Author Pavlovitz speaks Oct. 13 at G. S. Activity Center
Former mega-church pastor will speak in a.m. at Unity Churh service
Author John Pavlovitz will be speaking twice in Gulf Shores on Sunday, Oct. 13. He will speak at Gulf Shores Adult Activity Center (260 Clubhouse Dr.) at 5 pm. and at the Unity Church Gulf Shores service at The Royal Oyster (807 Gulf Shores Pkwy.) at 9:30 a.m. For more info, call or text Rev. Donna Mullis at 251-223-9774.
In the past five years, Pavlovitz’s blog, Stuff That Needs To Be Said, has reached a diverse worldwide audience of millions. His message is dedicated to radical hospitality, mutual respect and diversity of doctrine. He wants to help people realize they can change things for the better.
“We all have a small world that we can save,” Pavlovitz said. “Compassion, or giving a damn, is one of the most powerful weapons we have in difficult times. Hope isn’t found in a celebrity, religious leader, or politician. It’s found in the mirror.”
Pavlovitz’s core message is one that many of us are yearning to hear: That hope is still possible, and that kindness, inclusion, and compassion are the way forward.
In 2017, he released his first book, A Bigger Table. A year later, he published Hope and Other Superpowers. “Many of us are lamenting the despair and divisiveness around us, aching for something more redemptive but no longer sure how to get to it from where we stand,” Pavlovitz wrote in that book.
He sees recent government policies as largely bereft of empathy for the poor, the sick, the marginalized and outsiders. “They (political leaders) don’t deserve to claim ownership of the living,” he wrote.
“The world you and I are standing on is in desperate need of people still willing to reach and do and believe and, most of all, to be fierce caretakers of hope.”
What kind of person does the world need right now is the question he asks in his lecture. “Over the past year or so,” he writes. “the term thoughts and prayers has come under great public scrutiny. As a Christian and pastor I have no aversion to prayer, but in the face of injustice and suffering, prayer without behavior change or measurable movement isn’t something I’m all that interested in. Whether religious or not, heroic people move from burden to action, from heart to hand; they evolve from simply feeling empathy to tangibly expressing compassion. The people who are the difference makers don’t wait for someone else to stand up to corrupt power or oppose unjust legislation or advocate for people who are hurting so that they can join in. They stand up and oppose and advocate regardless of the cost.
Although he despairs the state of the world and the values of its leaders, he holds tightly to hope, and and he asks others to do the same.
“Hope is saying that the things we’re fighting for right now, the things that we value so greatly, are the product of the people before us who had hope and lived forward-thinking,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “The rights we have, the things we treasure, they’re our inheritance from people who came before us. What I’m asking people to think about is that we’re going to leave something for the people who come after us. Hope is saying, ‘I want to leave something beautiful and something worth inheriting.’”