Describing the heavenly details
Last night as we watched the evening news together, my children were fascinated to find out that I once went out to house fires and crime scenes like some of the broadcast journalists they saw on TV. I laughed at their surprise because I realized that they are more familiar with my religion stories of recent years.
These stories don’t always deal with facts as most of us have come to define the term: Information presented as objectively real; a real occurrence; an event.
Many times my faith stories focus on what people believe to be real — and what is real changes depending on who you are talking to and the belief system they ascribe to.
A good example is the recent stories about Edmond’s Henderson Hills Baptist Church and its possible sale of a portion of land to Integris for a new hospital along the Interstate 35 corridor. There were several reporters working on this so The Oklahoman’s coverage was multifaceted.
I wrote a story based on my interview with Kim Swyden, the church’s executive pastor. While other reporters focused on the money, economic impact and other aspects of the possible land deal, my story ended up being more about what Swyden said was the similar mission of helping others that the church shared with Integris.
During the interview, Swyden said church leaders believed the land sale (contingent upon the congregation’s approval this weekend) is a blessing, along the lines of other happenings that have occurred in the life of the church and its commitment to serving the community. He said the hospital goes hand in hand with the church’s Ministries of Jesus free clinic that will be moved to the church property in a new free-standing building.
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