Tuesday's News & Ideas

  • Rock star bishop
  • Behind the culture wars
  • Kindness for Lent
  • Taking ashes to the street
  • Religion for everyone
  • It's getting better

Bishop Minerva Carcaño has a nearly impossible jobReligion Dispatches: Expectations are high for this progressive United Methodist leader, but conservative backlash looms.

Cultural wars, not jobs, play a large role in this electionNational Catholic Reporter: What's behind the undying persistence of culture wars in American elections.Washington Times: Battle lines are drawn over whether Obama is waging a war on religion

Lent could be about kindness not caloriesThe (London) Guardian: Wouldn't it be nice if spring was a time when we worked on being better to each other, rather than giving things up?

Episcopal churches to take Ash Wednesday services into the streetsEpiscopal News Service: More than 40 Episcopal parishes in 11 states will take to the streets on Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of the holy season of Lent by giving "Ashes to Go."

Religion for everyoneWall Street Journal: The decline of religion in the West has brought a decline in community spirit. Could the secular world draw useful lessons from religious life? Alain de Botton offers new ways to find shared meaning.

Ministry of small thingsDaily Episcopalian: Not every ministry is high profile, but even the smallest of ministries is important, kingdom building-wise.

The Spark

The world is getting better, argues new book, 'Abundance'With all the bad news that assaults us these days, it's only natural that your brain believes the end is near and there's not a thing we can do about it. But when you pull back a bit, what you actually see is a preponderance of trends that are moving in a fantastic direction, say the authors of a new book, "Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think." So, cheer up, they say in an interview with the Daily Beast. The future will be better.

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