Where’s Reassurance? Where’s Peace?

For many years, in my life as a religious leader, I have not worn symbols of my office. Although I have other personal reasons, much of the work I have done has been interfaith and a collar would have interfered with that. And there was no real urgency for it.

It has never interfered with my doing my job. Here in my river valley, it’s easy enough to be known. But in today’s climate, there will be times I am called to show up that I believe a collar will be useful — as it speaks to power and as it reassures people in a crowd. It’s another way of saying I am here. I’m sorry it’s necessary.

I know a lot of people who are happy for their collars. I have no quarrel with them at all. It simply isn’t my style.

Having said that, if it moves the movement, there’s value… That said… sigh. And… you use power as you have it.

Stained glass? I love it! It’s so beautiful. I grew up with wonderful stained glass and when traveling still check to see the glass. But as my thealogy has moved, I look more to simple meeting houses that are warmed with love and passion for justice… But as my community begins to build, who knows what they will need. This is, after all, their house of worship. And I have nothing but welcome for Beauty.

In today’s world we look for places to find and ways to give Peace. We’re all going to have to stretch a bit. We’re all going to have to balance the needs, personal against the communal. And this piece of stained glass is beautiful.

Partnership. Peace.

I like working on projects with people. I just don’t necessarily like working on projects together with people.

I am so lucky. I have a few partners across a couple areas of my life, with whom I play well.

I don’t play well with everyone, it’s true. I don’t like working on things where everyone works together trying to accomplish the same thing. I like working on things where everyone works together doing those things their best at doing and adding that to the project.

We’ve been doing this together long enough that we know what one another’s strengths are and can sort the job so that the right people are working on the right jobs. We also know enough about one another that we can begin to include the beginnings of their thinking in the work that we do. We aren’t afraid to push our work out to one another when it’s time for it to be polished.

What this means is that, for the most part, I wind up getting to do the work I’m good at, the work it takes me less time to do, the work I can really add something to. They do to.

What it also means is that the work we do together is so much better, sounder, grander, more possible, more polished than anything I’d do on my own.

Now, there are some jobs I do on my own and I do them well, and I enjoy them. Partnership has its place. But it also has its Peace.


No Peace Without Respect for Women

Astonishingly it was Mao ZeDong who first said “Women hold up half the sky.” I found that out when I went googling to find the exact title of Nick Kristoff and Cheryl WuDunn’s book Half the Sky.

But you wouldn’t know it from their treatment in the world. We all like to point fingers at other parts of the world, and forget about the unfairness here. Forget about the lost wages, the underpaid jobs and the sex slavery. Forget about the mistreatment of undocumented workers. Forget about the lost opportunities.

And then there is so much of the world where they are chattel.

I’m grateful for the Elders who are working on this. Grateful that Jimmy Carter in his cancer diagnosis has said this is the work that he will devote the rest of his life to.

And I don’t yet know where to pull the first thread… but dammit. It’s awful.

I said last night I don’t believe in a condemning God nor a hell to which people should be consigned. I know that it is my feeling powerless that makes me long for it in this case.

Just the words “Theology of Rape and Sexual Slavery” combined with “enshrined.” I must get past the rage to work effectively. But right now? I’m sitting with the rage.

And that’s no way to Peace. And Peace is damned hard work. I’ll get there. But maybe not today. And still it is a goal. Peace.



Pink Moon Peace Harmony

We’re in the budding of the year and the budding of the Moon.

It’s a wonderful time to consider how you’ll make your voice heard in Peace.

What do you have to contribute and how does that blend with what others are contributing? Peace is after all a joint effort of finding our strengths and finding the balance.

it’s tentative and beginnings are, i’m sure, cacophonous. But as we tune our voices, find where they’re most true, a fuller Peace begins to emerge — a Peace that uses the best of us.

Peace requires the best of us. So we should practice.



Where Hate Lines Become Peace Lines

It is exactly where hate happens that we have the largest opportunities to turn things around.

Whether hateful activities are to be the place of Peaceful ones or to be the catalyst for Peaceful movement in other places isn’t what matters, what matters is that hate keeps moving us toward Peace.

We don’t understand hate as hate. The kids on the fraternity bus (and their parents, for goodness sakes) can twist themselves to believe that racist slurs aren’t racist. Senators can convince themselves that the law doesn’t pertain to them… that’s where hate is… and it’s exactly there that it needs to stop.

We’re the ones to turn hate lines into Peace lines. We can start it on our own, we can be a point of Peace, but we want to connect those Peace points into line. Because together we are strong. Together we can. Peace. We can do this. The Peace sap is running, let’s boil it down to its full sweetness… in what’s left of this Sugar Moon… Let’s be present to the possibility of Peace, shall we? and erase those lines of hate.



Lunatic Obsession with Peace Lines

Today, when so many of US senators crossed a stupid and hateful line, I remain obsessed with the notion of lines that heal rather than lines that create conflict.

Pennsylvania’s senator was among them.

In addition to my sorrow, there’s a fair amount of disbelief. Don’t they have any lawyers and protocol officers?

But those of us who don’t choose to walk those paths need to figure out which lines hold our strength in conviction and community and keep moving forward…

Peace. in this Moon and the Next.


Upside Down Lives, Elusive Peace

Sometimes Peace gets put to the side… because peace with a little p is so disrupted in your life. It’s not that you find yourself looking for a fight; it’s rather that you’re looking for your balance.

Two of my friends took serious hits to their hearts this week. One a relationship hit and the other a health hit. Just like that, life is upside down. Good things may eventually come from these events, but that’s a long time in the future.

At the moment they’re trying to find their feet and whatever agency they can.

Life is really topsey turvey. It’s hard to admit, we who love our control, that that’s what it’s going to be. The ground we wind up standing on will look very different from the ground we’re on today. But that ground we’ll wind up on isn’t clear.

All that’s clear is the pain. And it’s important to honor that. And to remember hits like this have nothing to do with your strengths or your Peacemaking abilities. Give yourself a little strength and let your friends support you.

Calling on the Sugar Moon, to help us distill these new truths into our coming life. Calling on Peace for support. Reminding it we’ll get back to the work when we are able. Meanwhile the Moon smiles gently down.




Sugar Moon Peace Distillations

I’m full of new ideas. A new one comes any time you need one. But the distillation of thought into action is challenging.

And it’s painstaking.

Painstaking is not my best attribute.

But Peace is a painstaking kind of activity. One of the greatest strengths needed for Peace is probably the ability to keep in the slog.

And so you take all that wonder and you begin to boil it down. And somewhere in that boiling, you begin to see what actions are needed.

But you keep holding back, because moving too quickly, if what you’re doing is boiling down the sap will get you a mouthful of something not very interesting or even not very good.

And half cocked uncompleted movement toward Peace isn’t all that helpful…

So we can remember that sometimes, slow and steady… blah, blah, blah… but hey, Peace!

And it’s good to sit and watch it boil and bubble once in a while. And you can bundle up and sit around a campfire under the swelling Moon. sounds pretty marvelous!


Interplanetary Sugar Moon Peace

Driving home last evening around sunset, I realized what I wanted to write about. The sky was so beautiful; it reminded me of a tale I’d once read, I had to talk about the joy of looking up…

When I got home, and opened the computer, my Facebook page was filling up with the same image that had so captivated me. Making sure that I had my planet right, and that that was indeed Venus hanging out by the Moon, a little research pointed out Mars was part of that cocktail party.

Out I went to check. sure enough, if you looked closely, there he was.

And then the people posting the pictures noticed Mars as well, (he’s such a quiet and shy man for a War God… a man of strength and action, I guess; not showy at all): Oh, look, I never saw him until I took the picture!

I remembered a tale that celebrated the New Moon and the friendship between the Sun and the Moon. The author suggested that once the Moon had gone off to do travel in her own orbit, she and the Moon had only one day a month to see one another.

I’ve learned a lot about the moon since then. Now I know that, with the exception of one day, she always has her eye on her beloved Sol…

But there we were last night: the God of War and the Goddess of Beauty hanging with Her Serenity in her sly beauty. A more Peaceful night is hard to imagine. If those celestial beings can be at Peace, whether hanging together on a cold Winter’s evening or sailing majestically through their own orbits, couldn’t we work harder to do the same, i wonder? And instead of griping about the cold, couldn’t we instead give thanks for the stunning Beauty of the Winter sky?


New Moon, Another New Year’s Peace

This is an interesting new Moon… So far, with the exception of worms, every metaphor for this Moon has shown up. And when the weather warms a bit, I’m sure the worms will make their appearance known as well. No robins until there are worms!

And of course, among the names for this Moon, which are drawn from Indian tribal names, the Chinese New Year Moon doesn’t make an appearance, but 6 billion people (one sixth of the population) deserve mention! And it’s a Moon that causes migration — it’s the world’s largest human migration 2.8 billion people will travel home to celebrate the New Year.

It is the year of the peaceful, gentle ruminant… Imagine a year of being reflective! Of being part of a community. Of having fun together. Oh! that’s exactly what we’re being asked to do…

Maybe it’s time to join our Peacemaking efforts together, taking delight in one another’s efforts and seeing if they work for us. Time for testing the strength of the herd. (maybe working once again for herd immunity?)

Ruminants for Peace. Sheep, Goats… who knows who else…