Saturday, November 08, 2008

"A More Perfect Union:" CBS Evening News Covering Obama's Election to our Nation's Highest Office

Watch CBS Videos Online
Thank you to CBS Evening News for this coverage, this framing of these rich and historic times. Thank you for identifying Sondra Hollinger-Samuels and interviewing her, documenting this momentous occasion with her family. Thank you for the voices and images you have captured from around the nation. Thank you for providing the rich context- in video here - of this moment and President-Elect Barack Obama's arrival as our nation's leader. And thank you for closing with this image of our new First Family: Barack and Michelle Obama, holding hands, walking forward as they lead this country of ours. It is a "more perfect union" indeed!

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

From Fr. Jules Omalanga: Post-Election, Prayer

A note from Fr. Jules, Omalanga, my pastor at the Church of St. Philips, returning from a month abroad visiting family (most living in exile from Congo.)
Hi Melissa,
I'm back home after having great and blessed days with my relatives, friends and new friends in Europe. Back home and back to work already. As you know, in Europe and over the world people are so proud of Obama's election. In my family we had a champagne spread out at 5:00 AM (France's time) when CNN announced Obama's victory. Just this event changes the USA image throughout the world. Everybody are proud of Americans and believe that a new air starts in USA, but also a new world's order begins. Please, pray for Obama, his family and his staff for more wisdom, strength and success. "Yes, we can." Happy Birth Day and good trip to Africa. Peace and Love.

Fr. Jules
Prayers. Perspective. Peace. Amen!

"Unyielding Hope" - Pointing to Obama's Acceptance Speech

If you didn't catch Barack Obama's acceptance speech, here's video of a gorgeous 10-minute section.

I point you to minute nine, where he addresses those who didn't cast their votes for him, and yet aspires to unity and service for all of America.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Babies, Buddhas, Obama: Election Day, 2008

Here are some images and a bit of a story I logged on the Borgmann Family List-serve about this historic event in our nation's history... As I edited images this day, I started to note this theme of babies --adopted and biological -- images of Buddha in the evening, and the largeness of Love and Family in our local and global communities. Amen.

"In terms of happiness, this day has to rank with days like giving birth, getting married, graduating from college" - Lisa Cederlind Teet, Cousin

Birth. Marriage. Graduation. Yes!!!!

I was at several different parties last evening in St. Paul and Minneapolis. But when the news announced California's electoral votes coming in and declared Obama the President-Elect, I was with my friends Ann Shallbetter, Toni Bennaars Mawanda and Shannon Broderick at Tam Tam's,-- the African restaurant of the Mawanda clan on Cedar Riverside in Minneapolis. Francis Ssennoga, this lovely Ugandan fellow I've become friends with, organized a small gathering of people from the community to watch the election results and to document this historic occasion.

I loved being in this setting, to be interviewed and video taped by Francis, to share with the larger Ugandan American community thoughts on this time, but also to honor his own life and present circumstances....

On Monday, November 3rd, Francis became a father for the first time with his long-time partner Cecile Aguilar. Cecile is a French woman from the Southern region of France (and home of Francis de Sales and Jane de Chantal --who are like my spiritual parents).

Their baby boy was born on Monday as a French-Ugandan-American child. To hold space with Francis then as he captured this historic time in our country's history (our world's history) it was hard not to be overwhelmed for the hope and promise of not only our future, but of this small little boys'....

So much is possible!

I'm with you completely on this time being like a birth, marriage, graduation...The Birth, Marriage, Graduation of our nation to something that honors ALL of us. Yes.




Pre-Departure Prayer:
Hope of the Evening

I snapped this before I left...A picture of my Buddha candle, next to a recent photo of a friend's grandson...It tunes my eyes to hope, our future, families, peace as themes for the evening...

Ann Shallbetter and Antoinette Bennaars Mawanda

Early Evening Election Results...

First Party Hosts: Joe and Kate

Love the cookies!

Father and Son...

Mother and child...

Baby Oscar identifying the candidates..

More precious kids...

All eyes on the screen...

Still early...

Toni and Ann will express shock (awe?) a couple times this evening..

Antoinette, Ann, Melissa

Finding Buddha at Kate and Joe's house

Recalling Tim Russert

Taking this evening in with my girl Toni, originally from Kenya, is nothing short of pure privilege...

Political Peeps Ann and Shannon with the door prize...(A coffee mug whose red states turn blue with hot or cold liquid? funny!)

To Tam Tam's...

Francis interviews Peter...

Ecstatic over a Possibly Split Nebraska!?!

Seriously, the interviews are ongoing...

Mr. Mawanda taking in the results...

This news comes soooo fast...


Melissa Being interviewed by new Father, Francis Ssennoga

Downtown to the DFL Headquarters and the Crowne Royal Party...

You know it....

Downtown St. Paul was AMAZING! Signs, such enthusiasm,
happy, hooting people everywhere!

Former North High Student, a fellow documenter I last encountered at Desmond Tutu's visit...

Yes we Can...
You know we DID!
(Shannon, do I have your phrase correct here?)

Running into Northsider Sherman Patterson and friend in Downtown St. Paul..

Beautiful, Happy Shannon Broderick

Do you see the blend of faces and ages?


The prayer card from the Visitation Sisters that I carry in my pocket...

Ann and Melissa and Obama in the Background..

Ladies who rocked out this historic evening...