St Margaret's News September 2015 - Page 7

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