When a church burns (5×8 – 5/28/12)

What makes a church, is concealed carry working, father’s day at Target Field, the dying newspaper, and ‘Coffees’


History says there’s nobody reading today’s 5×8 on a Monday holiday. Too bad. You’re missing a heck of a Monday Morning Rouser (language warning).

1) WHAT MAKES A CHURCH?

The members of Walker Community Methodist Church are saying the right things in the wake of the fire that destroyed their home last night. A church is not a building; it’s the people who inhabit it. And yet, the images of a church fire are among the most devastating to the spirit.

Today, the Walker Church is responding to the fire by having a picnic. It’ll be held at 5:30, although — according to the church website — they don’t know exactly how they’re going to pull it off. They’ll figure it out at a 9:30 a.m. meeting at Living Spirit UMC, 45th and Bloomington.

Here’s the “telescoped” audio from the initial 911 calls to the fire department through most of the firefighting effort.

2) THE IMPACT OF CONCEALED CARRY

CBS News is asking whether concealed carry gun laws contribute to crime, using Colorado as its lab rat. The dire warnings in Minnesota never materialized. Road rage incidents didn’t lead to shootouts and Wild West in the streets. Serious crime is down, true. There are also relatively few reports of crime being stopped at the hands of people with their lawful guns, at least that matched that hyperbole during the debate at the Legislature several years ago.

As for the question CBS’ headline raised — does the law contribute to crime? — it never came up in the story itself.

3) FATHER’S DAY

Annie and Alex Buresh ran the bases at Target Field before yesterday’s game against the Tigers. They didn’t know when they got to home, their father was hiding behind TC Bear to greet them. He’s been deployed with the Minnesota National Guard.

“The hardest part was not being able to come to the park,” Buresh, who lives in Kasson, told MLB.com. “I was encouraged strongly to not be here any time before 12:20. So I was walking around downtown Minneapolis holding bears and flowers. Everybody looked at me like I looked funny.”

4) THE DYING NEWSPAPER

The Star Tribune delivered another sopping wet newspaper within shouting distance of the front steps of the NewsCut Woodbury bureau this morning. The plastic bag was no match for the overnight rain. Increasingly, this exercise of walking outside to pick up a dead tree with news printed on it, delivered overnight by a nameless person, is becoming an act of nostalgia. How long can this method continue?

Not much longer, if the Times Picayune of New Orleans is any indication, and it probably is. It announced last week it will no longer print on a daily basis.

The New York Times’ David Carr sees the writing on the …. well, you know…


My worry is not about the loss of the earthy smell of freshly rendered pages. A newspaper, even one short on advertising, is a great ad for at least one thing: the paper itself. The constancy of a daily paper — in the rack at the convenience store on Frenchman Street or on the tables of the coffeehouse on Maple Street — is a reminder to a city that someone is out there watching.

Important journalism will still be done at The Times-Picayune. Jim Amoss, the editor there, and the talented staff will make sure of that. But you have to wonder whether it will still have the same impact when it doesn’t land day after day on doorsteps all over the city.

5) BECAUSE IT’S MONDAY, THAT’S WHY

Bonus I: Marriage: It’s a big production.

Bonus II: Make it eight. Iguazu Falls in Argentina was added on Saturday to the list of “seven wonders of the world.”

TODAY’S QUESTION

Today is Memorial Day, a holiday established in 1868 to honor the country’s war dead. Today’s Question: Whom do you remember on Memorial Day?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

I’m off today. I’ll see you tomorrow.

Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: A look back at the Civil War.

Second hour: Benjamin Busch, author of “Dust to Dust.”

Third hour: Rebecca Skloot, author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Minnesota native Tim O’Brien, speaking as part of the Club Book series about his acclaimed book about the Vietnam War and the impact it had on soldiers. It’s titled, “The Things They Carried.”

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Lessons from a military marriage.

Second hour: One hundred words that tell the history of the English language. Plus: A father sends his son to war.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - Barely anyone had heard of America’s U-2 spy plane, until the Soviet Union shot one down in 1960. The odd-looking aircraft cruised along the edge of space more than half a century ago. NPR profiles the plane that has yet to land in retirement.

  • Joanna

    Here’s hoping that the five firefighters injured at the Walker Church fire recover quickly from their injuries. I passed that church every day on my way to drop my kid at South high before going on to work. Their welcoming message made me smile on many days. Knowing that KFAI and In the Heart of the Beast got their start there, that they housed so many programs over the years to make real their mission, that the community renewed itself through many hard times, that they welcomed everyone, gives me hope that there will be a new life for the church even after this devastating loss.

  • Bonnie

    Great Buddy Guy tune, thanks for that. I really enjoyed listening to his interview last week. The sopping soggy purple bags in driveways this past week or so have just been sad to me. Newspapers are going the way of milkmen, we’ll all be waxing nostalgic about them some day.