An American bishop has taken on the prejudices of his church congregation by dressing up as a homeless man.
Bishop David Musselman found himself “surprised at my own inability to have compassion” and wanted to challenge those who were critical of others.
“Sometimes the best way to do that is through experiences that go beyond just a talk in church,” the Mormon bishop told Deseret News .
He wanted to see how people would react to him if were dressed as an entirely different person.
So he contacted makeup artist Tara Starling, who with makeup, facial hair, glasses and a beanie, transformed him into a ragged old man.
Last Sunday Bishop Musselman attended his weekly church service in Taylorsville, Utah, not as a preacher, but as a member of the congregation.
He received mixed reactions. At least five people asked him to leave the building, some gave him money, but most were indifferent.
“Many actually went out of their way to purposefully ignore me, and they wouldn’t even make eye contact,” he said. “Their inability to even acknowledge me being there was very surprising”.
Some children, however, wanted to offer him money.
“They [the children] looked to their parents to determine whether or not that was safe, and that’s certainly something you would expect and it’s a good thing,” Bishop Musselman said.
“Some parents completely embraced it with their children, other parents were very, very guarded and evasive.”
Halfway through the service, Musselman asked to say a few words before the congregation. As he received a few odd stares, he stood before the people and thanked those for the kindness they has showed him. He asked where the bishop was so that he could return some of the money given to him as a token of his appreciation.
When no one spoke, Bishop Musselman took off his wig and glasses to reveal his true identity.
“It had a shock value that I did not anticipate,” he said. “I really did not have any idea that the members of my ward would gasp as big as they did.”
The experiment seems to have had a profound effect on many people. Ms Starling said it has ignited real change in some people’s minds.
“People are sharing that it has really touched them, and it has caused them to think again and look at things in a different way and maybe change their mind about the way that they treat people and to endeavour to look beyond the face, into the heart.”
Ms Starling says being a part of the project has been a rewarding experience.
“I used to dream … (that) the pinnacle of my career would be to work on a film and the film would get nominated for an Academy Award of makeup.”
But people contacting her saying, “Thank you for sharing this. It’s changed my mind. It’s changed my heart, and it’s changed the way that I’m living,” is worth more than all the awards in the world, she said.
Bishop Musselman says the experience has showed him that people have a desire to improve themselves and change their prejudices.
“I learned that more people want to be better than I had originally thought,” he said. “I learned that we don’t know what happened to an individual, and so we can’t and never should try to judge.”
US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19
President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.
The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.
Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.
He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.
Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP
Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.
The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.
This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.
It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.
Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.
Today, we witnessed the swearing-in of His Excellency Mr. Bah N'daw and Colonel Assimi Goita as President and Vice President of Mali's Transition Govt. The #Ecowas mediation team congratulates these new Malian leaders and wish them success.
– GEJ pic.twitter.com/TQ9kinviQN
— Goodluck E. Jonathan (@GEJonathan) September 25, 2020
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