On weekdays I have only enough time to skim the headlines before dashing off to work. On Sundays I have the luxury of reading and considering the articles and columns presented. Curling up with a steaming cup of tea and the Sunday paper is a treat that I anticipate all week long.
In spite of the decline in print journalism, the shrinking page-size and typeface, and the egregious lack of any sort of proof-reading for grammar or spelling on headlines and articles, I can usually find something to enlighten me or to ponder over.
One morning there were two items that spoke to me. The first was an editorial announcing that my local paper would be restoring their typeface to its previous size in the coming days. The writer explained that newspaper publishers had come to realize that their frantic attempt to attract younger readers had become counter-productive because all the changes were alienating their current readership while utterly failing to bring in the younger audience. From now on the newspaper’s website and digital edition would be tailored for the IM-ing, Tweeting, social networking readers and the print version would attempt to win back and serve traditional subscribers.
The same struggle between traditional and modern is being faced by our churches and women’s ministries.
Our efforts to reinvent ourselves to serve modern tastes is making our faithful membership base uncomfortable. Some are beginning to feel devalued, taken for granted or even unwanted.
Recognizing this tension, our organizations are seeking to find a balance between honoring our established members and becoming relevant and attractive to the younger generations, just as the journalism industry is.
The second item that caught my eye that day was a column on quantum physics. Much of it, although extremely interesting, was irrelevant to my day to day life. When the columnist explained Bell’s Theorem, however, it struck a chord. Bell’s theory has to do with the innate connectedness of all matter without regard to physical relationship. Simplistically, it says that everything is connected to everything else, no matter how far apart they are situated. This theorem has never, yet, been disproved.
So, the senior citizen with newsprint on her fingers reading the large print issue is irrevocably connected to the college student skimming the headlines on her smartphone. The women who have spent decades rolling bandages for missionaries are linked to today’s social activists trekking to Washington DC in protest of human trafficking.
We are all part of the whole. We cannot dismiss one another without diminishing ourselves.
We are one body made up of many parts just as the Bible tells us. It is important that we savor and celebrate this connectedness if we are to thrive.