In a Different America

OP-ED

In a different America — not necessarily a better or perfect America, just a different one — our country’s reaction to Alton Sterling’s death at the hands of Baton Rouge police might be enough.

In a different America, we would awake to the news of Philando Castile’s death in Minnesota with the same shock we felt when another plane hit the Twin Towers, with the same feeling of dread when Bobby Kennedy was killed, with the same feeling of helplessness when the bomb went off at the Boston finish line.

In a different America, the Republican House caucus would take up the matter of police brutality against African Americans, opening an investigation into this startling trend made public thanks to vigilant citizens and their cell phone cameras. Speaker Paul Ryan would gavel Congress into a special session so that our country might pause together in a moment of silence to remember Alton and Philando and their families, and others who unjustly died at the hands of justice and their families.

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Prince Mural: A Love That’s Gonna Last?

CACKALACK

Sometimes Art Comes and Goes.
In a quiet Southern town, a pair of new murals has shaped the way citizens think about public art.

Of all places, downtown Statesville, North Carolina happens to be home to one of the more inspiring memorials honoring rock legend Prince. The city, a former industrial town in the Piedmont that sits at the intersection of two interstates, has its share of empty buildings mingled in with restaurants and businesses working to revitalize the downtown square.

Virtually overnight this past April the Prince mural, a colorful, spray-painted depiction of Prince on a motorcycle, popped up on the exterior wall of the New South Gallery, an empty store-cum-art space owned by Statesville’s Gordon family that plays host to local artists. Continue reading “Prince Mural: A Love That’s Gonna Last?”

Where Two or Three Are Gathered

Matters of Faith

church dark

Throughout the season of Lent, our Episcopal church in Statesville offers Evening Prayer on weekdays. The service is a rather simple one: scripture, ordered prayer–for forgiveness, for each other, for safety and quietude. It takes about twenty minutes to go through.

I try to volunteer to lead prayer a few times–the offering relies upon lay folks in the church to lead the service. Most times, only a handful of people show up. There have been a couple of instances in which I said Evening Prayer by myself.

My first assigned reading date was this past Monday. It had been a full and hectic day at the office, the kind where unexpected interruptions derail the plans you’d made. Still, I was able to duck out a little bit early to make it up the road–only to drive straight into a heavy rainstorm, which slowed traffic down. I pulled into the parking lot a minute shy of the appointed start time.

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