On Gretta?

To read many of the social media comments of folk in United Church 1corinthians13jpeg1-thumb-2circles, Gretta Vosper is the issue at hand, the issue of the moment. But it’s not the issue at hand that’s at the root of my churning. That is almost always the case, is it not? So many commenting and almost no one commenting about the issue we say we’re commenting on. It’s all about us. The eternal ‘I’.

I think some are pretty raw on the whole “United Church has no theology, no allegiance to Christ, no boundaries” calumny that’s often tossed our way by our holier brethren, and they’ve decided to draw the line on Gretta. Others have, well, other things going on. I don’t think a lot of it has much to do with Gretta, or her communication choices. It’s much more likely to have something to do with our own paths, the roads we’ve taken to get to here. Continue reading On Gretta?

Observing Walrus Spiritual Speaking

Walrus Talks on Spirituality

(see them for yourself on or before April 15 at http://ucobserver.org/walrustalks)

What did I think?

Initially I had to get over my pique at the Observer partnering with the Walrus. I’ve had issues with the Walrus taking Enbridge money (constant stream of full page ads telling us how committed they are to the environment while doing all they can to convince small communities that big money and fossil fuel transport needs trump traditional values and concern for the environment). For me it would be like the church accepting funds from the armaments or tobacco or pornography industries because there is no relationship between, as the Walrus puts it, editorial and advertising…as if. Anyway, once past that, what did I think? Continue reading Observing Walrus Spiritual Speaking

Hydro Rates Punish the Poor

A letter I wrote to the Cowichan Citizen sparked an article on BC Hydro rates www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com/news/362865931 and

From the Tyee, find the article at: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/07/09/BC-Hydro-Rate-Hikes/
From the Tyee, find the article at: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/07/09/BC-Hydro-Rate-Hikes/

their effects on the poor. It was a great article, but necessarily left some of the letter out. Here it is, as originally written:

Dear Editor

I am writing to draw your attention to the increasing numbers of people being made powerless by BC Hydro, and, therefore, all of us. I work at Duncan United Church where many people are sent by our provincial government to seek relief from the circumstances thrust upon them by our provincial government.

People come to our church daily seeking food, clothing, shelter and help with their rent and utility bills. The rates of pay, pension and social assistance that we think are acceptable are the direct cause of their plight, but the indirect suffering caused by a steady increase in fees for almost every kind of public service has exacerbated the situation. The most onerous of these has to be the increase in BC Hydro Rates and the punitive collection practices employed by BC Hydro. Over half of our requests for financial assistance come from folk who are under a disconnect notice from BC Hydro. Continue reading Hydro Rates Punish the Poor

Why I Left the NDP

Although really, it’s more like the NDP left me.Leaving

I guess I should start at the beginning. I was a leaflet weight for a CCF campaign in Kitimat, placed there by my leaflet-dropping 18 year old mother. Since then I’ve canvassed, run election campaigns, worked as an assistant to Cabinet Ministers, and served many Constituency and Riding Executives.

I’ve never been what you’d call a ‘standout’ volunteer, or a brilliant strategist, or a gifted anything. I’ve shown up, done the work, given heart, mind, body and soul to the movement that stood for and with people like me. I loved building an image of a better world together, frustrating as that could be in a movement made up of feminists, environmentalists, trade unionists, anti-poverty activists and radical reformists. Sometimes we left more blood on the floor of policy sessions than in the ground of election campaigns. Continue reading Why I Left the NDP

Of Light and Love

chasing-star-of-bethlehemLike many others, my emails carry a quote at the bottom. Lately I’ve been using one from a book on Martin Luther King Junior: “A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches”. The quote?

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

It seems self-evident. Just as clear and plain as it did when Jesus came to remind us of it two thousand years ago. Only love can drive out hate. That should be as clear and plain and self-evident as…well, as the nose on your face. Or the wound in a soul weeping for Gilead.

Continue reading Of Light and Love

From Blindness to Sight

Shalombartimaeus

I sign my letters “Shalom”

Peace, and more than peace. A state and place and time of being. Utopia designed by creation in the light and call of love.

Writing shortly after the birth of a renewed urging of the love that resides in all things another man calling attendance on love, one Paul, formerly of Tarsus, now of Jesus, opened his letters with “The Peace of Christ”.

A radical opening in a time when the peace of Rome wreaked itself upon the people of Europe, Turkey and Northern Africa by means of armed might and crude repression. Continue reading From Blindness to Sight