Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Days and days of Thankfulness

Comes now the cyclical Fambly ritual of "what WILL we do for holidays?" The topic of today's meditation in particular: Thanksgiving? Potluck? Brunch? With homeless people. Without homeless people (that we know of). With toddler more interested in tactile experience and gravity than in eating? Or without such a toddler?

RantWoman is penning this message with specific offer to help make something happen for Thanksgiving and seeking Light as to how others are led. RantWoman would be thrilled if a special team of 5-7 people could come together and Make Something Happen.

RantWoman left to her own preferences would probably opt for potluck meal but with some parameters different from the past. RantWoman would MAYBE think of early morning food if it were part of ensuring some homeless people have a place to be for the day but would not be happy with brunch alone. In particular,RantWoman kind of likes Thanksgiving worship while hungry. It makes the celebratory reflections more real.

As long as RantWoman is stating preferences a few more details.

--Plan for a POTLUCK. Do not overspecify. Bring two items you / your household likes. Trust that there will be plenty.

--If you are not planning to stay for the meal, do not worry about cooking a turkey or bringing food. Come for worship. That is enough. Likewise, if you really can live without worship but want to bring a whole clan to the meal,bless you, there is room for that too.

--Do worry about signups for set-up and cleanup. Have clear start and end times that take into account travel considerations such as bus and ferry schedules.

--Beloved elders who might be tempted to overdo about setups should be provided at least one pair of able young arms willing generously to accept supervision and be fetch and carry.

--The provide a place for homeless people to be concept might need just to be remembered. Homeless services have a different model than the self-managed SHARE program and RantWoman is unclear what invitation would even be appropriate. Also the 3 people with the strongest leading in the direction of holiday accompaniment for homeless people have moved away. Frankly, Friends also, it seemed to RantWoman, got a little spoiled: the SHARE group was always very eager to help with setup and cleanup; this unquestionably made the workload lighter for everyone else.

RantWoman offers the above reflections based on recent and less recent experiences of celebration at her meeting.

Last year was Brunch then worship. RantWoman remembers grumbling that if the committee planning things had asked the community, Friends might have rallied to do a potluck meal. RantWoman decided it was fine and important to try something new. Brunch was not terrible, and worship on Thanksgiving is always a gift. Brunch did not speak to the Rant Family. This is important because in the past Thanksgiving has been the one holiday a year where RantWoman tells the RantFamily that if they want to celebrate with her, they come to Meeting.

Other holidays have tended toward RantWoman arriving on time to RantMom's apartment, helping RantMom out with final prep, munching on crudite and generally having RantMom all aflutter about when Little Sister and her family will arrive. RantWoman would so much rather just go on a group ferry ride, but that is also not feasible.  Anyway, RantWoman does not remember what happened last year for the Rant Family but suspects it fell into RantMom's holiday pattern of "I must have my children over and feed them."

The previous year Meeting Thanksgiving potluck was, um, tense. No SHARE guests. The staff had just been told her position was discontinued. Food was plentiful. RantMom found plenty of people to talk to. But the whole exercise wanted to wrap up almost before Little Sister and family even showed up. RantWoman is not further commenting about Little Sister's family and the space / time continuum. Tardiness just contributed to the whole layer of tension. Irrepressible Nephew charmed everyone by singlehandedly moving a heavy table back downstairs after the meal, but RantWoman can absolutely understand not wanting a repeat of all of that.

Still RantWoman is both looking back and thinking of...

RantWoman remembers Thanksgivings when she was new to Meeting; Friends from Salmon Bay got invited. This was before South Seattle Friends Meeting existed. RantWoman remembers a relaxed feel except for some tension among vegetarians because of turkey.

Thinking of RantMom who has come most years since moving to Seattle: Both of RantMom's parents came from large families. RantMom is definitely used to having lots of people in small space. RantMom loves Thanksgiving potluck for the same reason RantWoman loves having RantMom at potluck: RantMom has LOTS of people to talk to. RantMom has lived in Seattle long enough that even if she just chats a little bit with people she knows from Meeting, her day is full.

Irrepressible Nephew has quite grown up. When he was either about 2 or about 3, he was definitely more into food as tactile experience + gravity than in actually eating anything. The result of these preferences was a glorious mess, the kind of mess that would send RantMom or anyone needing to worry about cleaning up carpet just around the bend. RantWoman just thought Oh fine, good thing linoleum is easy to clean up. Somewhere between that year and the year Nephew wanted to come to worship and his parents never made it, there was another small child into the same approach to food as Nephew.

In RantWoman's childhood holidays frequently had many hanger-on: college students, musicians, beloved elders. RantWoman has mostly felt the same level of warmth for Thanksgiving potlucks at Meeting.
RantWoman has scrawled such Light as is available above; RantWoman means it about offer to help if others would also appreciate a potluck after worship and is willing to offer some time and energy to the endeavor.

In Light and Faithfulness.

RantWoman

Prayer Warriors? Prayer for Dummies? Reading Group? Adult Ed Series?

RantWoman is seasoning a leading to see whether others in her Meeting would be interested in some kind of Prayer for Dummies exercise. RantWoman is unclear with whom it would make sense to season this leading. RantWoman would be thrilled to know if others are interested and want to help develop the project.

RantWoman also warns potential collaborators of RantWoman's need for materials in accessible formats without, for now,  further specifying what that means.

RantWoman has been thinking a lot about prayer, as part of daily practice, in terms of different language different Friends use, and also invoked around RantWoman when there is nothing obvious or feasible one is clear to do. . Also, awhile ago some people from another part of RantWoman's life decided to make a conference call prayer group. RantWoman greatly esteems the gifts of the person led to convene the group. RantWoman was already aware that prayer would likely include a lot of language different from RantWoman's experience. And RantWoman's reaction to news that the group was forming: "I MUST pray with these people."

So now RantWoman's email streams are full of phrases like "Praise the Lord," (and the no-longer practicing nurse who helped walk someone through a severe hypoglycemic episode) and "prayer warriors." IN practice, the conference calls occur at a time that is not great for RantWoman. RantWoman also pays selective attention to a couple of the prayer warriors partly because they post a lot of supplications in multiple social media streams. In terms of the whole group except for diffuse generalized prayer of good wishes / vigorous holding in the Light , RantWoman is probably doing what she can on the prayer front; RantWoman also offers light and prayer requests via email though the requests get edited in what RantWoman considers unhelpful ways as they are forwarded to the group..

In any case, to help think more about the Prayer for dummies idea, RantWoman secured permission to post the telephone group's guidelines here, just as one possible point of departure. Friends who are curious and want more info about this specific group, please leave a comment.


PRAYER GROUP GUIDELINES

Hello, and welcome to our prayer group conference calls!  We meet every Sunday at 4 PM Pacific Time, 6 PM Central Time.  Although this call is supposed to be informal, and we’re supposed to have fun, there are some basic guidelines that need to be followed.  Trust me, this is not going to be painfull!  The last thing that we want people to do is feel uncomfortable.  That’s not what we want at all.  Here are the three basic guidelines:

1.       Respect.  Please respect everybody that’s on the call and their prayer requests or praise reports.  Once we start praying, we need to be respectful to those that are praying.  One way to do that is by muting your line by pressing the star key and the number 6.  You’ll hear the voice say, “This line is now muted.”  This will prevent excess noise coming in on the call.  When you’d like to pray, unmute your line the same way, and you’ll hear the voice say, “This line is now unmuted.”  This also includes being respectfull to how someone prays.  Some individuals may cry, speak in tongues, or however the Spirit leads them to pray.  By respecting others and respecting the Lord, this will be a good thing.  Please, when you give your praise report and/or prayer requests, keep it at 1 to two minutes.  None of us wants to be on the phone for a long time!

2.       Confidentiality.  Anything that we discuss on this call is kept in strictest confidence, and cannot be shared with anyone accept for the person that made the prayer request.  Please do not share any of what we talk about on Social Media, text messages, emails, or phone calls

3.       Don’t be judgmental.  You never know what people are going through, and we know that there are people that are loosing hope.  It’s our job as believers to not judge them based on what they request.  For example, if someone makes a prayer request for a medical need, what we don’t wan to hear is something like, “I’m having trouble with my legs.  But that stupid, idiot doctor doesn’t want to see me for it!”  This is not the time or place for name calling, swearing, or anything that could cause harassment or that could easily offend somebody.  We want this to be a positive experience for all!. 

4.       This is not the place or time to discuss politics!  That’s not what our prayer group is about.  We can certainly pray for the president of the United States and for leaders of our country, but please, no negativity!  As was previously mentioned, this is a call to encourage each other, not to be discouraged.

The Prayer List:
When a prayer request is sent ...via email, phone call, text, or any other way, then I will add that person to the list.  When a new person gets added, I’ll send it to the group.  This way, we can pray for that person or situation at our own time and not just when we get together.   Let me or the moderator know if that person needs to be taken off.  For example, if someone’s passed away.  Also, if someone or even if you have a request and you don’t want us to know the full details of that request, then I’ll put it on the list as an unspoken request.  For example, “Malissa’s unspoken request.”  If you or someone has a prayer request, they can send it to me via email at (email address)  Or, they can call me at [   ].  Please be aware that you do not have to commit to being on the call every single Sunday.  Just come on whenever it’s convenient for you to be on the group.  You don’t have to stay on the entire time, you can come and go as you wish.  If we’re in the middle of praying, and you have to leave for whatever reason, you don’t need to announce that you are hanging up.  Just go ahead, and we’ll talk when you come back on again.  Once we take prayer requests and praise reports, then I will ask if there’s anyone that needs to leave early, then I will let that person start off the prayer, everyone else can follow, and I or whomever is moderating will close.  There’s no time limit for this conferencing service, so afterward, you can visit with each other for as long as you’d like!  One more thing to add.  Whenever we have new people on the call, please make them feel welcome!!!  Let’s have a good time praising the Lord, and interceding on other’s behalf!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Tenants. Transparency, Trust, Light

This blog post is written in a spirit of holding a specific person as well as general problems in the Light. RantWoman wishes to acknowledge that the specific person being held in the Light has made steps and gestures that RantWoman considers important evolution; RantWoman notes that evolution is an option for many other Friends as well. RantWoman is still clear to post how the world looks through her wonky eyeballs, with concern to hold all in the Light.

RantWoman's brain is currently afflicted by a new twitch: the ability to hear many messages as "Just shut up and trust us." In RantWoman's experience, sunshine, space to ask honest questions enhances trust. Does RantWoman consistently succeed about holding such space for others? Ummm

Anyway, consider Friend who regularly reminds RantWoman of need to be faithful to her Light no matter who says what.

Friend who.... before one of our Meeting's annual sexual abuse / let's talk about ... presentations, in response to something RantWoman said but now does not remember "RantWoman, go talk to your counselor."

RantWoman, to herself, with a twinge in her gut: "Um NO. RantWoman HAS a counselor. There is something here for this specific event." In the actual event, four different people had on their minds the same issue as RantWoman: kids who for whatever reason cannot talk to their parents.

Friend who... "RantWoman WHY do you keep bringing up this moment?"

People keep asking RantWoman why she does not automatically trust the community's discernment. In this case "Go talk to your counselor" was unhelpful; RantWoman being true to her Light resonated with others in the audience.


Latest Question from same Friend: RantWoman why do you not just trust...?"
One really terrible Meeting for Business moment that sticks in many people's minds has to do with a Finance Committee report about new tenants.

One tenant is a homeless shelter operated by Operation Nightwatch. The service model is different from SHARE/ WHEEL. The service model includes case management and ability to pay appropriate rent. What is not to like?

The second tenant is an organization called Facing Homelessness. One of the services Facing Homelessness operates is something called a "Window of Kindness" that distributes socks, coats, and other supplies to homeless people. The problem as RantWoman understood it at the time: besides relentless networkers like RantWoman's little sister who use wheelchairs, there are LOTS of homeless people who use wheelchairs and have various other mobility impairments. The space rented by Facing Homelessness is NOT wheelchair accessible. So RantWoman tried to ask some kind of question about wheelchair accessibility of Facing Homelessness services.

The ask did not go so well. It was the end of Business Meeting. People wanted lunch. People have used the word "ranting" to describe RantWoman's behavior. RantWoman did not realize the Clerk just left the room [vexing blind person reality, sigh]. RantWoman clearly did not hear a request to be silent but also has no idea what actually made it out of her mouth.

RantWoman offers the following links for current reference.

https://www.facinghomelessness.org/programs
Wheelchair accessible?????

Volunteer at the Window of Kindness
Volunteer through United Way at the Window of Kindness

Check box for Is wheelchair accessible  is checked ?!?!?

RantWoman offers the following photo of the courtyard used by Facing Homelessness and the Window of Kindness. Please note the extremely wheelchair accessible stairs.
Foliage in front of fence around a basement courtyard with extremely wheelchair accessible stairs

In Business Meeting RantWoman was thinking of Little Sister. RantWoman was thinking of all the people she rides around on the bus with, people she might like to refer for resources.

RantWoman was also thinking something along the lines of "well, yeah, Facing Homelessness gets no government money and probably has too few employees to be required by the ADA to do anything about wheelchair accessibility. And landlords have no obligation about accessibility for tenants' services. But even if legally there is no issue, from RantWoman's perspective something sucks. RantWoman does not want to rain on the new lease parade but does want to register concern!"

RantWoman has NO memory of any response in Business Meeting to her comments. RantWoman does remember conversationS afterward first of the form "RantWoman why don't you just trust...?" and then "OH, I see your point. We need to add the issue to points to consider about our property, and should the tenant ever ask we could think about modifications...." RantWoman thinks it could be extremely productive for the Friend this post is holding in the Light to repeat her comments in public in ways that MIGHT appear in minutes.

RantWoman has no memory of whether her comments in Business Meeting were even phrased as a question which might, MIGHT--if all Quaker process stars align--have been referred back somewhere for followup. Followup might have included information such as "well, wheel chair users can call and Facing Homeless staff can meet them." OR "Facing Homelessness goes out to many wheelchair accessible locations in the neighborhood (RantWoman has since learned that this is true.) RantWoman has also learned that Facing Homelessness organizes work parties to clean up trash around unauthorized encampments partly to help maintain accessibility on affected sidewalks. In other words, RantWoman is happy to support and Encourage the work Facing Homelessness does. RantWoman still would be entirely grateful if someone could report SOMEHOW about how Facing Homelessness addresses the needs of wheelchair users.

RantWoman also STRIVES going forward to try to be clearer when she is called to be true to her Light about questions in Meeting for Business. And RantWoman firmly dissents from the view that all this conceptual tangle will go away if RantWoman is just banished from Meeting for Business.

In FACT, the world is owed another post about how the ADA is embodied in many building codes and about the value for rental purposes of recognizing ADA-accessible spaces. And to everyone who things RantWoman should just chill out and stop caring, WHAT?

In Light and Faithfulness.

RantWoman





Game Day Games Day Gratitudes

RantWoman is certain that the world needs to hear RantWoman's LONG list of vexations with different matters of accessible event planning, RantWoman getting ignored or blown off, and generally holy process getting in the way of gently phased improvements. RantWoman is certain the world needs to hear this but today RantWoman is going to focus first on gratitudes and the maybe a little be about things RantWoman needed to distract herself from.

Gratitudes for a games day that was supposed to be a retreat but...

Ease of just dropping in: Rantwoman arrived late. Various games were already in progress and RantWoman opted just to sit and observe at one table. The game seemed pretty visual. The social dynamics of the group's play was telling. After the game was done, RantWoman asked and someone provided a brief explanation further than RantWoman had gleaned from observing play. RantWoman is unclear she must play that exact game again, but MAYBE if RantWoman gets to start with the rest of the group....

Singing and ukelele

Fresh grapes from someone's garden and kettle corn and other snacks RantWoman did not pay attention to.

Many new voices to LISTEN TO and lack of call to just say "HI, I am the official Bogey man everyone has been talking about for months!"

Tables far enough apart that RantWoman could focus on one table and not drown in nearby chatter.

Art on walls: RantWoman is not charmed by all the pieces but really liked a couple. Note to self: the titles in teeny tiny type on basically business cards do not work for RantWoman. Sigh.

Easy cleanup so RantWoman could be gone before the Husky football game traffic clogged the streets.

And in the realm of things in spite of which RantWoman seeks to maintain cheerful demeanor
Too many sirens and grieving blind people.
https://rantwoman.blogspot.com/2019/09/squash-sirens.html

9/11 remembrances
https://rantwoman.blogspot.com/2019/09/911-remembered.html

A further note: Meeting held a called worship. RantWoman specifically remembers a call to say something like "if one thinks of the Pentagon as the center of the US war machine, then, even though I know people who probably work in the Pentagon, God forgive me but I cannot think of a more deserving target."

No the sky did not open up. There were no thunderbolts from on high. No one even tried to elder RantWoman; possibly they figured God can handle the problem.



Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Minutes: CORRECTED?


One of the themes of ongoing conversations has been RantWoman’s capacity to vex Recording Clerks.
RantWoman has some verbal habits from life as an interpreter that are hard to turn off, particularly about her own words.  RantWoman has taken to asking herself whether exactly everything exercising her absolutely must be fussed about. The answer does come back no.
Alert readers attending to the Business Meeting tag on this blog will also not that RantWoman has expressed concerns about behaviors by the current Recording Clerk. RantWoman also recalls asking Friends to hold the current Recording Clerk in the Light when her offer to serve was gratefully accepted.
 RantWoman has been a recording clerk for several Quaker bodies. RantWoman tends to be a “show your work” recording clerk. That and honest concern to gather data are one reason RantWoman has been clear to make the best of MANY concerning aspects of the current minutes flow.
RantWoman also thinks she has been TRYING to talk about disability for quite awhile. RantWoman is unclear whether she is just not communicating clearly or whether the concepts are unfamiliar to those listening or whether there might be some other points of process sloppiness. One of the things RantWoman hopes an Ad-hoc Committee on Disability will do is review minutes and blog posts and then propose guidance going forward.

In contrast to the narrative that Friends have tried many things and nothing has worked, RantWoman GREATLY appreciates one now former Recording Clerk who simply asked RantWoman clarifying questions that helped RantWoman in two ways: RantWoman was able thanks to the questions to focus on what needed to be fussed about for a particular month’s minutes. RantWoman also was able to see that more than one person was struggling about concepts RantWoman sort of took for granted. RantWoman wants to embrace room for improvement, not dump the full weight of her exasperation on any one person.
RantWoman here offers first her strongly recommended revisions and then the version presented for approval in Business Meeting.  
RantWoman has highlighted in yellow places where she has serious issues with what was recorded. Text [in square brackets] represents RantWoman editorializing in various ways, NOT comments made in Meeting for Business.
The version presented in Business Meeting, the second version here, badly misstates a number of facts and puts words into RantWoman’s mouth. RantWoman has such srong objections that she asked the Clerk whether approval of that section of the minutes could be held over so that RantWoman can be present to discuss her concerns. RantWoman was flatly told no! To say the least, this flat-out refusal does not evoke confidence about thoughtful discernment.

2019-08-01:         STRONGLY RECOMMENDED REVISIONS Statements by RantWoman

RantWoman said the following to the Meeting: 
*  she gave thanks for this opportunity to speak
*  she referred us to the three handouts made available ahead of time (“Called Meeting Statement 1,” “Called Meeting Disability Principles,” and “Comments for Called Meeting: Technology. Email. Blogs.”)  She said that these were also posted on her blog, and invited readers to post comments there.  RanWoman noted that she moderates comments and invited Friends to specify whether they wanted their comments posted or not.
*  she observed that she has been a topic for discussion for the past six months, and by contrast was only able to address this Meeting for ten minutes
* she invited Friends to embrace the opportunity to live a single standard of truth by learning about issues likely to figure in many people’s work lives. [RantWoman is uncertain exactly what words such as ADA or Reasonable Accommodations made it out of her mouth, but has checked that others remember something related.]
*  she thanked a member of Care and Counsel who texted with her the previous night. Both Friends were texting at 1 am. The exchange helped her to focus on community, integrity, and equality.
* she suggested that she was offering “lots of simple, learnable steps that people can take that would make a difference”
* she expressed hope for the future, in our ability to weave our community together
*  she noted that others say they are tired but said that “I do not get a break from this [blindness],”.  She goes to many meetings where some people may be a little afraid of her, of what she will say as an advocate. This advocacy draws energy from grounding in Quaker worship
*  she noted that the PA system is not available today. Nor was it available and easily findable for a recent event organized by Peace and Social Concerns, where she could not hear well.  She is also “cross” regarding an open house regarding the proposed car / bus /bicycle / pedestrian design for  the new Sound Transit Light Rail station opening at 43rd and Brooklyn; someone she has worked with for a long time inquired as to her welfare, and she almost burst into tears
*  she apologized to one Friend “for communicating badly, and for misunderstanding,” stating that she had “lost it,” and appreciates that Friend’s presence and contribution to the community.  She also apologized to another Friend for losing her temper with him, though noting she may need to talk at a later date about why she did so
* she noted there is a lot of strength and energy in our Meeting
*  [In contrast to the narrative that Friends have tried many things and nothing has worked,] she told us of a conversation about a friend’s mother who has macular degeneration, and who shows “major annoying blind person behavior”:  talking loudly and without ceasing, and standing closer than the norm.  RantWomanherself is annoyed when others behave this way, but she explained that she cannot change her behavior, though sometimes she asks for help and cues from others.  Her goal is “not to drive people bonkers,” and issued an invitation to anyone interested to come to two upcoming events involving blind people, where those in attendance may ask questions of the blind
*  regarding the issue of being recognized by the clerk, RantWoman said that her Care and Accountability Committee did not engage with this.  RantWoman is certain that the world needs to hear what she has to say, but also that she needs to monitor herself
RantWoman outlined the following actions or events which, in her view, have not worked:
*  several years ago before a retreat organized for pastoral care committees RantWoman made many suggestions for the planning about accessibility issues but almost all of RantWoman’s suggestions were ignored.
*  In a conversation WITH Nominating Committee,[RantWoman at one point was clear she needed to duck service on Nominating Committee and has never served] she was told she got off topic, and she asked to be told when she was doing so.  Three out of five of subsequent comments identified as off-topic were about disability.  She did a month of blog posts on disability issues.  A committee clerk asked not to be on her list (of e-mail recipients?)
*  Oversight did a study on accessibility needs but a then-member of Oversight has since acknowledged that the study was incomplete
At this point, when her time was nearly up, RantWoman stated the need to extend her talk beyond the agreed-upon ten minutes.  The Clerk stated that she was given permission in advance only for this amount of time, and that one of the problematic behaviors being addressed is RantWoman’s ability to respect boundaries.  A Friend asked that RantWoman have more time, because in her opinion this was warranted.  The Clerk agreed to an additional five minutes, for a total of 15.  RantWoman then continued her presentation:
* a committee IS TO BE formed to work on disability issues.  RantWoman was clear that such a committee was needed, but she was not sure what it was going to propose
*  she has had two care committees, one of which was a big help with her housing.  Over time, she learned different strategies for managing documents. [RantWoman has NO idea what made it out of her mouth here; interested readers are invited to ask RantWoman for clarification.]
*  her C&A committee had to be told repeatedly to include her when scheduling its meetings.  The committee also had to be told repeatedly not to suggest that RantWoman go sit in places such as downstairs, or in Quaker House which are physically inaccessible to people including her own sister who she might wish to have sit with her. Three members of the committee have lived experience with disabilities, but nevertheless the committee “couldn’t really engage about that”:  they reiterated that the committee was not to deal with disability issues, but RantWoman herself cannot separate out disability from the rest of her life
*  she finds e-mail to be of huge value, since she cannot read her own writing, and the search bar is very useful in finding topics
RantWomanthen called for questions.  There was one:  does she agree to abide by the community guidelines recently offered by W&M?  In response, RantWoman said that those guidelines were drafted without her presence or agreement; she acknowledged she has been hard on clerks, but she does not know what to do if we cannot see that bringing up hard topics is not the same as disrespecting the clerk; that she has tried in business meeting to raise the topic of Facing Homelessness’ accesssibility issues and our role as landlords; and that she does not know what to do with the guidelines: she is willing to live with them, but since they were drafted without her being in the room, she does not know if they were meant for her.
At this point, the allocated time was up.  RantWoman said that our worship space is for all of us, said she would hold us in the Light from outside of the room, and made her exit.




How RantWoman’s comments were recorded

2019-08-02:         Statements by RantWoman

RantWoman said the following to the Meeting: 
*  she gave thanks for this opportunity to speak
*  she referred us to the three handouts made available ahead of time (“Called Meeting Statement 1,” “Called Meeting Disability Principles,” and “Comments for Called Meeting: Technology. Email. Blogs.”)  She said that these were also posted on her blog, and invited readers to post comments there
*  she observed that she has been a topic for discussion for the past six months, and by contrast was only able to address this Meeting for ten minutes
*  she thanked a member of Care and Counsel who texted with her the previous night, finding that this helped her to focus on community and integrity
* she suggested that she was offering “lots of simple, learnable steps that people can take that would make a difference”
* she expressed hope for the future, in our ability to weave our community together
*  she said that “I do not get a break from this [blindness],” even though others may get tired of her and be afraid of her.  She goes to many meetings where she draws adverse reactions, she believes due to her efforts to be an advocate, which are grounded in Quaker worship
*  she is “cross” that Peace and Social Concerns organized an event, but she herself could not hear well at it.  She is also “cross” regarding an open house regarding pedestrian access for Sound Transit; someone there inquired as to her welfare, and she burst into tears
*  she apologized to one Friend “for communicating badly, and for misunderstanding,” stating that she had “lost it,” and thanked that Friend for  help.  She also apologized to another Friend  for losing her temper with him, though noting she may need to talk at a later date about why she did so
* she noted there is a lot of strength and energy in our Meeting
*  she told us about a friend’s mother who has macular degeneration, and who shows “major annoying blind person behavior”:  talking loudly and without ceasing, and standing closer than the norm.  RantWoman herself is annoyed when others behave this way, but she explained that she cannot change her behavior, though sometimes she asks for help and cues from others.  Her goal is “not to drive people bonkers,” and issued an invitation to anyone interested to come to two upcoming events involving blind people, where those in attendance may ask questions of the blind
*  regarding the issue of being recognized by the clerk, RantWoman said that her Care and Accountability Committee did not engage with this.  RantWoman is certain that the world needs to hear what she has to say, but also that she needs to monitor herself
RantWoman outlined the following actions or events which, in her view, have not worked:
*  at a retreat sponsored by Worship and Ministry, RantWoman made suggestions regarding access for disabled people.  She believes that few of her suggestions were taken into account
*  when she was on Nominating Committee, she was told she got off topic, and she asked to be told when she was doing so.  Three out of five of her comments were about disability.  She did a month of blog posts on disability issues.  A Friend asked not to be on her list (of e-mail recipients?)
*  Oversight did a study on access
At this point, when her time was nearly up, RantWoman stated the need to extend her talk beyond the agreed-upon ten minutes.  The Clerk stated that she was given permission in advance only for this amount of time, and that one of the problematic behaviors being addressed is RantWoman’s ability to respect boundaries.  A Friend asked that RantWoman have more time, because in her opinion this was warranted.  The Clerk agreed to an additional five minutes, for a total of 15.  RantWoman then continued her presentation:
* a committee was formed to work on disability issues.  RantWomanwas clear that such a committee was needed, but she was not sure what it was going to propose
*  she has had two care committees, one of which was a big help with her housing.  Over time, she learned different strategies for managing documents
*  her C&A committee had to be told repeatedly to include her when scheduling its meetings.  RantWoman refused to meet in a venue (such as downstairs, or in Quaker House) which would not be accessible to anyone she might choose to invite.  Three members of the committee have lived experience with disabilities, but nevertheless the committee “couldn’t really engage about that”:  they reiterated that the committee was not to deal with disability issues, but RantWoman herself cannot separate out disability from the rest of her life
*  she finds e-mail to be of huge value, since shc cannot read her own writing, and the search bar is very useful in finding topics
RantWoman then called for questions.  There was one:  does she agree to abide by the community guidelines recently offered by W&M?  In response, Dorene said that those guidelines were drafted without her presence or agreement; she acknowledged she has been hard on clerks, but she does not know what to do if we cannot see that bringing up hard topics is not the same as disrespecting the clerk; that she has tried in business meeting to raise the topic of Facing Homelessness’ accesssibility issues and our role as landlords; and that she does not know what to do with the guidelines: she is willing to live with them, but since they were drafted without her being in the room, she does not know if they were meant for her.
At this point, the allocated time was up.  RantWoman said that our worship space is for all of us, said she would hold us in the Light from outside of the room, and made her exit.



Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The wrong thing that turned out right?

RantWoman IN WORSHIP tends to have two basic messages:
1. Worship across difference matters.
2. Help from unexpected or unusual sources. ? god works it out one way or another.

Part of RantWoman's worship meditations last first day centered on the "wrong" thing that turned out right. Was it Divine Grace? Is RantWoman just needing to say "SEE, Told ya so" on a grander time scale

TimeKeeper

RantWoman was thinking of the latest newcomer to Wednesday worship. Newcomer sheepishly admitted he found us through BeliefNet. Hey, if Quakers won't do outreach, good thing BeliefNet sort of does it for us.

One of the Midweek worship regulars is ill. Newcomer settled in very gratefully.

RantWoman on the other hand was fidgety enough to drag her phone out several times in the hour. RantWoman's phone also talks so time-check fidgets can be intrusive. RantWoman was feeling very self-conscious about all this.

RantWoman sensed that worship was deep and closed worship a little past the scheduled end. Newcomer spoke of how powerful the experience was, a bit more of his BeliefNet Quaker score (100%) compared to the faith he grew up in (6%). And newcomer thanked RantWoman for taking on the task of timekeeping and freeing him from it.

Memorial 1

RantWoman, with former Clerk of Peace and Social Concerns committee hat on, forgot about a memorial for someone who had been a member of that committee for many years. RantWoman showed up in shorts and a T-shirt, never her best look. RantWoman apologized after the memorial to the Friend's son. Friend's son assured RantWoman that he was not the least concerned because his dad dressed the same way a lot of the time at least in his retirement.

Memorial 2.

RantWoman dragged to her feet for the good of the community of those in attendance.
https://rantwomanrsof.blogspot.com/2011/07/agnes-schmoe.html

Reference to post recycled from another recent post. All items here partly about God taking care of things and offered partly for the benefit of people who insist on haranguing RantWoman about their understanding of God and seem not to have space or time for RantWoman's rather different experience.


RantWoman, are you trying to say....?

RantWoman is holding very carefully concerns about spiritual nurture.

RantWoman is also holding very carefully a fear some Friends have of saying anything in RantWoman's presence for fear RantWoman will misconstrue others' words, comment all over her blog, or otherwise evoke unsettledness.

Welcome to the club. It is not just that RantWoman has life experience giving statements to reporters and sometimes having just to let go of such media statements. More to the point, RantWoman is sitting with what she has chosen to hear as a question: "RantWoman why do you not trust the discernment of ...?"  More on that separately.

In the meantime, readers, please hold RantWoman's experience that God is versatile and gets things done many different ways especially when someone might have misheard some or all of a message.


And just because the world needs both joy and rage another item that surfaced today even though it is an old post.

http://www.meetinghouse.xyz/everything/2017/9/3/queer-joy-saint-francis-and-skipping-church

Rabbi Hillel; Twitter; Courage, Wisdom

Sometimes what looks like the closest thing to Divine Guidance that RantWoman will detect can also be summarized as there is no such thing as coincidence.

Here are moments from vocal ministry, Twittter,  and a current favorite summoned from a currently popular post on this blog.

Rabbie Heillel: If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, then what am I? If not now, when?


Heading to Wichita on my way to Executive committee meeting this week. Please pray for courage and wisdom in equal measure for all of us.

OK, OK, FWCC events usually get by without pipe organs and the scratchy audio is to RantWoman's ear less than preferable, but Friends get the idea?

idea?

idea?Yeah, RantWoman and stop pretending you don't need the courage and wisdom prayers closer to home also.

In Light and Faithfulness.