08/27/2015: The Big Apple

Where do I begin in speaking of today’s events?  I suppose the best place to start is in saying that I and some of the other YAVs took a trip to the Presbyterian Ministry to the United Nations in New York City for the day.  While there, I was able to learn a few new things, some not as happy as others.  For example, I learned that it has been 500 days since the girls in Nigeria were kidnapped, and that, even if 57 escaped, zero have been rescued, meaning there are still 219 girls still missing.  What’s worse, the Nigerian government has been lying about having found them the whole time.  My group attended part of a vigil for the girls that are still missing, and one of the speakers, a local imam, made a profound statement that, just like the White Christian Movement (aka the KKK) are in no way Christian, ISIS, ISIL, the group that kidnapped the girls, and all other Islamist groups are in no way Muslim.  Though something I have heard before and held true for the longest time, it still struck a chord with me and brought warmth to my heart.  On a happier note though, I learned that the PCUSA doesn’t actually have a vote in the UN, but is able to advise members of the UN who can vote on certain issues.  Not only did I feel relieved that separation of church and state was upheld in this regard, but it reminded me of one view proposed by H. Richard Niebuhr in his book “Christ and Culture” which states that the church stands in a position to transform the world, the view I have held since learning about it.  This experience has merely served to confirm the belief.  Regardless, also on a happy note, I have made two friends whom I can now say with a great level of certainty will be lifelong friends if not more someday.  I have also been brushing up on both “The Raven” and “Pathetique, movement II” for the talent show on Saturday night, and feel confident about both.  I will have to tell later how they go.  Until then, may God bless you in all you do.

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