Monday, February 28, 2011


En route to a meeting at another church today, I saw a sign in the front yard of a house that faces the park separating that house's neighborhood of bigger, wealthier-looking homes from the neighborhood where Grace is located with smaller, not-as-wealthy looking homes. The sign said something like "Pray to end Abortion."

Soon, Wednesday evening meals at St. Luke's will begin being cooked by the different church groups that will cook for Lent. One of the leaders of a women's circle has agreed to start the meal at 5:30 instead of 6 like it has been in the past, but she has said she will not provide food for more than 50 people.

These two incidents have made me want to explain what I believe and why I'm doing what I'm doing. (For example, not wanting the government to cut federal funding from Planned Parenthood because those people already breathing air, walking on the ground, and capable of reasoning decisions about their lives need to be supported, and organizing a group effort to provide food and hospitality to neighbors in need, and seriously, I think we all benefit from hospitality).

They also make me want to hear why the man I saw standing on the porch of that house wants me to pray to end abortion - does his religion teach him that abortion is evil? - and why the woman has said she will limit the amount of food she provides.

I don't want to hear their whys because I want to prove them wrong. I want to listen and hear their feelings.

I want to offer a prayer for calm, reasonable thinking and peaceful discussion and action in the events that are coming in the days ahead, including the hearing of the proposed Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act in the State Capitol of Nebraska, the determining of Libya's future, and the discussion of the national budget.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Yay, this has been a time coming.

Power = ...

...contacting your elected officials.

On Thursday, January 29th, I went to the State Capitol of Nebraska in Lincoln to rally against LB 48, the Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act, as proposed by State Senator Janssen of Fremont.

The bill would make it illegal to "harbor" undocumented immigrants (so, for example, the ESL class at one of my churches would be breaking the law if they were working with undocumented immigrants), would make police have to check the immigration status of the people they pull over or arrest, and the last section of the bill reads, I kid you not, that if the Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act is found to be unconstitutional (which it is, immigration is a federal issue), "the Legislature hereby declares that it would have passed the IIEA...irrespective of the fact...that (the IIEA) would be declared unconstitutional."

I am really working on this reconciliation thing a lot right now. But I am struggling so hard to understand why the Republican Party felt that it was so necessary to re-read the Constitution on the first day of Congress in DC, and in Nebraska and other states, the same party is disregarding it. I don't even like partisan politics. I wonder how I would be as a politician.

ANYWAY. One of my pastors heard that it takes just five phone calls for state senators to decide that they need to pay attention to an issue. And I don't really know how much email petitions do, but they probably do something more than nothing.

I started drafting this entry almost a month ago, and in that time, the world has seen what happens when people use their voices. Sometimes, it is really, really scary to speak. But we just gotta keep pushing ourselves to do it as much as we can.

Here's some help...thanks, P.L. - age demographic (approximately 18-30).
I believe there is some "waiting on the world to change" that I gotta do. (See Mayer, John.) A wonderful quote that an Oberlin '09 - LVC '09-'10 friend shared with me about two years ago now helps me put that in perspective as well:

"We can not do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

But as the youngest person on staff at my workplaces, I can do stuff on the computer, and more importantly, my opinion is sought out and taken seriously, because people want to know what people my age are going to do. There has been some discussion in my house about the importance of finding a faith community of people our own age. And I definitely value that. But I have been so wonderfully affected by getting to know many people this year who are 60 and better...and I have been told that they have benefited from my presence as well.

Young people of the United States of America and the world, we are the future now, yo. We are coming into our own, and we can do some real good. Let's do it! Let's BE it.

...your identity.

Two of my dear friends are thinking transgenderly - one MTF, one FTM. I could not be prouder and happier for them for recognizing and acknowledging their thoughts and feelings and being out in the open about them. I love both of you very much and you know who you are!

A part II to this may be coming, or maybe something completely different. Thanks for reading the stuff I'd been wanting to blog about for a month.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I feel like I'm living in a dream.

Maybe it was all the fog driving home on the freeway tonight. Maybe it's the fact that I can see little signs that the social justice and advocacy work I have done, especially over the past two years, is changing people's lives.

I do want to remind myself of the quote on the back of the LVC T-shirt that keeps me going through moments of cynicism, doubt and fear:

"If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." - attributed to Lila Watson

longer blogging later, I got some other writing to do!