Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The update

I finished all the work for my masters. So I'm now unemployed and in debt, but at least I'm leaving for Venezuela in a few days (for about 3 weeks).

May the peace, love, joy and hope of Christ's birth be with you this day, and always.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Twitter comes of age with fast reports from the ground

From The Guardian:

From the moment the first shots were fired, the internet provided a kaleidoscopic view of events in Mumbai. Using blogs and file-sharing sites, those caught up in the mayhem rapidly provided accounts from the ground as well as links to the best news reports appearing on the web.

One rich source of information was Twitter, which provides text-message-length updates. Its Mumbai thread provided a stream of snippets, not all accurate, from observers on the ground, with details of casualties, sieges, gunfights, and even the suspected names of terrorists.

In many cases, Twitter updated developments faster than many TV networks or newspaper websites. The site's contributors also questioned the veracity of some news reports, pointing out contradictions and errors. When Indian reporters announced that the siege at the Taj hotel was over, for example, Twitter contended that gunfights were continuing.

Click to read it all

Why I left Grace-St. Paul's

{edit: I know that she is entitled to change things, and writing this has already helped begin healing}

I remember when I
fell in love the with Episcopal Church.

Grace-St. Paul's was not the first church I had ever attended: I had gone to church with friends many times in the past.

But I remember going to church Christmas Eve and being surrounded by the warm glow of candle light. There was beauty, solemnity, and yet a strong, joyful feeling of family in the air. There were copes and a shiny cross, excited children, and a time to kneel in front of the crèche, to the newly born Jesus. There was beautiful music, and feeling of acknowledgement that this had been done for over 1000 years and in this way for hundreds.

I had also found a place were people cared about the world and each other. Where Sunday School taught about unconditional love, and you were encouraged to question and try to make sense of things. I found an extended family which I had never had before.

Over the years I've interned, preached at, and attended over 15 Episcopal churches - at least 7 more than twice, but as people kept moving and the crowd changed, in the end it was the worship the kept me coming back to GraSP. It was what I could best describe as "upper broad." It embraced the beauty and meditation of a sort of traditional worship without being high church for high church sake (although we could do high church when we wanted too). The liturgy was both neat and uncluttered while still embracing a prayerbook and music driven service (with decent preaching). There was a respect and reverence of the sacraments. Not all the services were the same, and the parish was very progressive without being hypocritical. It was also the highest thing in the area. And it is what can calm me down enough to stop and worship. It's what worked for me.


I came back from Lambeth with my already shaky faith in fragments. While my own theodicy issues had left me angry at God, after Lambeth I was simply in pieces. After enduring weeks of mediocre worship and feeling a bit lost in the crowd, I was excited to come home to GraSP.

Mind you, I knew we had a new priest (an interim). I was more excited that anyone. I knew the parish needed new blood and new ideas. I was hoping to find new flavor. What I found was a new dish.

Within two weeks the worship was completely changed. Not only was it lower, but it was sloppy. It was the reasons why I had chosen not to go to some of those other parishes. I find saying page numbers (or pausing after them) a distraction. It is a break in the worship experience for me. Pages are in the bulletin. I actually did like some of the changes she made, but when she decided to consecrate three chalices at once (rather than one and a cruet as the prayer books rubrics state) I wasn't upset at the act, so much as that being something that separates us from what the other Episcopal Churches are doing... the prayer book is what we have in common... Common Prayer.

When I spoke to her about it she said I should "try new things." I felt like I had been slapped in the face. I had tried new things. I started out Jewish. I kept coming back because this was how I best worshipped God. She never asked me what my experiences were. She assumed that because I was young I didn't have any. And now, she was telling me that my already shattered faith was wrong. That the way that I can worship God isn't correct.

And she told a friend of mine the same thing, that he wouldn't like GraSP anymore - we were both the two young adults in the parish who were interested in ordained ministry. An interesting move for someone claiming to be interested in Christian education and formation.

I don't feel like I can go back. Not because of the changes in worship, but because I feel unwelcome. Every time I think of that church I still get angry... and hurt. Before I left I tried to contact a few Vestry members who I felt like I could talk to, but no one responded.

When I left I told a few people that it was just too far to commute. And this was true. I found a parish near my university that I really like. It is a nice broad church with a diverse population and a great music program. When I want Anglo-catholic I have friends who like going to St. Clems, Philadelphia and St. Thomas, 5th Ave, and the rest of the time I have a new parish family where I'm trying to find a place.

But it still hurts. I didn't want to start a scene when I left. I didn't tell anyone that I was moving my membership I just dropped off of a few lists and tried to find replacements. I rather abruptly had my letter of transfer sent. I never heard from the interim at GraSP. Not ever. I knew she was upset with some thing I said and she snapped at me on the altar, or any other time. I never heard from anyone really. I had thought they found a new youth group leader. She never contacted me that they didn't. I heard through the grapevine that she was wondering if there was a list of youth group members. She never asked me.

I suppose I can't quite keep quiet any more. I can't pretend that it isn't eating away at me and keeping me awake at nights months later. That it still doesn't make me cry, that I lost a family, and I don't feel like I can go back... at least not until there is a new priest. That my faith still isn't in pieces.

I've been told that people there like her now. That she is open to things. And that the parish might want to take things in new directions. But this is my experience. And I am writing this for my own healing. Take it as you will.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A new sort of Book Mobile

Acclaimed Colombian Institution Has 4,800 Books and 10 Legs

LA GLORIA, Colombia — In a ritual repeated nearly every weekend for the past decade here in Colombia’s war-weary Caribbean hinterland, Luis Soriano gathered his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, in front of his home on a recent Saturday afternoon.

Sweating already under the unforgiving sun, he strapped pouches with the word “Biblioburro” painted in blue letters to the donkeys’ backs and loaded them with an eclectic cargo of books destined for people living in the small villages beyond.

His choices included “Anaconda,” the animal fable by the Uruguayan writer Horacio Quiroga that evokes Kipling’s “Jungle Book”; some Time-Life picture books (on Scandinavia, Japan and the Antilles); and the Dictionary of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language. Read it all here!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sermon from 19 Oct

Hey,

I preached on 19 Oct at St. David's in Cranbury, NJ.

The sermon can be found here if you are interested.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Random Fact of the Day: The Outerbridge Crossing


Many New York and New Jersey residents have heard of the Outerbridge Crossing - a road the connects Perth Amboy to Staten Island. What many people don't know is how this bridge got its name.

Many assume that its because it is a remote bridge, or something to that effect.

No, in fact it was named after the first head of the New York Port Authority Mr. Eugenious Henry Outerbridge. They realised that calling it the Outerbridge Bridge would be a bit daft, so instead it became the Outerbridge Crossing.

Tolls are collected in the eastbound direction only. The cash toll is $8 for passenger vehicles. EZ Pass users only pay $6 during off-peak hours.

The Outerbridge Crossing carried 32,438,000 vehicles (both directions) in 2006, or approximately 90,000 each day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Good Cry

So I had a good cry tonight.

A good get it all out cry.

I hadn't had one of those in a long time.

I was curled up in my bed, on top of my covers, and when my boyfriend heard me he jumped in behind me and held me the whole time.

I do feel better, better than I have in a while. I still feel like I'm drowning.. or like I'm in a dark tunnel, and I'm still afraid of what's going to be at the end, but at least I feel a bit less burdened... like I got a gulp of air.

Hopefully I'll be back and that will sustain me for a while, but I'm not sure. I just know I won't hold in so hard my next big cry.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Quiet

I know I've been a bit quiet lately. I'm just trying to get some stuff straight

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Community Organizer

Episcobloggers Dinner

I know this is a bit last minute, but there will be a meet up in Newark this Friday (9/12) at 6pm. Pseudopiskie is going to be in the area, so we decided to make a dinner of it.

So far, Elizabeth, Paul (a) and Catherine (a), Eileen the Episcopalifem, The Reverend Boy, Pseudopiskie and I will be there. You should come too.

Drop a note or join the facebook event to RSVP.

When we find out where we will be, we'll be sure to let you know.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Fabulous Punctuation Mark

Introducing the Interrobang

Isn't this just a great piece of punctuation ‽

I had never heard of this amazing piece of punctuation, which combines the characteristics of a question mark with that of an exclamation point.

Click here for more about this useful, and yet underutilized punctuation mark

Friday, August 22, 2008

Radical Reference

I finally joined Radical Reference.

From their website:

"…librarians are more freedom fighters than shushers."

--Carla Hayden, Ms. Magazine online

Mission Statement: Radical Reference is a collective of volunteer library workers who believe in social justice and equality. We support activist communities, progressive organizations, and independent journalists by providing professional research support, education and access to information. We work in a collaborative virtual setting and are dedicated to information activism to foster a more egalitarian society.

Radical reference originated as a service provided by volunteer library workers from all over the United States to assist demonstrators and activists at the convergence surrounding the Republican National Convention in New York City August 29-September 2, 2004.

Basically, if you have a question, a librarian will find you the answer!

How great a ministry is that? Librarians from across the country coming together for social change. So go ahead, post away!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Somewhat Final Thoughts

Disappointment.

Over the past week and a half I've been trying to get my mind around my thoughts and feelings. I had a very good time, mind you. Draining, but good, but I still left with an overarching feeling of disappointment.

Don't ask me what I was expecting, because I really don't know. I suppose in my mind I realised that what happened was all I really expected to happen. I suppose what I didn't expect was just how much of a minority position inclusivness is. I had to wonder, if all of the bishops who were for the full inclusion of all of God's children into all sacraments of the church - regardless of whether or not there was a scriptural justification for it (the church is good at working on those later), if all those bishops took a vote - I wonder then, what we would find. That would, of course, till leave out people who are exclusive because of the "ick" factor - the "having sex with someone of the same sex is icky" factor (real mature, right?).

I also have no patience for bishops who won't take the Eucharist with people they disagree with or because they disagree with the celebrant over some issue. We are Anglicans, not Donatists. That is simply bad theology and there is no excuse for that.

But truly, while in the stewards programme most of the young adults didn't seem to feel that LGBT stuff was a "core doctrinal" issue, many were still against it, for scriptural reasons. This brought me to another disappointment: that the reasserters and the reappraisers aren't talking to each other - they are talking past each other - about very different things.

Many reappraisers are over the scriptural issues, so they don't realise how many of the reasserters, or even moderates are still caught in them. Upon mentioning the importance of using scriptural references for inclusion - or at least explaining why the reasserters usage of scripture is inaccurate, a reappraiser priest said to me "well they already know that, we've told them that."


Well actually, no, they don't, and no, we haven't.


Religion, and Christianity, and Church and being Anglican, means very different things to different people.

I'll admit, to me, on the most basic level, they all represent unconditional love. This does not mean condoning all sorts of behaviour - especially when we fall short of behaviour that shows love and kindness to others. Yes, of course it isn't that simple, Christianity isn't that simple, but I do believe that that is where I begin.

So I suppose that I'm proud to be part of a vibrant, living communion with people striving to live Christ's love the best they can, I'm also a bit disappointed that in many ways the Anglican Communion isn't what I thought it was. That people aren't doing what they said they would do - that a true variety of opinions aren't being heard where they need too, and that people are so wrapped up in their hurt that we can't move on or feel each others pain.

I keep trying to sound uplifted when I talk about Lambeth and it isn't that I'm not grateful for the opportunity -I am, but - I've been trying to sound uplifted since about two weeks into the trip, but in all truthfulness, my confession is that in many ways it feels more like a burden.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Article for General Parish Newsletter

Reflections of a Lambeth Steward
By Allie Graham

Having spent the past month across the pond, I can say it's good be home! But in a way it often felt like I was home the entire time. For the past four weeks I've had the honor of serving as a Steward at the Lambeth Conference – the decennial conference of all the bishops in the Anglican Communion – at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England.

As a brief background, the Anglican Communion is made up of 39 provinces, which are basically national churches, of which we – The Episcopal Church, USA – are a part. All of these national churches are descended in some way from the Church of England, and are all united through “bonds of affection.”

Bishops and spouses from all across the communion gathered to discuss and grow in their ministries and faith as well as to discuss issues facing the church and the world. We as stewards were there to provide support, security, facilitate events when necessary, answer questions, move objects, and to generally be there for the conference organizers. The stewards were Anglicans between the ages of 19 and 35 from 18 different countries spread over six continents. Between all of us we spoke 30 different languages not including Hebrew, Latin, and Ancient Greek. There were eight Americans, each from a different diocese who brought very different viewpoints and experiences to the conference.

While the media, who were restricted in where they were allowed, generally portrayed the conference as something that was either negative or futile, as someone who was in allowed in almost all of the venues and sessions, I would have to say that it was a very positive event. While the hope of many Americans and Canadians – the full inclusion of all of God's children into all orders and sacraments of the church – was not gained, there were steps forward. For a communion that many in the media claim is “broken,” all of the stewards heard bishops saying to each other:
“I like you, I'm drawn to you, I see God in you, but I disagree with you strongly, and I don't know what to do with this information.”

This was an accomplishment.

This however might not be where many of us in the west wish we were, but it is a far better place than we were before hand. Much else was discussed as well-- poverty, the environment, improving ministry, the role of a bishop, and young adult issues were only some of the issues covered.

But more importantly, we were Anglicans, celebrating our faith and history together, were worshipping together, eating together, and meeting the queen together. Yes, really. Well, not all of us met Her Majesty, but we all got within a few feet of her during the garden party at Buckingham Palace. Prime Minister Gordon Brown also dropped by our lunch at Lambeth Palace in London to give one of the most dynamic speeches of his time as PM.

I had the opportunity to hang out with both of our bishops and their spouses (+George and Ruth Councell and +Sylvester and Eva Romero) as well as with the Archbishop of Canterbury and his wife Jane. After the conference, Archbishop Rowan actually joined the stewards for almost all of a two day retreat! I was actually able to sit across from him at lunch, and we all had some fun conversations.

For whatever the press reported, the Lambeth Conference – though weakened that there were some could not or did not attend, helped to strengthen the bonds of affection within the communion, and at the very least, left the status quo and provided a wonderful time for worship, fellowship, photo-ops, and growing in God's love.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Back in the USA

I am back in the USA

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Removing oneself from the table

I think what bothers me most about those bishops who are boycotting Lambeth, is that they are accusing us of heresy while it is they who appear to lack faith in the redemptive power of Christ. To remove themselves from the table means that they are so convinced that we are beyond redemption - that we cannot be helped or turned back to what they believe is the message of Christ that they are not even going to talk to us. Come now, should not those who are claiming to be orthodox have the most faith in Christ's redemptive power to turn hearts to him?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tales from a Lambeth Steward

Hello everyone,

As most of you know, I am currently at the University of Kent in Canterbury where I will be serving as a Steward at the Lambeth Conference.

I have told most of you that I will be blogging, and have just started.

You are welcome to read it, and I won't be offended if you choose not to (just please don't volunteer the information if you don't) :-P

It has already been an interesting week - and the Bishops don't arrive until next Tuesday.

The blog can be found at: Tales from a Lambeth Steward (http://alambethsteward.blogspot.com)


In peace
Allie

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

At Lambeth

Hello all,
I am here for preperations for the Lambeth Conference. I will start blogging on this shortly.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Super thank you!

I want to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped contributing to the "Get Allie to Lambeth" fund through your donations, posts, and prayers.

With your help, I've raised $1330, which does cover my airfare, rail fare, travel insurance, and a few other small purchases.

My flight leaves at 8:05pm on Monday July 7th from Newark. I ask your prayers for me and for the whole conference.

My blog url will be posted here when I set it up.

Peace and thanks to everyone

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sermon Posted

Hey, my sermon from this morning can be found here.

I honestly think it may be the best I've ever given. It doesn't quite read the way it was delivered, as, as many you know, I have a rather strange way of speaking.

Anyhow, peaceout

Monday, June 23, 2008

RIP George Carlin

Comedian, 71, Dies of Heart Failure



George Dennis Carlin
12 May 1937-
22 June 2008



To the man who taught generations of kids that being smart doesn't mean you can't be funny (and that most people won't notice)...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ouch-- Well Beam me up Scotty!

Out of nowhere my TMJ has flared up. Its been rather tame for the last year, and I can't quite figure out why its flaring up now. I've been working hard to eat well, exercise, my job is relatively easy, my roommate situation is working out well (quite well). Oh well.

I guess that gives me an excuse to spend the afternoon jogging ...and ice.


In other news, George Takai of Star Trek fame is getting married and Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols are in the "bridal" party.


From Yahoo News

George Takei and partner plan to wed in September

WASHINGTON - George Takei, best known for playing Sulu on "Star Trek," will never forget the first time he saw Brad Altman, the man he plans to marry, more than two decades ago.

They were working out in a running club and he couldn't take his eyes off Altman, who had a "lean, tightly muscled" body, the 71-year-old actor told AP Radio in an interview.

Takei said he asked Altman to help him train for a marathon, they fell in love, and now they've been living together for 21 years.

Altman said he proposed by getting down on one knee in their kitchen while Takei was eating a sandwich after seeing on TV that the California Supreme Court had legalized same-sex marriage. It surprised Takei, who thought he would be the one who popped the question.

They bought each other turquoise and silver wedding rings.

Takei and Altman plan to marry Sept. 14 in the Democracy Forum at the Japanese National Museum in Los Angeles.

Walter Koenig, who played Chekov in "Star Trek," will be the best man and Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura, will be the matron of honor. Castmate Leonard Nimoy will be among the 200 guests, but probably not William Shatner. Takei has said Shatner didn't treat him and most of the cast very well.

Takei, who had a recurring role on NBC's "Heroes" last year, and Altman plan to honeymoon for a month in South America.

As for what they'll wear on their big day, Altman said they'll both walk down the aisle in white tuxedoes, which seemed to catch Takei off-guard.

"Well, now that you've announced it on the air, I guess it's settled," he said

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Laptop

My new laptop (MacBook) finally arrived!!!
I'm stopping at my parents house today to pick it up!
W00t!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Failing to attend the Lambeth Conference is cowardly (former cabinet minister in Kenya)

(Thanks to Louie Crew for posting this to Hob/d)

The Daily Nation, Nairobi, Kenya

COMMENTARY
Failing to attend the Lambeth Conference is cowardly
Story by CHARLES NJONJO
Publication Date: 5/22/2008

MEMBERS OF THE ANGLICAN Church in Kenya would like to know why our
bishops are not attending the Lambeth 2008 Conference.

Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi is reported as reasoning thus: Lambeth 2008
should have been about a return to God in view of these realities, yet
its obvious that wont be the case. Canterbury has sanctioned
homosexuality. We cannot be going there to keep up with its
theological gymnastics.

Is this not missing the point of Lambeth? Isnt this cowardly?

Read the rest here

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I'm going to Lambeth

Many people don't know this, but Lambeth has a "Young Adult Stewards Programme." Basically, if you can get to the University of Kent, they cover room, board and a small allowance that I think might cover tube fares.

I recently recieved an email informing me that I was accepted into the programme. This includes being a general grunt, "one on one" time with the ABC, and attending "the garden party and Buckingham Palace" (the bourgeois church at its best, I suppose) with the rest of Lambeth attendees (and I'm sure a huge number of other people as well).

I'm very excited for this opportunity, and yes, I will be blogging the entire time...

but, as many of you know, I've crashed my car and my laptop died.

So I'm asking you, if you can, to help me get to Lambeth.
The cheapest tickets I could find were $850 (which I bought) but that also doesn't account from getting (by rail I assume) from Heathrow to Kent. If you can help at all, please let me know.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

OMG Congress does something right

War Funding Bill Stalls in House
131 Republicans Vote 'Present' in Protest of Pelosi Tactics

By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 16, 2008; A03

An odd coalition of angry Republicans and antiwar Democrats yesterday torpedoed a $162.5 billion proposal to continue funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving the House to pass a measure that demands troop withdrawals, bans torture and expands education benefits for returning veterans.

The surprise action left antiwar activists on and off Capitol Hill exultant, Republicans gloating and Democratic leaders baffled. Recriminations from all sides quickly followed.

House leaders had broken the war funding bill into three separate measures. The first, to continue funding combat operations, needed Republican votes to pass over the objection of antiwar Democrats. The second would impose strict Iraq-related policy measures strongly opposed by President Bush, and the third would fund domestic priorities, including a new G.I. Bill and levees around New Orleans.

That legislative legerdemain became the plan's undoing. Rather than go along, 131 House Republicans voted "present" on the war funding provision, saying they were incensed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and a few of her lieutenants had drafted the bill in secret, then expected them to play along.

"It was a political scheme. We wanted to expose it, and we did," declared
House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio).

Democrats saw it differently. "Republicans had the choice -- fund the troops or don't fund the troops. They voted present," said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.).

"You can't say something is the critical battle of our time and vote present," said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.). "Explain that to the troops."

The strange conclusion to the day-long war debate may not help a Congress mired in record-low approval ratings and a House GOP that is reeling from internal dissension and three straight losses in special elections in reliably Republican districts.

But the impact is likely to be short-lived. The Senate will take up its
version of the war funding bill next week; it is expected to restore the war
funds and strip out the policy prescriptions most disagreeable to the White
House.

The White House reiterated its veto threat of the overall package yesterday morning, demanding a new version stripped of policy prescriptions and domestic spending, including the bill's $52 billion expansion of veterans' education benefits. The supplemental appropriations vote is the last major clash on Iraq policy between Congress and Bush.

Had it become law, the House bill would have brought the total cost of the war in Iraq to around $660 billion, according to the Congressional Research Service, more expensive than any U.S. military effort except World War II. As passed, the House bill would require troop withdrawals from Iraq to begin within 30 days, with a goal of removing all combat forces by December 2009.

The Iraqi government would have to match U.S. reconstruction funding dollar
for dollar, and would be required to offer the U.S. military the same fuel
subsidies it provides its own citizens.


Troops would get more rest between combat deployments, and every branch of government -- including the Central Intelligence Agency -- would have to abide by the Army Field Manual's guidelines on interrogation, which bans action that amount to torture. Those policy prescriptions passed the House by 227 to 196, with a surprising eight Republican votes, including Reps. Michael N. Castle (Del.), Christopher Shays (Conn.) and James T. Walsh (N.Y.).


On the domestic side, unemployment compensation would be extended for 13 weeks. Regulations the Bush administration hoped to impose to restrict access to the Medicaid program would be blocked. Funds would be provided for international food aid, levees around New Orleans, federal prisons and the 2010 Census. And the G.I, Bill passed after World War II for an earlier generation of veterans would be updated.


That domestic portion passed 256 to 166, with 32 Republicans voting yes.


The politically controversial expanded G.I. Bill was expected to give momentum to the House measure. The provision, written by Sens. James Webb (D-Va.) and John W. Warner (R-Va.), would cover the costs of school at even the most expensive state universities for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and would encourage private universities to provide additional student aid for them. The House bill would pay for the benefit with a surtax of half a percentage point on income over $500,000 for individuals and $1 million for couples.


The measure has attracted broad bipartisan support, but it is opposed by Bush because of its cost, its tax increase and fears that its generosity could entice service members to leave the military rather than reenlist at the end of their tours. Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the presumptive Republican nominee, has put forward a less generous alternative that would save its richest benefits for service members doing multiple tours.


But McCain's efforts have run into bipartisan opposition -- from lawmakers, veterans organizations and educators. Former homeland security secretary Tom Ridge, a close McCain ally, came out for Webb's measure yesterday.


"I have tremendous regard for Senator McCain, but I can't figure out where he is right now," said Dartmouth College President James Wright, a former Marine who helped negotiate the Webb-Warner language. "It seems to me our posture as a nation cannot be to say to servicemen and -women, 'We do not value you unless you reenlist.' That wasn't the contract they signed."


The House actions were a dream come true for the antiwar movement.


"It is time now for Americans to be heard and for this Congress to move forward with the safe redeployment of our troops," exulted Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) who called on the House to use the $162.5 billion in war funds for domestic priorities.

"For the first time ever, the U.S. House has now taken decisive action to bring this war to a close," declared Alan Charney, program director of the antiwar group USAction.

When the Senate takes up the bill, its version will include war funding, but prescriptions on troop withdrawals and torture will probably fall to a GOP filibuster. Republicans have argued that any tax increase is unacceptable, especially in a time of economic slowdown. Even Democratic leaders in the Senate have said they will oppose the House's tax increase to pay for veterans benefits.


More unclear is the future of the education benefits, as well as domestic spending that Bush has vowed to veto but will garner considerable support in both parties. The Senate also is expected to go along with House efforts to force the Iraqi government to shoulder more of its reconstruction and self-defense costs.

WAHOO!! Not perfect, but other than the Republican power trip, still good. Seriously though, don't those Republicans owe it to their constituencies to vote something other than present?

Monday, May 12, 2008

My computer's motherboard died, I crashed my car, and left my cell-phone charger at my parent's house.To reach me, send an email which will be read eventually

Edit (13 May): My phone is now charged again

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Still Around

Hey, just a heads up, yes I'm still around. Just a bit drained, its been a rough few weeks academically and otherwise. I'll be back around the blogosphere soon, I just need to jump off for a bit.



Its hard pretending everything is okay - especially when you can't explain what's wrong

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Defend the Rutgers 3!

IMPORTANT UPDATE!!!

Please **SIGN THE PETITION** urging the New Brunswick Police to drop all charges and appealing to the Rutgers University administration to support the Rutgers 3.

http://www.petitiononline.com/DefRU3/petition.html

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Final

I just realised that all but one of my finals are due the week before finals week

Friday, April 18, 2008

I miss paper

When I was younger, if I had a paper, I would type have my papers or my notebook, and I would go to a typewriter or take my notebook, bang it out, and then have a stack of papers to bring to my teacher's mailbox.

Today I spent hours in the graduate study room at the library typing a 13 page paper... emailed it to my professor and walked out of the library holding nothing more than I went in with - my purse and mp3 player. It is a bit of a let down... all that work and nothing material to show for it.

I'm not actually complaining, this is clearly better for the environment and doesn't involve keeping term papers and thesis in the freezer, but still...

Sexy Librarians for National Library Week

From Entertainment Weekly:

18 Sexy Trips to the Library Stacks

"Okay, maybe all these library scenes aren't as ''sexy'' as the naughtiness in ''Atonement'' but it's National Library Week -- why quibble?"

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Defend the Rutgers 3

As you can read in a post below, a few weeks ago a number of student organizations came together to have a WalkOut against the war and Rutgers complicity in the war through investments in war profiteering corporations.

The Walk Out was organized through a coalition, and there was no central contact person. However, a few days ago three coalition members received summons
They are all being charged with Disorderly Conduct, a "violation" according to New Jersey state law (equivalent to a "misdemeanor"). If convicted, they could face up to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine, and a record of an "offense" that would take several years to expunge. The complaint states, "Did engage in conduct which caused a physically dangerous or hazardous condition, specifically by organizing and participating in a protest march onto Route 18 disrupting traffic in violation of N.J.S. 2c: 33-2A(2)

Two of the people who received the summons were very active in the organizing process, but the third was an unaffiliated who simply came to the walk out. The two had spoken with police and were in fact responsible enough to ensure that we had police protection and were acting responsibly. Figure it would come back to hurt them.

The third student is a graduating senior who really doesn't have time for this.

Many colleges would try to make a "thing" out of this. That is not our point, we just want to get the charges dropped so that we can get on with our activism.

Prayers for these three students and the rest of the Rutgers Anti-War Walk Out Coalition.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Radical Librarians Take Over

(with thanks to Ian, who shared this with me as well as the information that this site often has this sort of reactionary mindset)

Librarians for Terror
By Lee Kaplan
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, August 24, 2004

At one time American libraries stood at the heart of community education, forming in a positive way the minds and character of our youth, changing lives for the better. But sadly, the traditional mission of these august institutions of learning for generations of Americans is disappearing as they gradually turn into indoctrination centers against the United States and Israel.

One of the main reasons for this tragic and disturbing turn of events is the American Library Association, where a clique of leftists has taken over, dedicating itself to padding libraries across America with anti-Israel books, videos and other materials, excluding both sides in the Israel/Palestine dispute.

The American Library Association is the oldest and biggest professional society of librarians in the world with over 60,000 members. When college majors in Library Science graduate, they must have attended ALA accredited schools accredited if they hope to find the best jobs in their field. Starting in the 1980’s, hard-core leftists and pro-Palestinian activists have steadily been working to take control of the ALA much in the same manner as has occurred with Middle East Studies Centers on college campuses nationwide. These people decide what will you and your children will read and see at the local library.

I interviewed several librarians for this article, all whom asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from the ALA (some even recounted tales of late night phone calls where they were threatened with extreme harm). After the Bolshevik Revolution, the Soviet Union’s education and library system, deemed a utopian socialist program to educate the masses, was at first seen as the model for the world. It was only years later during Stalin’s rule that this idea changed somewhat as traditional anti-Semitism reemerged and education was used for indoctrination. But some librarians told me the ALA since the 1920’s has always advanced radical socialist doctrine as being positive while not presenting in a fair manner views concerning the benefits of the American capitalist system. Adding to that background, with the advent of the Vietnam War, college radicals, as they moved into mainstream jobs in all areas of academia, continued to promote their ideas of radical change in American government and society. Library Science is closely tied in with today’s university atmosphere where Marxism now thrives along with a resurrected policy of anti-Semitism.

The growth of the Palestinian and Saudi propaganda movements on U.S. campuses created a new cause celebre in the library system after the fall of the Soviet Union. As communist groups such as International Answer and the International Socialist Organization sprang up advocating the overthrow of the American capitalist system, their adherents, who had frequently allied themselves with the Palestinian “revolution” against the Jews (euphemistically called “Zionists”) on US college campuses, moved into leadership positions within the ALA.

The ALA “Bill of Rights” has been twisted to the point that “anything goes” in Library Science as long as it is deemed progressive. The ALA proved its adherence to this philosophy when it spent 1.5 million dollars in lawsuits that reached the Supreme Court to oppose the Child Online Protection Act, H.R. 3783, passed by Congress; an ALA victory would have allowed pornography for children in public libraries. When extremist positions like that thrive within the ALA, it creates an atmosphere conducive to promoting any one-sided propaganda exported from totalitarian regimes abroad as part of the “progressive agenda”.

It is therefore not surprising that American libraries, those on college campuses as well as in neighborhood communities, include a disproportionate number of anti-Israel books. Works by Edward Said and Noam Chomsky condemning “American imperialism” or that call Israel a “colony” of America are commonly found with other similar materials available regardless of the speciousness of their content. Solid scholarly research with factual information about Israel is difficult to find, if at all.

As well, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization that bills itself as an Arab civil rights group but was shown to have links to Hamas, has utilized American libraries’ budgetary problems to provide books “free of charge” to advance the “Arab point of view”. CAIR has given books to more than 7,000 American libraries so far.

To librarians uninformed about Middle Eastern history, or to those who intentionally wish to attack America and Israel, the chance to stack the racks with free books is certainly enticing. But while donating books to our library system should be a laudatory thing, CAIR’s agenda is to persuade readers that Israel must be dismantled, an idea that conforms to Hamas doctrine. And such donations are not limited to just books; today’s public and college libraries feature DVDs; videotapes; symposiums; and educational outreach to public schools and community groups using such one-sided resource materials. Research becomes tainted when the information is not objective, but rather a subtle form of indoctrination.

The film Jenin, Jenin is a good example of such propaganda with its staged scenes that falsely claim a massacre by Israelis; it is screened at “events” or “lectures” designed to misinform the same way as in any totalitarian, Middle Eastern, educational system. Hamas, Islamic Jihad or Hizbollah are no longer perceived as terrorist groups but political, and even human rights organizations, as was done on Duke University’s library website.

Major players within the ALA, who have made the ALA into a vehicle for their anti-American and anti-Israel views, include past ALA president Maurice J. “Mitch” Freedman; University of Pittsburgh librarian Thomas Twiss; California librarian Rory Litwin (who also produces a leftist-socialist oriented library newsletter, Library Juice, that condemns U.S. foreign policy and Israel); Chicago public librarian David L. Williams; avowed Marxist Mark Rosenzweig; Zoia Horn; Al Kagan; and Ghada El Turk, among others.

Freedman has scheduled events at past ALA Conferences that set the tone for the political climate within the ALA. For example, at the Midwestern ALA Convention he offered a special treat by screening “The Trials of Henry Kissinger” and “Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky In Our Times”. Both films attacked U.S. foreign policy, blaming the United States for terrorism, and the Chomsky film, as usual, attacked Israel. Freedman also chose as a guest speaker Amy Goodman, a pro-Palestinian writer and host on Pacifica Radio. The media watchdog group CAMERA once condemned Pacifica for “repeatedly providing a forum for racists, anti-Semites and other critics of Israel.” In 1992, Khalide Hamide, a fundraiser for the terrorist organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was also invited to attend an ALA convention.

Thomas Twiss took the ALA into the international arena by presenting resolutions against Israel, which were then sent to the UN, the US State Department and Yasser Arafat. But he wasn’t alone. Since the early 1990’s ALA members have joined Twiss by passing resolutions and writing articles that condemn the Jewish state. Rory Litwin allowed Library Juice to be used by Al Kagan, a Library Administration professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana, where he is active in the anti-Israel divestment campaign. David L. Williams, who works in the public library system out of Chicago, organized an ALA Committee On Israeli Censorship. He published a bibliography at taxpayer expense listing books biased against Israel. This is housed in Chicago’s Public Library. Zoia Horn, now an octogenarian and lifelong San Francisco Bay Area Marxist, published an article bashing Israel in the main ALA journal, American Libraries.

Mark Rosenzweig, an avowed Marxist librarian, and the other activists within the ALA, continually put forth resolutions that openly portray Israel as a villain that destroys Palestinian libraries. To date, there is no evidence of the IDF ever having destroyed a Palestinian library despite PLO accusations. Meanwhile, when a Palestinian suicide bomber at Hebrew University in Jerusalem murdered an American librarian, ALA leaders made no comment. Nor did the ALA take exception to what Palestinian libraries teach children about Jews and Israel, instilling and inciting hatred and war.

In most professional associations, the positions of those who organize and run things are usually non-paying and manned by volunteers. This system attracts only the most dedicated people in their professions—or those with an agenda who appreciate a bully pulpit, which, in the case of libraries, is at taxpayers’ expense. And the latter reason explains why those people mentioned above got together and formed an even more powerful cabal within the ALA to further their mutual goals of demonizing Israel and advancing Marxist ideology. Called the Social Responsibilities Roundtable (SRRT), this subgroup has played an aggressive role within the ALA that affects every library in the country.

The SRRT has run wild. In 1992 its members passed a resolution, backed by the ALA, which protested “the deportation of Omar al-Safi, a librarian at Bir Zeit University...in the West Bank.” Al-Safi was a terrorist with a long criminal record in the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), a terrorist group that unequivocally calls for the murder of all Israelis. The DFLP’s pinnacle achievement was the murder of 22 children and adults taken hostage at a high school in Israel in 1974, afterwards known as the Ma’alot Massacre.

In 2002, the SRRT was still openly passing resolutions against Israel and sending them to the UN, the U.S. State Department and Yasser Arafat. This ALA cabal has sent personal representatives to support and meet Yasser Arafat and had anti-Israel literature distributed in children’s sections of American public libraries. And with the recent creation of another ALA subgroup, the International Responsibilities Task Force, the taxpayer’s dollar can now be tapped to purchase “alternative literature” calling for Israel’s annihilation.

Front Page Magazine has featured articles showing how Saudi money is used to fund Palestinian goals and add to the climate of indoctrination against the United States and Israel on our college campuses, in high schools and in public school textbooks. Being the main accreditation authority for librarians, the ALA’s prominence has also lent credence to similar activities at college libraries and programs nationwide, such as at Duke University where a library website featured a Jewish Star of David made out of barbed wire to imply Palestinian suffering at the hands of Jews.

For a local example of this, one need look no further than Ghada Elturk, who works out of the Boulder Public Library in Colorado. An active SRRT member, Ms. Elturk, Lebanese by birth, is responsible for acquisitions and books for a program designed to appeal to minorities. Her series on Readings On Racism have outreached as far as New England libraries. Ms. Elturk extends her job to promoting film festivals, reading material and events that are all designed to present Israel as oppressing Palestinian Arabs. Elturk’s acquisitions of library materials are heavily skewed against Israel in her library’s online catalog.

Elturk also joins fellow ALA members in accusing Israel of destroying Palestinian libraries but never extends her Reading Against Racism program to pointing out how Palestinian libraries have books that compare Jews and Christians as the children of monkeys and pigs, or that deny the Jews’ right to have their own country in the Muslim world. Ms. Elturk recently held a symposium at the Boulder Public Library where she screened no less than six pro-PLO films. The main feature, a film called “The Bombing”, contained content blaming Israel for suicide bombers that kill Israelis.

A Boulder community member, Michael Wolin, who objected to the bias of Ms. Elturk’s screenings, particularly after they were advertised for free in conjunction with a yearly international conference at the nearby University of Colorado, said his complaints to the head of the library to allow the showing of pro-Israel films to provide balance only got him referred to Ms. Elturk. Needless to say, she refused.

Some Israel activists then went to Boulder’s Library Commission. Ms. Elturk showed up for the meeting to explain how her program somehow advanced social justice. The Commission deferred to the professional librarian. After all, the thinking went: she is a member of the ALA, so she must know what she is doing. The community members demanding balance on the side of Israel were virtually shut out of their own library system by a propagandist for the PLO. Her Palestinian propaganda films, some with completely fabricated content like Jenin, Jenin, are in the permanent collection for loan at taxpayers’ expense. Ms. Elturk uses her bully pulpit well. Her outreach efforts extend to the materials high school students read in World History.

The boulder librarian's activities provide a template for libraries across America to follow as Palestinian film festivals demonizing Israel are scheduled from Ames, Iowa, to Flint, Michigan, to Berkeley, California. They all present one-sided films with “recommended reading” as follow-up that is neither objective nor free of a political agenda against Israel and US policy.

For example, the Ames Public Library screened “Jenin, Jenin” as part of their series on “Palestine Unabridged.” Tributes were made to Rachel Corrie, the International Solidarity Movement radical who was reportedly killed for protecting a doctor’s house from demolition by the Israeli army but who was actually killed by accident when she tried to block a tractor from demolishing a weapons smuggling tunnel that was no where near the doctor’s house. The myth of the innocent victim killed by the Israeli army was perpetuated to the Ames community, as Corrie’s relatives were invited to speak against Israel. Like in Boulder, complaints to Ames Library administrators from the pro-Israel community for some type of program to lend balance fell on deaf ears. Similar one-sided presentations are popping up in libraries all over America.

There are ALA members opposed to what is happening but who are afraid to speak out for fear they will lose their jobs. However, there are workers in the library trade who have had enough of this lack of balance. Librarians For Fairness, a group of library professionals, has sprung up to monitor the situation and to recommend balanced reading materials in our public libraries in order to stop them being turned into propaganda ministries.

But the fact remains: Those who support the actions and goals of terrorists and oppose Israel’s existence and America’s War on Terror have infiltrated America’s knowledge distribution centers – our libraries. As a result, all of us should take a good, hard look at what is going on at our local libraries and get involved.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Anticipated plans for my birthday

1. Write Reference paper
2. Stop looking out window and write reference paper
2.5 (edit) Realise that it 60 degrees outside and that writing this paper will allow me to be out there.
3. Realise that reference paper will not get written at home, go to campus, write paper
4. Spill tea (edit: left travel mug of tea on bedroom dresser)
5. write reference paper
6. Meet with IS professor regarding a very poorly annotated bibliography (that's what I assume)
7. Go to Reference class
8. Realise I forgot to print out paper, run to computer lab
9. Hand in Reference paper
10. Go to Canterbury House for former Iraq Interrogator talk +mass
11. Explain to athiest activist friends that no, I'm not a crazy religion person (well, not crazy b/c of religion)
12. Go to Rutgers Against the War Meeting
13. Get drunk for the first time in years.
14. Sleep

Friday, April 4, 2008

Date

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Press!

The Walk Out got press!!!
(Links go directory to the story)


Asbury Park Press
Courier News
The Star Ledger (click new photos under the main photo). We are also on the front page of the Local (ie Middlesex) page in the print version) The above photo was from this paper.
Home News Tribune
Michael Moore's website (I'm off to the side on the front page)
Daily Targum
There was also press from not print sources such as

WCBS 880AM
and MTV2 among others.


More pictures are available here and here

Thanks to the WalkOut C
oalition and to everyone whowalked out or joined up!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

WALK OUT!

Even if you don't have class, even you aren't a Rutgers Student, even if you aren't a student. Walk out of your daily life in protest of the Illegal Occupation of Iraq and Rutgers Complicity in the War.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Changes...

I feel like the the next few months will be bringing a lot of changes.

For the first time in my life I'm sick of school - which I guess makes sense since I started pre-school when I was three and haven't taken a break. I'm so bored in my classes and I'm becoming "one of those" students. After I graduate, I don't know what I'll do... I'm seriously considering buying a one way ticket to Heathrow (airport) and working (doing whatever) until I can afford to come back. We'll see.

But really, I don't have much of a direction. Which I guess is okay, but I used to be the one person who had their entire life planned out. Up until a few months ago I had my life planned out quite literally until I retired... which I know is strange for someone 22... especially someone as disorganized as I am. But God made some things uncharacteristically clear, and well, I have no idea.

Two of my mentors will be leaving the area soon - both moving to an island in Virginia. I didn't realise how much I would miss them until Holy Week. Last week I went to church 9 times in 8 days.. but unlike most people who do that, I don't get paid. But I love Holy Week, it reminds me of why I became a Christian... and I love how my parish does Holy Week... I've been to other parishes for it, but none were like GraSP. This summer the rector (who baptized me) is leaving, the associate (who has been second mother to me, in so many ways beyond being a priest) is leaving, and the deacon is taking a leave of absence (baby twins!) - and likely, I'll be leaving, and that scares me too.

I won't be leaving until December, maybe to the UK as I mentioned above, maybe to where ever I can get the best paying job in the US. But I feel so unsettled - so unmotivated, so incapable of doing anything. I knew I was feeling down, but it wasn't until I realised how comfortable I felt on Good Friday and how much I had to strain to be joyful at the resurrection that I realised how far I was. How happy I was that Christ died for my sins because of just how wretched a sinner I am, but how hard it was, is for me to be joyful that he rose from the dead. That I was hiding behind a faith that I'm not sure I like. But I know that I love.

I don't know why I'm telling this to a bunch of strangers, maybe I just don't care what people think of me, maybe I just don't feel like finding a notebook. Maybe after going to counseling services on campus and having them tell me they couldn't fit me in anytime soon, but if I felt I really needed something they could send me off site to a place I would have pay for students to treat, me made me realise that none of us really do matter. I mean, seriously, with what I was going in with.. and then told that basically I'm getting rejected by the therapist... that's well, let's not go there, I'm not getting that open in a blog entry... but we are really lucky that Christ died for our sins because we all have so many of them that we would be beyond screwed.

I've been snapping at everyone lately, and I know I should be grateful for so much - a comfortable life, loving parents, random savings bonds we forgot my grandmother left before she died that will pay for half of my MLIS.... so I off balanced, unsettled and can recognise how irrational I'm acting and sounding. I've just been so tired lately, so exhausted, like no amount of sleep will make me feel awake.

Last Tuesday I preached that with all the suffering in the world it can seem foolish that God can be loving and benevolent. On Friday my rector preached this in response. That where there is suffering, there is Christ on the cross. And while it makes sense, it doesn't make me feel better.

I guess this is one of those blog entries where I come across as an angsty teenager. I'm usually the one who listens to all my friends when they go all mental.. I'm not supposed to be the emo one.

I'm tired of being responsible, I'm tired of working, I'm tired of trying, I'm tired of fighting, I'm just tired, and I want it to go away.

Congrats

Head over to Eileen the Episcopalifem to congratulate her on her good news!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Alleluia, Christus Resurrexit!

Vere Resurrexit, Alleluia!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Meditation from Tuesday in Holy Week

Meditation from Tuesday in Holy Week posted here:
http://alliessermons.blogspot.com/

Friday, March 14, 2008

Greetings from Boston

Hey everyone!
So I'm hanging at my friend Katie's apt in Boston with Jacky. Today's been fun. Took six hours to get here from Jersey. Hung out at Harvard Div waiting for Katie to be done with class, showed Jacky around, went to Bertucci's for dinner, then left them to go to the Society of St. John the Evangelist for evening prayer.

that was freaking awesome. I had only been there once before, for noonday prayers, but it was a great experience... one of the few times I ever manage to calm down. It's also great to be among my own - Red Sox fans.

Now we are hanging out, watching movies and eating ice cream.

If anyone is in the area and wants to hang out, give me a call.

UPDATE: Had a great time! Left the country for the first time, and my best friend might be mad at me, but I'm not sure.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Extra.. Extra.. Read all about it!!! Its a miracle....

We managed to have a diocesan convention that didn't make the headlines... but we DID do some cool stuff.

1. College chaplaincies now have seat, voice, and vote. This is awesome as many of our members do not have parishes outside of the chaplaincies.

2. We elected two alternates under the age of 25 who will be attending convention. IMO we were not elected just because of our ages.

3. A resolution was passed against the violence in Darfur. The resolution called for the forming of a committee to raise awareness and look into what we can do.

4. We had the opportunity to hear about some of the fabulous things being done in our diocese, the national church, and the Anglican Communion.

Its amazing what can be done when the convention is not spent debating human sexuality.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Elected

I find it amusing that I can't manage to get elected to vestry (or anything else) at my parish when its contested, yet I can get elected L6 to General Convention (we send 6).

Regardless YAY I'm going to GC09 in Anaheim and more to the point have actually gotten elected to something-- WAHOOO!!!!!

Actually, I love my diocese. L5 is a student at the same school I attend and is actually two years younger.

Paul (a) is L7, but he'll be there too :-D

See y'all in Anaheim

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lenten Song

To be sung to the tune of “My Favorite Things”

Sack cloths and ashes and days without eating
Mortification and wailing and weeping
A hair shirt that scratches, a nettle that stings
These are a few of my favorite things.

Penitence flagellants memento more
Spending nights sleeping on rocks in a quarry
The sound of the cloak’d solemn cantor who sings
These are still more of my favorite things

Tossing and turning and yearning I’m spurning
Passions aflame like an Ember Day burning
Corpus and carnis and wild drunken flings
Forsaken are these for my favorite things

When its Christmas
And the tree’s lit
And the cards are sent
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I can’t wait
Till
Lent!

(with thanks to Susy+)

Sorry....

This whole grad student, working, being in a show thing is really eating into my blogging time.
I should have more time after Diocesan Convention this weekend.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Presidential Promise

With thanks to Elizabeth Kaeton+

Friday, February 15, 2008

Communion, etc

This was posted in response to a series of emails on HOB/D regarding, basically who "should" be allowed to receive communion and how it should be handled

My parish has the same message as Tobias Haller's: some form of "All baptized persons of any age or denomination may receive
Communion. If you are not baptized, or do not wish to receive, you are encouraged to come forward for a blessing. Indicate this by
folding your arms across your chest."
If it isn't printed in the bulletin, it is at least spoken on major feast days, weddings, etc.

I walked into an Episcopal Church for the first time when I was about 10. My (Jewish) mother had started attending services occasionally and since for a number of reasons we weren't attending a temple at the time, I decided to see what mom was doing.
Mom told me that when everyone went up for communion to put my arms across my chest and that we would get a special prayer because we were Jewish. For a while that satisfied me. I didn't feel left out, but I also wasn't taking something that wasn't mine to have.
My mother was eventually baptized and it was in some part a desire for the Eucharist that lead her to that decision, and me as well.
The time of preparation before I was baptized helped me to better understand (as much as a preteen can) what the Eucharist was supposed to be.
Not being able to receive before I was baptized made me desire further to become initiated into this group.
To have been able to receive having just walked in would have taken away a lot of the mystery, beauty, and significance of this statement as well as the sacrament of baptism.
I guess to me my baptism was something big. Every year on the day of my baptism "anniversary" I quietly thank God. It was something special and it was a decision that God and I made. When I made the leap to be baptized and embrace Christ, I was then able to receive communion.

I think COMMUNICATING with parishioners and visitors, ESPECIALLY CHILDREN is important.
YES. XXXXX, you should have told her Sunday School teachers. We have had a lot of tweens come in unbaptized and none have felt left out.
I was let know that I wasn't being excluded, I was being differently included, and when (if) I became a member I would change my method of inclusion.

Turning people away, no, but although this might not be a theologically "correct" argument (I really have no idea), I believe that not being able to receive helped me make the leap to becoming a Christian and is an important part of the church.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Recruiting Free Zone

City of Berkley to Marine Corps: You're Not Welcome
Yes this really is from Fox News
(and yes its about two weeks old)

BERKELEY, Calif. — Local officials in this liberal city say it's time for the U.S. Marines to move out.

The City Council has voted to tell the Marines their downtown recruiting station is not welcome and "if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome guests."

The measure passed this week by a vote of 8-1.

The council also voted to explore enforcing a city anti-discrimination law, focusing on the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
(read the rest of the article here)

COMMENT: Wahoo. We can make a difference. Education is so important. A number of high schools and colleges have had counter-recruitment or and Truth in Recruitment campaigns when recruiters show up. If we can keep informing potential recruits that they are enlisting in a body that is taking part in illegal and unjust activities, and letting kids realise that the government doesn't always come true on the money promised for school and signing bonuses, there won't be a military to fight this bogus war - or at least less of one. Then we can pull our troops out and get back to the business of defending our country... which we don't have enough troops left to do if we needed to.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fun in the ER

So I was having trouble sleeping last night from being rather sick.
Around 2:30 I started having awful chest pains that wouldn't go away.
Ended up waking up mom to go to the ER. Turns out they were from acute bronchitis that the ER doc said had the potential to turn into pneumonia. He put me on crazy strength Tylenol and antibiotics (which need to be strong with my immune system). I'm glad that is all that it is, but now maybe I can go to sleep?

Oh yes rehearsal last night ran until about 11. I'm calling out of work today (edit:after an explanation my boss doesn't particularly want me to come in) but will be at rehearsal tonight. I do have my priorities straight, yes?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Shamless Plug

My Favorite Year at Kelsey Theater
February 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, and 24th.

In the early days of television, broadcasts were live - with potential results ranging from brilliant to embarrassing or worse. Join the Pennington Players as they recreate that pioneering era in the musical comedy, "My Favorite Year," at MCCC's Kelsey Theatre Fridays and Saturdays, Feb. 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 8 p.m., and Sundays, Feb. 17 and 24 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college's West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. An opening night reception will be held Feb. 15 to give audience an opportunity to meet the cast and crew.

It's 1954 and junior writer Benjy Stone is hard at work on TV's hit variety show, King Kaiser's Comedy Cavalcade. Stone's job takes an unexpected turn when he volunteers to spend the week playing nursemaid to his childhood Hollywood hero, Alan Swann, who is scheduled to make a live appearance on the show. Swann is more than a washed up, swashbuckling movie star; he's a womanizer with a major drinking problem. As Benjy does his best to keep Swann out of trouble, the two find common ground, sharing adventures and life lessons.

Starring in "My Favorite Year" are Bill Kamps as Benjy Stone and Mike Schiumo as Alan Swann. The supporting cast includes Ken Ambs as King Kaiser, Tess Ammerman as Tess, Melissa Angelo as Alice/Belle, Kristina Mancini as K.C. Downing, Keith Neilsen as Leo Silver, Kevin Palardy as Sy/Uncle Morty, Kyrus Westcott as Herb/Rookie, and Stephanie Zimmerman as Aunt Sadie/Secretary. Ensemble members include Kelly Allen, Allie Graham, Tom Hausher, Kim Konczos, Paul Lasky, Dennis McGuire, Nikki Paulino, Shannon Rackow, John Russell, Wendy Watt, Eric Wishnie, James Zimmerman and Jessica Zimmerman. The crew includes director and choreographer John Zimmerman, producers Maryellen Birdsey and Dottie Farina, vocal director Chris Madison, and musical director Lou Woodruff.

Its going to be a great, fun show! Come check it out!