Five for Friday: Do Opposites Attract, Refugee Gardens, the Best Olympian

CHICAGO, IL (February 23, 2018) – 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.

No, Opposites do not Attract

This may be a surprise, given how many couples say they are opposites, but the authors say they have an answer for that. Can the results be extrapolated to churches—when we think we are seeking diversity and even accomplishing it but really wind up worshiping with people who are pretty much the same in terms of theological or social perspective?

From the article: “In other words, there is clear and convincing evidence that birds of a feather flock together. For human beings, the attractiveness of similarity is so strong that it is found across cultures. Because similarity is associated with attraction, it makes sense that individuals in committed relationships tend to be alike in many ways. Sometimes this is called assortative mating, although this term is more often used to describe the ways in which people with similar levels of educational attainment, financial means and physical appearance tend to pair up.”

Community and Vegetables Grow Side-By-Side in Syrian Refugee Camp Gardens

The undertaking began with one woman planting a few vegetables next to her house in the refugee camp. An organization saw what she had done and enlisted her to help others start personal and communal gardens from which they can sell fresh items to earn income. In addition to helping grow food, the work also has helped deepen a sense of community. Covenant World Relief partners have done similar work, as have several local Covenant churches.

From the article: “The Trust hired refugees to handle the mapping, construction and maintenance of a demonstration garden in an unused plot, which is now a flourishing enterprise and community hub called Azadi Garden. Azadi means ‘liberation’ in Kurdish. It contains greenhouses, tree and plant nurseries, and raised beds for personal, communal, and commercial use. There are also areas for men, women, and children to socialize. A repaired well and gray water—recycled household waste water, excluding toilet sewage—are used to irrigate the arid soil.”

Is Elizabeth Swaney the Best or Worst Kind of Olympian

Elizabeth Swaney had always wanted to be an Olympian, but unfortunately the 33-year-old Harvard graduate wasn’t very good at most sports. Still she persevered, trained hard for years, and through a loophole in the rules that let the American compete for the Hungary team, she qualified to ski the halfpipe. Although she completed both of her runs, her performance may have been the worst ever in the young sport. She attempted no tricks. It would have been forgettable—except that video of her attempt went viral.

From the article: “As video of Swaney’s runs spread, it sparked discussion of Olympic morality and ethics, birthed snark that she had defiled a fringe sport seeking mainstream support, spurred debate over how she compared to Eddie the Eagle and Eric the Eel and other viral heroes of Olympics past. And all the while, Swaney didn’t embrace it, and she didn’t fight it. She said, ‘I’m always just trying to ski the best I can,’ and left it at that.”

At the Olympics, Thousands of Missionaries Compete for Souls

Missionaries who have attended multiple Olympics say there are far more people seeking to win souls than in past events. Many are using similar methods, especially trading Olympic pins, rather than handing out tracts.

From the article: “To those watching on TV, religion may seem absent from the Winter Olympic Games. Away from the spotlight, though, an estimated 3,000 missionaries are on hand.”

A Passenger Lost Her Engagement Ring at the Airport – so Pilot Flew It to Her

Brit Morin was distraught that she had lost her engagement and wedding rings somewhere between Newark, New Jersey, and Jackson Hole, Colorado, during one leg of her United flight home to San Francisco. A pilot who works for the airline, consistently rated by passengers as having poor customer service, was determined to get them back to her. Now if he could only find me some leg room.

From the article: “A United gate agent located the rings at Newark Liberty International Airport and secured them in a safe place until the airline was able to connect with the passenger. They then gave the jewelry to one of their pilots who was scheduled to fly to San Francisco International Airport.”

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About the Author

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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