“I grew up poor, in the Rust Belt, in an Ohio steel town that has been hemorrhaging jobs and hope for as long as I can remember.” That’s how J. D. Vance begins his fascinating book, “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.” Vance was born in Kentucky and raised by his grandparents, as a self-described “hillbilly,” in Middletown, Ohio, home of the once-mighty Armco Steel. His family struggled with poverty and domestic violence. His mother was addicted to painkillers, then heroin. His community was overwhelmed by economic and social despair. The book is beautifully written but also gut-wrenchingly painful, filled with deep hardship. Vance escaped their fate by joining the Marines and serving in Iraq. Then he attended Ohio State and Yale Law School, now works for a Venture Capital Firm in San Francisco.1Read more...
In 1968, the American political and cultural scene was complicated – in many ways as it is now. Race relations were fraught. Martin Luther King Jr assassinated; the Civil Rights movement in full swing. A man named Charles Schulz took notice and after nudging and more nudging, decided to include an African-American child in his all-white comic strip, Peanuts.
Those of you reading Peanuts in the late ‘60s will remember Franklin, the boy Charlie Brown met on the beach in July 1968. But Franklin’s appearance did not come easily for Schulz. A California white woman, Harriet Glickman, started it all, writing Schulz a letter earlier that spring:Read more...
William Willimon, theologian, author, and Duke Divinity School Professor, will lead us in discussing his latest book, “Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love.” In it, Willimon invites readers to consider the gospel command to love and not merely tolerate those considered to be “Other” or outside mainstream Christian culture. Rooted in the faith of Israel and the Christian story and vision, Willimon brings a Wesleyan perspective to bear on what may be the hardest thing for people of faith to do: keeping and loving the “Other” as they are – without any need for them to become like us.
Books are available for $12 in the Mission Center.
Aperture: 3rd Wednesdays brings speakers to help us focus more on God’s truth all around us. It meets on third Wednesdays from 6:30-8pm at Westminster. Dinner will be available beforehand, beginning at 5:45pm in the Fellowship Hall.
Jesus turns to the Pharisees and scribes and says, “Have you ever lost something?” I don’t think he’s talking about car keys, the overdue library book, scrap of paper with the phone number you needed. He’s asking, “Have you ever really lost something?” If you’ve turned around for a moment in the grocery store and your toddler is gone, even for five seconds, you are getting there. Maybe you’ve lost a relationship – its fallen apart right in front of you. Sometimes we say this when people have died, not because we don’t know where they are, but to name the absence, the pain we feel when someone we are used to counting on is not physically present, there is no longer a hand to hold, a shoulder on which we can lean.Read more...