Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Reflection on John 21

If I wait by this shore, I know you’ll come;
I can hear your whispers echo from the opposite coast
and weep to hold you again in our embrace.
I walked too long to make it to this place.

I broke my toes on rocky mountains
and sprained my ankles in valleys deep;
I dried my mouth of saliva in deserts hot,
and risked sinking swamps in certain spots.

I laughed with a drunk sailor in a tiny pub
and sat with an old monk in an old city in a new store;
I dreamed with a homeless beggar on a busy street
and sat alone in a crowd in the blistering heat.

I was forgotten in solitude in a lonely garden on a dark night
and begged to be free of your suffering and your pain;
I screamed at the sky that it would, for me, be no more.
And then remembered you fishing right off of this very shore. 


I wanted to let everyone know that registration is now open for Papafest 2008, to be held June 19-22 (Thurs-Sun). You can visit the website at Many of us attended Papafest in 2006 and had a good time. This year, we'll be gathering ... west of Chicago.
This year, Papafest is still technically "free" but will be collecting donations at the gate.
Registration is open to 1,000 people and it's already half full. So if you'd like to attend this year, it's not too soon to visit the web site!
- Maria

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Truly astounding......

Earnings from Royal Dutch Shell and BP today just about guarantee that ExxonMobil is going to report some truly gaudy first-quarter revenue and profits on Thursday.
And they're only going to get bigger as the year rolls along. So big, in fact, that Exxon's revenue by the end of the year may be greater than the gross domestic product of Sweden, the world's 18th largest economy.
Here's how the numbers could work:

Monday, April 28, 2008


the growing season is underway and ryan is busy with seedleaf tasks.  here are a few pictures from two seedleaf gardens - the london ferrill community garden and the al's bar garden.  if you like to grow food (or would like to learn how to grow food) you are most welcome to volunteer with seedleaf.  you will more than likely learn a thing or two and contribute to the shalom of our fair city.  follow this link and shoot us an email for more info.

London Ferrill Community Garden

London Ferrill Community Garden

seedleaf - al's garden

good words

If I had no choice about the age in which I was to live, I nevertheless have a choice about the attitude I take and about the way and the extent of my participation in its living ongoing events. To choose the world is not then merely a pious admission that the world is acceptable because it comes from the hand of God. It is first of all an acceptance of a task and a vocation in the world, in history and in time. In my time, which is the present. To choose the world is to choose to do the work I am capable of doing, in collaboration with my brother and sister, to make the world better, more free, more just, more livable, more human. And it has now become transparently obvious that mere automatic "rejection of the world" and "contempt for the world" is in fact not a choice but an evasion of choice. The person, who pretends that he can turn his back on Auschwitz or Viet Nam and acts as if they were not there, is simply bluffing.

Thomas Merton. Contemplation in A World of Action (New York: Doubleday & Company, 1973: 164-165.

Thoughts, anyone?

I shamelessly stole this from our friends at the Cobalt Season.
I think I see a new visual for the School for Conversion's Session One.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Please pray for Sri Lanka

Last year One Horizon gave $15,000 to help construct a nutrition and educational center for children in Galle, Sri Lanka. The center is part of a compound called the "Sayana Children's Village" that was constructed after the Tsunami to help house families and care for children whose homes and lives were drastically affected by that catastrophe. The pictures above show that the center is nearing completion and has been slowly but steadily built through a partnership between A.I.M.(Assistance in Motion), Global Action, and One Horizon. However, the ongoing war in Sri Lanka has greatly hampered efforts by elevating costs, compromising security, and making building supplies less available. This in turn has led to an even greater need for places like the center where children can receive proper nourishment both physically and emotionally. Please pray that the necessary funds will be raised to facilitate completion of this project and that peace will soon come to the people of Sri Lanka. Thanks...........

Here is a link to the site for the Children's village:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

earth day 2008

no matter how we reason it, what we do matters - in every area of life.  today we acknowledge, celebrate, and remember earth day with great hope and a great amount of sobriety.  we are a long way from redemption.  in the sunday n.y. times magazine (entirely committed to green issues), michael pollan has a short but precise piece that speaks to this.  i love it because he reminds us that planting anything helps.  here's a bit of it:

"There are so many stories we can tell ourselves to justify doing nothing, but perhaps the most insidious is that, whatever we do manage to do, it will be too little too late. Climate change is upon us, and it has arrived well ahead of schedule. Scientists’ projections that seemed dire a decade ago turn out to have been unduly optimistic: the warming and the melting is occurring much faster than the models predicted. Now truly terrifying feedback loops threaten to boost the rate of change exponentially, as the shift from white ice to blue water in the Arctic absorbs more sunlight and warming soils everywhere become more biologically active, causing them to release their vast stores of carbon into the air. Have you looked into the eyes of a climate scientist recently? They look really scared.

So do you still want to talk about planting gardens?

I do.

Whatever we can do as individuals to change the way we live at this suddenly very late date does seem utterly inadequate to the challenge. It’s hard to argue with Michael Specter, in a recent New Yorker piece on carbon footprints, when he says: “Personal choices, no matter how virtuous [N.B.!], cannot do enough. It will also take laws and money.” So it will. Yet it is no less accurate or hardheaded to say that laws and money cannot do enough, either; that it will also take profound changes in the way we live. Why? Because the climate-change crisis is at its very bottom a crisis of lifestyle — of character, even. The Big Problem is nothing more or less than the sum total of countless little everyday choices, most of them made by us (consumer spending represents 70 percent of our economy), and most of the rest of them made in the name of our needs and desires and preferences."


Sunday, April 20, 2008

a school for conversion: april 11-13

another enriching weekend given over to a school for conversion in lexington.  thanks so much to all of you in communality who worked hard to be hospitable and for setting aside other plans to be present to our guests.

more pictures like these at our flickr page...

a school for conversion

a school for conversion

a school for conversion

a school for conversion

a school for conversion

a school for conversion

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Life...

Words and phrases and imagination escape me.
Traveling upward from my left ventricle,
they make a mad dash out of my right ear
and left eye.

I could not piece together an explanation 
even if I were handed sentences and glue.
In some minuscule way I refuse
to even pause to reflect on needing to be newly sewn,

like a sweater that has lost one thread
to an exposed nail in unfinished drywall.
The shirt can only really be the same with that thread,
though it would be whole with another, it's just a different shirt.

...but one I'd wear if it kept me warm.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Five Stages of Peak Oil.....

Here is a little humor-not sure this is what Elizabeth Kubler-Ross intended, but I think it works!-borrowed from a very interesting and provocative website entitled "Oil Change International"-check it out........

Finally, a little edgy humor from a peak oil site we like:

The Five Stages of Peak Oil

DENIAL — Driving from suburbia to your downtown job every day in your Chevy Tahoe.

ANGER — “%$@^##& Exxon!, gouging me at the pump. I demand you lower your prices or I will boycott you!”

BARGAINING — “The Chinese need to stop using so much oil. My, they’re burning six million barrels every day.” “We need to get corn farmers to make more ethanol, a 5 % blend would really help.” “Maybe we can invade Iran and take control of their oil reserves.”

DEPRESSION — “Oh God, civilization as we know it is going to be destroyed. What are we going to do without oil? How can farmers possibly grow any food? Think about the big box retail industry! Oh the calamity!”

ACCEPTANCE — “You know what, my ten minute commute by bicycle is far nicer than my hour long commute from my old place.”

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

another kind of kingdom

as the community prepares to host schools for conversion this weekend - a time of learning, reflecting, eating and leaning into the present reality of the kingdom of god - i thought this quote was indicative of such things that inspire our hope and our gathering:

"we might recall that jesus was labeled by his detractors as  a 'glutton and a drunkard.'  and we may try to imagine the joyful occasions that called forth that charge.  indeed, jesus had the temerity to suggest that the table-fellowship shared with disciples, tax-gatherers, and sinners constituted an anticipation of the kingdom of god.  he proclaimed the presence of the kingdom in the eating and drinking and talking and laughing of those occasions." - bruce t. marshall

Saturday, April 05, 2008

thoughts on love

this year our community of faith is wading through, wrestling with, being pounded by and enveloped in the beautiful passage of love from 1 cor. 13.

this is an excerpt about the economy of love from richard swenson's book on margin that i am reading (most) mornings:

"to have accepted the love of god is to be armed and disarmed at the same time.  no weapon is more powerful.  but in using such a weapon it is the user who is broken wide open.  this is a love that cannot rightly be kept in - it is a bursting-out love.  in its spilling out, it binds to others.  and when it binds to others, it heals, it knits hearts, it builds community, and it brings everything together in perfect unity (see col 3:14).

and at the end of the reflection, this is the prescription swenson gives: 

"invest in love.  yield to love.  be transformed by love.  allow nothing to stand in the way of your commitment to love.  don't use overload as an excuse, and don't spend your last moments on earth apologizing for your life.  set love in order, beginning today."