Collaborative Peace

It’s not that it’s such a big deal that two small communities should try to work together and share resources and energy. Or maybe it shouldn’t be such a big deal but it is.

Today I met with representatives from another congregation from a very different tradition. It was lovely to dream just a little and to work at what the boundaries might be that would keep us good neighbors and maybe make us a lot better neighbors, not only to each other but to our larger community.

We each harbor sweet dreams of Peace. Today, we harbored them together. That was pretty great.

Let’s find more people to do that with, shall we? Peace. Sweet Peace. We need to find you.

I see a new Moon arising — and no, it’s not trouble I see on its way, it’s Hope.


New World New Peace

It’s one of those stupid things I’ll never understand. How is it that people decide that the most important thing in their religion is determining when the world will end.

In Christianity, it demands blowing right past the central tenets of the Jesus message to concentrate instead on the end times. I can be as perplexed as I want. I don’t think enlightenment on this topic is coming.

But a reboot? I’ll take that. We’re a tech savvy world, right. What if World 827.3 included the violence fix? The ignorance fix? The hatred fix?

What if we acted as if making this world better were possible?

I just finished reading two books on racism and white privilege with my church. What if we were to do something that began, even began, to make a difference.

If we began today, it would mean we embraced a new world — a world made new — by hope, by love, by justice, by Peace — by us. What do you think? Peace, anyone?


Consolidating the Pieces for Peace

As the Fruit Moon wanes (alas, alack) I prepare for the beginning of my work year. It starts as it ended with a yard sale. Boy that required a lot of consolidations, but none of that mine, thankfully. I’ll just go down and hand out bags.

But I’m trying to make sense out of all the things I’ve read this summer, trying to find a place in my mind to lay out the puzzles of all those different pieces. What’s the picture? How do they all fit together. All summer I’ve been expanding and now I’ll have to pull it in to some sort of order.

In a week I face the congregation, and have to have something coherent to say… I don’t want them to miss how much I value the time they offered for this study. I don’t want them to miss the wonder I’ve felt at everything I’ve learned. I don’t want them to miss the importance of some of this simply because I haven’t done the appropriate sorting and placing. It’s been all about issues of Justice. Bob Marley said so simply, no Justice, no Peace. It’s easier for all of us to reach for Peace and ignore the hard work that justice-making demands.

That’s the work of the waning moon — to consolidate.

In the gardens and orchards, the fruits are being brought in and preserved for winter enjoyment. (Although my advice is also to eat them as quickly as you can now. Stand in your kitchen, over the sink and slurp up that ripe food as quickly as you can!) Give thanks for what we have now and for what lies ahead!

Here we are: consolidating the pieces of wonder for Peace. There are worse jobs!


Peace and Justice in My Back Yard

In my little town, we’ve been shaking our heads recently over a particularly nasty case of NIMBYism. And people, who seem to have forgotten how to think before they speak, are saying awful things. Thoughtless in word and deed.

Across town, one of the professors on campus received a hateful racist note on his white board. This is a new song for a different NIMBY chorale. Let our voices swell in outrage and despair. Let us tear our clothes and wail. This may not happen hear. We will not, may not stand for it.

Not in my back yard. No.

Peace demands better of us. Peace demands Change. Peace demands justice.


Let’s Peace on the Fourth of July

I live in a part of the world where nature is not too far from the human-constructed. And of course I live two blocks from the river.

There are a lot of things we do wrong to nature, and particularly to our river, but still the river is powerful. A couple years before I came back, they started reintroducing eagles to this area. And they’ve flourished.

Now of course we’re messing up the river with fracking and factory farms. So much for our understanding of what’s important. So much for our reverence for our national symbol.

Will they survive? Will we?

But what I thought about as I was writing this was whether or not we honored the eagle’s keen vision or just the power of the predator.

They’re not rapacious. They eat that they might live. May we do the same. Happy Fourth of July. Let us be reflective about Peace, Justice and Freedom — for everyone, not just for Americans. Happy rainy Fourth of July.


Am I Complicit with Peace — or Not?

I hope that this is one of the questions that we can begin to ask ourselves… where do we stray from the Path of Peace?

How easy is it to think that a loving heart will dissipate the structures of racism that are embedded in the foundation of our country?

What is the specific work I must do?

Can I allow myself to acknowledge my failings… my sin… to live with that discomfort long enough to allow it to transform me, to allow myself to feel the urgency of this sacred, terrible moment… that I will make a place for the Other. That I will become a person of Justice.

Can I refrain from refuge in a prayer that the Divine will welcome these Martyrs home, as if The Lady did not snatch these souls to her bosom to comfort their terror and their loss, as if The Lord needed to be reminded to welcome and to love.

Why have we not heard the word Martyrs? are we unwilling to see these beloved dead as Martyrs to a system that must be abolished?

Can I hold silence long enough to see how far I have wandered from Peace? The Solstice is upon us, shedding full light upon the day’s realities. The Thunder Moon is increasing, rattling our complacencies. Let us look for the Path to Peace…


Preparing the Ground for Peace

It’s amazing how hard this work is to hear. Incredibly sobering to think I am called to help teach it.

Because they’re making no mistake about this. If I’m here, they’re clear, I’m here to do the work.

Yesterday was a challenging day for all of us. I knew going in, of course I did, that I was going to be confronting my privilege. I don’t know if my Black colleagues understood how very challenged they and their work would be.

At the end of the day there were a lot of headaches and and heartaches.

Tell, us, you say…

The  broth isn’t cooked yet, I can tell you that. It hasn’t clarified. I believe that what will result will be health-giving. For me. For the social service directors I’m in class with. For our communities. And I believe it will set up a fire in our bellies to do the work.

But in the meantime the chopping, slicing and dicing is laborious. Yesterday my Black colleagues had to deal with the fact that the in addition to the pain they felt as they’re disregarded in their work is only part of the picture. They also sat through hearing that the work they’re doing may be, by its very nature, damaging rather than helpful to the constituents they work with. The trainers’ argument was compelling enough that no one was really thinking the trainers were wrong… It just makes you tired… and sad.

There was lunch eating with kind, but confrontational women. Even with the best of intentions, we often miss the point. Or at least I do.

And after lunch the work was about White folk… You couldn’t have listened to the morning’s talks and not known this was coming.  It was about the privilege we have at every moment of the day conferred upon us by a system built upon people’s being one down.

My work this weekend, so far, has just been to stay open, to try and hear what’s being said. To hear the critical analysis. To hear the way the world impacts people of color. To hear the pain of these highly educated, well-paid, very talented executives.

And then to allow myself to feel my own sorrow, to see my unconscious acceptance, and to not let any of that stop me from being part of a group who does things to make a difference.

To recognize that I’m only a Peacemaker when I’m making Peace for everyone. I’m only a Peacemaker when I’m waking up, stepping up to the hard work of social action. When I’m creating not only the beloved community, but the just one. No Justice, no Peace, Bob Marley told us. I’ve sung it… have I ever really listened to the words? or listened to my heart after the words? we need to… the world needs us.



April Fools and Lunatics

Well, we woke up and the ugly laws are still there. Laws that say that what I believe means that I may forbid you services: health, food, housing. The Fools say: oh, we didn’t meant tha-at. The Lunatics say: this is not acceptable. Peace is inclusion.

This country was founded, with flaws, it must be admitted, on civility and citizenship.

Every amendment we’ve made to its founding has been for greater inclusivity.

But there’s something about homosexuality and this moment in history that makes us think it’s ok to say you’re less than human. And it seems that has given us permission to step up our racism and our misogyny.

Lots of people sitting back and smugly shaking heads that this just proves how crazy people are. It’s not the right reaction. We have to stand up and change the laws. We have to stand up and shop other places. We have to vacation other places. Wake up. Stand up. Speak up. Step up.

As I write, I realize beloved nephew is getting married in Arkansas. So Miss Wake up. Stand up. Speak up. Step Up, Priestess had better figure out how she’s going to respond when there.

Everyone has worth and dignity. Everyone is precious. People of faith and philosophy had better figure that out. We’re here to celebrate creation and create community.

Watch out April Fools whose jokes have turned mean. We are Pink Moon Lunatics for Peace. and we vote, in the voting box and with our dollars.