Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Saturday, August 29, 2015
- Material needs: There are some organizations that are already doing great work supporting those who have been most directly effected by these fires. At this point, they're all saying not to send any donations of materials like clothes, sheets, etc. At this point, they have more than what they need. If this changes, we'll hear about it.
- Service needs:
- The call for skilled volunteers to fight the fires in Washington ended today. They have more help that they need which is wonderful.
- There is some need for places where farm animals can be housed. As we have more information about this, we'll share it or if you know more about this, please share that information here in a reply to this list.
- Air quality concerns came up for every church that was on the eastside call. We discussed one particular possibility and a question came up after the call:
- a) We wondered if our churches might be places where appropriate air quality masks and a one page information sheet about dealing with poor air quality could be shared. If you are a medical professional with expertise in respiratory issues and would be willing to help us think this through, please email me or call me directly at 206-725-8383 .
- b) What if we helped those who might be most vulnerable make their homes more resistant to smoke penetration? If you have expertise or experience in this, please contact me.
- As far as long term recovery efforts, some of our ecumenical partners who have experience in local fire recovery have been contacted to see if we might be able to join them in their recovery work.
- Pastoral needs:
- The threat of fire, the ever present reality of smoke, and the possibility that these weather patterns may "the new normal" is causing significant stress. On the phone call last night, we discussed putting together some sort of training for clergy so that they can be a resource for members of their congregations and communities. If this is an area of expertise for you, contact me. If you are aware of a helpful resource, please share those resources here.
- Advocacy work:
- There was also the recognition on the phone meeting that one important response to these fires is increasing our advocacy work related to climate change. Among our churches, we already have great relationships with faith based organizations such as Earth Ministry and FAN that are involved in this work. There is interest in expanding this work.
- We also are part of a denomination that has long been involved in environmental justice work. In fact, there is an UCC Environmental Justice Training coming to our Camp N-Sid-Sen October 7th-9th. If you are interested, there is still time to register.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Of Sacrificial Flame,
Of Pentecost Fire,
We are living in the midst of burning and of smoke.
The land thirsts for water and everything has become kindling.
The storms bring a fire setting spark
As well as a wind that both stokes the flames
And sends embers into the air
The flame burns that which is of the just and the unjust, alike.
The smoke fills the lungs of the just and the unjust, alike.
The ash covers the just and the unjust, alike.
The reddened sun beats down on the just and the unjust, alike.
It does not break us but
It wears us down.
Yes, this fire destroys and makes way for creation.
The destruction part is very hard.
It bares down and screams and roars and charges right at us
In a rage. There is no gentleness to it.
This is not river but a flood;
This is not a breeze but a tornado;
This is not a tide but a tsunami and
We are in its way.
Our will and the weather have conspired.
It burns what we have built.
We have prepared the fuel for the fire
With the hope it would never burn.
We mourn this big burning and what it does
While we burn millions of small fires
And, sometimes, deny their effect.
Right now, there is this burning...
May we find a way to be
God's blessing for those
who have lost so much.
God bless the firefighters
Who risk their lives
Protecting what we have gathered.
Friday, July 24, 2015
What, in God’s name, is it going to take to begin to address discriminatory hiring practices, intentionally underfunded educational systems, biased criminal sentencing, etc.? What, in God’s name, is it really going to take to begin to address similar and worse experiences for other racial ethnic groups? What, in God’s name, is it going to take to meaningfully address the victimization of those with mental illness? What, in God’s name, is it going to take for us to address a financial system that needs impoverished folks for it to function?
“Prayer is rattling God's cage and waking God up and setting God free and giving this famished God water and this starved God food and cutting the ropes off God's hands and the manacles off God's feet and washing the caked sweat from God's eyes and then watching God swell with life and vitality and energy and following God wherever God goes. When we pray we are not sending a letter to a celestial White House, where it is sorted among piles of others. We are engaged, rather, in an act of co-creation, in which one little sector of the universe rises up and becomes translucent, incandescent, a vibratory centre of power that radiates the power of the universe. History belongs to the intercessors, who believe the future into being.”
Friday, July 10, 2015
Friday, June 12, 2015
Obviously, the story of Rachel Dolezal is still emerging and there will be more to know. I've been to a couple of her workshops and they were really good. I've been to one of her gallery displays and found it moving. She's done good advocacy work and I have hopes something good will come out of this moment. Some of the conversations that are already emerging around race and identity will be important.
The problem is around her accountability. I can't imagine a African American person or community saying to me as white person, "Hey Mike, what we really need for you to do is convince people you're African American then teach Africana studies at a local university; chair a police accountability committee addessing racial discrimination in the criminal justice system; and head up a local branch of the NAACP." That lack of accountability would make this appear to be a deception emerging out of a sense of privilege regardless of her intent.
Although I grieve this moment, I still respect her and will be praying for her as she goes through the process of being held accountable for her actions.
Friday, May 29, 2015
|From The Guardian|
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Think about it. Pray about it. Try it. No justice? No passing the peace.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015