Cleaning and Cultural Prejudice: A Reflection on Good Practices and Toxic Theology

By Stephen Milliken Cleaning. Everybody at some point in their lives has to clean up something. But interestingly, those of us who practice this discipline the most tend to be society’s most neglected, or at least second class citizens. Gender norms place cleaning within women’s work, drudgery not fit for the magnanimous free thoughts of [Read More…]

From the archives: Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Newspaper Reporters. Let ‘Em Be Actuaries and Optometrists and Such.

What’s the deal with actuaries? Whenever a new list of the best jobs is compiled—like the rankings by Career Cast—they are always near the top of the list. What could really be so great about interpreting statistics to determine probabilities of accidents, sickness, and death, and loss of property from theft and natural disasters?

And why have I never actually met an actuary? Are their jobs so exceedingly awesome that they don’t take time to associate with non-actuaries? [Read more…]

Why Poor People Stay Poor

An article was published recently in Slate about this; it’s an excerpt from Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America by Linda Tirado.  Her point is that it’s hard to follow the good advice that exists about saving money when you have no money and no safety net. Thought-provoking. Check it out. One time I [Read More…]

Praise God for the ministry of people who drive snowplows! #WinterStormJonas

  O ye Showers and Dew, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever. O ye Winds of God, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever. O ye Fire and Heat, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever. O ye Winter [Read More…]

This Machinist Says We Need Both Welders and Philosophers, and They Both Need Something Else, Too

Recently, in the 4th Republican debate, Senator Rubio made a comment in regards to raising the minimum wage in the U.S. Toward the end of his response he made the comment, For the life of me, I don’t know why we have stigmatized vocational education. Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders [Read More…]

From patriarch to peasant: how I ended up as a machinist and not a minister

Here’s another post in an occasional series about blue-collar work and meaning that we’re running here on MISSION:WORK. Read the other posts here: “Does blue-collar work have any meaning?” , “Which is a higher calling: building churches or building fences?”, “The craftsman and her environment,”  “The faith and work conversation we’re NOT having,” “Voices from [Read More…]