Wednesday, July 21, 2010

NY Times Op-Ed from Desmond Tutu

There's an interesting piece by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in today's NY Times, calling on President Obama not to cut support for anti-AIDS work in Africa. It is a little bit frightening to think that President Bush allocated more money than President Obama has so far. Perhaps it's time for those of us who tend to be good at raising money to also get better at the advocacy side of that coin. The timing is interesting for me, since it was just yesterday I started trying to learn more about the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (also see here) and was at the same time reminded of the ELCA's commitment to fight HIV/AIDS. Our VBS is the first week of August (assuming we can find enough volunteers - I will confess I have moments when I'm tempted to just cancel the whole week this year) and our offering "project" this year is the Lutheran Malaria Initiative, despite the fact that the official fundraising efforts don't begin until 2011. Our curriculum has an African theme and we thought mosquito nets will fit right in...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Buckets o' Links

Okay, this one is going to ramble a bit... I just got done with my last pre-marital session with a couple whose wedding I will facilitate the first week of August, and as I came back into my office to turn the computer off I thought I'd do a quick check of email and facebook and remembered I wanted to look for a list of blogs I recently came across in the Summer 2009 issue of Ms. magazine, which was unearthed yesterday in a spat of cleaning at least 2 square feet of the floor space in the house. (Inhale deeply...) Grant and I went through a huge pile of magazines that had sprouted against the wall in the family room, ripping off mailing labels and tearing out articles to save and recipes we really do want to try, before putting the magazines in bags to take with us to the library. I love that our library has these great big bins in the foyer where we can dump all our old magazines and sometimes pick up new-to-us mags to take home. Re-using before re-cycling makes me glad. ANYWAY - the Ms. magazine was in that big stack on the family room floor, and I told Grant there was an article in there he might find interesting. And of course since it didn't go into one of the "to-the-library-and-beyond" bags, I ended up picking it up again last night, too. There's a fabulous list of blogs by moms in there, and since at 27 weeks I am approaching motherhood at a fairly intimidating pace, I thought I might like to read some of those blogs. And I found them, the whole list, on the Ms. site a few minutes ago. Wahoo! I haven't read them yet, but here they are: dot mom: A few favorite mom bloggers … Mom-Blog Gina Badalaty has been a mommy blogger since 2002, when she was pregnant with her first child. Seven years later, Gina is the unexpected mom of two awesome special needs children, with completely opposite disabilities. Follow her struggles and triumphs in parenting, work, life, and faith at Mom Blog. Momma Politico Politico trapped in a working mom's body, Perry shoots her liberal views and family insanity into the blogosphere as a springboard for readers' opinions. Need a break from the insanity of mommahood? Enjoy politics and want to have your say? Click on Momma Politico and join the conversation! Mother Talkers Elisa Batista, 32, is a co-founder and moderator of the progressive parenting website MotherTalkers. She also works as a blogger and advocate for the family organization She is a journalist by training and profession and has two small children, a five-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. PunditMom Joanne Bamberger, a professional writer and political/social media analyst, writes about progressive politics at her blog, PunditMom, as well as at The Huffington Post & BlogHer. She speaks frequently on mothers and political involvement. Her book about increased activism by mothers will be published in 2010 (Bright Sky Press) Rookie Moms is two geeky best friends' guide to the first years of motherhood. Heather and Whitney share hundreds of activities that are more fun than wiping someone's tushy. They have been writing together since 2005 and published *The Rookie Mom's Handbook* in 2008. Scary Mommy Jill Smokler is the not-so-frightening mom behind Scary Mommy. This blog, whose name was coined by Jill’s children, presents an honest look at motherhood--the good, the bad, and the scary--and chronicles Jill’s experiences as a stay-at-home mom to three children, ages five and under. this woman’s work Raised by a feminist mom who was a charter-subscriber to Ms. Magazine, Dawn grew up on "Stories for Free Children". She has been blogging about writing, homeschooling, and open (transracial) adoption from a feminist perspective since 2001. Uncommon Misconception From the dramatic to the mundane and back again. And again. Join me (Julia) as I attempt to figure out this mothering thing, freak out about receiving what I asked for, alternately complain and wax joyous about life in general and my husband specifically, and occasionally talk about waxing, boobs, and beauty products. Or not, your call. Viva la Feminista Viva la Feminista is the personal blog of Veronica I. Arreola, a professional feminist, mom and writer. Since July 2007 Veronica has explored what lives at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and her Latinadad and how they impact each other. She also reviews feminist books, films and magazines. WoLFi TaLEs WoLFi TaLEs is a blog written by Aztec-Rose, a mother who is passionate about Work Life Family interconnectivity (WoLFi). Aztec-Rose's passion is also part of her PhD research which aims is to investigate how parents manage, balance, or juggle their paid and unpaid work with other aspects of their lives. And some online mothers networks … Association for Research on Mothering An international feminist scholarly group, ARM holds “Mother Outlaws” gatherings and publishes the Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering. Mainstreet Moms These bloggers promote “bite-size actions” to secure a viable future for children. MOMocrats Mothers write here about politics from a parent’s perspective. The “Run, Mama, Run” series features progressive pro-choice women running for local, state and federal office. MomsRising Members of this grassroots community work for passage of such legislation as the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act and the Furniture Safety and Fire Prevention Act. Mothers & More Primarily dedicated to consciousness-raising, but chapters are increasingly involved in direct action. The Mothers Movement Online Interviews and essays highlight a variety of mothers’ issues, such as preventing maternal profiling and discrimination. MotherWoman MotherWoman supports and empowers mothers to create positive personal and social change through: powerful mother's group, innovative programming to confront the feminist crisis of postpartum depression, and effective political action. Mothers face enormous challenges, including unrealistic expectations, isolation, depression and appalling family policy. By valuing and supporting mothers, everyone benefits. The National Association of Mother’s Centers This network of local mothers’ centers advocates for economic support of caregiving.

*8 Things: Simply Summer

Join *8Things Rachelle over at Magpie Girl posted this *8 Things list back at the beginning of the month. Now that we are definitely into summer here in Bozeman, I've been pondering my own list of things I "simply must do this summer." 1. Plant some flowers and then weed, weed, weed. 2. Read for fun and for education. (Currently reading The Lacuna, by Barbarab Kingsolver, and (Mis)Conceptions, by Naomi Wolf) 3. Get the baby's room ready. (Which means a lot of organizing/purging throughout the whole house to make room for the stuff that's lived in what will be the baby's room...) 4. Take naps. Lots of them. 5. Be a Farmers Market junkie. 6. Camp at least a couple of times. 7. Eat outside. 8. Do what can be done to keep the flavors of summer alive for the winter: make and freeze pesto, make jam, do some canning, dehydrate some fruit...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The 3rd of July

Tomorrow is the 4th of July, and I have to confess I am not that excited about it. At least not the way most of my neighbors seem to be: I will not be purchasing fireworks (they always sound like bullets flying or bombs going off to me - why is it we romanticize the "bombs bursting in air?"), nor will I be dressing in red, white and blue. I will not be upset when the American flag is no where near the sanctuary, and I will not question the preacher's patriotism when tomorrow's sermon is about Jesus and not about how great America is (of course I'm the preacher...). Why is it so hard for people who claim "Jesus is Lord" to remember that Jesus isn't an American, and that not all Americans are Christians? Sometimes I want to shout from the roof tops: "We are Christians who happen to live in the United States, not Americans who happen to be Christian!" Only one allegiance can be ultimate, and it makes me nervous whenever someone tries to combine them. After spending time in other countries, especially in Northern Ireland, and trying to understand their particular versions of patriotism and loyalty to land and flag, I find myself increasingly ambivalent about celebrating Independence Day in the U.S.. I'm all for being thankful for the freedoms I/we enjoy and for the beauty of the land on which I live. And I'm all for remembering the history of how we got to where we are today. But I want to remember ALL of the history - including the darker underbelly of how power has been used and abused to benefit the few and to the detriment of the many. There will be a traveling air show coming through Bozeman sometime in the near future - a bunch of WWII airplanes - and the commercials on TV wax eloquent about how great they are/were. As feats of modern engineering prowess I can go there, sure. But when the announcer sings the glories of the bombers, I want to ask, "Who did the bombs kill? What must that have been like for those who died? And for those who survived? Are we any better at solving conflict without bombs today?" I am not overly eloquent on the topic. I appreciate something Camus wrote or said, "I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice." Most days, I find that incredibly difficult to do. There's a post over on Journey with Jesus that resonates with me this week, called "Believers without Borders." Let me know what you think. God bless America. And God bless all nations and people. No exceptions.