Friday, June 06, 2008

Shells upon a shore...bits of our world


It has been another "quite awhile" since I actually wrote a post to post. In all truthfulness I have been uninspired, unmoved by all the things I could have commented or extrapolated on, within and without the Church.

Human suffering around the world: Darfur, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, China, Haiti, Somalia, Palestine...America, yeah, America. The indifference and callousness of supposed "leaders" to the suffering of their own people. I ask what can I do to make a difference? I pray hard, that's what I do and I also look around my own community and see what can be done to feed the hungry, care for the sick, shelter the homeless. And it is no different in any other country and local community around this world. But when disasters, natural or human made, occur, it will take more than praying to bring what is needed. It will take action, small and large, local and global, to relieve the suffering. God doesn't expect us to sit on our duffs and "have faith". He wants us to be faith in action, answering the very prayers we pray.

Episcopal Relief and Development can get to places the military can't. Go there to contribute and see what you can do to help your brother or sister in need. There is also Doctors Without Borders, physicians, surgeons, RN's, and other critical staff who pick up and go on a moments notice from all across America, Canada, and Europe. You can contribute to their work and read up on how they help millions in disaster zones and extreme need regions. And as always there is the American Red Cross covering the Midwest in the tornado and flooding zones. It's sister organization, the Red Crescent, covers the Middle East and Asia, and its needs. If we want peace in the Middle East, then feed the hungry and give medical help to those who need it. No one is going to listen to "talk" about peace if they don't see some pro-action. This is a case where actions do speak louder than words.

And remember, people are hungry and cold [or hot in sweltering climates], sick and destitute 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Giving on the "holidays" just doesn't cut it. And for our local community--our own backyard-- there is ACCESS Inc., the Salvation Army, United Way and the local Red Cross who are at work in our Valley to ease the hardship of our homeless and elderly, our disabled and our youth.


I have noticed some developments of note in the national Church and the wider Church in the last month or so. Lambeth is set to get underway not too long from now. Bishop Robinson is not invited but the GAFCON gang are, the very ones who wish to divide the Communion and cause dis-ease among the faithful, here and in their own countries. Witch hunts go on daily in the countries of the Global South for "homosexuals" or anyone accused of being homosexual. And places like Nigeria and Kenya think we are backward in our beliefs! We don't go around burning alive old people because someone suspects them of being gay. I was horrified to read that story on Reuters.

On the upside...

Australia has installed their first woman bishop in the Diocese of Perth, Archdeacon Kay Goldsworthy. You can read about her here.

And you can read about the first woman bishop of the Diocese of Melbourne in Victoria province, Canon Barbara Darling in this article. I think it is exceptionally fitting that the "first cousins" of the English Church should lead the way for backward England in regard to the place of women in the Anglican Church and wider Communion. Canada, New Zealand, and now Australia have committed themselves to the future of the Church. Nothing like showing up the "first born" how to do things properly. Did you hear that Rowan? Hello!

Things political. I'll just say it. There is no two ways about it. I will vote in November for Barak Obama, but he is not my first choice. There. I said it.

And I am wearing my TeamHillary shirt as I type. I make no apologies for my choice. She stood her ground, she ignored her fellow Democratic naysayers and was dragged by the national media through mud and down dirt roads of blatant and despicable sexism but she kept it together and did not give them any satisfaction by responding to the drivel spouted by Keith Oberman or Chris Matthews, or any of the other media jocks. If they had behaved as badly with racial epithets against Barak Obama, they wouldn't have jobs today. But who cares or gives a damn about an honorable woman getting figuratively spat upon and symbolically stoned for saying "no, I won't quit" or "I will not give up"? Those who have supported her do give a damn, and that includes me, and it has made me a stronger woman for watching her throughout this process. Hillary Clinton is an inspiration to enlightened women everywhere...whether they will admit it or not.

Today [June 7th] is the anniversary of the death of James Byrd Jr, who died a most brutal death in 1998 by three white men in the town of Jasper TX by dragging him down a dirt road chained up behind a pickup truck . What good can come of such a horrific crime? Oddly enough better racial relations in that very town. The memorial to a murdered son, killed senselessly, is a tribute to his family and to what forgiveness and reconciliation really means. Read and inwardly digest...


I'll be writing about some books I have been reading lately in my next post so stay tuned. One of them is by a local author! Truly an undiscovered talent right here at home!



Lindy said...

Barak was not my first, second, or even third choice. But, like you, I will probably be voting for him. It's a mistake though... this inexperienced pretty boy. A mistake, i tell you.

gartenfische said...

You say what needs to be said---I thank you for that. So much pain in the world.

The Byrd story is so horrific, so necessary to revisit. Only ten years ago!

Racism is still so prevalent in our society, but it is more hidden than sexism. For some reason, as you said about Hilary bashing, it's acceptable to show sexism in public but not racism. Both are horrible and affect all of us.

Thank you, dear Catherine. And thank you, as always, for the beautiful encouraging words you leave on my blog(s).

Much love to you.

Barbi Cclick said...

I come late to this table yet I come. Thank you for writing these words. I, too, am part of Team Hillary (albeit w/o the shirt). She is a fine and noble human. Barak will be far less. I agree with Lindy, he is an inexperienced pretty boy that I hope we will not woefully regret. BUT so much better...than another.
Thank you for the rememory of James Byrd. I am a native Texan and remember it far too well with shame. How hard it is to believe that it was ten years ago.
May God have mercy on our ignorant souls...

Catherine + said...

Lindy and GF, I know there are more of us who think of his inexperience yet he is better than the Republican alternative by a billion to one. We can hope and pray for him to grow in wisdom and grace...

Barbi, welcome to the table, where are are welcome, even the nasty commenters but at least I have options where they are concerned. I and others know that there are true followers of Christ in Texas and you can be unashamed because you and others like you, Barbi, are not like the men who carried out this heinous affront to God and His creation in the person of James Byrd.

Robert Duvall's character, in the movie Geronimo, makes the comment after the discovery of slaughtered native American women and children and old people, that "Texans are the worst, lowest kind of white men". In the Byrd case, it is true but in general it is not, and this I know.

And God does have mercy on our souls as well as theirs...may we grow in grace and knowledge daily of our Lord's true teachings of loving our neighbor...

Lindy said...

Whenever I think of NOT voting for Barak, I just do a quick little meditation on the ages of the Supreme Court Justices and then it all makes sense again.