunch of other men wearing the same uniform, none of whom were involved in the initial dispute, come running toward them from out of nowhere, also less interested in fighting than they are looking like they’d be willing to fight, as long as you give them a second to catch their breath — it’s a long run in from the bullpen.
Watching this, one imagines one alien turning to the other: “It will be very easy to conquer this planet.”
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AS IF WE DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH TO WORRY ABOUT…
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QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK
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MUSIC OF THE WEEK
Our good friends Frank Lee and Allie Burbrink (who did a house concert in our home a year ago) have released their first studio album, and I commend it to you iMonks.
It’s called Roll On, Clouds, and it’s filled with the lively, old-timey mountain music and blues that Frank and Allie love and do so well.
Oh yes, and an extra piece of joy to me:
Frank and Allie announced their engagement when they visited Indiana recently, and asked your intrepid chaplain to perform the ceremony! Looking forward to one hootenanny of a wedding this fall!
Here’s a 2016 performance of “Can’t Nobody Hide,” a song that’s on the new album: