Name: Verity A. Jones
Where you live: Indianapolis, Indiana
What you do as a vocation or avocation? I am the director of the New Media Project at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (www.NewMediaProjectAtUnion.org). We are exploring how religious leaders and their faith communities can be theologically savvy about technology today. Funded by the Lilly Endowment, the New Media Project is a two-year research and writing endeavor with six thinkers and writers sharing their work as it is compiled. I am an ordained minister with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the former publisher and editor of DisciplesWorld magazine. I also work closely with younger clergy in the Wabash College Pastoral Leadership Program in Crawfordsville, Indiana.
Your two favorite books: Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of my all time favorite novels. More recently, I have to admit that I have enjoyed the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling immensely. My daughter is eleven years old and we both think The Order of the Phoenix is the best in the series.
Your two favorite songs: It’s impossible to narrow this down to two, so I’ll just mention a couple of songs that have caught my attention again recently: Sweet Honey in the Rock’s “Wanting Memories” and Paul Simon’s “The Cool, Cool River.”
Why you are interested in spirituality? Spirituality is not a thing or an object or a subject in which I can have a distinct interest. Instead, the Spirit of God–the wind, the breath, the ruach, to use a Hebrew word–inhabits my entire being, my life, the world. To be alive is to be spiritual.
Your favorite quote: Shawshank Redemption (the movie). Closing the film, Red says, “I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.”
Your favorite web sites: New Media Project (!), Religion Dispatches (informative), Salt Project (beautiful), the Moth Chase (fun)
Your hero? Barack Obama
A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? Mindfulness, creativity, courage, peace
A place in the world where you feel spiritually “connected?” A small alcove or chapel within a larger church or cathedral. Stained glass and soaring organ music helps!