Monday, April 30, 2007

Fair-Weather Believers?

Yesterday I was at the Walk for Darfur rally in Churchill Square. I didn't stay long as it started pouring and I am getting over a cold, so spending two hours in the rain was probably not a good idea. I stayed long enough to get some photo and video footage. Seeing these students embracing and dancing after spending eight days walking from Calgary to Edmonton was an inspiration. Others who joined them on the final 15 km were complaining of pain and blisters, so I can't imagine the physical endurance these young folks had. I did not see as many of my colleagues in the peace community as I expected, but there were a few. I imagine the weather kept many away. I am trying really hard not to be a "fair-weather activist." In the same vein, I have always tried to make it to services and related events even when the weather is not great. How many of us are really "fair-weather Believers"?

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sick? Ick!

Yesterday I was AWOL for no reason other than I was sick. Ah-CHOO!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Earth Day

Yesterday was Earth Day. I got the brilliant idea to walk all the way down to Hawrelak Park, so I am quite sore today. It took me 50 minutes to get from home to the festival spot. I didn't ride my bike because the weather looked iffy, and the bike path was all muddy anyways. I checked out the displays, hung with friends, and took in some musical performances. One of the displays was for the Environmenal Studies program at King's University College, a Christian college that I believe is Reformed. My friend thought this was strange because in his mind, if it is Christian than it is right-wing, and if it is right-wing, then it is supporting the Conservative government and would be in agreement with the Bush administration down south, and if that is the case, then whatever they are doing is counter-revolutionary. After talking to a Christian friend of mine who also showed up, apparently the Reform movement is very big into stewardship and would take something like Earth Day seriously. I believe all people of faith should uphold values of stewardship, and if political parties generally affiliated with fundamentalist beliefs do not uphold those values, they are in violation of an important moral issue for Believers. A celebration of the Earth does not mean we worship the Earth, because all here is temporal, but rather it involves making a commitment to be good stewards of what He has created.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Musical Afternoon

I had an early afternoon audition for an inner city music festival coming up in June called Heart of the City. I performed two of my original songs that I know so well, I can play with my eyes closed. And, in fact, I did play with my eyes closed -- so that I would not be distracted by looking at the facial expressions of the judges. They especially liked my lyrics, but I have no idea if I actually made it in or not. I shall update.

Then, it was off to CKUA for a three-hour shift answering phones for the station's Spring fundraising campaign. I walked in with my guitar and a friend I worked the shift with tried to convince me to take it out and play, but we were there during a blues show and I don't really know any blues licks. If it was a folk/acoustic show maybe I would have.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Single Woman Revolution

We've had a baby boom in our congregation recently -- and they have all been baby girls. I suspect similar patterns are emerging elsewhere. There is already a disprportionate number of single women to men currently, and I suspect this ratio is going to get more disparate as time goes by. The Believing world especially had better brace itself for an onslaught of single women. Women are already taking on a more vocal presence in congregational leadership, and on faith matters in general. Some are concerning about the "feminization" of the Body, but in reality, the church is a slice of life. More women in the world means more women in the church. More single women in the world and . . . well, you get the idea. We are the future.


The day after Passover ended, I headed to one of my favourite restaurants to properly break the holiday with a microbrewed yeasty drink (yeast and anything leavened is forbidden during Passover).

While I imbibed, I also sat there ready a devotional book for singles (Single Servings by Lee Warren -- you should check out his blog of the same name, as well as his personal one).

I wondered to myself if there was any conflict between the fact that I was:
1) In a bar;
2) Drinking an alcoholic beverage; and,
3) Reading a book that reflects my faith.

This was my conclusion I came to before my green onion cake got cold (I was making up for lost time and starch). If we are to be salt and light, we have to take our faith with us, no matter where we go. If someone in that same restaurant were to label me a hypocrite for being there and drinking what I was drinking, the person had to mentally digest the fact that I am a person of faith in the first place. Perhaps someone who is not used to being around people of faith, or who has negative associations with faith in general (much like many of the people I meet in the activist community). No matter what the person was thinking, at least the person was thinking -- about faith.

And, if someone who was also a Believer caught me there and thought, "Tsk, tsk -- what a blemish of a sight -- drinking alcohol!" -- I would reply, "Then what are you doing here in this den of iniquity?"

I, for one, am not ashamed to drink my beer and study the Word at the same time.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Troops Out

I missed Shabbat services on March 17 because I was attending a demonstration marking the fourth anniversary of the United States invading Iraq. Since we live in Canada, we also incorporated this country's military involvement in Afghanistan. Since it was also St. Patrick's Day, I enjoyed a Guinness that evening with supper.

The march and rally was filled with energy and enthusiasm. It was one of the best ones I have partaken in yet. It was also a personal triumph of sorts.

I have a terrible fear of heights. However, I was required to take a picture from an aerial perspective. All of the marchers at the beginning of the event formed a peace symbol, and I had to take the picture from the top of a nearby parkade, looking right down over the concrete barrier. It was not easy. I was quite nervous and even put a prayer request out on the congregational e-mail list. But in the end I was able to do it. Without gettting sick to my stomach, as one of my colleagues suggested I would. In fact, when I got to the bottom of the parkade again after the marching began, I loudly proclaimed, "I am only slightly nauseous!"

Of course, now when I look at the photo and really think about how high up I was, I still get a bit queasy. But it was worth it -- it has been the photographic highlight of my life thus far.

G-d can take us to the highest heights, and He won't let us get seasick in the process.