June 2nd, 2009

religion is a queer thing

[Boston/Somerville Interfaith Pride; also, Shakespeare] marking my calendar

From an email Laura Ruth sent to the listserv:
Our congregation will be involved in two Pride events this year.

The first is the Somerville Interfaith Pride Service, to be hosted at the Havurah Shalom, Friday evening, 6/12/09 at 7:00 PM. Last year, the Interfaith Pride Service was hosted by a Christian congregation, the Cambridge Welcoming Congregation, and the service was distinctly Christian with Jewish participation. This year, the service will be distinctly Jewish, with Christian and inter faith participation. If you've never welcomed the Sabbath before, if you've not had Kiddush, if you've never prayed in Hebrew, this is your opportunity. We hope to have many folks from our congregation participate by our presence.

Boston Pride Interfaith Service is finally listed on the Boston Pride Calendar:

Saturday June 13th
32nd Pride Interfaith Service
Old South Church, Boylston St & Dartmouth St, Boston, MA
[facebook says hosted by Brookline's Congregation Am Tikva]


Honoring the Transgender Community

Award Recipient: Transgender Day of Rememberance Planning Committee

Guest Speaker: Dr. Justin Tanis - National Center for Transgender Equality

Justin has worked in the LGBT non-profit field for over 20 years as a community organizer, manager, educator and program specialist. He holds degrees from Mount Holyoke College, Harvard University, and San Francisco Theological Seminary, as well as a certificate from the Maryland Institute College of Design. He is the author of Transgender Ministry, Theology and Communities of Faith.

[Boston Pride's theme this year is "Trans-forming our Community" -- "This theme not only builds upon last year's theme of sustaining our community and working together for change, but also focuses on the important issue of supporting and advocating for our transgender families, friends and colleagues."]

Old South's website says:
32nd Annual PRIDE INTERFAITH SERVICE returns to Old South: Saturday, June 13 at 10 am
in the Sanctuary. Come join brothers and sisters from many faiths as we worship our extravagantly welcoming, still-speaking, many-gendered Creator.


Also, Sunday June 7 is More Light Sunday in the Presbyterian church. Collapse )

Allie emailed me:
I know you said you hadn't found any info on Boston's Shakespeare in the park program for this year. I read this article awhile back:

The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's website (beware, there's a donation solicitation on their homepage that I can't get rid of - v. annoying) also has an announcement, and the last entry on their "rehearsal journal" (in late April) was about call-back auditions, so I assume it's going ahead. :)
From aforementioned website:
The Comedy of Errors
July 31 - August 16, 2009
Tuesday - Saturday @ 8pm, Sunday @ 7pm
The Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common

The Boston Globe article states, "A farce that tells the story of two sets of identical twins accidentally separated at birth, it will be set in 1930s South Beach to give it a stylish, colorful flair."

[Huntington] Pirates! [2009-05-30]

Pirates! (Or, Gilbert and Sullivan Plunder'd)
by Gilbert and Sullivan
Directed by Gordon Greenberg
5/15/2009 – 6/14/2009
BU Theatre - Mainstage

I knew almost nothing about Pirates of Penzance going into this (Gilbert and Sullivan isn't really my thing, so I haven't seen any of their stuff -- assuming we don't count the 8th grade chorus having done Mikado, Penzance, and Pinafore, so you saw all 3 by the time you got through junior high, but which I barely remember), but my impression in watching the show was that they basically kept the original plot and just bawdied it up with the way it was performed.

Reading the Wiki article, however, apparently there were at least a couple major plot changes.  Collapse )

"I'm not gonna light your tongue on fire -- TODAY." -LizL.

I've been thinking about Pentecost a lot recently.

Later last week, I came across an entry on the "When love comes to town" blog -- "Pentecost, peace and grace..."

I don't like the color-and-image-heavy formatting, so I am definitely not replicating it all here for you, but here's an excerpt:
How does John’s gospel for today put it?

“I still have many things to tell you,” Jesus said, “but you can't handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won't draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is going on… indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. Everything the Father has is mine. That is why I've said, 'He takes from me and delivers to you.

And then he concludes with these words: Fix this firmly in your minds: You're going to be in deep mourning while the godless world throws a party. You'll be sad – very sad – but your pain will turn into joy.

Did you hear that? God will be sending Christ’s friend to us – the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Truth – and the Spirit will come to us and comfort us so that our pain might be turned into joy. And that is what an adult Pentecost is all about, it seems to me: learning how to live and nourish the Spirit within and among us so that we might experience Christ’s joy.

Pentecost, writes Jim Callahan, is not the birthday of the church; that probably happened on Good Friday when Jesus was hanging on the Cross and pleading with God that we might be forgiven for sins we couldn’t even name or imagine. No Pentecost is God’s reply to Good Friday – a day of great joy, power, fire and spirit – that isn’t reserved just for Jesus alone but is poured out upon all of the faithful disciples. How does the book of Acts put it?

When the Feast of Pentecost came, the faithful were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them. There were many others staying in Jerusalem just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world. And when they heard the sound, they came on the run… because one after another heard their own mother tongues being spoken. They couldn't for the life of them figure out what was going on, and kept saying, "Aren't these all Galileans? How come we're hearing them talk in our various mother tongues? Are they drunk?”

Strangers became kin folk on Pentecost. Frightened disciples became fearless evangelists on Pentecost. Women and men became equals on Pentecost. And everyone who experienced this revival could only talk about it like a banquet – or a beer fest – because the sadness was gone and joy filled the air. “In the midst of a numbingly sober and sour world, these women and men looked like a bunch of happy drunks,” Callahan writes, “because at last they knew that they were God’s beloved.”

Every last one of them experienced from the inside out that they were beloved by God just as Jesus had promised. What’s more they knew deep within that the heart of God was love – “not just in poetic theory, but in palpable fact.” They experienced, too, that in belonging to God they were not alone – they belonged to one another – in community. And the joy this gave them not only filled their hearts, “but gave them the inspiration to go out into the streets to heal and redeem.”

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In looking at the Archives, I saw a post titled "What if God was one of us..." and wondered if it was like this post (responding to an Onion piece), but actually...

Well, my friends, in case you haven’t guessed, today we’re going to be talking about Jesus: specifically I want to consider what the Cross of Jesus Christ has to tell us about God’s love and our humanity in these early hours of the 21st century. Theologian Douglas John Hall writes that: The cross of Jesus Christ represents simultaneously a high estimate of the human creature, a grave realism concerning human alienation, and the compassionate determination of God to bring humankind to the realization of our potential for authenticity.

Did you get all that? In the tongue of popular culture, we’re going to think about three essential insights in the Cross:

+ God’s deep love for us as beings created in the Lord’s image

+ The profound pain we cause through our alienation

+ And the relentless compassion of God’s grace

Are you with me? Love, pain and grace – or as Hall writes – our experience of being created, fallen and lifted: a new/old encounter with the Cross of Jesus Christ for our generation. So let’s see where this conversation might take us, ok?

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I don't really see that the Cross per se tells us these things, but I do affirm these things.


I wasn't that taken with most of the Pentecost stuff from actual Pentecost Sunday this year, but one of the things I liked best was from LizL's Children's Time.  She said she had been trying to program her husband's radio alarm clock but it wasn't working, and she asked the kids what they might try if they were having that problem.  One kid said, "I would check if it's turned on or plugged in."  And indeed that was exactly the problem.  She said, "It's very important to plug in electrical appliances before you try to program them."
It actually reminds me somewhat of the Pentecost blogpost I quoted above.

During Coffee Hour, LizL. and I joked that she should have a red sparkly stole.  When I was telling Carolyn this before CWM, I said it made me want to obtain/create a red sparkly shirt with flames on it to wear for Pentecost next year, and she said, "If you wear that, I'll wear my red sparkly bra...under something see-through."  I said, "It's a deal!"


At the 3pm organ recital at FCS UCC, I sat in a pew by myself like I do.  Laura Ruth summoned me to sit with them.  So while she was off doing stuff I read the pieces of paper she had left, which was her reading copy of her day's sermon, "See My People Through."  From the end of the sermon:
When we are done, when we can’t go on any longer, when we are all dried up, when we’re toast, when we have put down the bags, spent our last dime, when we have woken up in someone’s bed and we don’t remember whose, when we have alienated our last friend and relative, when we have drunk everything in the house including the mouthwash, when we have stolen from those we love and been caught, when we are too ashamed to live anymore, when we have sold our birth rite, when we can’t remember our essential sweet goodness, when we have sold out our friends and family, when we have been conquered, when someone not interested in our welfare is occupying our heart, our homeland and our minds, God will blow life back into us.

Even though we are a heap of desiccated bones, if we watch and notice, God will bring us back to life. God will help us to reassemble ourselves, to grow into the people God made us to be, humans whose essence is the same essence of God.

And more than that, and it is the story of that day of Pentecost, if we remember to ask for the presence of God, she will come and not only save us, but give us the gifts we need to heal and to become like Jesus, bring justice, she will set us free to be fully human, fully free.

Reiki (Pentecost)

So, over the holiday weekend a flister posted complaining about an inability to focus on her work.  Someone replied offering to come over and do a half-hour Reiki session.  I replied commenting that maybe that's something I should look into.  The commenter replied offering to set up an appointment.  We managed to find a mutually agreeable time 1:30pm on Sunday (Pentecost, as it happened).

She asked what I was seeking energy work for and I said that I've been having mental blocks at work, which is a familiar tendency but is moreso than usual, which is worrisome.
She asked how long it had been going on for, and I said I dunno a few weeks.
She asked if anything had happened around the same time it had started, and I said nothing that I could think of specifically, that my amateur guess was that I'm more emotionally worn out from being concerned about various friends of mine, especially since I've been more concerned about one friend in particular these past few weeks.

Once we started, I just lay there with my eyes closed, breathing.  I was really surprised that I was able to just be aware of my breathing and of the black and not have wandering thoughts like I usually do -- I felt almost like that part of me was in some sort of shell or tube, keeping it contained but not uncomfortably so.

She ended up talking a lot, which worked well for me.  (She said she usually does very little speaking when doing energy work, but she kept sensing stuff that it seemed like I was supposed to hear.  This definitely makes much more sense to me as a way for the Divine to communicate with me than just at an energy level.)  She wrote down a lot of the stuff or else she (and I) would have forgotten it.  These are transcribed in bullet points after the cut.

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I recently read a Magpie Girl post "The DO LESS Revolution: Setting Limits," which I mostly dismissed at the time, but which I've been thinking more about recently.
The reality is we are all limited. There are a finite number of hours in the day, and while most of us can ignore that, eventually it catches up to us. We overbook, over commit, and try to ‘do it all.’ Then we crash with exhaustion, ulcers, and little ease or enjoyment in our life.

This limited time thing? It’s not going to change. So I started to ask myself, “What would it look like to turn this “limited time” thing into a Superpower?” I started to imagine a scenario in which my life was not small, but as concentrated—a life where less was powerful. I named this scenario “concentrated living” and began looking for helpful resources.
professional me, self

On the way back from lunch outside, we saw a tiny bunny rabbit.

On my way to Sovereign after work today, I saw a guy with a Greenpeace t-shirt and an official-looking folder, so I looked downward so as not to meet his eye, but as I walked by he said, "You look like someone who cares about the whales."  I laughed and said, "You know what, I don't actually," and he said, "No, I can tell you that do, come here and talk to me about the whales."  He was using the same light-hearted tone I had, but I still felt kind of like, "Look dude, I said no, just let it go."


"Joy Sadhana is a daily practice in the observation of joy."
-mylittleredgirl [more info]

"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.  You wait and watch and work: you don't give up." --Anne Lamott

Good things about today:
  • Leaving my house later than I'd expected meant I got to see Allie at the T.  (She asked me how I'd been and I said, "I don't have a short answer to that.")
  • I found out when Boston Pride Interfaith service is, and also about this year's Shakespeare on the Common (the latter thanks to Allie).  [see here for info on both]
  • I emailed OtherElizabeth last night (Subject: "A+, would donate blood with again") and she replied with the Subject "O+, would make stupid vampire jokes with again" -- and with Body about getting a sandwich at Blue Shirt Cafe after work some day soon.  My life, it is awesome.  [She also wrote, "P.S. I am now officially flogging my non-sparkly vampires. They come out with new adventures weekly in a Web-based melodrama acted out by 1:6 action figures! http://www.oddpla.net/lhf/ It's called Love Has Fangs."]
  • Buy-one-dessert-get-one-free email from Finale (and their new menu items include Hot Fudge Sundae, $6.99, and Strawberry Shortcake, $8.99).
  • Ian came back from downstairs and said, "Do you want a peanut butter thing or a strawberry angel food thing?"
    I stood up, looked, and said, "I'll gladly take the peanut butter thing.  I mean, I'd gladly take both, but I assume the offer is only for one."  He told me to take both, said he really didn't want them.
    Then as he was almost at his office, he said, "You know that's your last snack ever."  I said, "Why would I believe you?"  He said that they're closing the free-coffee&snack thing, not just for the summer but for ever (budget cuts and all).
  • Places like Sears will not only deliver and install a new washer but will also remove the old one?
  • offbalance (with j_bkl) is coming to Boston.
  • Ari is not dead :)
  • Hey, I might actually get to bed at a reasonable hour.
Things I did well today:
  • I only snoozed my alarm once, and I ate breakfast at home and brushed my teeth, and I went to the Collapse )
  • I replied to folks about getting together -- and I was attentive to my own need to not overload on socializing (plus, some people are much more renewing for me to spend time with than others).
  • I made the CWM deposit.
  • I did laundry (two loads).
  • I rechecked my history and rewrote something to reflect the revised information. /cryptic
  • I finished and posted various LJ writeups.
Things I am looking forward to (doing [better]) tomorrow:
["anything that you're looking forward to, that means you're facing tomorrow with joy, not trepidation," as Ari says]
  • Having a certain letter sent out so I can cease that particular strand of stressing.
  • Rest and Bread
  • coffee with Ross