Monday, April 14, 2014

Giving Things Up on Behalf Of: Grab the Blind Person and Bless Them with Variations

RantWoman is trying to get the hang of this give things up for Lent. RantWoman sort of understands that there is some point of forgiveness; RantWoman needs to sit with that issue for one thing because even including forgiving, RantWoman would like NOT to have to repeat the forgiving!

RantWoman offers the following list of behaviors she would be ecstatic to give up on behalf of other people.

Grab the Blind Person and bless them.

Grab the Blind person and drag them into really scary traffic

Grab the Blind person and drag them into really scary traffic while ignoring protests and demands to STOP.

See for instance:

This one from awhile ago: Grab the Blind person and drag them into really scary traffic while ignoring protest and demands to STOP in private while baying in public about fitness to serve on a certain Meeting committee.

Failing to feed back to RantWoman that anyone gets the dimensions of abuse involved in the previous item.

Lecturing RantWoman about how painful it is to watch public conversation while being unavailable / unwilling to attend to the private issue of getting dragged into traffic.

Turning down REPEATED requests by RantWoman to come address a whole certain committee. RantWoman is barely capable of holding the person unavailable to listen in the Light and is utterly clear that holding a one-on-one conversation with said person is beyond her Light. Hence only ONE of several reasons RantWoman has requested...
Please hold this circus in the Light.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

State of Society 2014

RantWoman is humble: someone else proposed a factual change RantWoman does not perfectly remember. RantWoman said what is on her mind in Business Meeting. The room was silent for a LONG time. RantWoman said she thinks she can make a small edit. Here is what emerged.

University Monthly Meeting, Seattle WA

State of Society Report 2014

With three meetings for worship per week, and a plethora of activities and groups thriving under our roof, our Meeting House can be a very busy place. We are continually challenged to seek a balance of community involvement, political interaction, financial needs, and time for quiet attention to the leadings of Spirit. In addition, we must honor the very different needs and life circumstances of beloved elders, parents and growing families, and younger adults just getting established.

Many of our elders are confronting challenging changes in health, or needed shifts in housing. Walking through these changes together is spiritual work; through Care Committees our community provides spiritual support for people experiencing calamities and infirmities. A member of our Care and Counsel Committee adjusted the assisted listening system in our worship room so that everyone can hear the vocal ministries of worship. An attender also organized several sing-alongs for a dear Friend who is struggling with serious illness. These moments of shared grace were special and uplifting.

We are happy to be able to report that our children’s programs are thriving. Families with children take turns with monthly visits among Meetings, and are rewarded with expanded fellowship and children’s activities. Junior Friends also continue their prior tradition of gathering monthly with teens from other meetings. Our Young adults meet regularly for potlucks and even extend their definition of “young adult” to include, say “frequently the youngest person at Adult Religious Education.”

We still have difficulty bridging the gap between college age and older adults. However, our Adult Religious Education program thrives weekly as a rich forum for exploringinterests of community, spirit, society, and science, and sometimes gets quite moved by Spirit. We are grateful for this added opportunity to “go deep” outside of the main meeting for worship, and to discover our connection in this intimate setting.

One high point of community involvement was a threshing session about meeting for Worship for Business. Friends considered ideas from a variety of suggested readings and continued worshiping while ministering to our building and grounds.

Many of our individuals, as always, carry their ministries out into the world, working for peace and justice, acting as officers and leaders in Quaker organizations. We recognized one member’s travels in the ministry in Latin America twice this year. In addition, our Jr Friends are preparing for upcoming ministry in Guatemala, and need all the support we can offer, spiritually, financially, and logistically.

New fundraising initiatives also reflect deep community engagement. For a number of months Friends seasoned options for cutting expenditures but were unable to come to unity about any specific plan. Instead, Friends in Business meeting came to unity to conduct active fundraising. Finance committee recommended that cuts in programs and activities could be avoided if our giving pattern reached 60% of our annual budget by the end of the second quarter of our fiscal year. Friends responded enthusiastically- Finance Committee agreed to add fundraising to its charge- and that goal was reached!

The quiet of our worship room remains a prized sleeping option for SHARE, the self-managed 20 member homeless community we have shared space with every night for several years. UFM’s Subcommittee on Homelessness, which for a time narrowed its focus to managing UFM’s relationship with thisSHARE, reached out to raise awareness of other issues related to homelessness, like the need for affordable housing, and dramatic changes on the horizon in our neighborhood. Of more immediate impact, since the Meetinghouse lacks regular eating facilities for SHARE to use, the subcommittee installed two permanent picnic tables (with seats) in the lower courtyard of the building for use in good weather.

For more than a decade, UFM has been openly addressing people's needs around the topic of sexual violence. We committed ourselves to a triple ministry: safety for our children, support for adult survivors of sexual abuse, and spiritual support for known sexual offenders in our community. One person completed his sentence this past year, and developed his own Lifetime Safety Plan, which the Meeting then adopted for our use as well. An archive of our Meeting's walk with this offender is available at As part of UFM’s overall plan, Education Committee administers background checks for our child safety protocols and Education and Care and Counsel committees from time to time offer educational and other supportive events aimed at children and adults. Survivors’ experiences can be very challenging. We are grateful for this ongoing opportunity for enhanced understanding of the histories, sorrows, challenges, and growth of all our members.

University Meeting will always be changing, and as result, needs to take time regularly to refocus our efforts or re-evaluate our goals, but we happily find our community life both centering and challenging and try to rise in the Light to live as Quakers together.

Mr. JAWS manages email


RantWoman wishes to unveil a new approach to email management.

Meet Mr. JAWS, RantWoman's screen reader. Mr JAWS is usually set for American English albeit at a considerably faster reading rate than normal human speech. The reading speed tends to vex people who are not used to this.

RantWoman's first line of defense for certain categories of email: make Mr. JAWS read EVEN FASTER in US English.

RantWoman's second line of defense is to force Mr. JAWS to think the text is in say, Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese, or Finnish.

RantWoman feels blessed that an offer to hold the author of much venting in the Light along with mention of this approach generated much mirth.

RantWoman feels blessed to have another fresh supply of "Go away" droppings for her spiritual compost heap which she is likely to handle the same way.
RantWoman just is not sure WHAT to do with all these blessings.

Confidential? Not Confidential? More Giving things up on Behalf Of

RantWoman disclaimer: objects in blog may be closer or further away than they appear. They may be less wobbly around the edges or more clear. This is a RantWoman eye view of the world. RantWoman reminds her readers that this view may be subject to all manor of fog, blur, double vision, grow your own lava lamp effects, and general blotchiness.

RantWoman recognizes that some readers may be shocked, schocked and horrified at the thought of a starring role in RantWoman's give things on behalf of list; relax. You are in good company. RantWoman apologizes for thinking to whistle the big from Tom Lehrer about "try to convince.. that your sin's original..."

RantWoman thinks it would be a good idea to TRY AGAIN to talk in person about some of these points. Please hold that need in the Light.

Among RantWoman's list of behaviors she is giving up on others' behalf for lent:

--Lecturing RantWoman about confidentiality instead of having a two-way conversation.

--Lecturing RantWoman about confidentiality on a collossal scale and not being able to articulate specific instances RantWoman can address.

--Lecturing RantWoman about confidentiality after previously being unable to hold conversations more sophisticated than "do what someone else says and don't argue."

--Lecturing RantWoman about confidentiality when RantWoman  and the person doing the lecturing have different implied promises of confidentiality because of different relationships to a specific person.

--Lecturing RantWoman about confidentiality when a situation is so serious that relevant authorities are already in the picture and it would be reasonable to season what needs to be said.

--Lecturing RantWoman about confidentiality when, even though there is a strong "oh yuck" flavor to the info in question, there is some good "spirit of love and truth" reason to hold a matter in the Light.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Blurted; not Blurted

RantWoman continues her intractable "tell toomuch of the truth" leading.

Blurted out on a conference call having nothing to do with Quakers:
"No Latinos on the soccer team (at the high school in question) probably does not mean there are no latinos interested in soccer."

Not blurted out in Adult Religious Education:
"If you would like to get to know more people of color, consider riding the bus or, gasp, eating fast food."

Not blurted out in another meeting where RantWoman was a highly functional bystander:
"Well, yeah, there are a handful of African American Friends in our Yearly Meeting. And there are quite a few bicultural families or grandparents with bicultural grandchildren. More to the point, shouldn't all the nice white (presumptively white; RantWoman is not opining about "nice") be working on our OWN issues, not waiting around  for others to lead us?"

Memo to self: try to nudge Peace and Social Concerns, FCWPP to speak clearly in our modest Quaker, kind of afraid to toot our own horn, heaven forbid the message should be unambiguous and not subtle way about how we think what we do addresses racism, racial disparities.....

Also note, some individuals are quite powerfully and consistently engaged and so waht if the person reporting from our Meeting bounced over that..?

Traci Hjelt Sullivan: "The Faithfulness Lecture" (+playlist)