Sunday, October 30, 2016

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Water is Life!

Protest Curmudgeon showed up at this afternoon's Stand with the Protectors of Standing Rock occasion at Westlake Plaza.  #NoDAPL

Protest Curmudgeon was hoping for prayerful presence. Protest Curmudgeon took note of many presumably native faces and fewer of the usual protest suspects from RantWoman's corners of the world.

Protest Curmudgeon spent a whole lot of time wishing the sound system worked better.

Protest Curmudgeon's other main activity: trying not to step on exuberant children embodying Brownian motion. RantWoman is glad of children; she just continues to prefer not to step on them.

After not very long, Protest Curmudgeon opted for...SHOE SHOPPING. Protest Curmudgeon just was not getting anywhere with Prayerful Presence.

Protest Curmudgeon requires that footwear fit; Protest Curmudgeon also prefers at least a little daylight between her look and "Your mother wears Army Boots."

Protest Curmudgeon Listened to the Water is Life chants; Protest Curmudgeon contemplated the summer sandal closeout sandals, none of which would have fit RantWoman anyway, but there is also the small matter of RAIN.

Sure, Water is Life

And this is Seattle.

RantWoman aims to keep her feet both warm and dry! And no, just getting RantWoman the right footwear will not chill her out about urgent concerns.

Water is Life, indeed.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Joys Concerns Timing

Further musings from the God-Spells according to RantWoman regarding Joys and Concerns.

No, RantWoman has not just been reading too much Mary Daly Intergalactic Wickedary of the English Language.

Yes, RantWoman emphatically does feel entitled to inflict her views, unfiltered, in whatever literary excess they come to her, not only on the, um, officially proclaimed pastoral care committees but also in the we are all ministers of God light on the whole entire bleeping  internet. RantWoman further thinks it should be a freaking job requirement for service on such committees both to be able to talk of diverse experiences and to listen. RantWoman would further like a sense of time and invitation to do so.

In fact, people who repeatedly, repeatedly, multiple times pass up opportunities to try to have shared centered discussion in person can darned well expect to read about it on the internet and can try to work in time whenever to talk further. And if it turns out that RantWoman has also multiple times been available for tough situations when others have not, you are welcome.

RantWoman's experience is uneven on talking listening time and willingness dimensions. RantWoman does not particularly apologize if the mere mention of this experience is occasion for public embarrassment.  Sometimes, dang it, public embarrassment is exactly the point. sometimes on the other hand, realism and movements of the Divine are sufficient.

RantWoman acknowledges that she herself may be far exceeding expectations about insufferability. RantWoman reminds readers of the limitations of the God as Personal Butler model of Divine Presence.

With that, RantWoman is going to do the best she can to stick to Joys and Concerns and not wander off on yet another tangent, this time aimed at someone not available due to being deceased  about "How can it be that you do not pray?" RantWoman has a really different understanding of prayer than the one that evoked RantWoman's question.

RantWoman's experience is that sometimes people need lessons in comparative religion. RantWoman feels a need to offer such here. Joys and Concerns is  the Quaker equivalent of Greetings and prayer requests  or passing the peace or various other ways of phrasing opportunities for particular sharing. Meetings where there is a formal invitation to offer Joys and Concerns tend to offer the invitation toward the close of worship.

RantWoman dances several directions about Timing and Joys and Concerns, and the general concept of unprogrammed worship with the content left up to movements of the Divine.

RantWoman is a choir director's kid. RantDad spoke sincerely of choosing music carefully for different parts of the service, whatever the organist did for a prelude, a nice choral introit, an anthem. RantDad also went round and round with the succession of pastors he worked with about when to have time for greetings and prayer requests: after the introit? After the offertory before the sermon? RantWoman never really got to hear the pastors' sides of these conversations and generally has a sense of God showing up regardless of the timing. RantWoman is unclear why this sense never quite took root with RantDad.

RantWoman does not quite know what to suggest when someone has just spoken of a concern such as a death in the family and someone from Worship and Ministry decides it's time officially to proclaim it time for Joys and Concerns. Moments like this have occurred several times recently; these moments make RantWoman cringe and tempts her to blurt out things like"WTF do (Friends) have just been talking about?"

Look, RantWoman is a flake. RantWoman cannot promise to remember concerns  beyond the moment RantWoman leaves the building. RantWoman tends to spend a lot of her worship time basically trolling for Divine Intervention anyway, so if you want RantWoman to pray about / for you / Hold you in the Light / sending energy in your direction or just avoid singeing you around her Inner Blowtorch, GET YOUR REQUEST IN EARLY,

RantWoman has standards about what concerns she will utter once the children have come back to worship. News reports about rampant sexual harassment, a young adult Friend's concerns about sexual harassment and her Meeting's inability to write a policy while other Young Friends are explicitly avoiding certain elders fall into RantWoman's should be worthy to be spoken of early. Alas, if RantWoman has not shepherded her thoughts into worship-worthy words, not even just "Please hold in the Light,  before the children enter, RantWoman does not expect children to bear such burdens. This does not means that the concerns are any less concerning!


RantWoman has a sense of also owing the world some gratitudes and other meditations but RantWoman is going to close with links from previous meditations about space and time in worship and what spills out and how Friends get tapped ....

RantWoman notes with interest another blog post from someone at the very same Meeting for Worship and who offered one of the sung messages.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Industrial Strength Joy

RantWoman continues her meditations upon the practice of asking Friends at the close of worship to share  "Joys and Concerns." Tonight's topic is "Joys, salted with Concerns."

RantWoman finds it interesting that people need to be invited to share their Joy. However, RantWoman has noted that the formal invitation has elicited joys from a number of usually diffident people. RantWoman apologizes for not remembering specific joys and only noting the fact of people who rarely or never speaking In worship offering something. RantWoman also notes appreciation for new grandchildren, for a new abode for an aging elder....

Maybe RantWoman should just ask Eye Roller Friend whether, whatever the concerns lurking in his ministry, does he also hear others' joys?

And then there is RantWoman.

--Much as RantWoman really does want to hear from new voices, sometimes new voices make RantWoman want to fidget and growl something like "Oh Come On! OUT WITH IT, oh and if you are called to speak could you please bleeping SPEAK UP for all the people with hearing loss in the room?"

But in RantWoman's experience  growling things like this tends to dampen the flow of joys. So, maybe, maybe, as long as Worship and Ministry still kind of reeks of a certain "we don't have to talk to..." could the people offering invitations to share Joys and Concerns please pretty please also try to remember to encourage people to speak up?

--RantWoman notes with joy that one newcomer just did not even register the latest public witness from Eye Roller Friend about the practice of invited Joys and Concerns!  RantWoman is delighted that the worship spoke to her.

--RantWoman also notes with joy that because of forgetting to get an announcement about midweek worship into the bulletin, RantWoman got divinely dragged to her feet to make a live announcement and thus to have real conversation with another newcomer who might be interested in coming to midweek worship.

As for RantWoman's joys:

--There was the week that beloved aunts and uncles came to town. They put up with the Rant Family's transit-only regimen. They all seemed to have a good time anyway despite some other event-planning oopses. RantWoman missed seeing spouses, because they all make sweet couples. Alas, having them come to town without spouses cut down dramatically on the combinations of people who cannot abide each other's presence for very long. Is there joy in this realism?

--Brother-in-Law is seeing MUCH better after long-needed cataract surgery. If RantWoman wants gentle soothing grateful joy, she might have stopped there. No such luck!

    --RantWoman is glad for fresh updates during a recent shared bus ride with Little Sister.

    --At Christmas dinner last year, RantWoman asked Brother In Law an innocent question and somehow got to ophtho triage: a big cloud in one eye? Oh. Any blood? No. Flashes of Light? No? Haloes around lights? No? Anything that seems to move. Yes a Little. How long have you noticed? Months. And has it gotten suddenly worse? No. Okay, you definitely need someone with more medical credentials than RantWoman but it's probably not a Go Straight to the ER Do Not Pass Go Do not Collect $200 situation. One of RantWoman's joys: See, See RantWoman called it correctly.

   --The next point of joy: Obamacare means Brother-in-Law has insurance. It does not mean it is easy to find a provider who takes that insurance. Nor does it fix some other language access and general nerve-wracking fussiness. So joy means joy in perseverance through a LOT of hassles

May everyone's life be filled with such direct and unmitigated experience of the Divine?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Placebo that!

Lately RantMom has tired of watching Alton Brown sauté onions; her current Food Channel fave is "Chopped," a competitive cooking exercise where four contestants vie for a top prize won by cooking 4 courses each using some bizarre basket of ingredients, ingredients that are difficult to work with alone never mind in combination..

There is a panel of judges. Sometimes the judges have WILDLY varying opinions:

"The slightly caramelized jalapeno syrup on the corn bread crust simply makes the dish."

"The syrup makes it watery and you might as well have just burned the glop."

RantWoman's Meeting has been experimenting with Joys and Concerns or with corralling  / explicitly inviting them at the end of worship for several months. Reviews about Joys and Concerns are running about as divergent as the Chopped Judges right now.

RantWoman,how can you POSSIBLY compare Meeting for Worship to a Chopped episode?

God is Bountiful!

"Oh I love Joys and Concerns." RantWoman promises to elaborate. Actually RantWoman feels fully entitled to inflict her approximately 17 strands of opinion on the blogosphere. Stay Tuned.

Slight paraphrase, Eye Roller Friend repeatedly being true to his Light: "My sorrow is that Worship and Ministry continues to perpetrate this stupid practice." "True to his Light" is probably not the phrasing some reviewers would use, but this is RantWoman,

Remember, as a recent speaker put it, that the Quaker tradition was founded by a guy so full of his understanding of God that he would visit churches and give them two-hour lectures about how they are doing this faith thing wrong.

This also was before professional football.

RantWoman herself has been known to proclaim "I know from Sermons. If you would like it longer, I would be happy to elaborate. In this case, RantWoman is happy to tell anyone who complains about Eye Roller Friend's utterances that, well yes, he could be channeling George Fox at even greater length.

Newcomers to RantWoman's meeting, of which there seem to be a steady and inspiring
flow are not going to realize

1. that Eye Roller Friend's ministry of audible eye rolling has subsided quite a bit over many years of worship with us, eldering, conversation, and from some corners condescension.

2. RantWoman considers audible eye rolling a splendid accessibility ministry. RantWoman knows that lots of people roll their eyes sometimes about what form of God shows up in worship. RantWoman appreciates that at least when Eye Roller Friend ministers through throat clearing and general audible rumbling,, RantWoman can bloody well tell he is rolling his eyes.

Occasionally God and  Eye Roller Friend line up actual words instead of just well-timed throat clearing. Eye Roller Friend's latest verbal ministry involved a position that RantWoman would characterize as grappling with the Divine; RantWoman suspects Eye Roller Friend might think RantWoman is just being deliberately obtuse and completely missing the point of the word "placebo." If it's a placebo, bring it on. Maybe it can save RantWoman from getting body and psyche entangled in some pharmaceutical company's patent and profit regime.

Oh wait, save the pharmaceutical matters for still another thread.

RantWoman has multiple strands of opinion about the Joys and Concerns. RantWoman feels fully entitled to inflict her opinions on the universe or at least the thickets of interwebs where people read what is written her. Furthermore, RantWoman feels NO CALL one way or another to filter her Light through Worship and Ministry Committee. Friends worship is about direct and unmitigated oops unmediated experience of the Divine, never mind conversations about when the Divine does or does not look Divine. RantWoman is pretty sure God can handle it. RantWoman is less sure about...

Please hold RantWoman and those around her in the Light.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Matters PRINT

Good News and Bad News in the realm of Quaker / general PRINT and the library at RantWoman's Meeting.

The Good News: an email exchange involving the phrases large Print Bible and Amazon. As with everything to do with Amazon, RantWoman is never 100% confident that what will arrive is workable, but RantWoman is happy enough to send off a couple comments and will be grateful for
whatever emerges.

The other news, the RantWoman can you possibly go a single day without something to gripe about?" moment.

This item from the weekly bulletin:
"Take a break from the daily bustle and noise: a chance to spend a Saturday morning with Friends and a Pendle Hill pamphlet, *Saturday, October 15 from 10 am - 1 pm*.  We will meet in the social hall and pick a pamphlet from the wide selection on hand.  Read. - Discuss with Friends, and Eat potluck lunch together."

This event occurs periodically, usually on the third Saturday of a month. No matter how much RantWoman might LIKE to spend time with her community in this way. RantWoman has a standing conflict. So far this has meant RantWoman has passed up the opportunity to fly into a lather
about assumptions that everyone will either read PRINT, download some very early pamphlets that are free online, or pay to order the dang pamphlet electronically as a PDF. Stay tuned for RantWoman's leading to expand an understanding of "library."

Please hold all involved in the Light.

And if things go REALLY well, RantWoman will consider reading with earbuds in public something RantWoman HATES and only puts up with when feeling terribly accommodating.

Hold All Involved in the Light, and if anyone else wants to listen to a pamphlet read iwtih a mechanical voice at squirrels on steroids speeds, consider this an invitation, a fabulous blindness tourism opportunity....

An Exit Ramp for Trump Supporters

Useful for many situations I expect

Harvard Business Review: How to Build an Exit Ramp for Trump Supporters

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

International Delegation of women attempts to sail to Gaza

International Delegation of Women attempts to sail to Gaza. See full YouTube Playlist. Spread the word. Ask governments to object to seizing unarmed vessels in international waters.

No, of course the timing of this prophetic witness has nothing to do with either Jewish Holy days OR the which side is doing a better job of bombing civilians outrage in Syria.

Prayers all around!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Happy Disabilities Employment Awareness Month!

RantWoman reminds her readers that October is National disability Employment Awareness MOnth, a thematic modification from when RantWoman last went on a daily binge blog about disabilities awareness.

Topical hashtags #NDEAM , #InclusionWorks
also thematically related #disablepoverty, #votedisability #cripthevote #disabilityvisibility

In honor of the occasion,

HuffPo Important Comments about Ableist Language

Six Ways Your Social Justice Activism er Quaker Meeting Might be Ableist