Time to Talk about God in a Grown-up Way

The Salvation Army
New Rochelle Corps
Prayer Breakfast
Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:00 am – 10:30 am
We Talk about God in a Grown-up Way
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America’s Changing Religious Landscape (graph)

The U.S is home to the most Christians in the world, but the number of Americans who identify as Christian is declining, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.
While the drop in Christian affiliation is particularly pronounced among young adults, it is occurring among Americans of all ages. The same trends are seen among whites, blacks and Latinos; among both college graduates and adults with only a high school education; and among women as well as men.
One of the most important factors in the declining share of Christians and the growth of the “nones” is generational replacement. As the Millennial generation enters adulthood, its members display much lower levels of religious affiliation, including less connection with Christian churches, than older generations. Fully 36% of young Millennials (those between the ages of 18 and 24) are religiously unaffiliated, as are 34% of older Millennials (ages 25-33). And fewer than six-in-ten Millennials identify with any branch of Christianity, compared with seven-in-ten or more among older generations, including Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers. Just 16% of Millennials are Catholic, and only 11% identify with mainline Protestantism. Roughly one-in-five are evangelical Protestants.

36% of young Millennials (those between the ages of 18 and 24) are religiously unaffiliated

In a NPR interview The Very Rev. Gary Hall, the retired dean of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., points out that to counter this decline it is time to talk about God in a grown-up way:
I’ve always felt that it’s important for religious people to have the same kind of philosophical stance they use in their religious life as they do in the rest of their life. And a lot of times I think religion — religions — ask people to sort of turn off the scientific part of their lives and just go and kind of think about God kind of pre-scientifically.
I don’t think we can do that. We’ve got to have a faith that is, in some sense, consonant with the way we think about the world scientifically. And again, I think one of the things the Pew study suggests to us is that if the church can get over its anxiety about talking about God in a grown-up way, we would actually reach out to and speak to more people than we do right now.
The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Washington National Cathedral

The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Washington National Cathedral, stands outside the church in Washington, D.C., in 2013.

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Prince Tribute Concert – Charlotte

It’s not a crime to murder Black organizers in an operation run by the national political police.
~ Noam Chomsky

Prince Tribute Concert

The sky was all purple
There were people runnin’ everywhere
Tryin’ to run from their destruction
You know I didn’t even care
They say two thousand zero, zero
Party over
Oops, out of time
So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999
In 1999 worldwide music revenue was $27 billion, in 2014 it had dropped to $15 billion. Most blame Napster for this decline, but if you dig deeper you will find that Wall Street and government policy are the actual cause of the steep decline in music revenue. The death of Prince is a metaphor for the death of music and especially Black music.

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Tell Me Something Good: A Documentary

Tell Me Something Good

I got something that’ll
Sho nuff set your stuff on fire
John Shelby Spong, who was the Episcopal Bishop of Newark for twenty-four years, writes in The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic:
The good news of the gospel, as John understands it, is not that you–a wretched, miserable, fallen sinner–have been rescued from your fate and saved from your deserved punishment by the invasive power of a supernatural, heroic God who came to your aid….  John’s rendition of Jesus’ message is that the essence of life is discovered when one is free to give life away, that love is known in the act of loving and that the call of human life is to be all that each of us can be and then to be an agent of empowering other to be all they can be.

"God is not a Christian" ~ John Shelby Spong

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
~ Matthew 6:25
Hope Community Services

HOPE Community Services is the largest food pantry/soup kitchen in Westchester County. Former HOPE Volunteer Coordinator Sue Gedney, former New York State High Chess Champion Joshua Cola, 96 years old volunteer Iris Freed, and Terrance Jackson.  Photo: Gene Shaw

I spent over four years homeless mostly in New Rochelle, NY and discovered the power of empathy to fuel innovation and creativity:
I believe that empathy – the imaginative act of stepping into another person’s shoes and viewing the world from their perspective – is a radical tool for social change and should be a guiding light for the art of living. Over the past decade, I have become convinced that it has the power not only to transform individual lives, but to help tackle some of the great problems of our age, from wealth inequality to violent conflicts and climate change.
It is important to understand what empathy is and is not. If you see a homeless person living under a bridge you may feel sorry for him and give him some money as you pass by. That is pity or sympathy, not empathy. If, on the other hand, you make an effort to look at the world through his eyes, to consider what life is really like for him, and perhaps have a conversation that transforms him from a faceless stranger into a unique individual, then you are empathising. ~ Roman Krznaric
Roman Krznaric - Empathy

RSA Animate – The Power of Outrospection – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG46IwVfSu8

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Can Hospitals and Health Systems Heal America’s Communities?

New York State largest private sector employers (in alphabetical order)
  • Columbia University
  • Home Depot
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank
  • Montefiore Hospital & Medical Center
  • Mount Sinai Hospital
  • North Shore-LIJ Health System
  • New York-Presbyterian University Hospital
  • University of Rochester
  • Walmart
  • Wegmans Food Markets
New York City largest private sector employers (in alphabetical order)
  • Columbia University
  • Consolidated Edison
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Montefiore Hospital & Medical Center
  • Mount Sinai Hospital
  • New Partners Inc.
  • North Shore-LIJ Health System
  • New York-Presbyterian University Hospital
  • NYU Hospitals Center
4 out of 10 of the largest private sector employers in New York State and 7 out of 10 of the largest private sector employers in New York City are healthcare providers.

nyc life expectancies

Physicians, healthcare administrators, and hospital trustees face an important and historic leadership opportunity that our country and our communities desperately need. Hospitals and health systems throughout the country are beginning to build on their charitable efforts, beyond traditional corporate social responsibility, to adopt elements of an anchor mission in their business models and operations.
For most Americans, the term “healthcare” connotes accessing good quality doctors and getting treatment once ill, with a smattering of lifestyle actions that can be taken to try to prevent illness, such as exercise, diet, and supplements. Hospitals, many believe, exist to take care of sick people.
But in recent years, the healthcare sector has expanded its focus beyond illness treatment alone to what creates health in the first place, tackling the challenging social, economic, and environmental issues that, to a large extent, determine our health status, our outlook, and our life expectancy. These are the “social determinants of health,” a complex of factors related to where people are born, grow, work, live, and age. They represent the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life that drive health outcomes, such as inequality, social mobility, community stability, and the quality of civic life.
For over two decades, overwhelming evidence from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other sources suggests that social, economic, and environmental factors are more significant predictors of health than access to care. The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute found that over 40 percent of the factors that contribute to the length and quality of life are social and economic; another 30 percent are health behaviors, directly shaped by socio-economic factors; and another 10 percent are related to the physical environment where we live and make day to day choices—again inextricably linked to social and economic realities. Just 10 to 20 percent of what creates health is related to access to care, and the quality of the services received.

sdoh2
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Harlem Magazine Because Digital Ads Suck & Google Is An Old Business

The new model of advertising and branding demands that companies improve public life and satisfy the needs of our higher sacred selves.

Harlem - Smith

Click the image above for a rough draft of Harlem Magazine.

ChartOfTheDay_709_Google_s_ad_revenue_since_2004_n
Ad Spending

Google has more revenue than all U.S. print newspapers and magazines combined.
Yet direct mail is still the biggest single direct marketing channel, worth around $45 billion a year in the US alone. But it’s increasingly clear that printed marketing communications work best when used in conjunction with digital channels such as email, personalized web pages (PURLs), database marketing, and mobile elements.

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Ask, Seek & Knock: Discovering the Mystery of Life

Ask, Seek & Knock

“And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
~ Matthew 21:22

Bed-Stuy Magazine

Click the image above to view a rough draft of Bed-Stuy Magazine
Ask, Seek & Knock
A Religious-Themed AR Game for World Peace
The hottest craze right now is Pokémon Go. It has now topped Twitter’s daily users, and it sees people spending more time in its app than in Facebook.

Pokemon Go

Pokémon Go is an example of augmented reality (AR). Instead of using Pokémon (pocket monsters), we are developing an augmented reality game that uses similar game mechanics but with religious themes.
When we look at each other, we are seeing the past. That is to say, what we see before us has happened. Science, logic and waking consciousness all deal with things that have happened. Science and reason can only predict what will happen if what will happen repeats what has happened. They cannot predict absolute novelty. The creativity of religion, mythology, and dream consciousness is the present. It is becoming. It is our very becoming. And a person with an intuition on that level can intuit the destiny of nations.
Waking consciousness, science, rational life, perfectly good but don’t try to interpret religion and your dreams in terms of reason. And don’t try to interpret faith in terms of science and logic. Religious imagery is telling you what is becoming. Reason is telling you what has become. The mystery of life is on the level of faith and dreams. So have faith, keep believing, and don’t be afraid to dream.

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Terabit Westchester

In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year voted 3-2 to redefined broadband as being at least 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. The voted was divided along party lines, Chairman Tom Wheeler along with Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel voted in favor of the new definition while Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Ajit Pai voted against the new definition.
This definition of broadband is still way too slow. In American cities like New York, you can buy a 500 Mbps connection that’s 58 times faster than the U.S. average. Here’s the catch: It’ll cost you $300 a month, according to the New America Foundation’s Cost of Connectivity report. In Seoul, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, however, you can get twice the speed, a 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps) connection, for under $40 a month. In New York and Los Angeles for under $40, Time Warner Cable offers a 15 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload connection.

Download speeds

In the United States broadband is both more expensive and slower at the same time. And this is mostly due to government policy as Susan Crawford writes in Captive Audience:
Instead of ensuring that everyone in America can compete in a global economy, instead of narrowing the divide between rich and poor, instead of supporting competitive free markets for American inventions that use information—instead, that is, of ensuring that America will lead the world in the information age—U.S. politicians have chosen to keep Comcast and its fellow giants happy.
Susan Crawford

Susan Crawford with Bill Moyers (BillMoyers.com)

Today, Internet backbone connections tend to run at 40 Gigabits (Gb) per second, while 100Gb is becoming more common. That’s good, but that’s not good enough. Fortunately, new research projects point the way to the terabit (Tb) Internet. And we would like to ensure that Westchester is in the forefront of implementing terabit Internet technology.

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