as a Community Hub
At risk of overstating the obvious, the past half-century has seen an overarching paradigm shift in
Western Society: from a church-oriented culture to one now largely informed and instructed by popular
entertainment and corporate news media. This change may be decried by older churchgoers and even
the discerning young, but it cannot be denied. Rather than throwing up our hands and carrying on
regardless - a losing proposition in my view, ignorant and futile – I would suggest that we pay
discriminating attention to pop culture, incorporating its positive humanistic values into our spiritual
frameworks, individual and communal.
Two examples from my individual spiritual journey illustrate ways in which spirituality and popular
culture may converge.
When I was sixteen, my best friend’s family was tragically destroyed by a car accident. My friend’s
father and brother were killed and she lost the ability to walk, becoming a paraplegic. This was in
1989. The Berlin Wall had just come down and the Cold War was ending. The political climate of the
world was looking up, but I was devastated. My religious faith was badly shaken. I simply couldn’t
conceive of what God must have had i