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Stay Awake!
1/20/2021 11:35:33 AM

By Marian Wright Edelman FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT EMERITA   As Americans everywhere remain on guard against continued chaos and violence leading up to Inauguration Day, it’s instructive to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday even in turbulent times by returning to Dr. King’s own words. His last Sunday sermon, delivered at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on March 31, 1968, was called “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution.” Dr. King said the title was based on the old story of Rip Van Winkle, who fell asleep for twenty years...

Riding the Hallelujah Train to the end
1/20/2021 11:33:08 AM

Dr. James L. Snyder   We had a long, hard week with problems and difficulties that took time to solve if they even were solved. It is quite interesting to me that when I solve one problem, two other problems appear. I think they’re all waiting in line. In particular, one day was rather difficult and zapped both of us of energy. I ordered a new desk for my office, and there were so many problems getting it delivered that I almost gave up. Along the way the desk was damaged and they returned it back to the store without even telling us. We had to reorder it all over again...

A reminder: All-important charity is not a substitute for justice
1/13/2021 7:06:57 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT EMERITA   I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means—except by getting off his back. –Leo Tolstoy, from What Then Must We Do?   Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. –Nelson Mandela   A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand...

Well, here we go again
1/13/2021 7:03:50 PM

Dr. James L. Snyder   THE PARSONAGE—I have lived long enough to know that the only change that has any kind of reality is the change in my pocket. I keep track of that change with great supervision and count it every day. When people tell me that this is a New Year and there will be a lot of changes this year, I search my pocket because that's the only change I want to know about. Looking back over my life, the most significant change that ever came to me was the day I said “I do” to the future Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. At the time, and...

95-year-old interrupts mask-making by surviving COVID-19
1/6/2021 11:53:07 AM

By Andrew Welsh-Huggins MARYSVILLE, Ohio (AP)—When the coronavirus pandemic began, Miriam Looker sprang into action at the behest of her stepson, a central Ohio doctor. Looker, 95, used her supply of quilting materials and soon was making up to 10 masks a day at her assisted living facility in Marysville, about 30 miles (48.28 kilometers) northwest of Columbus. Then, as she pushed well over 1,000 masks, Looker took a break—to recover from COVID-19 herself. “It was kind of my turn, I guess,” she said. After feeling exhausted and taking a lot of naps in...

Hanging up his bag after delivering newspapers for 50 years
1/6/2021 11:44:45 AM

By Kelly Urban   JENNERSTOWN, Pa. (AP)—Bill Berkey was 17 years old when he delivered his first newspaper for The Tribune-Democrat. Fifty years later, on Dec. 31, the 67-year-old was to deliver his last edition and hang up his delivery bag for good. “I really enjoyed doing it,” Berkey said. “I'm going to miss it when I go, but it's becoming too much. “I'm very proud of having delivered newspapers to my friends and neighbors for 50 years.” Berkey began his career in the summer of 1970, delivering the newspaper in the...

Red isn’t always the red I see
1/6/2021 11:31:17 AM

Dr. James L. Snyder   THE PARSONAGE—It is not that I am colorblind; I just am color indifferent. Red and blue and yellow are all the same to me. This, on many occasions, has challenged the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, who is very meticulous when it comes to describing anything or anyone. In remodeling my office at the parsonage my wife asked, “What color would you like the walls to be painted?” That sounds like a good question to ask but it's not any question to ask if you know me. "I don't care about the color. Whatever you think...

24-hour civilian cease-fire all that’s needed to create more pleasant union
12/30/2020 5:56:56 PM

By LRon Brooks   THE UPSIDE-DOWN—In an AP story featured on page one of this week’s edition, random Atlanta school board member Charisse Davis asks—one assumes rhetorically—“What is holding our country together?” People like Ms Davis always ask these existential questions to make themselves feel like they’ve done something, and then fade back into the woodwork without waiting to hear if anybody fields a good idea. And by ‘people like Ms Davis,’ I mean Earthlings. Us. The species. Face it, apathy in the face untenable...

Hope for the New Year
12/30/2020 5:53:34 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT EMERITA   We are beginning the New Year during very perilous times for children and for our nation and world, but in the face of overwhelming challenges and threats to safety and well-being this is also a new chance to fight back against depression, fear, and despair and determine to keep pushing forward. I share again an adapted version of Madeleine L’Engle’s poem “First Coming” (used by permission in my book Guide My Feet as published in Imagining the Word):   God did not wait till the world was...

SAVVY SENIOR: How robotic pets can help isolated seniors avoid loneliness
12/30/2020 5:49:55 PM

By Jim Miller   Dear Savvy Senior, I recently read an article about robotic pets being a great substitute for pet-loving seniors who can’t have or take care of a pet any longer. What do you think of this? My mother, who has some dementia, is living in an assisted living facility that doesn’t allow pets. And because of COVID, we haven’t been allowed inside the facility to visit her since March. I’ve been thinking about getting her a robot pet to help cheer her up but would like to know if they are worth buying, and if so, where can I go to find...