Oct
21
2014
by Sue Hacker Nelson   |   comments

Ebola.

This one word is causing all kinds of consternation across the United States as people are trying to sort fact from rumor while having all of their fears fanned by incessant media coverage.

For example, there’s the teacher in Maine who got put on administrative leave because parents were concerned that she had traveled to Dallas.

Actually she’s not the only one – there’s also a teacher in Alabama who was on the same plane (but different day) from one of the Ebola patients who is now on administrative leave. 

Finally, there’s this article from the New York Times includes comments from a family in Louisville, Kentucky who are mostly staying in their home in order to avoid Ebola.  

While I am all for prudence in the face of what is a terrible disease, I do think we’ve gone a bit too far.

On Friday I flew from Phoenix to Chicago on Frontier Airlines.  Yes, the same airline that the nurse who got ill had flown.  There was a couple on my flight wearing surgical masks - I can only assume it was as a precaution against Ebola.  I do hope it made them feel more comfortable but I felt at no higher risk without one.

I certainly recommend being prudent. Unless there is actually an Ebola outbreak in your area, simply take the same types of precautions you would in the midst of flu season – wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, and practice other good health habits.

Once we understand that it is hugely unlikely Ebola is present in Maine, Alabama, Kentucky, Indiana – or wherever you live – we can focus our efforts on illnesses that are actually killing people in our communities.  If the media would spend a fraction the effort they're spending on Ebola focusing on heart disease, the flu, traffic fatalities and other significant killers we could save more lives!

Oct
17
2014
by Sue Hacker Nelson   |   comments
<h1><a href="/blog/friday-roundup-101714">Friday Roundup</a></h1>

Each week, we highlight stories from our newsfeed on Prismatic. No account is required to see what we think is worth reading, so visit our profile often! We update it daily so there is usually something new to check out. Here is a sample of what we liked this week:

Ministry serves farmworkers through sacraments, outreach from Episcopal News Service
On a rainy, humid mid-September morning five hours before the Sunday noon Eucharist at Sacred Family, the Rev. Tony Rojas got behind the wheel of a white van and began making the rounds to pick up men from the farmworker camps set back on highways and county roads among the single- and double-wide trailers and more stately brick homes of rural North Carolina.

Dear World: Let’s Stop Giving Our Crap to the Poor from we are that family
I was getting ready to leave for a trip to Kenya a couple of years ago, when a church emailed and asked if Mercy House had any specific needs. I quickly responded and told them I wanted to give Maureen, our Kenyan Director, an iPhone, so we could communicate during (almost weekly) power outages. I told them if they would buy one instead, we could use the money for other needed items.

Daniel Tiger: Won't You Be His Neighbor? from NPR ED
It's been 13 years since Mister Rogers' Neighborhood went off the air and more than a decade since the passing of its host. But the world Fred Rogers created for preschool children — one that's safe, nurturing and accepting — lives on in a PBS program called Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.

Votes are in: 2014 Episcopal Church Christmas card contest winner from Episcopal News Service
Joan Covell’s depiction of the nativity scene was the top vote-getter in the 2014 Episcopal Church Christmas card contest.

Let us know which articles you liked (or didn't) in the comments!


                    

Oct
10
2014
by Sue Hacker Nelson   |   comments

Each week, we highlight stories from our newsfeed on Prismatic. No account is required to see what we think is worth reading, so visit our profile often! We update it daily so there is usually something new to check out. Here is a sample of what we liked this week:

Some People Are Born Java Junkies, Study Suggests from WebMD
Folks who chug lots of coffee may have their genetics to thank for their java cravings, a new study says. Researchers have linked six genes to a person's coffee consumption. All of the genes are related to the body's response to caffeine, according to the study.

Son of a Wife Beater: Behind the Curtains of Domestic Violence from The Huffington Post
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and recent news of domestic violence charges against NFL stars Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson has touched me on a personal level. Although I've never met them, their stories of abuse are all too familiar. It resembles what I'd witnessed as a kid in my own family.

The rich got richer while the poor gave more to charity from The Episcopal Cafe
Danielle Kurtzleben of Vox writes: [D]uring the downturn and recovery, the poorest Americans upped their charitable giving. Meanwhile, the highest-income people gave less and less, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported this week.

Let us know which articles you liked (or didn't) in the comments!


                    

Oct
07
2014
by Matthew Ellis   |   comments
<h1><a href="/blog/signs-from-the-times">Signs From The Times</a></h1>

From Bishop Doug Fisher, Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts


“Stop the Violence. We have kids here. Think before you shoot.” Those words are on a handmade sign on the front door of a home in Springfield, Massachusetts.

A few days after I saw that sign, I went to the island of Iona in Scotland for a retreat and saw a different sign. 1500 years ago St Columba founded a monastery at Iona. The monastery that is there now dates back to 1300 and was re-established in the 1930’s as an ecumenical place of prayer centering on social justice. The sign hung on a cross with these words: “We remember all victims of violence in the world and those who stand with them.”

Another sign of the times (in the New York Times): “F.B.I. Confirms a Sharp Rise in Mass Shootings Since 2000.” The article, published on September 24, tells us there were 6.4 such shootings per year from 2000 to 2006. From 2007 to 2013, there were 16.4 mass shootings per year.

The signs of the times are clear. Whether it is drive by shootings in Springfield, mass shootings on the rise, or the now 32,000 people that die every year by gun violence in the United States, we are in the midst of a crisis – a public health crisis.

Continue reading at Bishops United Against Gun Violence.

Oct
03
2014
by Sue Hacker Nelson   |   comments

Each week, we highlight stories from our newsfeed on Prismatic. No account is required to see what we think is worth reading, so visit our profile often! We update it daily so there is usually something new to check out. Here is a sample of what we liked this week:

Cleveland's newest food truck is giving away meals from cleveland.com
Minutes after Tristan Rader parked Cleveland's newest food truck in a vacant lot at East 145th Street and Kinsman Avenue, the blue Ford with custom decals of luscious produce and vegetables attracted a steady stream of customers. They waited under the truck's green awning for a chance to look through its 6-foot sliding-glass window. Customers snatched up 750 pounds of food in a few hours.

Find the Solution to Any Stain with This Searchable Database from lifehacker
Nobody likes a big ugly stain on their carpet or clothing. This searchable database has stain solutions for everything from automotive oil to mustard.

The Most Decorated Cat in Military History from priceonomics
Skittish, shy, and perennially lackadaisical, cats don’t seem particularly suited for warfare. Yet, as far back as 9,500 years ago (shortly after their domestication), they were instituted as pint-sized warriors in naval ships and rat-infested trenches. During World War I, the British army employed nearly 500,000 of the felines to fend off unwanted critters on land and at sea; nearly every World War II vessel had at least one aboard at all times.

Let us know which articles you liked (or didn't) in the comments!