Posts by Category: Editor’s Views

Columns by the editor of the Advocate, Jessica Brodie

Editor's Views August 26, 2014 posted by

Look past the surface

By Jessica Connor. As humans, we put all sorts of social constraints on our ourselves. Beyond race, ethnicity or creed, we like to further divide ourselves: Are we “Southern,” “Northern” or “Midwestern?” “Liberal” or “conservative?”

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Look past the surface
Photo by Jessica Connor
Editor's Views July 28, 2014 posted by

Welcome to America?

By Jessica Connor. More than 50,000 undocumented children intercepted by U.S. immigration officials just in the past year. More than that, perhaps, crossing into this nation and into the system, sometimes documented, sometimes undocumented. All searching for a better life, far from the starvation, the terror, the cycle of poverty.

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Welcome to America?
Photo by Jay Mallin, UMNS
Editor's Views June 10, 2014 posted by

Be kindness

By Jessica Connor. In final worship at Annual Conference, Bishop Holston wrapped to a close quoting Mother Teresa: “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”

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Be kindness
A UMNS Photo by Mike DuBose
Editor's Views February 25, 2014 posted by

One million books and you

By Jessica Connor. I’m a bookworm. I started reading when I was a precocious 2-year-old, and today I count books among my most prized possessions. When I’m not reading, I’m writing. Books take me to other places, other ages and sometimes other planets. They were my escape as a child, my ticket to a bright and limitless future.

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One million books and you
Editor's Views January 27, 2014 posted by

‘He must be a Christian, Mommy’

By Jessica Connor. As the mother of two young children, ages 6 and 8, I try hard to make sure they are steeped in strong faith. I bring them to church, pray with them a few times a day, say blessings at meals, the usual. When hard times arise, such as when my son had a brief bout with a bully on the bus, they become good opportunities to show how God is always with us, walking beside us even when we can’t see him.

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Editor's Views December 23, 2013 posted by

Voices of poverty: life on the margins

By Jessica Connor. When our eyes are opened, we can see them clearly: our friends, neighbors, brothers and sisters on the fringes of life. Sometimes they don’t have enough to eat. Sometimes they don’t have a home of their own and stay with family members or live out of their car. Or in a shelter. Or on a park bench. Whatever they can do to survive and get by until they can catch a break.

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Editor's Views November 27, 2013 posted by

A celebration of Christ

By Jessica Connor. It’s hard to keep things holy when every store you enter breaks out the tinsel and the plastic Santas before Halloween is even over; when you get gift-shopping sale ads that rival the size of small magazines day after day in your mailbox. Popular Advent ministries like the Angel Tree or Operation Christmas Child get popped right into the mix like items on a to-do list.

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Editor's Views October 23, 2013 posted by

Holy moments

By Jessica Connor. There we were—my mom, sister, hospital chaplain and I—gathered in a loose circle around my grandmother’s hospital bed. Gram is elderly and already struggles with Alzheimer’s and respiratory issues, but she’d just been dealt a double whammy: a stroke and congestive heart failure.

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Editor's Views September 25, 2013 posted by

Fear factor

By Jessica Connor. Fear is a powerful motivator. It can be used for good purposes by kicking in survival mechanisms (a healthy fear of lightning might keep you safely inside during dangerous storms, while a fear of getting burned keeps your hand out of the flame). But fear can also be used in negative, harmful ways, resulting in the oppression, alienation and victimization of other human beings usually because they are different. 

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Editor's Views August 27, 2013 posted by

Bold works for Christ

By Jessica Connor. I am consistently heartened when I learn about — and get the opportunity to write about — people who are doing novel and extraordinary things for the Kingdom. A lot of times, they don’t think they’re doing so much. I’m just knitting,  a woman will tell me, her head tucked shyly; yet to the homeless veteran who wears the soft gloves that her hands lovingly crafted, her skill means the difference between a cruel night and comfort.

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Editor's Views July 24, 2013 posted by

Moving forward together

By Jessica Connor. One case does not a nation make. And as we move forward in the weeks following the acquittal of neighborhood watch coordinator George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, we would do well to remember that.

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Editor's Views June 18, 2013 posted by

Can I God-size that?

By Jessica Connor. Suddenly, that’s all I’m hearing: God-sized vision. God-sized dream. God-sized goal. God-sized reality. God-sized worship. Popularized by Bishop Jonathan Holston, the phrase was repeated everywhere at Annual Conference—in conversation, on the stage, on the floor, in the Twittersphere. And I’ve got to say, the phrase really works.

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Editor's Views April 25, 2013 posted by

Love prevails

By Jessica Connor. Two sweet-faced young women and a grinning little boy lost their lives doing absolutely nothing but participating in a family-friendly activity: the Boston Marathon. Others now face life as an amputee. Countless more will surely struggle through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. All because two world-hating men decided they wanted to make a statement, or something.

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Editor's Views March 26, 2013 posted by

Do something

By Jessica Connor. In our faith, I’ve heard it over and over again: once we are saved in Christ, it shouldn’t be enough to merely rest in the knowledge we are now guaranteed a spot in the Kingdom. While nothing we physically do can get us into heaven, once we are safely in the arms of Jesus, we’re not supposed to just sit around on our laurels, eat bonbons and rest comfortably in our state of grace.

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Editor's Views January 29, 2013 posted by

Now what?

By Jessica Connor. While job security and the overall financial health of the nation seem to be on the upswing, I don’t think anyone expected the S.C. Conference to see its best year in apportionments giving since 2003. After all, the recession nearly crippled many in this state, and economy experts are calling this year’s Christmas shopping season the worst since 2008. Most people expected something on par with last year, if we were lucky.

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