Meet the God Squad, the brains behind our series “Faith, Food, Friday: Improbable conversations for people of faith and no faith at all (because talking politics wasn’t hard enough). We hope you’ll join us as we explore what happens when people of good will who might not agree cross each others’ thresholds and break a little bread together. Whoever you are, whatever your beliefs, bring an open mind, an open heart (and an empty stomach) for a continuing conversation on the two topics your mother taught you to never broach in polite company. Faith, Food, Friday is $10 if you register through the Wednesday ahead of each program ($15 after) and free if you’d like to bring your own lunch (or not eat). Oh and this year we’ve got a theme, it’s all about who we are to each other in this hometown – this place, these people. Read more about this year’s “The Year of Living Locally” here. And speaking of neighbors, our special thanks to this year’s season sponsor The Grove at Canopy, whose gourmet chef will be catering lunch all year. Yum.
We all know we’ve got a problem in Tallahassee — we’re economically, geographically and racially too far apart from each other. Too often the costs of this separation is ignored, avoided and goes unspoken. As usual, God Squad will defy the tendency to ignore what’s right in front of us in the lives we live together and dive right in.
People of faith in America feel besieged by a secularized culture and see their basic freedom to practice as threatened. Enter “The Benedict Option” – the idea that Christians need to separate themselves further from the culture around them. Whether or not you’re someone who sees a building threat to religious freedom, what cost is there to our communities with further separation?
Measures of connectedness across society are on the decline — including in faith communities where the fastest growing religious preference is unaffiliated — while the sheer destructive power of connection to ideological political tribe is accelerating. Might these two trend lines directly relate to each other?
Suicide rates are up 30% since the turn of the century, for girls between 7 and 17 it’s up 70%. 72,000 Americans die from the slow suicide of opiate addiction and depression rates are skyrocketing. 50% of Americans say no one knows them well. There is an epidemic quietly playing out in our hometowns — and this hometown is no exception.
It’s hard to believe but The God Squad has been a part of the Tallahassee civic landscape for an entire decade now so we’re going to throw a shindig and the remaining OG God Squadder Pastor Darrick McGhee is going to pick the topic. Even The God Squad won’t know the topic – join in to see if he can stump them.
As much as it’s hard to take our eyes off of Washington lately, ultimately it’s neighbors like us in hometowns like this one who decide who we are to each other. We’ll get The Fab Five out of their summer sabbaticals to talk the Catholic principle of “subsidiarity” – doing good work closest to the people – and consider our local power to heal the growing national divide.
Exit the Echo Chamber: Fake News, Filter Bubbles and Faith Summer is right around the corner and we know you have plans – fishing, sunbathing, a summer read or two? Whatever you’re up to, we say you add just one more to-do: “Save the planet by escaping the echo chamber.” Doable.