Five for Friday: Taking MLK Seriously, Marvel Movies Ranked, Women in the Pulpit

CHICAGO, IL (December 8, 2017) — 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.

MLK – the Friend We Need but Don’t Want

The author of this article suggests three things society would do if we took Martin Luther King Jr. seriously.

From the article: “But whatever the reasons, the outcome remained the same: Over the course of the past fifty years Martin Luther King Jr. was slowly transformed from a courageous man with an extraordinary vision of democracy into little more than a highly quotable civic abstraction, a figure that many revere, but that few really listen to. Don’t think so? Name three of his books.”

Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies

You have to marvel at the money that the franchise has made but even more so at the themes that are explored—if you can find them amid all the special effects.

From the article: “This is a franchise unafraid of tackling real themes of redemption, humility and loneliness. Filmmaking skill and solid actors can make these movies fun, but the truth and virtues buried in them is what makes these movies important—much like the original Star Wars movies were for the previous generation.”

Not Even Vicars Have the Patience of Saints

A frustrated Anglican priest wrote a letter to his congregation in England chastising them for their behavior and lack of warmth. Among his complaints, the vicar vented, “The Sunday morning worship experience is neither warm, nor welcoming. It does not portray real love joy or peace. Rather it reflects an organisation that is characterised by grumbling, gossip, and disunity.” If you think what he wrote was bad, just read what Paul wrote to the church in Corinth.

From the article: “In times of austerity, which affects the Church of England just as much as any other body, we may not have the resources to address every problem as well as we’d like to. But sometimes saying there is a problem is an important first step. Thewlis has said he recognises the letter he sent his parishioners was inappropriate. But spare a thought, and perhaps a prayer, for the clergy who even now find the cursor hovering over the ‘send’ button. There are more of them than you might think.”

Covenanter Bob Smietana was named one of 100 influential Protestants.

100 Influential Protestants You Ought to Know

Bob Smietana, a Covenanter who writes frequently for the Covenant Companion, made this list. We’re glad we know him.

From the article: “Instead of attempting to repeat the more well-known names you probably already know, what follows is (Institute of Religion and Democracy’s) list of Evangelicals and Mainline Protestant movers and shakers who fly under the mainstream radar.”

Science Lessons Learned in 2017

The sun hiding behind the moon brought Americans together for one brief dark moment, there is new hope for cancer patients in Africa, and the obesity epidemic around the world is a graver threat than ever.

From the article: “It’s impossible to say that any particular scientific development was the most important in a given year. But if we had to choose some highlights, we’d opt for these unforgettable events and findings.”

Devyn Chambers Johnson

Bonus track: Sharing the Pulpit 

Devyn Chambers Johnson, pastor of Community Covenant Church in Springfield, Virginia, posted this video on Facebook in which she praises the Covenant and her male colleagues for advocating for women in ministry. But, she adds, it is time to stop advocating. Rather, “it is time to start sharing” the pulpit. She asks male pastors to commit to make room for women to preach in their church at least four more times in 2018 than they did this past year.



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About the Author

Stan Friedman

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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