Saturday, September 30, 2006

Saturday Football

Saturday Football

It’s a beautiful day outside.  The crisp fall weather makes me want to go outside instead of being inside finishing a sermon for tomorrow. I would love to be sitting in a stadium somewhere cheering the college team on to victory. Hey I could go down to the  stadium where UNA plays.  

But here we go with what’s happening on a day like today in the world of college football.

Auburn has already played on Thursday beating that upstart team from South Carolina. The only thing is, Auburn can’t get any respect. Wonder why?  And that has Tommy Tuberville calling the Media and the Pollsters on the carpet. Auburn needed a last second defensive stand to win. (Sounds familiar.)  But you know what they won and they keep winning. They have a good running back in Kenny Irons. Auburn in now #2 and is undefeated in the SEC and  5-0 overall. It was an important game in their bid for the championship.

You got to admit that the Ohio State Iowa game is pretty big. Ohio State is #1 and will have to watch for Iowa trying to upset them. They will have to take nothing for granted. They are predicted to win. But the Hawkeyes are a good team at 4-0 and #13. They got drubbed last time and may have some revenge on mind. But frankly the Buckeyes are just bigger than big and a good #1 team.

The other Alabama team is playing one of the Florida teams that also has the smell of payback on it. Last year Alabama had a big win over the Gators. It may not be the big rivalry, but it has gotten to be one lately.  Gators are #5 and playing well. The Tide got beaten last week by one point all to a missed field goal, well actually 4, but whose counting. The Tide are not playing well, they look sloppy, and nonchalant, but last week’s loss may have changed all that. Look out Florida but you got the Swamp to your advantage.

It is time for the Little Brown Jug game of Michigan versus Minnesota. Michigan is #4 and had the huge win over Notre Dame. It could either be a very boring game, or a nasty little game for the Brown Jug.  Michigan is predicted to win. I like watching this game usually although I don’t think I am going to get to due to the kids watching movies today.

There are two big games in the SEC today involving Mississippi teams. You’ll want to watch #9LSU go after Miss State in their home field.  LSU is predicted to win, but be sloppy doing it.  They got a game they are looking ahead to next week with the Gators.  The second big game tonight is #10 Georgia Bulldogs gunning for Ole Miss. Ole Miss will be cheered on by its faithful fans, but in the end the Bulldogs will rule the day.

There are some good games this afternoon as well. In the ACC GT is playing the VT. #11 VT will win, but it will be a good game because #24GT has to avenge for last year. Home field advantage should help VT, and its good team.  This good be a pivotal game in the ACC.  

Notre Dame is at Purdue. I love to watch Purdue scratch it out. But Notre Dame is #12 and is picked to win. The question to ask is why is Purdue not ranked somewhere, they are 4-O, and have a good offense? Perhaps that question will be answered today.  Notre Dame will have to do a better job protecting the quarter back.

Other games of interest are; #3USC vs Wash. State.  #21Nebraska vs Kansas.
Questions to be answered is will Joe Paterno and/or Bobby Bowden retire?

Enjoy your Saturday, enjoy the Fall weather, and hope your team wins. Mine is not playing.

Friday, September 29, 2006

A fundraiser, with a lesson to be learned A rant of bits

Last night the Wesley Foundation, a campus ministry, of North Alabama University held their first ever fundraiser in Florence, Alabama. They brought in Mark Lowry with his back up singing group, Lord Song, and piano player, Stan Whitmire. This was to be a concert and dinner banquet. The plan was to sell 800 tickets. A church could buy a block of tickets and thus reserve a table or two. Or you could just buy individual tickets. Why were they holding a fundraiser? Because the Campus Ministry and the building had become neglected, needed funding, and some much needed repairs to the building.

We bought a pair of tickets to go. We could not convince enough in the church to buy tickets to reserve a table. But that was alright, the ones of us who bought them were going to get there early, and find a table. Well, we were late of course. Hard to get everything done and ready with three kids and work. When we walked in there were people standing to the side, the room was full, and the tables were full. Okay how did that happen? I knew they had not sold a hundred tickets by the time they had to tell the Marriott how many were coming. There should have been some seats somewhere. Well, we were told there were some individual seats and we would have to split up and sit there. Little ole me at that point, said to the head person, "We will not be split up from our spouses, now you figure this out." So they went looking, but there were just individual seats.
I said, "nope that won't do, we paid good money for an evening together, and we won't sit separately." Finally the head guy said "okay we'll put up a new table for you all." Well we stood there and stood there, and finally they put one up. In the meantime one other person said, "I found two together somebody can sit out." I told one of the couples to go ahead. But they wouldn't have anything to do with it and pushed Bob and me forward. One of them blurted out that it was Pastor appreciation month for me to go ahead. Well, we went up and there was only one seat, went back and told the head person, and said again, "you need to get this taken care of now." Every one else was eating by then. Finally a table, a quick set up, and the beginning of a meal. We hadn't even received the main course when they said it was time for the show to start. A little put out.

Well, it turns out, that in order to sell enough tickets to make enough money, they sold tickets for the show only. Now those tickets were suppose to be different and say show only, and those people were only suppose to show up at a certain time. But the ticket maker and in charge of selling person forgot to tell the people taking up the tickets that there was a difference. People who bought tickets for the show only were sitting at the tables with the meals and eating them. And they had not paid for the meals. Plus when they opened the doors, people just rushed in and claimed any table even though they might not have been reserved for their group. Chaos reigned. The campus minister kept coming around and apologizing. She's my new friend, and I know she really felt bad. The head of the banquet room kept checking on us and making sure we had everything, and apologizing.

Now this is a Christian show. A fundraiser for a known Christian organization. Mostly Methodist church members and churches, who should be Christian or have Christian values, bought tickets. What does that tell you? I really wanted to stand up at the mike and say how the so called Christians were not being Christian and that they were cheating not only the organization, and others, but God. We all prayed at our table that they should be sick from such an act. I think I could have stood up there and said a prayer that would have gotten them to get up, apologize or given money to the Wesley Foundation. I come from a long line of guilt layers, trip givers, and shamers, and know how to make it work. But, alas I was not in charge. I still think they should feel guilty enough to send in a check a big check on a regular basis.

Well, lo and behold after the show, one of my church members, a woman took me by the shoulders and said, "I want to thank you for standing up for us, if you hadn't we would still be in the back standing. Thank you." Wow, I was surprised. She said to me then, "do your remember what you said to me the first Sunday you were here?" I said no, "I have said a lot between then and now." But apparently she remembered. She said "you told me you may not be the best preacher we ever had, but you will be a good Pastor, and you are one. You were my Pastor tonight." Well, I didn't stay with them or make it happen just to get a complement, although I got to tell you it felt good. I did it because I am their Pastor.

Now there is more to this rant about Campus Ministry, but I'll save that for later.

And if you read this and you ate a plate of food that you didn't pay for, may God have mercy on you. Oh and Mark Lowry was absolutely funny. The singers were great, and the piano player was awesome. Mark has found God's grace or it has found him, and he weaved that in and out of his stories. The singers were great, especially when they did an agapella version of The Lord of the Dance. However, I cannot stand the Southern Gospel theology. And the food was good too, especially the desert.

Friday Five: Groups

Friday Five: Groups
From the RevGalBlogPals

Reverendmother here... Last night was the second meeting of the Night Owls, a new women's circle at the church I serve. It's a nice group--we're getting to know one another and figuring out the format and flow of the evenings.And speaking of groups..

.1. Tell us about any group(s) you currently belong to. (e.g. book club, knitting circle, walking buddies, etc.) I currently belong to Weight Watchers. A Pastor's Coffee group.

2. Do you feel energized or drained by being in a group situation? If the answer is "it depends," on what does it depend? I really enjoy groups, am energized by them.

3. Is there a role you naturally find yourself playing in group situations? That is, do you naturally fall into the leader role, or the one who always makes sure the new person feels welcome, or the quiet one who sits back and lets others shine, or the host? I am without fail made the leader in group situations, even if I sit back and try not to. But I have also led a lot of groups of various types.

4. Handshakes vs. hugs: discuss.
I like handshakes initially, will hug if offered, but prefer to wait til I know you. I think when so many people have been abused by hugs, or touches, you have to be aware of that, not everyone wants or is ready for a hug. They may grow into it. A good handshake goes a long way.

5. Ice breakers: a playful way to build community in a lighthearted manner, or a complete and utter hell of forced fun and awkwardness? You know it depends on the group. I often have found them to be space makers, and time users. I really don't like to be on the other end of them, but will do them. Sometimes they can be helpful if people don't know each other.

Bonus: If you answered "playful and lighthearted," share your favorite ice breaker.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hanging in There

"A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water". Eleanor Roosevelt ,US diplomat & reformer; wife of Franklin Roosevelt; niece of Theodore Roosevelt(1884 - 1962)

"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."
Franklin D. Roosevelt, quoted Kansas City Star, June 5, 1977 32nd president of US 1933-1945, US Democratic politician; Democratic vice-presidential candidate 1920; governor of New York 1929-1933; founded New Deal program (1882 - 1945)

Sometimes I think this is the way it is with me, I am hanging in there. I seem to answer the question, "How are you?, a lot with, "I'm hanging in there." Is this my theme song for life? Is this how I see myself just hanging in there? And just what does it mean? And who started the saying anyway? Do I want people to feel sorry for me? Am I saying I am a person of importance by saying I am hanging in there?

Right now I am working hard being moved to a new church. Just about all the staff had quit before I got there, except for the secretary. I have been going through the process of interviewing, and hiring process. Its a new process for me. So am I hanging in there or learning something new, stretching myself, being challenged?

We have had a lot of meetings of the various committees to find out where things are and what needs to be done. We are starting to pick up the pace now to doing somethings. So am I hanging in there or being a leader?

We have 2 worship services and 1 bible study that take a lot of preparation time, like right now I am finishing up the bible study for tonight. Am I hanging in there or am I studying, learning, teaching, and inviting others to study the bible to make it an important part of their life?

Over about a 2 year period people quit coming over what was happening here. A big group of people. It had been awhile since they had had visitors or new members. We are having visitors, people coming back and staying, and had 6 join the church with 2 baptisms. I have bene going to visit and encouraging others to visit these people and others, and to invite people to come. Am I hanging in there or am I out telling others about Jesus, am I encouraging members to be out inviting others, am I helping change the attitude or a congregation from negative to positive.

We moved away from friends, and the familiar for the kids and us. Yet the kids already have friends at church and school. They are doing well at school. They are reading, playing, discussing, playing some more, dancing, going to church and the other activities. Am I hanging in there or am I parenting my kids for what is their wellbeing, am I spending time with them, am I helping them through this transition.

I could go on, but it seems I need to answer this, am I hanging in there or am I living.

Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. "

Why can't I just say I am living.

Hey "How are you?"

I am living.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Mark Twain on the scriptures

Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand. Mark Twain
US humorist, novelist, short story author, & wit (1835 - 1910)

In many of his writings, Twain pokes fun at organized religion, and he takes the opportunity to do so in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. With Tom and his friends, Twain points out the superficiality of religious revivals. In the nineteenth century, religious revivals were a common occurrence in the summer. Here, all the boys “got religion”—momentarily, at least.

You can read 5 short humorous blasts against religion.

The Bible According to Mark Twain: Irreverent Writings on Eden, Heaven, and the Flood by America's Master Satirist

Mark Twain takes on Heaven and Hell, sinners and saints and showcases his own unique approach to the Holy Scriptures including Adam and Eve's divergent accounts of their domestic troubles, Satan's take on our concept of the afterlife, Methuselah's discussion of an ancient version of baseball, and advice on how to dress and tip properly in heaven. Behind the humor of these pieces, readers will see Twain's serious thoughts on the relationship between God and man, biblical inconsistencies, Darwinism, science, and the impct of technology on religious beliefs. The Bible According to Mark Twain is vintage Twain and is sure to surprise, delight, and perhaps shock modern readers.

Tomorrow's sermon is on the Mark 9:30-37. That scripture start off with Jesus telling them about his impending death, and they don't understand. They get into an arguement over who is the greatest. Jesus uses the object lesson a child to teach them a few things, that once again the Kingdom is not what you think it is. But I am not sure that the disciples understood that either.
But we are not so different from them, we have a hard time understanding what Jesus said and taught. But I think we understand a whole lot more than we admit and like Mark Twain those passages get to us and bother us.

Lord help us to understand what your words mean today, and how to live those out in our lives. Forgive us when we don't. And Lord even if the word bothers us, give us the grace to accept it, maybe with some humor.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Heifer International

I want to say a word in favor of Heifer International. I know, I know Oprah and a bunch of other celebrities have already done it, but read on anyway. If you have been reading and listening, you know that hunger in our country and the world is a big problem. The Heifer Project is a great way to make a dent in world hunger. Why? It's actually a very simple formula, you send your money, that money buys an animal or animals for a family, that family then shares the the offspringby theirs to others, and on and on. And instead of handing out a bag of food, you have given the family a way to raise their food, make money to afford their food, and then to share with the community. Schools, churches, clubs, groups, individuals and yes celebrities have participated, or are doing it now or are making plans to do so. Heifer has a proven approach – almost 60 years in the making – to helping people obtain a sustainable source of food and income.

Heifer has begun a global effort to measure the impact of the organization’s field programs. In short, the impact measurements reveal how people’s lives have changed because of Heifer’s contribution.Between June and August 2005, Heifer conducted two such studies among projects in the North America Program’s South Central Region and among the Latin America and Caribbean Program’s Peru projects. Read the report conducted by a team from the evaluation department of Western Michigan University led by Dr. Michael Scriven. The report identifys 36 different impacts at the individual, community and institutional levels.

Presently the blogring I belong to, revgalblogpals send their profits they make from selling their goods from Cafe Press to Heifer International. The church I am presently pastoring has raised funds for it before, and are making plans to do it again.

So, why don't you consider it, think about it, pray about it, but most of all do something about it.
Don't just sit there, go now, and donate.

Also World Food Day is October 16th. It is the 23rd annual event to alleviate world hunger. And make that donation to the Heifer Project.

Black and blue all over

Friday Five: Boo boo alert
Song bird writes: After a tumble in a parking lot the other day, I'm sporting a lovely abrasion on my leg--so attractive. It's the same leg I hurt when I fell off the same pair of sandals on the same sort of uneven pavement in Edinburgh last month. Will I ever learn to wear less dangerous shoes and/or pay attention to where I am going? As I drove home to take care of it I called my husband and said, "Boo boo alert!"

Here is our Friday Five on that subject.
1) Are you a baby about small injuries? No, I am not. I grew up in a neighborhood of mostly boys, if I acted like a baby, I would have been made fun of further. I do have a daughter who is though, and it has to do with growing up in the orphanage, where no hurt was paid attention to. She can really get hurt and act like nothing happens. She got hit in the head with a baseball last year while playing baseball, acted like it didn't even hurt, even told us it didn't. But if she has a little scratch we have got to band aid it, kiss it, put medicine on it, and make a big deal. We are trying to teach her the difference, with very little change.
2) What's the silliest way you have ever hurt yourself? Now you are talking about an everyday occurrence for me. If it is to be run into, tripped over, slid down, banged, I am going to do it. The only thing I know to do is to laugh at myself. I have bruises from head to toe. I got to think on this silly thing. Okay here it is, if you want to call it silly. A friend and I had gone to Disney World right after it opened up. The lines were awful, the waits were long, too long. We were going to one of the rides, and they had opened up a new line. So my friend and I decided to hustle it over to the new line. My friend was taller than me and went over the chains with no problem. I on the other hand being short, got caught in the chain, twisted my leg, and fell. It was a really pretty site. The workers saw it and laughed with everybody. Didn't even suggest I go to the first aid place. Did that stop me, no it didn't. I had to have lunch with the Princesses, and have my picture made with Mickey.
3) Who took care of your boo-boos when you were a child? Both parents did whenever they were available. My mom was a R. N. so she did most of the care. Loved to put that old mecurechrome on the scrapes, so that I always had these pink spots and stripes on my body.

4) Are you a good nurse when others have boo-boos? Yep pretty good, when I want to. I like to turn them over to my husband the PA, and then remind them to go see their regular Doc or the ER or Doc in the Box. But blood and guts is not a problem.
5) What's the worst accidental injury you've suffered? Did it require a trip to the Emergency Room? I really haven't had a worst accidental injury. I have been to the ER for 2 car wrecks, nothing broken, mainly whiplash and muscle damage. But I did fall down a waterfall, getting my foot stuck inbetween 2 rocks, that led to a ER visit. Nothing broken, jsut a painfully twisted ankle.

You are welcome to play too. And try to stay safe out there, okay? Beware the frumious Bandersnatch and the uneven curbing of the world.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Peace One Day

Intnl Day of Peace - Sept. 21st

In 1981 the United Nations General Assembly passed resolution 36/67 declaring an International Day of Peace. In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a new resolution 55/282 declaring 21 September of each year as the International Day of Peace.

The resolution: "Declares that the International Day of Peace shall henceforth be observed as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, an invitation to all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day...“Invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, and non-governmental organizations and individuals to commemorate, in an appropriate manner, the International Day of Peace, including through education and public awareness, and to cooperate with the United Nations in the establishment of the global ceasefire.”

You can see a video about Peace.

You can pray.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The voice of the Pope or how to stick your foot in your mouth

Well, we certainly have all learned a brief lesson on how to stick your foot in your mouth, especially over hot political issues. (I think the church lady from SNL would say something like that, and then say, "Isn't that special.")

I know I have a tendancy to speak without thinking about what I am going to say or the impact the words will have coming from my position. I have found out that some people, including my kids, will twist what I said, or say I said something I did not say. Imagine that. This happened recently with my youth minister. But we got that straightened out, at least she came and talked to me about it. And it turned out she had misunderstood what I had said. I am glad we got it straightened out. It caused me to stop and think, that I am at a new church, with new people, new staff that don't know me. So that for awhile we are going to have misunderstandings, miscues, and miscommunications. But it also caused me to think that as a Pastor our words are often taken as the word. And that we are suppose to always have the right word for every occasion and situation and need.

When one is writing a sermon, one can go back through and not only proof read for errors, but go back through and make sure you are making sense. You can go back through and try to hear it from the person in the pews ears, well sort of.

But when one is standing there having a conversation, you don't always have the time to edit what you are saying. It is a difficult position for anyone, how many times have we misunderstood our spouse, or they us? How many times have we hurt a friend with our words not meaning to, and they us?

Its just going to happen. The deal is we have to be willing to go back and say what it is that hurt, and then we have to be willing to work through it with each other. My husband and my kids can cut me to the heart quicker than anybody, but so can I. But we have learned and are teaching our kids to work it out.

The sad thing is that with the Pope saying what he did, the people who heard him, are just not interested in the process of conversing, working it out so that we can be in relationship with each other. Even now as I type this I find myself carefully thinking out what I have to say. At this point these people are so angry that their filters and anteannas are looking for words, and actions they can react to in anger and rage "to kill the west." That is a sad, and unhealthy place to be. But how many sit in our congregations who are like this, and no matter what you say or do, are going to react in an unhealthy way. What is the Pope or Pastor to do?

It seems the anger began after Benedict, in a talk in Germany on rejecting religious motivation for violence, cited the words of a 14th century Byzantine emperor who characterized some of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as "evil and inhuman," particularly "his command to spread by the sword the faith." The pope said Sunday that he was "deeply sorry" that Muslims took offense and stressed that the emperor's words did not reflect his own opinion, however, most in the Islamic world, including the Turks, were not satisfied. I went to CNN to access both what was said that incited the reactions and to read the Pope's expression of regret. Clearly aware of the sensitivity of the issue, Benedict added, "I quote," twice before pronouncing the phrases on Islam and described them as "brusque," while neither explicitly agreeing with nor repudiating them. "The emperor goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable," Benedict said.
"Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul," the pope said, issuing an open invitation to dialogue among cultures.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the pope was not giving an interpretation of Islam as "something violent," although he said the religion contains both violent and nonviolent strains. Benedict did not touch directly on the current controversy over Islamic extremism, although it is an issue he follows with concern. Last year in Cologne, Germany, he urged Islamic leaders to take responsibility for their communities and teach their young to abhor violence according to the CNN article. Last week, he told a gathering of Christian, Muslim and Jewish representatives in Italy that no one can "use the motive of religious difference as a reason or pretext for bellicose behavior toward other human beings." The Pope's option in favor of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue is equally unequivocal. In his meeting with representatives of Muslim communities in Cologne, Germany, on 20 August 2005, he said that such dialogue between Christians and Muslims "cannot be reduced to an optional extra," adding: "The lessons of the past must help us to avoid repeating the same mistakes. We must seek paths of reconciliation and learn to live with respect for each other's identity".

It is a tough place to be right now as a Leader in the Western World to say anything about the state of violence in the world, especially where terrorism is.
Apparently the Pope is interested in dialogue and movement toward reconciliation. But I don't think it is the case with those who are reacting with violence. Now, I am not saying all those who practice Islam and follow his teachings are reacting, or are not open to dialogue. Many are trying to act in peace and trying to dialogue, and come to reconciliation.

I will say this, I have been in their place, by that I mean in a reactionary place, and an unwillingness to dialogue or reconcile. It has taken many years of therapy and healing to move from that place to one of dialogue and reconciliation. I pray for healing for those who are in this reacionary place.
And I pray for healing for those who do say and do things just to incite others and don't care how they are heard, or for those who are abusive with their words and actions.

My suggestion for the pope is to remember he is no longer in an academic context when speaking, and people are not listening to him with an academic mindset. In a classroom you can have a question and answer period, or a time to dialogue or disagree with the teacher in the understanding it is academic. It just isn't that way outside of the academic setting. I have a Bishop who came from an academic enviroment, and is still learning this lesson, or maybe we are learning to listen to him with academic ears.

This is Abi signing off and thinking outloud, with more thoughts to come on this subject. You have the right to agree or disagree with me, but please be willing to dialogue with me, and realize I might not write exactly the way I mean for it to say or come across. This is also not meant in anyway to put down the Pope or the Roman Catholic Church or Academia. Nor is it to incite more violence or to put down the Islams or the ones who are reacting from an anger position. Nor is it meant to put down or make fun of my Bishop in anyway. These thoughts are mine, not my church, not the District, the conference nor those of the United Methodist Church.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Wesley Blog is Back

Hey, if you haven't noticed, Shane is back from his blogging break. He has updated the Methodist Blogroll. If you look on my sidebar you will notice I am second from the top.

I am glad he is back, I missed reading his thoughts on what was happening in the Methodist world. He was the first blog I read, and from there other blogs. In particular I found reverendmommy which then led me to find the revgalblogpals. Reading his blog got me started blogging.

I love his by-line, He says "his is the blog your Pastor doesn't want you to read." Funny but, a lay person introduced me to his blog. So welcome back Shane with the Wesley Blog. The only thing is he said bye-bye to the Wesley Daily, but does point you to the MBWR at Locusts and Honey.

He and some of the other really good bloggers have taken breaks recently. It has led me to wonder when does one do that? When does one know to take one? I wish as a Pastor sometimes I could take a break and then come back a little fresher. I wish sometimes I could be the worshiper and then come back to lead and preach. I wish sometimes I could take a break from all the meetings, needs, visiting, you name its that happen and then come back as Pastor. I have a friend that really wants a sabbatical, but can't afford it. I heard a Pastor teaching at the covenant forum talking about sabbatical for Pastors. He took one and it was really good for him. I don't know that I am in need of a sabbatical, just a long break, about a month would do it.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Trail of Tears

The Trail of Tears took place today, it is a Motorcycle ride that recognizes the suffering of thousands of Indians in 1838-39 when whites forced them from their Southeastern reservations on a brutal march to Oklahoma. The Five Feathers Festival kicked off today's annual ride, where possibly 200,000 motorcyclists will travel from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Florence or Waterloo, the traditional ending place where the Indians were put onto boats to carry them west.

Huntsville Times has this article "Patricia Young, historian for the group that organizes the bike ride, said whites shunned the Indians from the South partly because they were bewildered by their culture. In a telephone interview Wednesday, she said remembering the Indians' plight is essential to understanding how to handle present-day social problems. "We don't have to annihilate things we don't understand," Young said. "We can still be wary of things, but we don't need to wipe them off the face of the Earth. "Maybe, if we remember the Trail of Tears, nothing like it will happen again. History forgotten is history repeated."

In 1830 the Congress of the United States passed the "Indian Removal Act." Although many Americans were against the act, most notably Tennessee Congressman Davy Crockett, it passed anyway. President Jackson quickly signed the bill into law. About 4000 Cherokee died as a result of the removal. the Cherokee "Trail of Tears," one of the darkest episodes in relations between the United States and Native Americans.
The process was swift and brutal. Detachments of soldiers arrived at every Cherokee house and drove men, women, and children out of their homes with only the clothes on their backs. They were placed in concentration camps where conditions were horrendous. Food and supplies were limited and disease was rampant. Many perished. By late June of 1838, the upper Tennessee River had become too low for navigation due to a drought. The U.S. government hired wagonmaster J.C.S. Hood to transport 1,070 Native Americans by foot and wagon from Ross's Landing in Chattanooga, Tennessee to what is now Waterloo, Alabama - about 230 miles. The route they traversed and the journey itself became known as "The Trail of Tears" or, as a direct translation from Cherokee, "The Trail Where They Cried" ("Nunna daul Tsuny"). Here is the National Park website, that also contains a map of the Trail of Tears. Here is the Official Trail of Tears Motorcyle Ride website. Here is one person's take on the Trail of Tears. This is a link to a website that has links to some personal stories of the trail. At this website you will find a geneology of the Trail of Tears with lists of names and groups and dates and times.

Trail of Tears makes one stop and think about Freedom and Rights. I read somewhere that when they came to the Florence area, they were treated well by the people living there. I don't know if that's true or not, and I could not find the news article that that was in. But just how are the Indians in our country treated today? Have we learned anything from this dark time in our history? May there never be another Trail of Tears.

43 years ago in Birmingham, AL

Friday marked the 43rd anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church that left four girls dead. Friday morning, protesters marched outside the Birmingham News, upset because the bombing anniversary was not a front-page story. Yes, and it should have been somewhere on the front page. We should always remember, and be reminded of that day and time in our history. You can read more about the bombing here. and here. There is a special report here with links to follow on the bombing. On Sunday, 15th September, 1963, a white man was seen getting out of a white and turquoise Chevrolet car and placing a box under the steps of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Soon afterwards, at 10.22 a.m., the bomb exploded killing Denise McNair (11), Addie Mae Collins (14), Carole Robertson (14) and Cynthia Wesley (14). The four girls had been attending Sunday school classes at the church. Twenty-three other people were also hurt by the blast. The bombing became the turning point for the civil rights movement.

Here is a link to the four girls pictures. Here is the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing timeline by CNN. Here is a description about Spike Lee's movie made in 1997 "4 Little Girls."

A witness identified Robert Chambliss, a member of the Ku Klux Klan, as the man who placed the bomb under the steps of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. He was arrested and charged with murder and possessing a box of 122 sticks of dynamite without a permit. On 8th October, 1963, Chambliss was found not guilty of murder and received a hundred-dollar fine and a six-month jail sentence for having the dynamite. In November, 1977 Chambliss was tried once again for the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing. Now aged 73, Chambliss was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. Chambliss died in an Alabama prison on 29th October, 1985.
On 17th May, 2000, the FBI announced that the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing had been carried out by the Ku Klux Klan splinter group, the Cahaba Boys. It was claimed that four men, Robert Chambliss, Herman Cash, Thomas Blanton and Bobby Cherry had been responsible for the crime. Cash was dead but Blanton and Cherry were arrested and Blanton has since been tried and convicted. In May of 2002 Cherry was convicted of the bombing also.

At the time of the 1963 bombing, an outpouring of compassion from around the world resulted in $300,000 in donations. The church was able to make repairs and reopen for services on June 7, 1964. A large stained-glass window of a black crucified Christ was a gift from the people of Wales.

The College Football Games of the Day

I know, I know, I am a Pastor.
But if you ask me, I am a fan of college football.
And when I lived in Wadley, I fell in love again with high school football. Wadley had a great football team for its division, and a great football Coach in Randy Sparks. My husband still follows the team, and knows that they are 3 - 0.

But, I love college football. I used to love National Football, the pros. I still watch them, but they don't hold my attention anymore. Perhaps it is because I have lived in the great state of college football, Alabama. Perhaps it is because my Alumni has done so well over the years. I love the feel of the air, a little coolness, the excitement of the fans, the colors, the food, tailgate parties, the discussions that go on all throughout the week. In Alabama it is all consuming. It is a religion. And you are either for Alabama, the Crimson Tide, or for Auburn, War Eagle. At the churches I have served the first question is, "Who are you for?", and you know what they mean. They don't mean are you for Jesus, or are you for Bush, or are you a Liberal, or are you a democrat? No, you know it means are you for Auburn or Alabama? Fortunately I have been able to say, I am for FSU, although most still want me to choose.
Well, okay, my best friend was an AL fan, and when we were in Seminary, up late studying she would play AL fight songs for us. I learned to like AL, and of course Bear Bryant was there and they still were winning. Then I moved to AL to work, and Bear died. One of the women from church that I got to be friends with, would take me to the Auburn games, her brother, got us free tickets. I learned to like Auburn. Right now, I know Auburn is probably the better team, but I don't care for how they treated Bobby Bowden's son, and I don't like Tommy Tuberville, their new Coach. I like Shula, but the team is just not a very good team. So I'll say, I don't care for either. Give me FSU.

When I go home to Florida to visit, you have three teams to choose from, Florida Gators, Miami Hurricanes, and the FSU Seminoles. In my family you choose between Florida and FSU. I am sort of the outsider being for FSU. I cannot stand the Gators, although I will admit they had some good teams under Spurrier, and I do like Spurrier. I cannot stand the 'Canes because of their cockiness. I like Coach Bowden of FSU, I have at times liked the team, but right now they are not very good. My cousin, calls them the FSU criminals, for all the players who have committed crimes and played there off and on. Yep, they have had more than their share.

All that to say, today is the Bowden Bowl with father playing the son at Tallahassee at 7:45 on ESPN. Its actually Clemson versus FSU, but has become known as the Bowden Bowl. The prediction is for FSU to win. But look for Clemson to play up to FSU. Could be a defensive game to the end. You can go to FSU game day to keep up with the game. Go 'NOLES.

The other big games of the day are LSU (6) versus Auburn(3) at Auburn at 3:30pm on CBS. Auburn is predicted to win. They are saying this is the game of the day because of its big impact on the SEC and perhaps the National Championship. They're both ranked in the top six, have blown out their first two opponents and harbor legitimate national title hopes. It could be an interesting game to watch. This will be helped by the 12th man, the fan factor.

Then there is Michigan(11) versus Notre Dame(2) at Notre Dame at 3:30pm on NBC. "One way or the other, a flock will be converted. There are still some doubters out there about Notre Dame even after a 41-17 whupping of Penn State and disrespected, tough 14-10 win over Georgia Tech." (Borrowed that line from Fearless Predictions on Fox Sports. All the predictions come from Fearless Predictions on Fox Sports.) As you can see Notre Dame is predicted to win this one. And why not they have "touch down Jesus" on their side, and a few "Hail Marys" thrown in. I don't think any one is calling on the Pope today though. Don't leave Michigan out, they really have a point to prove themselves. A fight to the end.

Also, another really big game is between Nebraska(19) and USC(4) at USC at 8pm on ABC. The prediction is for USC to win. But they have some distractions with the media making accusations against their former Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush. Also, Nebraska can be that Cinderella team today. We'll see right now USC is the best team to beat or so some say.

An for my cousin's team, the Florida Gators(7) take their game to Tennessee(13)at 8:00 on CBS . They'll be out of the swamp and the volunteers may be shooting for Gator meat instead of being Gator bait. However the prediction is in the Gators favor so it may go the other way. But watch out for the 12th man at Neyland stadium. It will be a long tough 4 quarters for both team. It will go to the team that really got their game going.

Ahh, a College game day made in heaven for college football fans. So what does one do to watch this many important games, and all the other games? I had a friend who had 4 tvs set up to watch the different games with. You can even keep up on your computer now days. Matt Hayes at Sporting News writes about how you can keep up with all those games with more tvs. Maybe you should go to a sports bar today, only don't drink so much and eat pleanty of chips and nuts.

Maybe one day I'll blog about Football as a religion in Alabama.

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 and Gandhi

Gandhi once said; "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind," and "You can't shake hands with a clenched fist."

Not many are aware that while for all American people September 11, 2001, is
a black day of mourning and hopelessness, for some it is a day of hope and
harmony. It was on September 11,1906, that my grandfather, Mohandas K.
Gandhi, launched the first major, public nonviolent campaign against race prejudice in South Africa thereby demonstrating to the world that nonviolent resolution of most conflicts is possible. He later elevated his philosophy to a higher level and called it Satyagraha - pursuit of Truth - because he believed human beings needed to be awareof the many forms of violence that we practice knowingly and unknowingly. I propose that as a nation we resolve to observe September 11, 2006, and every September 11 thereafter, as a Day of Prayer for Peace and Harmony. A day when we can all pledge first to create peace, harmony and respect at home and then pledge to work for peace, harmony and respect in our societies and eventually in the world? Gandhi's vision of nonviolence was not a pipe-dream. He demonstrated that we can practice it effectively if we “become the change we wish to see in the world.” Written by his grandson; ARUN GANDHI Founder/President, M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence

Some other quotes by Gandhi: "It may be long before the law of love will be recognised in international affairs. The machineries of government stand between and hide the hearts of one people from those of another. Jesus Christ, Daniel and Socrates represented the purest form of passive resistance or soul force. Peace will not come out of a clash of arms but out of justice lived and done by unarmed nations in the face of odds. The very word Islam means peace, which is nonviolence. Without prayer there is no inward peace. My attempt and my prayer are and will be for an honourable peace between the belligerent nations is the least possible time. Prayer is the only means of bringing about orderliness and peace and repose in our daily acts. Salvation of the Gita is perfect peace. Violence is bound sooner or later to exhaust itself but peace cannot issue out of such exhaustion. The man of prayer will be at peace with himself and with the whole world. Not to believe in the possibility of permanent peace is to disbelieve in the Godliness of human nature. The one condition for fighting for peace and liberty is to acquire self-restraint. "

Instead of asking "What would Jesus do?," Susan Price writing for the Democrat and Chronicle asks “What Would Ghandi Do” . Democracy Now has an article with an interview of the Grandson of Ghandi on the “Gandhi Launches Modern Non-Violent Resistance Movement on Sept. 11, 1906”, that includes the details around the launch. At Hope for Terror they offer the Satyahgraha of Gandhi to be used today by explaining it, showing how it has been used, and what it means for all people, From the Metta Center for Non Violence. They also give a definition of Satyahgraha Satyagraha (pronounced sat-YAH-graha) literally means ‘clinging to truth,’ and that was exactly how Gandhi understood it: clinging to the truth that we are all one under the skin, that there is no such thing as a ‘win/lose’ confrontation because all our important interests are really the same, that consciously or not every single person wants unity and peace with every other.

"When I despair, I remember that all through historythe ways of truth and love have always won.There have been tyrants, and murderers,and for a time they can seem invincible,but in the end they always fall.Think of it - always." a prayer by mahatma gandhi from World Prayers.

New Blaze has an article about Groups Across US Transform September 11th Into A Day of Hope and Healing by showing the movie Gandhi. The Peace alliance is spearheading the campaign. Alas there is not a showing in Alabama. But you other states and places can also checkout where it is being shown. Maybe I need to rent Gandhi from Netflix and see it again.

In 1930 he was named Time person of the Year.


It is one of those days that most of us will say, I remember where I was when I heard the news of the jets flying into the world trade center, like the day of Pearl Harbor, or the day John Kennedy was shot. It comes back to you in vivid pictures, noices and voices from the radio or tv, written print with their powerful words and images. I had been out for my daily walk with the dogs, was walking by the house next door where the painter was painting and listening to the radio, really loud. I heard the terrified upset voice of the announcer, the other noices in the background of the radio, and knew something was happening. I turned to the Painter and asked what was happened. He said rather nonchalontly that there was something about a jet flying into a building in New York. He got those words out, and went back to painting. I ran back inside the house, didn't even take the leashes off and turned on the tv. The minute I saw the images on CNN, I knew life was going to be different. I sat stunned as they then showed the 2nd jet flying into the 2nd tower. I could not ply myself away from the tv, did take the leashes off the dogs, as I was drawn in by what all was being shown. I did make a few phone calls, one to my hubby who was working at Ft. Benning. He said he already knew that the tv was on in the waiting room of the clinic, and that they were in immediate lockdown, he could not leave the clinic. That base was an open base, now you can't even get on the base without the proper id, a sticker on your car, or stopping at the office at the entrance for permission to go on base. I was suppose to speak that night at the United Methodist Women's meeting in the town below us at Lafayette First. I called to cancel, but the pastor , a friend of mine, told me they were still going to meet and to come on, that that sort of thing would touch their lives. So I went, should have said no. I put together some information, a liturgy, some responses, we as Christians, Methodist and persons needed to have. The Pastor was right, it didn't matter to them. I was mad that I had went and that it didn't matter to them. All day I had been receiving calls from my members, it did matter to them. I went next door to the church and unlocked it, made some calls to let it be know the church was open for prayer. Being the only full time pastor in that little town, I realized it was going to fall on me to organize community worship services, candle light services. So I started making calls and got some calls to organize and enlist the help of others to put those together. We were able to have some powerful joint community services with everybody attending, all the churches involved, black and white, young and old, Methodist, Baptist, Congregational, Holiness, and Pentecostal. We were all together praying and worshiping, hugging and caring. The big concern in our little town was the damn upstream from us at Lake Weedowee, that if they bombed it we would be flooded, so an effort was made to be prepared for that. We didn't get the numbers flocking to church like some of the big cities and big churches got, but we had powerful worship services. Our lives were touched and changed even in a little town in Alabama. Every year on 9-11 we would have a community worship candlelight service and every year it got smaller and smaller in attendance. But the last one that was the smallest had some of the best praying and singing I have ever heard, and we were one with each other, and one with God. But my little church, they could not and would not forget, and on 9-11 had some meaningful worship services, and creative ways to remember. I will always appreciate and remember them for that. Yesterday in the church that I am now serving, the Worship Leader began with a moment of silence and Prayer for the victims, survivors and families of 9-11. I didn't tell him to do it, we didn't plan it, although I wanted to, he did it because he wanted to and knew it was the right thing to do. Thank you. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing we would not forget, and would call on God to continue to be at work in our lives and country.

I didn't mean for this to go so long, I knew I wanted to write something, I was leaning toward a prayer, but it wouldn't come. So now I pause for a moment of silence and light a candle of memory, hope, and redemption. Will you pause with me.

I also want to link you to a friend of mine, Carmen Andres, post on her thoughts today. It is a great personal post with good images as well. Thanks Carmen for your perspective. As I have time today, I will be posting more on my thoughts, images, prayers, etc. I invite you to also leave your comments as you feel led to.

revgalblogpals hit the big time

At the Christian Century, Susan Olson has written an article about her experience blogging and being part of the revgalblogpals.

It is a really good article about the variety of persons who are part of the revgalblogpals. I am one of those who was isolated but have found a community with the revgalblogpals, and I have learned so many things about the different denominations. I have laughed, I have cried, I have been moved deep within about God in our lives. I have read people's writings that are so creative, they could be writing novels, or books. Perhaps one day in the future people will read some of their writings and think they were some of the spiritual masters of their time. I have met a few of them this last year at a conference which was fun in itself. I have been invited to visit them in their homes in far off places and not so far off. I Hope to visit them at some point. I have found new books to read, fiction and nonfiction. I have related when I have heard their stories of ministry, family, and everyday life. And yes it is a community, a community that enriches my soul and life. If you are looking for that kind of community see if revgalblogpals is for you. (As Susan Olson says, they are not all reverends, and they are not all gals, but they do blog and they are pals.)

I'm Diving In

I'm Diving in. Its the only way to say it to fit what I have done, and will be doing. I have refused to go do a diet program for a long time. I have done them in the past and just put the weight back on. I have yo- yo'd with my weight most of my adult life. The best I have done was after doing a program at the hospital I worked at and I kept the weight off for 3 years. But I cannot keep going the way I am going, with the weight I am presently at. I will have some major health problems if I don't do something. And so I dove in. I went to weightwatchers today and joined. Tried all week to get there, and just could not pull it off. So I went today. It was a little weird, I guess because I felt anxious. It was hopeful because people were losing weight. I have three older people in my church who have been going and have lost a lot of weight. I was so impressed because it gets harder the older you get to lose weight. So here I go, trying their plan. I chose the flex plan because I am so busy and not always at home to cook the foods. I asked Bob if he was going to do it with me, but he has already lost weight, the stinker.
So I also know by blogging about it, I have put myself right out there in the open in front of everybody. I was also impressed the what they have as suggested goal for weight loss was not as much as I thought it would be, its doable in increments. It looks like a healthy target weight. I can't believe I dove in, when I swore I would never do another diet plan. But if this helps me lose weight, so I can be healthy, and I learn some healthy eating, and living, more power to it. So who else wants to join me in getting healthy?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tis a Gift to be Simple

Fairly Simple Friday Five

The revgalblogpals Friday Five meme

Songbird says; "It's been a crazy-busy time at my house as all three children went back to school." In a crowded week we must grab our pleasures where we can.This Friday Five is Fairly Simple.
Name five things you have enjoyed this week.

I enjoyed celebrating my grandad's 102nd birthday, my Uncle's 87, and being with family in Jacksonville, Florida. (That's me with my Uncle and my Grandad, Pop.)
I have enjoyed the time I have had with my husband this week.
I enjoyed Wednesday night Bible Study.
I have enjoyed interviewing people for the nursery worker position.
I have enjoyed the beautiful weather we have had this week.

What have you enjoyed?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Hospital Visits

Over at RevGalBlogPals, they have a post on making hospital visits as a minister. I have been asked to post the Hospital visitation guide on my blog that was part of my answer to the question about making hospital visits. This was written originally by Rev. Amy Raser for her congregation. We then revised it and used it to teach at the N. A. Conference Licensing School the part on Orientation to Pastoral Care.

General Guidelines for
Hospital and Other Visits

* Always check with family about appropriate times to visit. Try not to go at meal times, but if you do, do not stay long.

* Always keep information the patient tells you confidential. Especially if it is medically oriented.

* Ask the patient/family exactly what information they would like you to tell everyone.

* DO NOT visit when YOU are ill. If you have not been feeling well or have a fever, it is better not to risk passing any illness.

* Try to work around doctors/nurses caring. Move out of the way or out of the room when asked.

* Take note of who is in the room. If your presence is crucial, stay; if not, go.

* Do not assume that everyone wants a prayer. Always ask first and also ask, “What do you want us to pray for/about?”

* Sit down when you go to visit. This will make you and the family more comfortable. The visit should be reflective and caring, not aggressive or overbearing.

* Always knock at doors that are closed and wait for an answer.

* Listen more than you talk.

* Bringing yourself is more important than bringing gifts.

* (for children) Make sure you visit with the child as well as with the parents.

* New privacy rules (HIPAA Act) require you to know the full name of the patient.

* If your visit is with someone of the opposite sex, be extra vigilant about where you meet, i.e. office or public place are most appropriate, and that you either meet with another person or let some 3rd party know (such as your PPR chair) you will be meeting this person.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Labor Day Movies to Labor over

Labor movies for Labor Day
by Rod Harmon for

"F.I.S.T." (1978): Sylvester Stallone excelled as a man who joins the Teamsters in the 1930s and works his way up in the organization. It's loosely based on Jimmy Hoffa's life;
"Hoffa" (1992): Depending on whom you ask, Jimmy Hoffa was either the best leader the Teamsters ever had, or a good-for-nothing crook who rode to power on the backs of the people he claimed to be helping.
"The Grapes of Wrath" (1940): Henry Fonda stars as Tom Joad, an ex-con who joins his downtrodden Okie family as they search for a better life in Depression-era California in John Ford's adaptation of the classic novel by John Steinbeck. Fonda's closing dialogue about the plight of the working man is one of the most famous in the history of film.
"How Green Was My Valley" (1941): Although not as strong as "Wrath," director John Ford's movie about a family of Welsh coal miners at the turn of the century won the Oscar for Best Picture.
"Norma Rae" (1979): a pro-union mill worker,
"Matewan" (1987): A harrowing and heartbreaking film, based on the true story of mine workers in 1920s West Virginia who try to form a union and are murdered by thugs hired by the mine company.
Jeremy and added these to there list
On the Waterfront Marlon Brando vs. the corrupt Longshoreman Union Boss. He “coulda been a contender!” and he was. It is the official Jeremy-Gilby-dot-com top Labor Day Movie of all time!
The Replacements Keanu Reeves in his almost-but-not-quite-completely-unlike-”Ted Logan”-role, as a never-has-been quaterback who crosses the NFL-player’s-union picket line.
Blue Collar Richard Prior and Harvey Keitel attempt some Blue Collar crime and attempt to lift the Labor Union treasury.

Labor Start has a list of movies about Labor:
Brassed Off (1996, UK) When government cutbacks threaten a century-old Yorkshire mine, the brass band consisting of the miners and their families struggles to keep it together in the face of economic repression and emotional turmoil
Business as Usual (1987-8, UK) A boutique manager protests when a home-office executive makes a crude pass at an employee. She is fired for her outspokenness, but soon galvanizes the union, her Liverpool neighborhood and the nation to take action.
The Full Monty (1997, UK) this is the one that showed millions around the world the effects of Thatcherism on working class life in the 1980s -- with humor and heart.
Harlan County USA (1976, USA)An award winning film about a 13-month-long strike in Kentucky.
The Killing Floor (1985, USA) Black workers in Chicago's labour movement following the first world war. Based on a true story.
Modern Times (1936, USA)Charlie Chaplin goes to work.
Molly Maguires (1970, USA) Irish mineworkers in Pennsylvania in the 19th century.
Newsies (1992, USA)The 1899 New York newsboys' strike chronicles the "newsies'" struggle with publishing mogul Joseph Pulitzer, their battering at the hands of strike-breakers, and their eventual triumph over the powerful newspaper establishment.
Our Daily Bread (1934, USA)King Vidor's classic about depression-era jobless people setting up a -- for want of a better word -- kibbutz. Best scene: the opening of the irrigation canals.
Roger & Me (1989, USA) Michael Moore takes on General Motors.
Salt of the Earth (1953, USA) In New Mexico, Mexican zinc miners, fed up with the life-threatening conditions under which they work, organize a walk-out. The racist management of the company tries to end the strike, with a variety of extremely violent and cruel tactics. Silkwood (1983, USA) Karen Silkwood lost her life fighting to protect fellow workers from nuclear contamination. This film, starring Meryl Streep, honors her memory.

Office Space (1999)
Take This Job and Shove It (1981)
Gung Ho (1986)
Pajama Game (Videocassette and DVD): 1957 Let Doris Day and John Raitt lead your through the music and dance-filled union disputes at the Sleeptite Pajama Factory.

Media Center Resources for UC Berkley has this list and more:
Bound for Glory (1976) Set against the grim backdrop of depression America, this film joyously celebrates the life of Woody Guthrie, America's great folk balladeer and poet.
Bread and Roses(2000) Maya is an illegal alien who has crossed the U.S. border from Mexico to search for her sister Rosa, and to begin a new life. After being reunited, Rosa gets Maya a job with a janitorial service in a large office building. While working, Maya happens upon Sam Shapiro, a muckraking lawyer and union agitator whom the service-workers' union has assigned to bring its "justice for janitors" campaign to the building. Appalled at the work conditions and unfair labor practices, Maya and Sam team up to fight her employer.
Car Wash(1976) An irreverent but affectionate look at a typical day in a Los Angeles car wash. But what a day! There's a would-be robbery and an assembly line of the weirdest, baddest characters you've ever met and lots of booty-bumping music to pass the hours.
Clockwatchers (1997) Four temporary office workers; shy Iris, brash Margaret, wannabe starlet Paula and pampered Jane become fast friends while temping at a big company where looking busy is a full time occupation. But when their boss hires a new assistant, their jobs -- and their friendship -- are suddenly in danger.
Cradle Will Rock (2000) A kaleidoscopic look at the extraordinary events of 1930s America, from high society to life on the streets in Depression-era New York City. Based on the true story of Orson Welles' controversial musical about a steel strike that was closed down by government decree.
The Efficiency Expert(1992) The Ball's Moccasins company is cash poor, but efficiency expert Erroll Wallace has come to rescue the eccentric family-run enterprise. With his charts, stopwatch and clipboard at the ready, Wallace aimes to streamline this, and maximize that, but can a bunch of cuckoos run a factory like clockwork?
How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying (1967) A musical comedy that follows J. Pierpont Finch as he makes a meteoric rise from mailroom to junior executive, captures the heart of a pretty office worker and the admiring eye of the president -- all in the morning of his second day at work. It's only a matter of hours 'til his sights are set on the company boardroom.
Maid in Manhattan (2002) A struggling single mom takes a job as a chambermaid at a luxury hotel in New York. She meets and falls in love with a sauve and sophisticated heir to an American political dynasty, who mistakes her for a society woman. When her real identity is revealed, the reality about their separate lives sets in.
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956) An veteran of World War II (still haunted by its memories) gets a job in a public relations firm. With added tension at work and increasing personal problems, the rising young executive must decide as his boss did--what is the most important thing in life, family or success?
9 to 5 (Nine to Five) (1980) Three female office workers combine forces to kidnap their deceitful, egotistical, and thoroughly chauvinistic boss and raise office efficiency to an all-time high during his absence.
North Country (2005) Josey Aimes needs a job and goes to work at a Minnesota steel mine after splitting with her violent husband. But the job proves to be almost as harrowing as her marriage. The male miners are resentful of women taking their jobs, so the men verbally abuse and play humiliating pranks on the female miners. After being physically assaulted by a coworker, Josey tries to fight against the harassment, but none of the other women will join her case for fear that things will only get worse.
Swing Shift (1984) In this vivid look at the wartime conditions during WWII that stood society on its head, Kay Walsh and her neighbor, Hazel, go to work in a factory to help in the war effort. Kay Walsh had never held a wrench before but you're never too pretty to learn.
They Drive by Night (1940) Paul Fabrini and his brother Joe are wildcat drivers-- men who buy their trucks on installment plans and then worry that loan sharks will repossess their trucks. As they drive their truck over rough California roads, night after night, their rough life gets even tougher when they get involved with murder and the mob. 94 min. 999:2532
Trading Places (1983) The rich Duke Brothers wager on whether a born loser like Billy Ray Valentine, a hustler from the ghetto, can become as successful as Winthorpe, a wealthy investment executive, if put in the proper environment--and would a prig like Winthorpe turn to a life of crime if he were to lose it all.
Working Girl (1988) A young secretary in New York named Tess McGill has the brains, looks and charm to make it big. All she needs is the right haircut, clothes and job. The opportunity arises when her classy, seductive and treacherous boss breaks a leg skiing.
Night Shift (1982)Ever since two enterprising young men turned the City Morgue into a swinging business, people have been dying to get in.

These are just a few of the movies I found about labor or work, maybe you can think of some to add to this list...if so add them in the comment section.

From the United Methodist for Labor Day

Labor Day Worship Resources
Opening Prayer

Living God,
You set our hearts on fire with Your love and justice. The flames of Your presence transformed simple people like Moses and the Israelites from laborers for Pharaoh into laborers for justice. Send Your refiner’s fire into our lives, until our fear, selfishness, greed, and hatred are burned into ashes. Let Your flames fuel compassion, courage, forgiveness, love, and unity within us. Teach us to trust You, knowing that Your fire will not consume us, but will make us into a new creation. Amen.

Labor Day Minute
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (I Corinthians 12: 12-13). Most Christians have heard these words many times. Paul gives us a beautiful and startling image, but perhaps our familiarity with his words make us unaware of their incredible consequences.
It can sometimes be difficult for members of a body who are so diverse to identify with each others’ joys and sorrows. What does it mean when a worker has stayed with a company for 12 years but is stilled called a “temporary” worker and can receive no benefits? What does it mean when the poultry processing plant in a small town where there are few other employment options suddenly lays off half of its workforce? What does it mean when a group of day care workers finally bargain a union contract after years of trying?
Perhaps these situations would look different to us if we heard with new ears the news that we are members of each other by our membership in the body of Christ. Our very bodies and souls are knit to each other through baptism in the Holy Spirit. Our working and dreaming are bound up in each other. We must suffer together. We must call for justice together. We must heal together. Members of the body may live drastically different lives, yet our common bonds can not be broken, even if we do not recognize those bonds. Lives of separation are ended. Let us remember our baptism into the one body and be thankful!
From the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society

Prayers for Labor Day

A Responsive Prayer for Workers and our Nation

Liturgist: God, give us the imagination we need today to live in a land where justice and compassion flourish.
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Liturgist: God, show us how to provide, so that across this land everyone who needs a job has one. Give us the resolve to make this a nation where no one earns less than a living wage; where compensation between genders—right down to each shiny penny—is equal and men and women are equally valued; where those who cannot work and the elderly are fully provided and cared for; where immigrants are free from exploitation; where corporations give equal weight to social responsibility and profitability.
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Liturgist: God, help us to make fair trade of goods and services between nations standard practice, promoting genuine global harmony. Fill us with the wisdom to aid our nation to support the wise use of global resources with the aim of providing everyone with fair wages and livable economic conditions.
People: Lord, hear our prayer

Liturgist: Creator God, transform our world, and transform our hearts and minds. Make us into one people, your people. Amen.

(This prayer is excerpted from one written for the UCC 2004 Neighbors in Need offering.

A Prayer for a Living Wage

Living God, we confess that we have not fully accepted the challenge of seeking your justice in
our world. Too often, we define justice in ways that preserve our own self-interest, forgetting thatyour justice may call us to sacrifice.

Today, on Labor Day weekend, we pray for workers whose wages are so low that they face
terrible choices between paying rent and feeding families.
God of compassion, hear our prayer.

We pray for employers in our own community, that they will be willing and able to accept their
responsibility to pay their employees enough to live.
God of compassion, hear our prayer.

We pray that those in positions of power and with the ability to affect change will not remain deaf to the courageous cries of those in need.
God of compassion, hear our prayer.

Adapted from “Prayer for a Living Wage” by Rev. Rebekah Jordan, Mid-South Interfaith Network for Economic Justice.

Labor Day? How About Labor Week?!?

In an article in CBS News Dick Meyer says Labor Day Ought To Be A Week (At Least)

(He starts here.)Have you ever thought about how miserly Labor Day is? I mean, we grind our tails off all year and the Gods of Holidays bestow upon us one lonely day of reward and respite. One day. Then on Tuesday morning, get the kids to school, commute for a couple hours, commit labor, make dinner, keep it up for a year and don't complain. Thanks, but they can take this holiday and shove it. Labor Day 2006 calls for extra crankiness. This is an especially lousy time to be labor as opposed to mogul. I'm sorry to have to interrupt a perfectly good rant with factoids and statistics, but, alas, that's my job. Put starkly, wages and income inequality are at Depression-era levels. Wages and salaries as a share of the gross domestic product are at the lowest point since the Department of Commerce starting keeping track of such things in 1947. From the 1950s through the mid-1970s, wages as a slice of GDP were safely above 50 percent. The percentage then dropped until the mid-1990s when it crept back up through 2000. Now the number is at the record low; take home pay now makes up just 45.3 percent of GDP. Hourly wages have fallen 2 percent since 2003, adjusting for inflation. In that same period, worker productivity has increased. Corporate profits — the fruits of labor and productivity — have also swelled. Which brings us to inequality.

(You can read what he says in between by clicking on the title of his post.)

(And ends here.)The economic behavior of baby boomers (5 percent controlling 52 percent of the financial assets, record-high levels of top corporate pay, record levels of income inequality) radically belies the kinder, gentler PC rhetoric and Starbucks aesthetic we insist on with such phoniness. Eventually, I think, we will be shown to be the Greediest Generation.

But for all that, we get Labor Day. Give me a week and maybe we can talk.

Now what's your thought on Mr. Meyer's article. I think he is pretty close to having it right that we are probably a very greedy generation.

Labor Day by the Numbers

Who Are We Celebrating?
151 millionNumber of people age 16 or older in the nation’s labor force in May 2006. Among the nation’s workers are 81.2 million men and 69.8 million women.
Employee Benefits
82%Percentage of full-time workers ages 18 to 64 covered by health insurance during all or part of 2004.
77%Percentage of workers in private industry who receive a paid vacation as one of their employment benefits.
In addition: 77% of workers receive paid holidays.
14% have access to employer assistance for child care.
11% have access to long-term care insurance.
Another Day, Another Dollar
$40,798 and $31,223
The 2004 annual median earnings, respectively, for male and female full-time, year-round workers.
When Do They Sleep?
7.5 millionNumber of workers who hold down more than one job. So-called moonlighters comprise 5% of the working population. Of these moonlighters, 3.9 million work full time at their primary job and part time at their other job.
28%Percentage of workers 16 or older who work more than 40 hours a week. Eight percent work 60 or more hours a week.
Mothers in the Labor Force, 1955–2004

Lyrics for Labor Day

From the (San Francisco Chronicle) by Tim Sullivan: 11 Things: Lyrics for Labor Day

1. "Maggie's Farm" (Bob Dylan): "I got a head full of ideas that are drivin' me insane./ It's a shame the way she makes me scrub the floor./ I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more." Theme: He ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more. Runners-up: Anything by Leadbelly or Pete Seeger.

2. "Summertime Blues" (Eddie Cochran): "Well, I'm gonna raise a fuss, and I'm gonna raise a holler. / About workin' all summer just tryin' to earn a dollar." Theme: Work is hard work. Runner-up: The Who's version.

3. "This Ain't No Picnic" (Minutemen): "Punch in punch out / 8 hours 5 days a week / Sweat pain and agony / on Friday I'll get paid." Theme: Nothing's free. Runner-up: Jesus and Tequila.

4. "Takin' Care of Business" (BTO): "If you ever get annoyed / Look at me, I'm self-employed / I love to work at nothing all day." Theme: Quit job. Join band. Runner-up: "Working for the Weekend" (Loverboy).

5. "Making Plans for Nigel" (XTC): "And if young Nigel says he's happy / He must be happy / He must be happy in his work." Theme: Nigel's annoyed. Runner-up: "Love on a Farm Boy's Wages."

6. "Don't Worry About the Government" (Talking Heads): "I'll be working, working but if you come visit / I'll put down what I'm doing, my friends are important." Theme: Make time for friends. Runner-up: "Found a Job."

7. "Government Center" (Modern Lovers): "We gotta rock-a rock-a rock-a nonstop tonight / Uh huh, at the government center / Make the secretaries feel better / When they put the stamps on the letters." Theme: Help secretaries. Runner-up: "My Career as a Home-wrecker" (Jonathan Richman).

8. "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" (The Smiths): "I was looking for a job, and then I found a job / And heaven knows I'm miserable now." Theme: Morrissey's miserable. Runner-up: "You've Got Everything Now."

9. "Adventures in Failure" (MC 900 Ft. Jesus): "Nothing can diminish my total enjoyment / Except when I pass my place of employment." Theme: Avoid workplace. Runner-up: "I Go to

Scriptures for Labor Day

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" Matthew 11:28

"What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?" Eccelesiastes 1:3

"Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shallgive unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed." John 6:27

"Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour." 1 Corinthians 3:8

A thought for Labor Day

Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.
George McDonald who was a Scottish novelist & poet (1824 - 1905).

He wrote novels "Phantastes" 1858, "David Elginbrod" 1863, "Lilith" 1895, juvenile novels "At the Back of the North Wind" 1871, "The Princess and the Goblin" 1872. "
C. S. Lewis was influenced by George McDonald
Lord help me to set aside time for sacred idleness.

Friday, September 01, 2006

"Abi Andretti"

Friday Five: life in the fast lane
from the RevGalBlogPals

Big gentle hugs, soft pillows and heating pads to Will Smama, our resident matriarch and preacher/blogger/procrastinator who was involved in a bit of a fender-bender this week. We're very grateful she's OK, just a little shaken up...In lieu of flowers, I send this Friday Five out to her. Let's all be careful on those roadways.

1. Driving: an enjoyable way to clear the mind? a means to an end? a chance to be quiet with one's thoughts? a necessary evil? the downfall of our planet and its fossil fuels? Discuss. All the above. I have driven for the purpose of clearing my mind. Normally it is a way of getting to where ever I am going. I don't think it quietens my thoughts as much as it is the time I can actually hear my thoughts, especially when the kids are not with me. Necessary? MMMM I think we have made it seem like it is necessary, especially here in the US of A. Evil? mmm in the wrong hands. You know I am not a scientist so I really can't say alot about it. But I do think that there is a combination of usage of fuels, etc that leads to pollution and enviromental problems. I am not sure we have kept our part of the bargain that we are to be good stewards.

2. Do you drive the speed limit? A little faster? Slower? Have you ever gotten a ticket? Again it is all the above depending on where I am, weather and road conditions, traffic, children, residential, open space. And yes I have had more than one speed ticket. Before I married Bob, I would say I was a true speed demon with a heavy foot, and also drove vehicles that were able to go pretty fast. But since marrying Bob I have slowed down, and driven the speed limit more often than not. I at one time wanted to be a race car driver. Bob will even call me "Abi Andretti" sometimes.

3. Do you take public transportation? When? What's your opinion of the experience? What's that? I have taken it when I have gone to bigger cities, when I was in college, and had no vehicle. I like it, but not sure I would want to do it everyday. I am too use to having a car.

4. Complete this sentence: _Alabama, Georgia and Florida_ have the worst drivers I've ever experienced.

5. According to the Census Bureau, reverendmother's fair city has the 6th longest average commute in the United States at 29 minutes each way. How does your personal commute rate? I walk to the church. But drive to meetings, hospitals all within 10 to 15 minutes. That was different than the last couple years when Bob drove 80 miles one way, I drove 30 miles to get to the next town that had day care, hospital, Wal Mart, etc. Then I had to drive an hour to a half hour to visit people in the hospital, and sometimes more.

Bonus for the brutally honest: It has been said, and the MythBusters have confirmed, that cell phones can impede driving ability almost as much as drinking. Do you talk on a cell phone while driving? Not if I can help it, I have enough distractions while driving with the kids. I can't drive and talk on the phone, I have learned I have to concentrate. But I will talk on the phone if necessary. Cell phones and driving

Those of you who do not drive, or who do not drive regularly, may do whatever you wish with this F5--and you do so with my everlasting envy.