In Praise of Unfancy Things: What Our Editors Are Reading | Sojourners

In Praise of Unfancy Things: What Our Editors Are Reading

The Wonder Bread balloon and several other hot air balloons raising up into a cloudy morning sky at the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico on October 8, 2014. Tami Freed /

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Corita Kent loved ordinary stuff. As Cassidy Klein writes in her Sojourners cover story, the pop-art making nun mixed Wonder Bread logos, sermons, Chevrolet ads, Beatles lyrics, and Bible verses to “wrestle with injustice, racism, poverty, war, God, peace, and love in bursting neon and fluorescent lettering.”

Lately, I’ve spent a lot of time appreciating unfancy things: Stretchy pants. Popcorn. Picnics. Walks. Very Important Work Calls instantly derailed by a pet cameo.

God seems to favor unfancy things too, as she often speaks most vividly through shepherds, theologians who never went to seminary, and the mundane wonders of pregnancy. “We lift the common stuff—groceries and signs about groceries—out of the everyday and give it a place in our celebration,” wrote Kent. “And heaven and earth will not be so far apart.”

1. Finding Solace in the Work of the Pop Art Nun
Artists and activists are still learning from the vision of Corita Kent. By Cassidy Klein via Sojourners.

2. ‘Sermongate’ Prompts a Quandary: Should Pastors Borrow Words From One Another?
The new leader of the Southern Baptist Convention has delivered sermons containing passages from those of his predecessor, causing a furor. By Ruth Graham via The New York Times.

3. Progressive Christian Leader Admits to Plagiarizing Influential Poem
The scandal raises questions about how progressive groups can hold themselves accountable and repair the harm instead of exacting retributive punishment. By Joshua Eaton via

4. A Horn-Wearing ‘Shaman.’ A Cowboy Evangelist. For Some, the Capitol Attack Was a Kind of Christian Revolt.
The Washington Post analyzed court documents and images of the nearly 500 people charged in the Jan. 6 attack to learn more about those who cited their faith in some way. Here are the stories of three of them. By Michelle Boorstein via

5. The Liberating Theology of Our Abuelitas
My abuelita never went to seminary, but her faith showed me how to trust in a liberating God. By Kat Armas via

6. Reading the Old Testament While Pregnant
As the novelist Marilynne Robinson says, biblical history so often depends on the birth of a baby. By Casey Cep via

7. Our Democracy Is Not a Given
The Supreme Court has weakened the Voting Rights Act; Christians must rally harder than ever for voter protection. By Adam Russell Taylor via

8. Benji Is One Down Dog
Adriene Mishler’s blue heeler, Benji, is one of the most famous canines in the country, but he hasn’t let it go to his sweet, soft little head. By Madeleine Aggeler via Texas Monthly.

9. She Survived a Shooting. Now She’s Disarming Her Christian Critics
Taylor Schumann wants Christians to put the gospel before the Second Amendment. By D.L. Mayfield via

10. NDAs Kept These Christians Silent. Now They’re Speaking Out Against Them.
A wave of activists across countries and denominations is calling for the end to non-disclosure and confidentiality clauses. By Daniel Sillman via

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