Sunday, July 31, 2011

together turn our eyes outward

These table favors did far more than simply keep the children happy during the long wedding toasts: they were symbols of the flocks of chicks the bride and groom donated to Heifer, International, as part of their marriage. Evan Hartunian Girvetz and Kristin Riley Grote (now Girvetz) included in their vows:

“…To together turn our eyes outward and give back to others and the earth, I take you to be my partner in all stages of life, for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. In Africa, at home and all over the globe…”

Working with such clear-eyed, passionate young people is one of the things I love about my job. Congratulations and best wishes, Kristin and Evan. May you live out your vows with grace and steady commitment, and may you bring joy to each other and many more of our human cousins. Blessed be!

(full post, with links and cute chick, at So May We Be)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Jason Thomas‘ cartoon just about says it all. This was my fourth SUUSI (Southeast UU Summer Institute), and it was easily my best yet. Old friends, new friends, remarkable crafts, achingly beautiful music, fireworks, delicious home-brewed beers (Uncle Flip and Devon made some fine beverages, but my personal fave was Rachel’s ginger peach) and a pounding dance floor all combined into a life-changing event. I shared meals and played games with children, talked deep into the night with friends and colleagues, and got to share the stage with Kiya Heartwood (singing Meg’s All Will Be Well!).

As Louisa wrote, “Mother of God, that was a stellar week!”

Please check out Brother Sun, Kiya, Wendy, David, and all the other SUUSI musicians – and start planning *now* for SUUSI 2012, July 15-21. Look To This Day!

(full post, with links, at So May We Be)

Monday, July 11, 2011

anonymous and its plan

Calling themselves “Anonymous,” a group of activists and hactivists have a plan to challenge and change the status quo. Their website promises “One year. Three phases. A world of change.”

I absolutely agree that our world could use some change, and in my youth, I would have been more excited by, and more committed to, such a movement. These days, I know too many people who depend upon our system, to be whole-heartedly in favor of demolishing it. In their introductory video, Anonymous asserts that their plans are non-violent. They may mean that, but bringing down a system of government (and probably most multi-national corporations) will undoubtedly lead to confusion and disruption which will then lead to violence. I have not read all their materials yet; they have not rolled out the second two phases of their plan. Their first phase is to encourage people, all over the world, to educate themselves. That goal I totally support; it is why I mention it here.

The powerful tend to gain more power; the rest of us tend to suffer more. However, we have more power than they want us to think we do (Check out Rabbi Michael Lerner’s “Surplus Powerlessness“). Anonymous and their plan may help us to regain and use our power, or they may become another mighty entity that thrives on those who are less poweful – such as those who lack internet access. Perhaps by joining Anonymous, we can help shape “The Plan.” I do not know yet, but I do hope we all educate ourselves, about our governments, about our corporations (who are *not* persons), and about Anonymous as well.

(full post, with links, at So May We Be)