From the editor: This week in The Christian Citizen
June 16, 2023
Last month, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy released a report calling attention to the public health crisis of loneliness, isolation, and lack of connection in our country. The report noted that even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately half of U.S. adults reported experiencing measurable levels of loneliness.
“Our epidemic of loneliness and isolation has been an underappreciated public health crisis that has harmed individual and societal health. Our relationships are a source of healing and well-being hiding in plain sight – one that can help us live healthier, more fulfilled, and more productive lives,” said Murthy. “Given the significant health consequences of loneliness and isolation, we must prioritize building social connection the same way we have prioritized other critical public health issues such as tobacco, obesity, and substance use disorders.”
You can read more about the surgeon general’s report here. This week, two of our writers respond. Clint Schnekloth asks why, with more resources than ever for communication and connection, we have an epidemic of loneliness. Meanwhile, Paul Bailey asks what the church can learn from the library about building community.
In this week’s newsletter, we featured a recent article in The Christian Science Monitor that examines how ministers in Middletown, Ohio are working to bridge political and cultural divides and help rebuild community. It’s a wonderful example of what building social connection looks like in action, one that could be replicated in other communities across the country.
Also this week, Bob Sittig reviews the efforts of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists to advocate for the individuals of the LGBTQ+ community and the churches who welcome them. In an excerpt from his latest book, Marvin McMickle argues, “The captivity from which women and men both need to be set free requires a liberating theology that affirms freedom and opportunity for men equally available to women.”
In this week’s newsletter, we featured a recent article in The Christian Science Monitor that examines how ministers in Middletown, Ohio are working to bridge political and cultural divides and help rebuild community. It’s a wonderful example of what building social connection looks like in action, one that could be replicated in other communities across the country. You’ll also find a link to my latest article for The Christian Century, a review of Speak with the Earth and it Will Teach You, Daniel Cooperrider’s field guide to the Bible.
I hope to see you at the ABC Biennial Mission Summit next week in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Come find me in the exhibit hall at the American Baptist Home Mission Societies booth.