Near and far: moving from empathy to neighborly action.

Stone Church of the Brethren welcomed 2015 PA IPL cyclist Eric Sauder as a guest preacher on Sunday.  He loved meeting the wonderful Stone Church congregation and has shared his sermon and benediction with us.

Every morning after waking up, I make my way to the kitchen, put on water for coffee, get the newspaper, turn on the radio, and scroll through the latest news updates on my phone. The multiple news sources may seem excessive, but, any good engineer knows how important it is to have redundant systems. The next 15 minutes are a deluge of crises reaching from our community to every corner of the world. It’s really overwhelming. With new disasters every morning, it seems that the list of hurting people is always growing.

This struggle is nothing new. Certainly there’s been a robust news industry in all of our lifetimes, but it does seem that with every new “advance” in media platforms this messaging invades a bit further into our personal space. At least the town crier stayed in the street and the newspaper on our doorstep—the phones are in our pockets. Now, thanks to Facebook’s video autoplay feature, I don’t even choose whether or not my morning breakfast routine contains footage of a white police officer gunning down an unarmed black man.

I believe it’s important that we can see and hold the challenges of the world, because for the first time in human history we’re witnessing how our actions have very real global impact. Continue reading Near and far: moving from empathy to neighborly action.