Friday, August 8, 2008

WALL-E!

I owe my new favorite movie a quick shout-out.
WALL-E has IMPLICATIONS of turning OFF your TV and standing UPRIGHT (though you wobble) and PLANTING things in the ground!!!! Yes, it also has a cute robot love story, but don't forget, it's anticolonial and anticorporational and ecologically inspirational!
who wants to plant pizza seeds with me????

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Whose mission?

get on over to Presbyterian bloggers for something else i wrote.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

stewardship saturday


I just found a Presbyterian News Service pen in a pile on my floor and realized... i have not been a good steward of all the free junk I received at GA. And I meant to write this blog entry a month ago.

Pamphlets might be useful if I'd get around to reading them. The pens, i lose. The frisbee? haven't played with it. And I was on the strict side - I refused balloons, shirts, mugs, and whatever THESE things were supposed to be.

It's ironic that the church gets together and signs a handful of resolutions about simplicity and stewardship of the earth's resources, while in the next room people hand out meaningless bits of plastic all the day long. But don't worry, I'll think about the News Service whenever I happen across that pen... definitely a worthy cause, isn't it?

Okay, excuse my snarkiness... I'm on a sarcasm streak. Here is a more serious question that I started contemplating at GA, specifically in the "global marketplace" section where we buy crafts made by peasants worldwide. We import handmade goods from our mission partners worldwide, and we pay American prices for third-world items, thus raising a pretty penny for those we would support anyway. At first glance this looks awesome, especially for a tightwad like me. GUILT-FREE SHOPPING! I might even be able to get away with transfering some of my tithe money into the Christmas-shopping budget, because it's all for a noble cause. But upon further thought, I wonder... I guess my question is whether we can join the healing of the world while participating in its wounding.
parameters of this question:
I believe that a culture of consumption, of luxury, of entitlement and of materialism is WOUNDING our world more than we know. The poorest citizens of the poorest nations are the ones who bear the worst of it -- picture children in sweatshops, making clothing for American children.
I believe that there are worldwide economic structures that keep people and nations in poverty. The well-meaning rulers of these structures often hand out charity to the very ones that they impoverish. Charity is a mixed bag because sometimes it perpetuates the systems of oppression. I believe that helping the poor and needy is part of mission; I also believe that dismantling the systems of oppression is a Godly and missional action.

and... being a Calvinist... however loosely... i believe that I, a sinner, am complicit in all of the crimes the human race perpetuates against one another. I think I'm unwillingly learning materialism, over-consumption, and all the other world-endangering societal sins. I want to un-learn them. I want to develop Sallie McFague's "philosophy of enough-ness," learn to limit my desires, and live simply that others may simply live.

So when I see a $150 hand-carved chess set juxtaposed with an appeal to relieve the poverty of Indian peasants... I kind of freak out, because there are a million things going off in my head. Yes! relieve poverty! support fine art! do your necessary shopping here! Treat yourself guilt-free.
NO! I don't need it - I don't need it - I don't need it - it's a luxury - give that money away instead - invest it wisely - microfinance it - i'll play chess with the set i got as a kid because it is GOOD ENOUGH and does not need upgrading.

The question, again. Can we join the healing of the world while perpetuating its wounding?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Gather us In

here in this place new light is streaming
now is the darkness vanished away
see in this space our fears and our dreamings
brought here to you by the light of this day
gather us in, the lost and forsaken
gather us in, the blind and the lame
call to us now, and we shall awaken
we shall arise at the sound of our name

we are the young – our lives are a mystery
we are the old who yearn for your face
we have been sung throughout all of history
called to be light for the whole human race
gather us in, the rich and the haughty
gather us in, the proud and the strong
give us a heart so meek and so lowly
give us the courage to enter the song

HERE WE WILL TAKE THE WINE AND THE WATER
HERE WE WILL TAKE THE BREAD OF NEW BIRTH
HERE YOU SHALL CALL YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS
CALL US ANEW TO BE SALT FOR THE EARTH
GIVE US TO DRINK THE WINE OF COMPASSION
GIVE US TO EAT THE BREAD THAT IS YOU
NOURISH US WELL, AND TEACH US TO FASHION
HEARTS THAT ARE HOLY AND LIVES THAT ARE TRUE

not in the dark of buildings confining
not in some “heaven,” light-years away
but here in this place the new light is shining
now is the Kingdom, now is the day
gather us in and hold us forever
gather us in, and make us your own
gather us in, all peoples together
fire of love in our flesh and our bone




(THIS IS BY MARTY HAUGEN
NO I DIDN'T HAVE PERMISSION TO COPY)