Category: Passages

Farm Aid and the Good Food Movement

This past weekend Farm Aid was held in Western PA just outside of Pittsburgh, PA .  This special event was sold out months in advance of September 16.

Each year, Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host a Farm Aid concert to bring together a wide variety of artists, farmers and fans for one mission: keeping family farmers on the land. Farm Aid is an all-day festival that brings together incredible music, good food and hands-on activities to get folks in touch with the roots of our food. Since 1985, Farm Aid has raised more than $50 million to help family farmers thrive all over the country while inspiring millions of people to take part in the Good Food Movement. Click on the link below for Farm Aid through the years.


Good Food Movement and Farm Aid (Click on the link below.)

Passages stories from Ann and Jim who are family farmers who care about the land.

Listen to Jim and Ann tell about the circle of life on the family farm and the interest people have in wanting to experience it. Click on the audio tab below to listen …

Another story from the family farm by Jim. Not all changes are good for the family farm. Jim shares his thoughts on what is happening to the family farm on Passages by pressing on the audio tab below.

Ann shares how the family is pitching in together to save the farm. Click on the audio tab below.

The plight of the family farm is an on-going struggle and our prayers go out to those families who still have the hope and opportunities to plow the earth.

Watch Dave Matthews performs new song at Farm Aid 2017  (Click on the link below.)

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.

Remembering Dan Rooney

It often is said that the apple doesn’t fall from the tree!  Well it is true with the Rooney family.  Dan Rooney and the stories we heard Sunday before and after the Steelers Home Opener had former and today”s players pay tribute to him and the Rooney family for a winning tean and culture created for the City of Pittsburgh and  the region that loves their black and gold.

Listen to Art Rooney Senior talk about his humble approach to life, faith and how he wants to be remembered on Passages stories of faith and hope.  Press the audio button below to give a listen.


An Irish Blessing that best fits the Rooney legacy “May your day be touched by a bit of Irish luck, brightened by a song in your heart, and warmed by the smiles of the people you love.”


Living on the Edge – Alyssa “Living with Mental Illness”

To be a woman dealing with manic depression is a real challenge to live with it and then try to help people to understand what being mentally ill is about.  Listen to her story of hope and possibility by pressing the arrow tab below …

Bipolar disorder

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bipolar disorder
Synonyms Bipolar affective disorder, bipolar illness, manic depression, bipolar disease[1]
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Bipolar disorder is characterized by episodes of depression and mania.
Specialty Psychiatry
Symptoms Periods of depression and elevated mood[2][3]
Complications Suicideself-harm[2]
Usual onset 25 years old[2]
Causes Environmental and genetic[2]
Risk factors Childhood abuse, long-term stress[2]
Similar conditions Attention deficit hyperactivity disorderpersonality disordersschizophreniasubstance use disorder[2]
Treatment Psychotherapymedications[2]
Medication Lithiumantipsychoticsanticonvulsants[2]
Frequency 1-3%[2][4]

Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, is a mental disorder that causes periods of depression and periods of elevated mood.[2][3] The elevated mood is significant and is known as mania or hypomania, depending on its severity, or whether symptoms of psychosis are present.[2] During mania, an individual behaves or feels abnormally energetic, happy, or irritable.[2] Individuals often make poorly thought out decisions with little regard to the consequences.[3] The need for sleep is usually reduced during manic phases.[3] During periods of depression, there may be crying, a negative outlook on life, and poor eye contact with others.[2] The risk of suicide among those with the illness is high at greater than 6 percent over 20 years, while self-harm occurs in 30–40 percent.[2] Other mental health issues such as anxiety disorders and substance use disorder are commonly associated.[2]

The causes are not clearly understood, but both environmental and genetic factors play a role.[2] Many genes of small effect contribute to risk.[2][5] Environmental factors include a history of childhood abuse, and long-term stress.[2] The condition is divided into bipolar I disorder if there has been at least one manic episode, with or without depressive episodes, and bipolar II disorder if there has been at least one hypomanic episode (but no manic episodes) and one major depressive episode.[3] In those with less severe symptoms of a prolonged duration, the condition cyclothymic disorder may be diagnosed.[3] If due to drugs or medical problems, it is classified separately.[3] Other conditions that may present in a similar manner include attention deficit hyperactivity disorderpersonality disordersschizophrenia, and substance use disorder as well as a number of medical conditions.[2] Medical testing is not required for a diagnosis, though blood tests or medical imaging can be done to rule out other problems.[6]

Treatment commonly includes psychotherapy, as well as medications such as mood stabilizers and antipsychotics.[2] Examples of mood stabilizers that are commonly used include lithium and various anticonvulsants.[2] Treatment in a hospital without the individual’s consent may be required if a person is at risk to themselves or others but refuses treatment.[2] Severe behavioral problems, such as agitation or combativeness, may be managed with short term antipsychotics or benzodiazepines.[2] In periods of mania it is recommended that antidepressants be stopped.[2] If antidepressants are used for periods of depression they should be used with a mood stabilizer.[2] Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), while not very well studied, may be helpful for those who do not respond to other treatments.[2][7] If treatments are stopped, it is recommended that this be done slowly.[2] Many individuals have financial, social or work-related problems due to the illness.[2] These difficulties occur a quarter to a third of the time on average.[2] The risk of death from natural causes such as heart disease is twice that of the general population.[2] This is due to poor lifestyle choices and the side effects from medications.[2]

Bipolar disorder affects approximately 1% of the global population.[8] In the United States about 3% are estimated to be affected at some point in their life.[4] The most common age at which symptoms begin is 25.[2] Rates appear to be similar in females and males.[9] The economic costs of the disorder has been estimated at $45 billion for the United States in 1991.[10] A large proportion of this was related to a higher number of missed work days, estimated at 50 per year.[10] People with bipolar disorder often face problems with social stigma.

We pray for those in our families and communities who suffer with mental illness.  May they get the care and love needed to deal with the pushes and pulls of life.



Glory Days of the 70’s Steelers

Pro Football Hall of Fame Corner Back Mel Blount shares some thoughts on the early days as the Pttsburgh Steelers begin to turn from a perennial loser to a winning team with leadership by Head Coach Chuck Noll.   Noll created not only a winning team but a culture that has led to the Steelers being one of the most consistent winning teams through the years since the 70’s.  How does a culture in business, sports, and other organizations makes for success?

Listen to Mel Blount share some memories of his time with the Steelers by clicking on the audio button below …

What helped Anthony Griggs as a football player make the NFL?  Listen to the audio file below …

Carl is a motivational coach and shares a story about former NFL great Reggie White when he talks about building a winning team.  Listen to Carl tell his story by pressing the audio tab below …

May your successes in life be about helping others to be the best that they can be!


Remembering Flight 427 – 23 Years Ago ….

USAir Flight 427 was a scheduled flight from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Pittsburgh International Airport, with a final destination of West Palm Beach, Florida. On Thursday, September 8, 1994, the Boeing 737 flying this route crashed while approaching runway 28R of Pittsburgh International Airport, located in Findlay Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, which at the time was the largest hub for the airline.

After the longest investigation in the history of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), it was determined that the probable cause was that the aircraft’s rudder malfunctioned and went hard-over in a direction opposite to that commanded by the pilots, causing the plane to enter an aerodynamic stall from which the pilots were unable to recover. All 132 people on board the aircraft were killed.


Passages remembers from an interview with Donna Kazan-White a daughter sharing about the loss of her father on Flight 427.
Donna struggles with the crash she lost her dad in every time there is a plane crash. Listen to Donna explain on Passages by clicking on the audio tab below …

The families of Flight 427 get close to the rescue workers and appreciate the care of first responders in there work to save and recover lives. Click on the audio button below to listen …

Grief makes an impact when suddenly a family member is lost in an unexpected tragedy. Empathy allows for family members of Flight 427 to support each other. Listen to their bonding with each other by pressing on the audio button below …

What will I not have with my father? Grief is a journey. Appreciating what we do have. The importance of a church home, a church family is part of my memories and life. Listen Donna explain in her own words on Passages by pressing on the audio button below.

Remember to care for and support others along lifes journey!


What’s in a Name?

When the name is Roberto Clemente it speaks volumes especially in Pittsburgh, PA!

The world has adopted Roberto Clemente. But he has always belonged to Pittsburgh. This is where he left footprints in the grass before sprouting angel’s wings, so Clemente Day isn’t a formality in this city; it’s a sacred rite.

Today is Roberto Clemente Day and people are serving people in communities throughout the city remembering this world class athlete and humanitarian .


We pay tribute to the baseball great and world re known humanitarian with words from his son Roberto Clemente, Jr. on Passages.

Click on the audio button below to listen and keep those recovering from Hurricane Harvey and those preparing for Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico and Florida in your thoughts and prayers. This is where Roberto would want our attention. So pray, act, and give to the efforts to help all those people impacted from the recent storms.

We thank Roberto Jr. and Vera for their continuing to share the legacy with us of Roberto Clemente to be a strong role model for generations of young people impacted by his life that was cut to short.




Educate and Train People for the Future …

Labor Day feature from a Passages interview with Mama Maida Springer Kemp.  She was an historic labor leader who cared and made advances for people through the union movement in the U.S. and abroad.

n the 1950s she began working for the AFL as an adviser to newly founded labor unions in Tanzania, Kenya, and Ghana, where she came to be known as “Mama Maida”.[3] In 1951, sponsored by the American Labor Education Service, she traveled to Sweden and Denmark to observe workers’ education programs. She then took an eight-month hiatus from ILGWU to study at Ruskin Labor College, Oxford University, on an Urban League Fellowship. In 1955 she attended the first International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) conference in Accra, Ghana, as one of five observers, of which she was the only woman. In 1957 she played a key role in the founding of Solidarity House in Nairobi.[2]

In 1959 she went to work for the AFL-CIO‘s Department of International Affairs as its representative to Africa. For the next several years she made her home alternately in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Nairobi (Kenya), and Brooklyn, New York. She started an exchange program for Africans to study at Harvard University, founded a trade school in Kenya whose mission included expanding opportunities for women, established a post-secondary scholarship for Tanzanian girls, and started the Maida Fund to enable farm workers in East Africa to return to school.[5] In the course of her work she befriended many of Africa’s emerging leaders, including Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. Between 1957 and 1963, she attended the national independence ceremonies of Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Kenya.[2]

In 1964 she represented the U.S. at the 48th Session of the International Labour Organization conference in Geneva. In 1966 she resumed working as a general organizer for ILGWU. Later she worked for the A. Philip Randolph Institute.[2]

In the 1970s, as a consultant for the Asian-American Free Labor Institute (AAFLI), she worked with trade unions in Turkey, where she helped introduce women into the labor movement by establishing the Women’s Bureau of TÜRK-İŞ. Initially her efforts were met with resistance by male union leaders who wanted women to participate in the organizing work, but had little interest in the concerns of women workers, such as equal pay, equal opportunity, and child care. She also worked in Indonesia to get more women involved in the labor movement.[7] She attended International Women’s Year conferences in Mexico and Nairobi in 1975, and the Pan African Conference on the Role of Trade Union Women in 1977.

Give a listen to Mrs. kemp’s story on Passages celebrating Labor Day ….

Pray for workers and our leaders to do the best for those in need the most for making a living to sustain life for them and their families.


Let My People Go!

Labor Day is an interesting end of the summer! It is after the season of vacations and relaxation for most and is just about the time school starts and we hunker down for a sprint towards Thanksgiving and Christmas to prepare for the beginning of another year.

Labor, what does it mean historically for those not born into a situation of privilege or having opportunities at their disposal because of family and or a position in the community?

Labor is symbolized by the struggle of being able to work at a job to make a decent wage and provide for your family and get a good education.

However, there has been a number of things skipped over or not included in our history that because of it not being from the Caucasian point view is left out.

I had the sincere joy and delight in interviewing Maida Springer Kemp who was an American labor organizer who worked extensively in Africa for the AFL-CIO. Nicknamed “Mama Maida”, she advised fledgling labor unions, set up education and training programs, and liaised between American and African labor leaders. In 1945, traveling to England on a labor-exchange trip, she was the first African-American woman to represent U.S. labor abroad. She was also active in the civil rights movement, and advocated for women’s rights around the world.

Here is a refreshing and at times sobering story of her life (told in her own words) that gives us insights to the unsung hero’s of the Labor Movement that don’t get attention in our schools history books but because she is one of God’s children her story is shared on Passages. Listen to Mrs. Kemp on Passages where award-winning stories come alive in an informative and entertaining way. Click on the audio button below.

As she grew from being a union foot soldier to a pioneering international labor advocate, Maida Springer Kemp traveled the world. Everywhere she went — Europe, Africa, Turkey — she looked for the union label, the sign that workers were being treated fairly.

That’s because Mrs. Springer Kemp knew the life of the thousands who toiled long hours in the garment industry sweatshops. She was one of them.

Mrs. Springer Kemp, a native of Panama who went to Harlem at age 7, had lived in Pittsburgh since the late 1970s. She died after a long illness at the age of 94.

Mrs. Kemp’s legacy grew out of her activism that was planted in Harlem. There Mrs. Springer Kemp was deeply influenced by her mother, Adina Stewart Carrington, who listened to the black nationalist messages of Marcus Garvey and told her young daughter to be hopeful and value education.

Have a wonderful Labor Day! Part 2 of her story will be featured on Media Mission’s website later today.

We pray for all the workers and their families in the world this day!

Not Letting Cancer Get You Down ….

WTAE-TV Morning News Anchor Kelly Fry who is battling cancer will throw out the first pitch this evening at 7:05 p.m. before the Pittsburgh Pirates take on the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park.

Click on this link to find out more about Fry’s battle with cancer and her inspiration to so many others dealing with cancer in their lives.

We continue to pray for Kelly and others we know and those we don’t in their struggle with cancer.

Kelly sharing with the TV audience about having breast cancer. Click on the link below …

Listen to Jane’s story as she struggles with cancer and tells us about it on Passages. Click on the link below.


Prayers for all those suffering with cancer and fighting it to live another day!

After the Storm Comes A Shore ….

Stories help us weather the storms of life. We learn from stories. We cherish stories.

Life After the Storm is a series of award-winning stories. We share them now as we pray and reach out to help those people living on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Ashley evacuates because she needs to get her young daughters out of the path of the storm. The storm is coming and it is time to leave. Listen to her storm story ….


Joseph is trapped on a roof top and waiting to get rescued from the high waters caused by the hurricane. Listen to his storm story …


Langford had is family leave and then he escaped and relocated to Michigan. He is starting his life over after the storm. Listen to his story …


Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is preparing to be in for the long haul to help with the recovery from Hurricane Harvey. More info by clicking on the link …