On the morning of the Women’s March on Washington, I learned about the use of knitted pink “pussy hats” by some of the protestors as a response to the newly inducted U.S. president’s vulgar comments about women.
I reported this to my men’s Bible study group that morning. The initial shock and guffaws soon turned to smiles of admiration and appreciation for those who had turned a near-taboo conversation into an empowering moment.
How power is used is an important matter whether in halls of government or on the street and even in the church. This month’s feature article samples examples of some of the use and abuse of power in the life of our church.
It is only the beginning of what could be considered, but it is a place to begin if you have never given much thought to the matter. The feature also provides a useful sampling of resources for those who want dig deeper.
As you read about the how power affected the lives of others and some of the insights and outcomes that happened, memories of your own experiences will likely surface. Some of those memories may be upsetting, either because you were the victim of power abused or because you now realize that you were the perpetrator.
That doesn’t need to turn into nurturing old grudges or guilt. Instead it can provide a way to reflect on possibilities of how things might have been done better and how you can use such insight now.
Personally I’m always a bit amazed and perplexed by how even the simplest exchange with another person can turn into a power struggle without either of us intending for that to happen. Because of features like this one, I’m slowly learning how to step back, identify what is happening, and then use whatever power I may have to try to turn the exchange into something where both of us are empowered.
As part of our Reformation Commemoration, Q & A (p. 15) begins a series that considers the five solas, five Latin slogans used during the Reformation to summarize the reformers’ theological convictions about the essentials of Christianity. This series could be a useful source for a special Reformation study group.
I am committed to trying to give voice to our readers. So when Paul Kuhn called and told me his story, I was immediately interested. He needed help in finding a way to put his thoughts on paper. I suggested that he ask his pastor to help him. You will find the result in Not alone (p. 9). Such queries continue to provide stories of how our readers are Practising Our Faith.
Into the Word (p. 31) explores yet another aspect of how we use our power as readers consider how our dominion over creation can be for good or ill.
Kenn Ward, Editor