It’s never easy leaving a place where you feel welcomed and cared for, nor is it easy to leave a city like Austin (what with the incredible urban green space and all those delicious breakfast tacos). So, it may seem like a surprising move to many to hear that I’m leaving not just UCC or Austin, but the country completely. I’d like to share a bit more about the lead-up that went on behind the scenes so that everyone can not only see how I fell into this PhD program, but also......
According to the Mass Shooting Tracker, which locates news stories on any shooting event that involves 4 or more people, America has seen 388 mass shootings so far in 2017. Three hundred eighty-eight mass shootings since January – even if there wasn’t another shooting the rest of the year, we’d still average more than 1 a day. Of course, some of these shootings stand out far above others on a national level. An event like Las Vegas where 59 people were killed will stand out above even the four people injured in......
This past Saturday, University Christian Church came together to raise funds for our neighbors in Puerto Rico who are in desperate need of help after two devastating hurricanes. The benefit concert, “To Puerto Rico with Love” was a beautiful tribute of classical music by a group of highly talented local musicians. To date, we’ve raised $7,000 to go directly to United for Puerto Rico, an organization spearheaded by Puerto Rico’s First Lady, Beatriz Rossello, to help residents rebuild their homes. This is only a small dent compared to the scale of this disaster......
What happens when we forget? What happens when we refuse to acknowledge pain and struggle and heartache and loss? What happens when we lose track of those who weep, when we turn away from those who cry out, when we forsake those who display their wounds in public? One year ago today, a group home for adults with significant disabilities was attacked by a lone terrorist. Before breaking in and murdering 19 residents, Satoshi Uematsu (a former caretaker in the facility) wrote a manifesto condemning the service and care of those with......
Election years are hard on churches. And it isn’t just that congregations end up divided on important issues. We are 501(c)3 organizations, which means that we have certain perks afforded to us by the government, ostensibly because we offer to the community services which increase their value and quality of life. Essentially, the government recognizes that some things are better done by smaller organizations, and that those same organizations should get certain treatment in order to help them survive in a capitalistic society. Of course, being a 501(c)3 also comes with a......
If you have looked outside recently, you will have noticed that hoards of young people are walking aimlessly throughout the parks, streets, and even maybe your lawn, all over the city. This is a country-wide epidemic, in fact, stretching far beyond Austin and into even the furthest reaches of America’s beautiful lands. Though it may look like the zombie apocalypse has hit us, the reality is far more intriguing. Pokemon Go, a very simple app, has taken the 30-and-younger crowd by storm. Parent company Nintendo has gained 20 BILLION in revenue, and......
Today (Dec. 4, 2014) a Staten Island grand jury found no reasonable evidence to indict Daniel Pantaleo, a police office, for the death of Eric Garner, a resident of NYC. Pantaleo is shown on camera (the recorder of which was indicted, for the record) putting Eric in a chokehold – which is expressly prohibited by the New York City Police Department which hired and trained him. As Eric was brought to the ground, with his hands raised in surrender, he managed to shout, “I can’t breathe,” before passing out and eventually dying. You......