Sunday, February 18, 2018

And into Plowshares Beat their Swords ?

RantWoman feels like a biblical literacy philistine. To wit, RantWoman has NO CLUE what Isaiah 2:1-5 is doing as the reading at RantMom's church for the first Sunday of Lent. Further reflection headed at least for the mean-to-read list, along with crankiness about the wording of the chosen Bible version (beating swords into shovels? Really?) as well as gratitude for an app that allows RantWoman to search a whole bunch of versions.

RantWoman thanks her search engine for turning up this video based on the search string "and into plowshares beat their swords." The video was not one RantWoman was looking for and RantWoman does not know enough Hebrew to know how much of the passage is being sung. RantWoman will cope with  risk of words going awry; RantWoman expects readers to do likewise.

4 signs, Calendar, the Calvin Workshop, Drumming, and Project Safe Place

Anyway, RantWoman is delighted to have gotten a peek at the passage as part of the next in the series of Calvin workshops at RantMom's church. Today's workshop was on Christianity as an embodied religion and included wonderful movement mirroring and  reflection moments. Plus exploring faith with RantMom is always a good thing, AND it was nice to see one of the other parishoners looking like she is feeling MUCH better after back surgery.

Understand, RantWoman can find plenty of reasons to be wary of anything called "movement," but the food after Calvin workshops has been wonderful, and RantMom's church comes with JOY, JOY from calm kids participating in exercises, joy from adult friendliness, and joy from the Light of the pastor. So off RantWOman went.

The "movement" part turned out to be nicely bearable. That is RantWoman, Rant Mom,  the woman who just had back surgery, and some others for various reasons opted mostly to sit. (No, adding Ambassador Thwack would NOT have been a good idea.) RantWoman did discover that the woman who just had surgery is one of those (COMPARATIVELY)  calm people with whom it can be pleasant just to sit and NOT follow the program.

NO, RantWoman is probably not going to resume ancestral Presbyterian connections, but RantWoman is ALWAYS grateful to visit.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Think of Business Meeting?

RantWoman what did you think of Meeting for Business?

Ummmm, thank you for asking.

RantWoman, like her counterpart did not think Conflict Is a Gift of God Friend's presentation about his most recent travels in ministry did justice either to the topic or to the process of supporting it. A further report is due; RantWoman is unclear about the reason to put this item on the agenda.  RantWoman has a sense though that it would have been nice if her counterpart in the conversation at least grasped the process points but RantWoman opted not to probe and to save conversation energy for another theme exercising

Clang, clang, Clang in the zone of "trust the committee" about the process points anyway.

RantWoman remembers a previous attempt to support a ministry based on a document that was lacking in a number of points. RantWoman remembers not saying everything that should have been said at the time in Business Meeting  because 1. RantWoman wanted to support the Friend making the request and 2. RantWoman thought the supporting committee would have things better figured out than the presentation in Meeting for Business indicated.

RantWoman never minds being wrong about such concerns. In fact, RantWoman would say, based on numerous comments and observations, that the relevant committee was not actually in unity about the increment of effort needed to offer modest support for Friends ministering at some distance. This gap in energy makes RantWoman crabby actually, but RantWoman presently balances this concern against her own leading to work and worship closer to home.

In this case, it took the relevant committee almost 3 years to get to a functional minute and the next steps of a ministry under care also of our Yearly Meeting. RantWoman also felt decently well heard while being true to very clear light. In fact, even though there was still steam rising from RantWoman's ears at one moment, RantWoman was profoundly surprised by the sensible thoughts that fell out of her mouth at one key Meeting for Business. Enough said for now.

Beyond the scope of Meeting for Business.
RantWoman is glad for a discussion related to immigration. The topic was ripe and Meeting has been close to unity for awhile. RantWoman realized that discussion would go best if RantWoman just said as little as possible and upheld movements of Spirit.

Movements of spirit included one Friend very concerned about threads still pending and beyond the scope of Meeting for Business. Meeting decided to move ahead anyway and Concerned Friend continued to protest as Friends did their stand and move on gesture. The stand and move on gesture irks RantWoman even though this time it also came with fervent wish that Friend with the Concern get his words and thoughts lined up more clearly.

RantWoman unites with the need to move on with clear instructions. HOWEVER, among topical "beyond the scope of Meeting for Business" points on RantWoman's mind:

1. A call from the Church Council of Greater Seattle to speak to the King County Council in support of policies designed to support safety for people regardless of immigration status. RantWoman's quibble with the county measure: the wording is limited and does not speak to all county employees. RantWoman should go look up some points before commenting further.   

2. Our Meeting is lucky to live in a state where the attorney general is prepared to advise officials all over the state about options and choices related to immigration matters which might affect people in their communities.

Perhaps, with Divine guidance and all sorts of mishmash about immigration issues all over the news, that is enough said for now.

A third major item on the agenda intrigues RantWoman but gets its own post. RantWoman was glad to hear concurrence that "creating new Quakers" is worthy of some focus.  And that is all for now.

In Light and Faithfulness.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A black man goes undercover in the alt-right | Theo E.J. Wilson

RantWoman is utterly charmed and inspired by the TED talk below. Enough said. Let the speaker do the rest of the talking.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Problem is...?

Ummm, earth to RantWoman:  You're a big fan of gene Sharp and no doubt other practitioners of non-violence? See this blog post for instance

Yeah, basically.

--M'kay? But you introduce your cane as "This is Ambassador Thwack. He's my anger management consultant?"

--You admit from time to time you may run a multilingual multiconfessional and permanently overbooked  flogging bureau, floggings non-consensual?

 Yep. I have said such a thing.

--And you confess that "too much Buddhism makes (you) want to punch someone?"

Yep again. Welcome to Planet RantWoman. You see the problem?

--Oh my. Look RantWoman, could you maybe at least try to have the problem with fewer $50 words?


Thursday, February 8, 2018

In Memoriam: The Power and Potential of Nonviolent Struggle by Gene Sharp

RantWoman humbly observes that her info streams served up this video unbidden not long before Prof. Sharp's passing. RantWoman's first encounter with Prof. Sharp's ideas was in college in a student--initiated seminar called "Theory and Practice of Nonviolence.

Blessings upon Prof. Sharp's memory and his loved ones even if RantWoman does not get more in-depth reflections written anytime soon.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Who Said Confict is Opportunity????

RantWoman is still digesting the weekend with John Calvi.

In particular RantWoman is wondering whose one word comment about conflict at her Meeting was "opportunity."

RantWoman has no way of knowing, partly because the only session where people went around and did names was Sunday Adult religious education. There RantWoman learned that judging by the names of those present, RantWoman was about the fourth youngest person present. There definitely were younger people present at the other sessions. It's just that since the sessions did not include introductions, RantWoman has no idea who they are.

Note to self: Think Opportunity. In the future, RantWoman will not wait around for others to get it; RantWoman will adopt the same practice as a now deceased director of a disability services agency. EVERY time she was in a large group, she announced that she is blind and asked everyone to say their names and any disability they identify as having. Of course, add this to pronouns. Do not forget the pronouns and in order to makes sure there is room for others, RantWoman will TRY to keep thoughts on the pronouns question Twitter length.

Miscellaneous other popcorn kernels, idiosyncratic Quakerish thoughts that popped into RantWoman's head but that did not really need to make it out of her mouth at the time.

Popcorn Kernel
John told a story of some kind of meeting related to the AIDS crisis.  Warning: this is how the story lingers on Planet RantWoman. Readers mileage will vary and RantWoman is happy to listen. At the meeting, people told their stories. On one side, there was a certain amount of clucking about what sheltered bourgeois lives others lead. No, of COURSE RantWoman has never thought anything like that. Nor were RantWoman's thoughts wandering away to a deceased friend who was still adding to his lifetime bird list from his hospital bed and whose blunt opinions of the AIDS quilt RantWoman gave a reporter permission to print.

But then a homeless woman at the meeting spoke up and talked about how she had nobody... Everyone crowded around her and embraced her. RantWoman, to be honest does not know what to do with stories like that. RantWoman would certainly find a moment to talk individually with such a person but RantWoman finds big huggy crowds unnerving

More to the point, the moment summoned fond thoughts of a Wise Quaker Woman Friend formerly of RantWoman's Meeting. Wise Quaker Woman Friend had a singular take on the Golden Rule about "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Wise Quaker Woman Friend was fond of saying "Why should I do unto them what I want? What if they want something different? Shouldn't I do unto them as they want?" RantWoman definitely believes in a God that can handle such Light.

Popcorn Kernel
John told a story of a woman with mental health problems who was hard to deal with off her meds. Eventually, John conceded, she moved to FL to live with her brother. This would be the concept of way opening at least for the local Friends.

John says "When people are behaving badly, tell them to stop it."


Stop silencing.

Stop gaslighting.

Stop pretending RantWoman does not exist....

Please try to make room in your heart / imagination / .. for thoughts that Friends may have a number of different perspectives.

This could get to be WAY too much fun. Please hold us all in the Light.

One last popcorn kernel
People in unprogrammed meetings are not accustomed to sermons. In the Pacific NW though there are many Friends churches where, Good Lord have mercy, God instructs people actually to prepare ministry. Here is a highly topical sermon from Mike HUber of West Hills Friends Church.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Video of the Day: Bob Smiley on Dating Advice for the 21st century Christian dating scene

RantWoman first tripped over Bob Smiley while checking out interfaith comedian Tim Hawkins. Bad Friend thought: how would Tim Hawkins handle Quakers?

 Bad Friend. Bad Friend!

The answer is probably somewhere in the same universe with Who would Jesus bomb?

But RantWoman digresses. (What is new?)

 RantWoman does not really go looking for Bob Smiley, but the Youtube seems to get that RantWoman likes to laugh, and Bob Smiley is VERY sweet about the way he makes RantWoman laugh. This one is so sweet if RantWoman knew a straight sane Christian woman in the appropriate age range, RantWoman would make at least small effort to play matchmaker.