Like pretty much every PR person and information geek in America, I subscribe to Google Alerts so that I can monitor how/when/where Messiah College is popping up in the news. Usually, this service alerts me to blogs or news stories I’m already aware of, but every once and awhile, Google is a goldmine! Like today!
I had heard from a very reliable source several weeks ago that a second Compassion Forum was going to take place at Saddleback Church in southern California. In case you’re an evangelical living under a rock, Saddleback is the home of Rick Warren (the incredibly famous author of “The Purpose Driven Life”) and Doug Fields (a youth pastor of the cool-ish variety). Today, the announcement became official.
Both John McCain and Barack Obama will appear at Warren’s “Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion” on August 16, nearly a full month before either candidate is confirmed as their party’s official nominee. They will each spend an hour alone in dialogue with Warren–he will be the only one asking questions–and the handshake photo op will occur in the middle, just as it did at Messiah for Hillary and Barack. And, it seems that Faith in Public Life has a hand in this event as well, although they don’t seem as in the forefront as they were here at Messiah.
Reading this news today has brought back a rush of memories…and questions. When Messiah hosted The Compassion Forum in April, I was privy to many of the behind-the-scenes conversations. I knew how details were unfolding, how campaigns were behaving, and understood some of the challenges Messiah would face. I would love to know how Warren got McCain to commit, whether Obama drug his feet, and if Saddleback is in conversation with a broadcast partner. Are they busy designing a set? Credentialing media? Preparing catering menus? Renting generators? Coordinating volunteers? Shopping for comfortable shoes? Is someone fielding phone calls from angry constituents?
It’s intriguing to watch how people of faith are inserting themselves and their “issues” into this election. While I appreciate hearing the candidates talk about how their personal faith informs their opinions and policies, I find myself frequently questioning their sincerity. Within the faith community we can’t even agree on issues. So, I am unconvinced that a politician will both understand my faith and make policy decisions in keeping with Biblical principles while at the same time trying to appease the majority. I’m not in the majority, and, you know what? I’m fine with that. Really.
So, besides the excitement of a second Compassion Forum…today has been a pretty swell Monday. Lisa made delicious three-layer, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Yum! Plus, tonight will be my first night at home (without company or commitments) in 10 days. I’m looking forward to it. Jeff and I might even do something crazy…like eat dinner together!
Speaking of eating, check this out:
This is my lunch…from IKEA! (Swedish meatball and ligonberry sauce, of course!) Jason, Heather, and Michael took us to IKEA on Saturday for an afternoon of shopping. Michael, who is a mere five months old, was so good that I often forgot he was even there! I loved IKEA — I mean really, what person with frantic organizational tendecies doesn’t love a whole store devoted to inexpensive means of organizing your home?!
(By the way, I did not eat the meatball that catapulted into the ligonberry sauce. Actually, I didn’t eat about five of the meatballs. Too much red meat for this girl…)