Category Archives: Commentary

The Season of Caring and Sharing. . .

Turtle Talk

The most extended and unilateral season of caring and sharing throughout this nation and abroad has finally arrived. Formerly starting after Thanksgiving, it now begins commercially before Halloween and continues throughout the remainder of the year. But its true meaning is becoming increasingly eclipsed by commercialization, football and any number of frivolous “holiday” parties and celebrations. Even more popular are becoming the annual altruistic free giveaways of toys, food and clothing for increasing numbers of recipients who must also be assisted in being taught “how to fish” year-round and not remain just recipients of the annual fish. Continue reading The Season of Caring and Sharing. . .

The Gift of God


by Jon BarnesExecutive of Mission Education for Global Ministries

As Christmas approaches, I have recently been reminded of one of our family traditions. After Christmas Eve dinner, when all the presents were passed out, we went around in a circle, opening one present at a time, so that each person could know what everyone else received. It seemed to take forever! My dad made us do this partly because he wanted to drive his children crazy. However, I also know that he did this so that we would pay attention to who had given us each gift. To watch others open gifts that we had given them. All of this was done to build relationships.  Continue reading The Gift of God

Becoming “a happy and joyful being” . . .

Turtle Talk

“O God, refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hands. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved. I will be a happy and joyful being. O God, I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life. O God, Thou art more Friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord”–Abdu’l-Baha. Continue reading Becoming “a happy and joyful being” . . .

We are all affected


I thought long and hard about what to say in this column. I wanted to share something that has not already been shared by thousands of people across this nation and around the world; to add to the conversation in some way. Like thousands of others I was speechless, but not surprised, by the Grand Jury decision to not charge Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting and killing of Michael Brown. Watching this dreadful incident unfold prompts more hazard than it does security in our lives. I can only imagine the fear felt by the young people who experience such violence all around them every day. It brought to mind a quote by one of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, who reminded us that “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” Continue reading We are all affected

Light a candle for justice

by Rev. Meighan Pritchard, Minister for Environmental Justice

How do we deal with environmental despair? After the November elections, one woman confided to me that her son has given up bothering to vote. Another woman voiced her sense of the futility of fighting on environmental issues when one politician, with the stroke of a pen, could wipe out years’ worth of work by thousands of environmentalists.  Continue reading Light a candle for justice