Hello devoted Creedible followers.
This is just a quick note to introduce myself.
My name is Ann Marie Somma and I’m the editor/community manager of HartfordFAVS (Faith And ValueS), which in September will become Creedible’s spiritual replacement.
Here’s a little of my background: I’ve been a newspaper reporter in Connecticut for more than 15 years. I’ve covered a host of beats and dabbled in religion news while at the Hartford Courant.
It’s my mission to make HartfordFAVS the place to find in-depth and informative reporting on religion news just as Creedible did under Tracy Simmon’s hard work and vision.
On HartfordFAVS you’ll find voices from diverse faith communities, some of whom are current Creedible bloggers and contributors.
I hope you’ll find HartfordFAVS informative, thought-provoking, and make it your go-to site for faith and values news in Connecticut.
I look forward to this new opportunity to serve you.
Feel free to email me at AnnMarie.Somma@ReligionNews.com or call me at 203-217-9510. You can also find HartfordFAVS on Facebook and Twitter.
Ann Marie Somma
By Blogger Chuck Redfern
Maybe they’re more than living museum pieces of a barely remembered schism-within-a-schism in Swiss history. Maybe they’re reluctant beacons lighting a path away from dystopia. Maybe, if we look closely, we’ll see freedom among the wary, rule-riddled Amish. Perhaps their backwardness isn’t so backward and our advances aren’t so advanced — and perhaps they’ll help us reclaim our spiritual footing as we face the sober fact: God’s creation chafes beneath the Type-A, multi-tasking melee. Something must be done.
Nancy Sleeth has eaten the fish and spat out the bones. She looks beyond the group’s obvious flaws, learns from their attributes and applies their lessons in “Almost Amish: One Woman’s Quest For a Slower, Simpler, and More Sustainable Life.” The result: An entertaining, thought-provoking, refreshing, nuts-and-bolts manual for those of us who feel enslaved to the grid and our gas guzzlers. We know that massive dilemmas like climate change demand a matrix of societal solutions interlinking changed priorities, altered transportation systems, urban renewal and international negotiations; but still, we feel like hypocrites behind our steering wheels on our 40-minute commutes. We want more from ourselves.
Sleeth is the author of “Go Green, Save Green,” and managing director of Blessed Earth, a faith-based non-profit organization she co-founded with her husband, Matthew, a former emergency room physician and hospital chief of staff. Matthew says he felt like he was “straightening deck chairs on the Titanic” as he rescued individual patients on a sinking Earth. The outcome: The family drastically cut its fossil fuel and electricity use; he wrote “Serve God and Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action” (Zondervan, 2007); he shelved his career and, along with Nancy, founded the organization. Blessed Earth has produced videos and sponsored such initiatives as The Seminary Stewardship Alliance (institutions have pledged to teach environmental stewardship) and Creation Care Year (they partner with influential churches and offer forums, seminars, lectures, small group studies and panel discussions).
By Blogger Linda Ross
Oh how our attention is captured when we see ourselves or someone we know chronicled in a commencement address! As promised, here is another favorite passage from this year’s graduation remarks. Dr. Jill Biden (educator and wife of Vice President Joe Biden) shared this thought with the graduating class of Broward College in Florida:
“Most people think of the famous ceiling of the Sistine Chapel when they hear the name Michelangelo. But interestingly enough, Michelangelo resisted painting – he considered himself a sculptor. It was as a sculptor that he shared these words: ‘I saw an angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.’… You all have something that makes you come alive…Find it – and carve and carve – until you set it free.”
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and developed a prayer based system of healing, wrote about this concept in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures“. Judging from her life long effort to teach others this approach to health and the challenges she faced, her words are instructive:
“The sculptor turns from the marble to his model in order to perfect his conception. We are all sculptors, working at various forms, moulding and chiseling thought… We must form perfect
models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives.”
If you are a new graduate or like me continuing along life’s learning curve, take a moment to examine the models you have in your thought. Are they worthy of your goals? If so, one, two, three – carve!
The Rev. Ann Ritonia from Church of the Good Shepherd participates in Ashes to Go/Contributed
The Rev. Ann Ritonia from Church of the Good Shepherd (680 Racebrook
Road in Orange) stands along the Post Road in Orange on Ash Wednesday,
offering ashes to anyone as a part of the national “Ashes to Go”
(www.ashestogo.org) movement. Ash Wednesday services will be held at
the church at 12:30p.m. and 7 p.m. today. In addition, Rev. Ritonia will be
offering Ashes to Go until noon, and again from 4 p.m to 6 p.m at the CT Post
Mall Food Court.
By Blogger Chuck Redfern
One wonders: Will they swap a concrete overpass for the wobbly pedestrian
bridge? Will the New Left see the wisdom in forging its long-delayed alliance
with the Old Left? Will independent-minded vegans learn from well-honed, meat-and-potatoes union members?
Such were my questions as I snapped pictures of the spreading “Occupy Wall Street” campaign, which moved into Hartford, Connecticut, Friday night and featured 350 marchers lofting signs and chanting “We are the 99 percent!” Some camped on the corner of Broad Street and Farmington Avenue. I was on the ball: I arrived ahead of schedule but at the wrong location and I found no marchers –thus my Saturday-afternoon pictures of orphaned signs and a small knot of sleep-deprived organizers planning their next assembly, scheduled for 3 p.m.
It was a time warp moment. The campers’ flower-child looks forced me into cliché-riddled memories of the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s and the era’s mantras and signs and slogans. I remember the huge gulf that was never spanned: The New Left and the Old Left sneered at each other from different worlds. The New Left was forged in anti-Vietnam protests and in strikes and sit-ins on college campuses; the Old Left grew up in the Depression and in the 1937 strikes and sit-ins against General Motors. Police bloodied the New Left; company thugs teamed up with police and beat up and threatened members of the Old Left. The New Left revolved around skeptical students experimenting with “alternative lifestyles;” the Old Left included church-going, often Catholic, family men (and it was a male world). The New Left was dovish; the Old Left was adamantly anti-communist and hawkish: The union-supported Truman administration launched the anti-Soviet containment policy and led us into the Korean War; the liberal Johnson administration sent combat troops into Vietnam. The New Left carried books to class; the Old Left carried a lunchbox to work.
The New Left and Old Left never shook hands … Until now, perhaps. The frail bridge was thrown when unions began supporting the flower children’s heirs. They’re supplying food for the “Occupy Wall Street” campers and are marching with them in New York. Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, applauded them and declared: “It’s been three years since Wall Street CEOs crashed our economy. When Wall Street was on its knees, the American taxpayers came to their rescue with trillions of dollars in bailouts and promises from the big banks that they’d invest in our recovery. Instead, the banks used our hard-earned tax dollars to enrich themselves.” Her concluding line: “The people are finally speaking. Now it’s up to our leaders and CEOs to listen and respond.”Those questions kept pouring as I snapped my pictures in Hartford: Will the heirs of the New Left now listen to the heirs of the Old Left? The Old Left is organized; it’s experienced; it can teach everyone how to set goals, how to negotiate, and how to fight the good fight. Can the New Left see the practicality of humility? Can its members get comfortable with mothers and fathers and meatloaf lovers? Can they cozy-up to those affirming “traditional family values,” some of whom attend daily mass and disagree with abortion? Will they see allies in nuns and priests and pastors and Bible-lovers? Will they have the savvy to frame this movement in “pro-family” terms (our long work days and work weeks steal parents from their children). If they do, the wobbling pedestrian bridge may grow into the multi-lane overpass. If not, “Occupy Wall Street” and the New Left’s heirs will meet their ancestors’ fate, and the American greed manifested in Wall Street will keep gnawing our nation’s soul.
Chuck Redfern is Interim Pastor at First Baptist Church in Meriden.
This is going to be the temporary site for Creedible. Thank you for being so patient with us as we make this changes.