The preferred form of worship in many congregations consists of a welcome, 20 minutes of singing contemporary music, then a special musical performance and a sermon. Whatever else happens is secondary to “disseminating information people need in order to gain more control over their lives” and to ensure that they achieve “individual happiness. (Never mind that control is an illusion and happiness is transitory. See Ecclesiastes.)” Sally Morgenthaler (Theology, News & Notes, Spring).
Sad character: In an address at Yale Divinity School, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright reported that soon after 9/11 she was on a panel with Elie Wiesel, writer and Holocaust survivor. Wiesel asked the panelists to suggest who was the unhappiest character in the Bible.
A “faith-based economy,” argues Frederick H. Borsch, is based not so much on a “preferential option for the poor” as on a concern for the well-being of a community in which no one is left behind or left out or deprived of dignity. This is a goal that can never be achieved, yet should not be surrendered. says Borsch (Anglican Theological Review, Winter).
Calvinist reaction: President Bush, scheduled to give the commencement address at Calvin College on May 21, was the recipient of two separate letters from the college community protesting his policies. One was signed by over 400 alumni, students, faculty and friends of Calvin and was scheduled to appear as a full-page ad in the Grand Rapids Press.
Rinse cycle: A priest assigned to serve the Hispanic population in eastern North Carolina decided to go where the people are. He set up “shop” Sundays in a laundromat frequented by Mexicans. With a hand-woven blanket and some bread and wine on a small table, he said a short mass while customers transferred clothes from washers to driers.