faith AND issues
In Faith and Issues, a discussion group led by The Rev’d Dr. Katrina Wagner, we explore how our faith informs our understanding of current issues and how these issues relate to our faith. All are welcome. Read and join the discussion!
Meeting, Saturdays at 9-10:30 am downstairs at St. Andrew's.
Meetings resume after Easter on Saturday 27 April.
Our next book will be Grounded - Finding God in the World- a Spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass. Good reading for Lent! Those with the edition pictured will find a section of daily readings for meditation in Lent beginning on page 291.
About Faith and Issues:
The idea around forming a reading and discussion group grew from some heartfelt exchanges during a few coffee hours. It was clear that in order to discuss and faithfully respond to many of the serious topics that surface daily in our world it would be useful and enjoyable to set aside some dedicated time to read and to share our thoughts. Everyone is welcome! Currently our group is comprised of a number of “regular” attendees as well as many others who attend when time permits and/or the topic is of particular interest. The process of choosing books has evolved easily, each one seeming to suggest where we’d next like to focus. Most recently, we have been wrestling with the challenges of the climate crisis and gathering helpful information on organizations and readings, particularly as these pertain to the well-being of life in New Hampshire.
May you know well the Peace of God that lives within you. — Katrina Wagner
Here is Faith &Issues’s discussion list for the last two years.
• Strangers in their Own Land — Arlie Hochschild
• Hillbilly Eulogy — J.D. Vance
• Acts of Faith — Eboo Patel
• The Sunflower — Simon Wiesenthal
• Tattoos on the Heart — Gregory Boyle
• The Book of Joy — His Holiness the Dali Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu & Douglas Abrams
• Faith Works — Jim Wallis
• Days of Awe and Wonder — Marcus Borg
• Class Matters — New York Times Correspondents
• ACES discussion — Adverse Childhood Experiences on children’s future health ♦
• 2018 Episcopal General Convention — Various resolutions
• Altars in the World — Barbara Brown Taylor
• Climate Church, Climate World — Jim Antal
Climate Church, Climate World - How People of Faith Must Work For Change by Jim Antal touched off a discussion of this most pressing issue of the world faces. It raised the question "What should we at St. Andrew's be doing?", a question which we raised at the parish meeting resulting in renewed attention to this issue by the vestry.
From our study we decided that at the forefront of our thinking should be "Are we being good stewards of God's creation?"
In 2018, the Faith and Issues group discussed the book Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, by Airlie Hochschild. The author, perplexed as to why the poor in a state like Louisiana would vote for right wing candidates, spent time over five years in Louisiana getting to know the people and observing how they experienced the political and economic scene. Louisiana, a very low income state, is a major producer of plastic and other petrochemical products which have resulted in deadly pollution of air and waterways. Proposals for more plants are presented to these people as a “Do you want jobs?” or “Do you want a clean environment?” choice. This false dichotomy has given industry a free hand; regulations have been allowed to go unenforced. In this state which provides few social services people rely heavily on churches for their safety net. Many of these, mostly non-denominational, churches are caught up in culture war issues like abortion and provide no leadership on the broader social issues of economic and environmental justice.
The book doesn’t sound entertaining but it is. It can be downloaded easily and is worth reading for anyone interested in politics and the environment. Airlie Hochschild is featured in several YouTube videos which I recommend. The book left a lasting impression on me.
submitted by Kathleen Hunter