Mar
10
2014
by Matthew Ellis   |   comments
<h1><a href="/blog/a-wonderful-read-one-familys-experience-with-disney-and-autism">A Wonderful Read: One Family's Experience with Disney and Autism</a></h1>

Let me be up front first: My disdain for the Disney Corporation is one of my many unpopular opinions among family and friends. I have many reasons I find Disney problematic, which I won't go into here. That being said, this NYTimes article about how one family used their autistic child's love of Disney movies to reach his hidden self is one of the best things I've read in a long while. 

It's a long read, but very much worth it. 

“A sidekick helps the hero fulfill his destiny,” he chirps. Rolls right off his tongue. A classical, elegant definition.

“Do you feel like a sidekick, Owie?” Cornelia asks him softly. Their eyes are aligned, just the two of them now, looking into each other, until he suddenly breaks into “happy face.”

“I am one!” he says. His voice is high and cheery, no sign of a quaver. “I am a sidekick.” The words come out flat, without affectation. But he compensates, giving them expression by nodding after every two syllables.

“And no . . . sidekick . . . gets left . . . behind.”

There’s no doubt, now, that he sees what we see: that kids of all kinds, including his classmates at Lab School, are moving on, while he’s left behind. The sidekicks have emerged, sketch by sketch, in the difficult months since his ejection from Lab. His response has been to embrace it, the pain of it, and be a protector of the discarded.

The very end of the article is heartbreaking, encouraging, and hopeful all at once. This is a fascinating, well-written story told by a Pulitzer prize-winning author (Ron Suskind) about his family. You will be glad you took the time for this one. 

Read it now.


H/T to theSkimm.

Mar
07
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:

Dehydration: Not just a summer thing from CNN Health
Most of us think of dehydration as a summer problem. The days are longer (and warmer!), and you're sweating more. To compensate, you drink more water and eat water-rich fruits and vegetables. You also go to the gym when it's too hot to complete an outdoor workout.

15 New Orleans must-do's from CNN Travel
Just in time to help you plan your trip to EHM's Annual Conference, Empowering Health Ministries in New Orleans May 7-10!

Quiet Time Part 1: Why Bible Reading Should be Non-Negotiable from Serving Joyfully
As moms, we wear a lot of hats and have a lot of responsibilities. And sometimes when we’re overwhelmed, our daily Bible reading is the first thing we cut out. It doesn’t feel as urgent as some of the other things, so it is tempting to let it fall by the wayside.

World Book Day: The 10 best teen reads from The Guardian
As the sixth What Kids Are Reading report bemoans a tendency among secondary school students to read books that are too easy – suggesting that teachers and librarians aren't pushing challenging titles strongly enough to older kids – the organisers of World Book Day have announced a list that might serve as a corrective, or at least a useful source of ideas.

Austin Unveils Texas-Sized Rooftop Solar Array to Power Downtown Church from Texas Clean Air Matters
On Monday in the heart of downtown Austin, St. David’s Episcopal Church unveiled its new 146-kilowatt solar array. Covering the rooftop of an adjacent parking garage and earning the title of largest rooftop solar installation downtown. 

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


                    

Mar
05
2014
by Sue Hacker Nelson   |   comments
<h1><a href="/blog/national-week-of-prayer-for-the-healing-of-aids2014">National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS</a></h1>

Our sister organization, the National Episcopal AIDS Coalition, is just one of the hundreds of organizations and parishes focusing on the current status of the AIDS crisis through the National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS.

The Balm in Gilead coordinates this annual event and features many diverse resources. Find them at this link!

Please keep those impacted by HIV/AIDS in your prayers this week.

Mar
03
2014
by Matthew Ellis   |   comments
<h1><a href="/blog/you-blew-it-mcconaughey">You blew it, McConaughey</a></h1>

As many of you know, I love movies. So, it's no surprise that I had more than a passing interest in the Oscars last night. Let me just say now, Matthew McConaughey blew it. Matthew McConaughey had a wonderful and rare platform last night to do something special. He wasted it. If you haven't seen his acceptance speech for Best Actor, awarded for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, If you missed it, here it is:

So what's wrong with this speech? 

Continue reading my blog post for the National Episcopal AIDS Coalition.

tags AIDS
Feb
28
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:

Living with grief: A conversation between men from CBS News
A long, thoughtful conversation about grief and loss between two men-- it’s not something you hear everyday, particularly from a high-profile interview with a Hollywood star. This week, Liam Neeson and Anderson Cooper sat down together in the home Neeson shared with his late wife Natasha Richardson and spoke candidly about living with loss.

Can selfies really spread head lice? from the Columbus Dispatch
Health experts say there are many ways kids can spread head lice, from sharing headphones to swapping hats and other clothing. But a selfie? Some think so.

New Rules Would Curb How Kids Are Sold Junk Food At School from NPR
If you want to teach kids to adopt healthier eating habits, it's probably unwise to give them coupons for fast food chains at school. And those advertisements for sugary sodas on the gymnasium scoreboard? Seems like another mixed message schools are sending kids. That's why the White House and U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed new school wellness guidelines Tuesday aimed at cracking down on the widespread marketing of less-than-nutritious foods to kids on campus during the school day.

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