480: Readers tell us about … prayer through fire & riot, plus Spiritual Wanderer—and cleaning up our cities

Once again, thanks to readers like you,
we’ve got your feedback to share …

Dramatic Story of Jewish-Christian Healing 
in the Midst of Fire and Riot of Los Angeles
Moves Readers to Prayer …

WE’RE PUBLISHING UPLIFTING RESOURCES to help you Lift Your City in Prayer. Part of that major effort was a two-part story this week from the Rev. Kenneth Flowers, a courageous pastor who helped to bring healing after the 1992 Los Angeles riot—and was a source of interfaith inspiration again in 1994 after the California earthquake.
    Reader Sue O finished reading the Flowers interviews and enthusiastically echoed one of Ken’s conclusions. Sue O put it this way: “Yes, that’s what Life’s about—RELATIONSHIPS—nothing else! Forget the ‘stuff’ and work on building relationships.”
    Reader Elaine Greenberg, who recalls hearing Ken speak in her Jewish temple in recent years, described the inspiration she draws from a story like this:
    “I had tears in my eyes as I read the Rev. Flowers’ story—first, about the reaction of the people
in L.A. to the news of the white officers being found ‘not
guilty’ after the beating of Rodney King. Then, I cried because of the Rev. Flowers’ concern for the safety of his own family, and the fact that a rabbi at a nearby temple came forth to help.
    “Why does it take a disaster
to bring people together? Why can’t we just live in peace and respect
for one another without there being earthquakes, riots and fires and
killings? I know: It’s human nature. I liked the Rev. Flowers’ reference to ‘the haters” of this world.’ We all know ‘haters.’
    “Both parts of the Rev. Flowers’ story were so moving. And, yes, I do believe
one person can make a difference. David, in interviewing people like the Rev. Flowers, you are one of those people who
brings information to your readers and is making  a difference. On days when you question whether you are doing the right thing—and we all have days like that—remember these words: You are making a difference!”

    Thank you, Elaine, for voicing what many readers expressed in person, as I traveled a bit this week, and in various forms of Email, messages and notes. (AND: If you missed Ken’s story about the LA earthquake and riot—it starts right here.)

Spiritual Wanderer 
Hanging His Heart Online …
Calling on All Those Wandering in Layoff Land

CHECK OUT THE SPIRITUAL WANDERER, if you haven’t stopped by that remarkably fresh Web site in the past week or so. Readership is growing as Rodney Curtis, aka The Spiritual Wanderer, has “gone live” with reflections on the challenges of suddenly finding himself laid off mid career.
    Right. That’s what millions of Americans are facing right now.
    Here’s how one of his latest stories begins: “I had a bad night … The kind of night where you wake up thrashing at your sheets from a half-forgotten dream where some part of you still believes it’s real. Wakefulness doesn’t completely fill the darkness and you’re left wondering about the panic. Wondering why you believe the idiocy in your dreams. …”
    Had a night like that in recent months? Millions of us have. Check out the Spiritual Wanderer.

What Do You Think of THIS idea? 
“Let’s skip church next Sunday …”
and Clean Up Our Neighborhoods Instead

THAT’S THE KIND OF IDEA READERS generate over at the OurValues.org Web site! And, this past week, we had a whole lot of creative ideas to contemplate!
    Dr. Wayne Baker, the creator and regular voice of OurValues.org, is taking a summer break and we’ve got a series of guest writers producing week-long series for us. This week, we’re honored to publish a series by the Rev. Daniel Buttry, international peace negotiator for American Baptist Churches and author of the “Interfaith Heroes” book series.
    All week, Dan has been provocatively pushing at all the popular boasting about prayer’s power. Dan’s a strong advocate of prayer himself—but he has been posing challenging questions about the values that should undergird any effort at prayer on behalf of our core communities.
    Check out www.OurValues.org for Dan Buttry’s series. At one point in the series, reader Ron Amen commented that we all should roll up our sleeves and do something to actually help our communities. Ron wrote: “I say let’s skip church next Sunday and police the streets for trash.
The old saying still holds true, ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ and
the Good Lord will excuse us once a month!”

ONE LAST TIP THIS WEEK: I heard from a mainline Protestant pastor mid-week who said he’s thinking of taking Dan Buttry’s series this week and using it with a discussion group that meets at his church. “Is that OK to do? To reprint stories?” he asked. The answer is: Yes, we welcome readers to cut and paste and share our stories—as long as you include a link back to our Web sites and include credit to our writers. If you’re scrambling for ideas to share with your small group this summer, take a look at Dan’s series in OurValues.org!


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    Not only do we welcome your notes—but our readers enjoy them as well. You can do this
anytime by clicking on the “Comment” links at the end of each story.
You also can Email ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm. We’re also reachable on Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, YouTube and other social-networking sites as well.
    (Originally published at https://readthespirit.com/)

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