Five for Friday: Pub Theology, Smombies and a World Champion Runner

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By Linda Sladkey

CHICAGO, IL (April 29, 2016) — Covenanters routinely share links to social media articles and videos that Covenant News Service believes may be of interest to others. Each Friday we post five of them. Following is a sample of those submissions—their inclusion does not represent an endorsement by the Covenant of any views expressed.

Still Running at 100 Years Old

Ida Keeling is my new hero. She beat depression in her late sixties by running races and now, at 100 years old, she still hits the track and competes all over the globe. Her get-up-and-do-it attitude is inspirational.

From the article: “‘You see so many older people just sitting around—well, that’s not me,’ said Ms. Keeling, who is barely 4-foot-6 and weighs 83 pounds. ‘Time marches on, but I keep going. I was pretty fast as a girl,’ she said. ‘What makes me faster now is that everyone else slowed down.’ ”

Silence for Autistic Shoppers

The supermarket ASDA in the U. K. will hold its first quiet hour of shopping on May 7. The idea is an effort to create a positive environment for shoppers who are autistic. Creating a more peaceful environment for a select demographic shows a heartwarming sensitivity and respect for the needs of others.

From the article: “National Autistic Society Campaign manager Tom Madders said: ‘It can cause [autistic people] to feel overwhelmed by “too much information.” This can be excruciatingly painful or cause extreme anxiety. This may lead to a meltdown or—all too often—people avoid these places and choose not to go out at all.’ ”


Safety for Smombies

I’ve learned a new word this week—“Smombies.” A mash-up of “smartphones” and “zombies,” Smombies are people who pay more attention to their smartphones than to where they are walking. The city of Augsburg, Germany, is so concerned for the safety of these pedestrians that they embedded traffic lights into the pavement, thus eliminating the need to look up before crossing the street.

From the article: “‘It creates a whole new level of attention,’ city spokeswoman Stephanie Lermen was quoted as saying. Lermen thinks the money is wisely spent: A recent survey conducted in several European cities, including Berlin, found that almost 20 percent of pedestrians were distracted by their smartphones. Younger people are most likely to risk their safety for a quick look at their Facebook profiles or WhatsApp messages, the survey found.”

Happy Hour Theology

Pastor Brandon Brown of Milwaukee says people are leaving the church, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to talk about theology. So Brown puts an interesting spin on evangelism. He holds discussion groups in the neighborhood bar. Turns out it’s not a new idea. People have been discussing Jesus over ale for ages.

From the article: “In and near Milwaukee, some people are getting a little faith with their froth. Assemblages like Jesus + Beer are part of a national trend of groups combining Bible study with elbow-bending. Sometimes, it’s just easier to talk religion over a beer, one pastor said. It’s also an idea that goes back to Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation.”

Tale of Forgiveness

Jameel McGee spent four years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, after being framed for the crime by arresting officer Andrew Collins. After his release from prison, McGee walked into a new job only to find Collins was to be his manager. The journey to forgiveness—and the ensuing friendship—unfolds in this CBS evening news video.

From the article: “While few would have faulted him for walking away from his new job, McGee says he felt his Christian faith compelled him to stay and offer his forgiveness to the officer who had taken away his freedom.”

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