Soup After School: 2017-18
- October 24
- November 14
- November 28
- December 12
- January 9
- January 23
- February 13
- February 27
- March 13
- March 27
- April 10
- April 24
Er. . . I seem to have forgotten to post the second part of Linda Buskirk’s Vital Posts series about Holy Trinity when it came out early last week! You can view it online at http://www.ecfvp.org/posts/holy-trinity-holy-seeds-part-2/. This second installment is about our efforts at developing a relational ministry with our neighbors.
Can you believe that Holy Smoke! is coming up tomorrow? Word is getting out—pray that the number of BBQ Cookoff Entries is enough to meet the appetites of our guests! Hmmm. . . maybe I should have included roast quail among the categories. . . and then again, maybe not!
Continue to post about Holy Smoke! in your social networks and to talk about it to your family and friends. Now is the time to strike up a conversation with that neighbor whose BBQ fills your street with mouth-watering aromas! Now is the time to let your music-loving friends know that the Oblates of Blues will be playing from 1-3! Now is the acceptable time for showing folks that Holy Trinity knows how to welcome and nourish the body of Christ!
Can’t wait to see you tomorrow!
In this weekend’s New York Times, Daryl Cameron, Michael Inzlicht, William A. Cunningham have an opinion piece on empathy and why it can be dangerous to think of empathy as something over which we have no control, something that just happens or doesn’t. If we have no control over empathy, the argument goes, and we “just happen” to feel more empathy for people who are like us, we will have to set empathy aside if we are going to behave well towards people who are different from us. Cameron, Inzlicht and Cunningham respond:
While we concede that the exercise of empathy is, in practice, often far too limited in scope, we dispute the idea that this shortcoming is inherent, a permanent flaw in the emotion itself. Inspired by a competing body of recent research, we believe that empathy is a choice that we make whether to extend ourselves to others. The “limits” to our empathy are merely apparent, and can change, sometimes drastically, depending on what we want to feel.
In terms of our practice here at Holy Trinity, we have to choose to “reach across all boundaries” before we will “just feel like it.” When we promise “to seek and serve Christ in every human being,” we are committing ourselves to a course of action. Cameron, Inzlicht and Cunningham go on:
Likewise, in another recent study, the psychologists Karina Schumann, Jamil Zaki and Carol S. Dweck found that when people learned that empathy was a skill that could be improved — as opposed to a fixed personality trait — they engaged in more effort to experience empathy for racial groups other than their own. Empathy for people unlike us can be expanded, it seems, just by modifying our views about empathy.
In other words, if we have faith, if we trust God to help us to love our neighbor as ourselves (even when we don’t spontaneously feel like it), we will have the courage to do those works—sitting down for a shared meal and conversation, greeting strangers—that will help us develop empathy. Then, the next time, we will be more likely to spontaneously feel like reaching out. Faith and works go hand in hand!
Take some baby steps. Find someone who is different from you in some way and reach out. Don’t be surprised and hurt if they don’t receive you warmly. After all, you are as different from them as they are from you, and they might not feel like responding positively. They may even have very good reason to suspect your motives. So remind yourself that getting a positive response is not the point. Your empathy is the issue, not theirs.
Come out from 5–8 pm on Saturday evening to spend some casual time with your neighbors!
On May 3, 2014, the Church of the Holy Trinity will host Strengthening Our Community: A Church and Neighborhood Conversation. This conversation, which will take place at the church from 10:30am – 2:00 pm, gives all of us the opportunity to hear from our neighbors about what they recognize as the needs of the neighborhood, what work is already underway in the neighborhood, and how we can work together as a community both to support and to build upon that work.
We invite you both to join us in this important conversation and to invite anyone you know who lives or works in our part of the West Side. Our goal in this conversation is to listen, and what we hear from our neighbors will inform our work and our partnerships in the months to come.
Our conversation will be facilitated by Rev. Ronald Peters, the Henry L. Hillman Professor of Urban Ministry at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Director of the Metro-Urban Institute. Rev. Peters’ participation is being co-sponsored by Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana and the Africana Studies Department of the University of Notre Dame.
I want to give thanks in advance for all those who are working and have been working hard to make this conversation possible. God has been doing amazing work in all of them!