By Melissa Wuske
The Sanctuary Movement
Three hundred churches across the country are joining the Sanctuary Movement, pledging to provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants and “to educate and activate our congregations, to amplify and respond to the voices of immigrant leaders, and to speak out against the discrimination of any and all marginalized people.”
The movement began when President Obama called for the deportation of people who fled turmoil in Central America. “When we heard that the Obama administration is beginning plans to round up Central American families and deport them back to the violence they have been fleeing, we couldn’t help but imagine what would it have been like if the president was pharaoh in Egypt at the time of Jesus’ birth when he and his family had to run from the death squads of Herod. What if he had ordered the deportation of the Holy Family?” said Rev. Alison Harrington of Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona.
The movement grew in the lead-up to President Trump’s inauguration. “We find ourselves entering a new phase of U.S. history wherein the politics of fear has stoked an atmosphere of racism and xenophobia across the country. The new Administration has pledged to criminalize, detain, and deport undocumented people at new levels that will tear families and communities apart,” said the movement’s petition.
“Our elected officials cannot say ‘God bless America’ and at the same time deport, exclude, dehumanize, and criminalize those who come seeking refuge, in this case God’s children from Central America. They are those whom Jesus called ‘the least of these.’ If we continue to go down this road of moral decay the consequences will be grave,” said Rev. Adan Mairena of West Kensington Ministry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Benefits of Retiring Later
Researchers at Oregon State University studied the effect of working past the typical retirement age of 65. “What we found was that healthy adults who retired past the age of 65 had an 11 percent lower risk of death from all causes,” said psychologist Robert Stawski. The noted benefits include: “Thinking, problem solving, cognitive faculties, social and interpersonal engagement.”
“It’s almost as if work and retirement can be a kind of antidote to aging,” said Maddy Dychtwald cofounder of the research group Age Wave. Many Americans say they plan to work past retirement age. “Generally those are people who are motivated to work, to give back to society. So they’re oftentimes doing something that was either a hobby or an interest earlier in their life, or it’s a brand-new pursuit.”
An Easy Way to Donate Used Goods
If you have unused items lying around that could be donated but are too busy to get them to the nearest Goodwill center, the online retailer Amazon will help. Their GiveBackBox campaign allows consumers to pack a box of donations and print a label, free of charge. Then UPS or the postal service can deliver it to the nearest Goodwill center. According the campaign’s site, GiveBackBox.com, “Goodwill sells the donated goods, and the revenues help support employment placement, job training and other community-based services to create strong families and communities.”
Mobile App Helps People Fast
A new app can help people fast. Zero allows users to create customized fasting plans. While the app can certainly be of use to Christians seeking to master a classic spiritual discipline, it was created by Kevin Rose, who was inspired by the fasting regimen actor Hugh Jackman used to get ready to play the character Wolverine. “I started Hugh’s protocol of fasting for 16 hours (water only) followed by an 8-hour eating window,” said Rose. “Within 7 days, I had dropped five pounds.”
Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).