Online Editorial Assistant

Joshua enjoys a good story. From the Inklings, to the Beat Poets, to This American Life, the power of narrative connects humanity. Like a good story, Joshua’s years of adventure, struggle, reflection, and questioning have led him to Sojourners. After spending four years at Greenville College (greater St. Louis area) studying English and religion, and serving as Editor-in-Chief of his college newspaper, he comes to DC seeking to be read anew into God’s story of love, justice, and redemption for the entire created order. He is excited to participate in communal life and work towards goals that are continually broadening and making a profound impact on individuals and the larger society. 

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Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: May 31, 2012

by Joshua Witchger 05-31-2012

Politwoops presents deleted tweets from politicians -- bloopers from The Muppets -- crocheting massive portraits -- mashup of Men in Black III and Wes Anderson -- The Walkmen -- Rainn Wilson's airplane magazine article -- and Reggie Watts and Michael Cera improv a soul song about friendship and pie. See these and more on today's Links of Awesomeness...

Snake Handling Pastor Dies of Snake Bite

by Joshua Witchger 05-31-2012
Rattlesnake. Image via

Rattlesnake. Image via

Pastor Mack Wolford — an eccentric snake handler and Pentecostal minister — was bitten by a deadly rattle snake at an outdoor service (or “evangelistic hootenanny”) at Panther Wildlife Management Area in West Va. He died shortly after, surrounded by friends and family, which, coincidentally, is the same way his father (also a pastor and snake handler) passed away nearly thirty years ago.

According to The Washington Post, “Wolford [like his father] believed that the Bible mandates that Christians handle serpents to test their faith in God -- and that, if they are bitten, they trust in God alone to heal them.” As the article points out, Wolford comes from a niche tradition in where the gospel words in Mark 16 are taken literally (and somewhat peculiarly), to “take up serpents and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them…”

Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: May 29, 2012

by Joshua Witchger 05-29-2012

Breweries of the United States -- Bicycles and the stages of life -- folk musician Bonnie 'Prince' Billy on NPR -- cassette tape table -- new species of 2011 -- get serious for 30 seconds -- and monkeys playing synthesizers... See these and more on today's Links of Awesomeness...

Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: In Their Own Words

by Joshua Witchger 05-25-2012

Artists are telling it in their own words: through the airwaves, written on paper, on physical walls, etc. Our Friday links feature some notable creatives, new and old, expressing their craft at its finest. Fred Armisen -- The Burning House project -- Wes Anderson's music supervisor -- Banksy -- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and more! See today's Links of Awesomeness for more...

Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: May 24, 2012

by Joshua Witchger 05-24-2012

Library of Congress to induct 25 formative sounds into archives -- 20 pictures of funny money -- remake of The Great Gatsby -- stream the new album from Sigur Rós -- and a one minute clip that took six months to make. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...

QUIRK: Yankee Candle Company Targets Men With New Scents

by Joshua Witchger 05-24-2012

According to reports from the Candle Association, 90 percent of candles are purchased by women.

In an effort to tip the scales, the Yankee Candle Company recently unveiled a few scents to woo men, in a line of products they're calling "Man Candles." This product for "men only" features four classic scents that a man will appreciate, including "2x4," "Riding Mower," "First Down," and "Man Town."

Just in time for Father's Day, you can enjoy the smell of freshly mowed grass or the excitement of game day.

Read more about the National Candle Association here, and Yankee Candle's "Man Candles" here.

Or, if you're seeking a slightly more exotic scent, Jimmy Fallon has some candles of his own to suggest.

Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: May 23, 2012

by Joshua Witchger 05-23-2012

The Museum of Old Pop Culture References -- clever commencement speeches -- Ben + Jerry's ice cream lock -- calming manatee -- and Chris Parnell helps bring awareness to cat boredom. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...

Remembering Harvey Milk's Legacy

by Joshua Witchger 05-22-2012
Bust of Harvey Milk. By Son of Groucho/Wylio

Bust of Harvey Milk. By Son of Groucho/Wylio

Today, the political and social activist is remembered for his contributions to transform the world into a more inclusive, affirming environment for all people. As the first openly gay person to serve in an elected position, Milk’s 1977 ascent into public office has been instrumental in paving the way for LGBT people to authentically wield roles of power, consciousness, and change.

Sadly, Milk’s life was cut short at age 48 when he was tragically assassinated. Though he served less than a full year in public office (San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors), he has left behind a powerful  vision of a better world. His commitments to  justice has inspired countless people to construct programs and organizations that organize, lobby, write and prophesize a habitat that is all just and peaceable for all, regardless of gender, sexuality, race or age.

Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: May 22, 2012

by Joshua Witchger 05-22-2012

The 2012 Paralympics -- Kristen Wiig's best SNL characters -- Bill Murray narrates a tour of Wes Anderson's new film -- Moog synthesizers -- and Obama and Romney set aside their differences to dance in a van. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...

Public Radio makes 'The Invisible Visible'

by Joshua Witchger 05-22-2012

Image by Tsian /shutterstock.

Earlier this month, the public radio show This American Life held a wide-scale live event in New York City. I attended the two-hour event via satellite in Washington, D.C. Like its weekly radio broadcast, the live show included pieces from a variety of storytellers gathered around a common theme — in this case “the invisible made visible.”

The medium of radio doesn’t lend itself to visuals — it is "theater of the mind" after all — but the live-on-stage iteration of This American Life  took full advantage of the occasion (and change in medium), including many extra bells and whistles they could never pull off on the airwaves alone.

Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: May 21, 2012

by Joshua Witchger 05-21-2012

A Day of Video + Song: Pomplamoose pumps out a fun new tune -- upcoming song from Sigur Ros -- turkeys and dubstep -- stop motion paper cut-outs -- Saturday Night Live's "Lazy Sunday 2" -- and Will Smith rapping the Fresh Prince theme song. See these in today's Links of Awesomeness...   

Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: May 18, 2012

by Joshua Witchger 05-18-2012

Marveling at Mr. Smith's world of peach pit figurines. Plus, Jack White and the Guiness Book of World Records -- LEGO art from PBS -- literary maps of the U.S. and U.K. -- how to tattoo a banana. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...

Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: May 17, 2012

by Joshua Witchger 05-17-2012

Penguin escapes from zoo and is spotted months later -- stereotypes of your favorite 90s bands -- sneaky squirrels nabbing food -- visual history of Europe... read these and more on today's Links of Awesomeness.

Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: May 16, 2012

by Joshua Witchger 05-16-2012
Animal Pocket Knife. Design by David Suhami via Yanko Design

Animal Pocket Knife. Design by David Suhami via Yanko Design

Memorable commencement speeches from comedians -- Colbert and Stewart on LGBT -- unscientific diagrams of aquatic life -- most bikeable U.S. cities -- Parks and Recreation's Adam Scott "blows some minds" -- The Animal Pocket knife... See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness.

'Sound of My Voice': Belief, Skepticism and Cults

by Joshua Witchger 05-16-2012
Apple image by OlegSam / Shutterstock.

Apple image by OlegSam /Shutterstock.

Typcially, cults don’t garner media attention unless they do something really big, like when Heaven’s Gate rose to the public eye in 1997 after 39 members committed mass suicide. And while cults may welcome newcomers openly or warily, it seems they prefer to remain elusive and secretive.

In the feature-length drama Sound of My Voice, Peter Aitken, a 20-something school teacher, is angry at the cultish fanaticism that led to his mother’s death (per her cult’s teaching, she refused to take medicine when she was gravely ill) and turns a cynical eye toward belief patterns he believes distort reality.

Shaped by an experience that left him void of parental companionship, he searches for meaning alone, not knowing what to believe.

Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: May 14, 2012

by Joshua Witchger 05-14-2012

The cast of Arrested Development knows how to celebrate "Dance like a Chicken Day." Plus New York's piano man wheels an upright down the street -- X-Ray photos of animals and plants -- Ghostbusters city tour -- elephants form a two-day vigil -- Neil Young and Crazy Horse play "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain"... and more. See today's Links of Awesomeness...

Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: May 11, 2012

by Joshua Witchger 05-11-2012

Mothers Day Links: awkward photos of mothers -- the daughters that span six generations -- ways to improve Mother's Day -- things you're mom is too old to be doing. Plus other links from This American Life's live event -- Conan O'Brien presents coffee table books -- Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros... see these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...

Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: May 10, 2012

by Joshua Witchger 05-10-2012

More from Maddie the coonhound -- color wheel of gay rights progress -- pancake art -- slow motion popcorn popping -- Kristen Schaal as the "average 1996 woman" -- quirky suggestions for Mitt Romney's running mate -- and baby bears line up to show some love for one another... see these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...

Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: May 9, 2012

by Joshua Witchger 05-09-2012
confessional e-card via

confessional e-card via

Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono team up for a special Mother's Day -- John Hamm freestyle raps -- Iceland's latest musical goodness hits the U.S. -- Dr. Shaq -- 150 years of baseball teams... read these and more on today's Links of Awesomeness...


Women, Storytelling, and Activism Merge at MAKERS

by Joshua Witchger 05-09-2012

This week I came across a dynamic outlet for new forms of storytelling. MAKERS is a documentary project where dozens of short reflections and dreams are gathered to promote the ways a diverse collection of women are transforming the planet into a more holistic and habitable place. While most of these stories are non-fictional, rooted in a place that may not extend too far beyond their origins, the opportunity to zoom in on an impassioned way of living, thinking, and acting, is an encouragement for all people to continue acting out the worlds we desire. These many narratives of change and engagement craft a large and resounding story of the power of women.