Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Big Thanks go out to:
The Visitation Sisters of North Minneapolis
The Centering Prayer Group
Janet Hagberg, Redeemer Center for Life, (member of the Centering Prayer Group, who had this idea to connect Dorothy with other women who work with fabric).
Harriet Oyera, The Living Room, Redeemer Center for Life (Member of the Centering Prayer Group.)
The Colonial and Redeemer Lutheran Quilting Groups (who convened and shared work with Dorothy)
Pastor Kelly, Redeemer Lutheran Church
Trish Kloeckl, Friend of the Visitation Sisters (who stopped to meet Dorothy and help select a piece of her batik for the wall at St. Jane House.)
Ann Dillard, Project Safety Nets, Senegal, West Africa, (who stopped by St. Jane House to connect with another woman in leadership around such life, sustainability, creative arts education issues.)
Barbara Cox, Multicultural Voices Initiative, Perpich Center for Arts Education (who introduced me to Dorothy)
Pat Black, Fiber Artist, St. Paul Host for Dorothy
Dorothy Amenuke, Fiber Artist, Sculptor, Kumasi, Ghana
This is the cause of my life. It is a key reason that I defied my illness last summer to speak at the Democratic convention in Denver—to support Barack Obama, but also to make sure, as I said, "that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American...will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not just a privilege." For four decades I have carried this cause—from the floor of the United States Senate to every part of this country. It has never been merely a question of policy; it goes to the heart of my belief in a just society. Now the issue has more meaning for me—and more urgency—than ever before. But it's always been deeply personal, because the importance of health care has been a recurrent lesson throughout most of my 77 years.
— Ted Kennedy
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Love in Wisconsin?
Friendship in South Africa?
Political intrigue in Iran?
Google analytics provides these sorts of reports that could inspire the joy in any blogger's heart, deeper curiosity in the average voyeur, and wonder in the likes of me, who so craves two-way conversation.
If you find yourself coming back, please drop a note! Leave a comment. Email your thoughts. Do I know you? Do you know me? What brings you back time and again?
Happy day to each and everyone who arrives here.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
What Sustains Me: Contemplationby Richard Rohr 06-15-2009
Editor’s note: In the July issue of Sojourners magazine, we asked social activists to share how they stay refreshed while working for social justice. From John Perkins to Bishop Vashti McKenzie, the responses flooded in with deep insight into the spiritual disciplines of those who work to bring justice and peace to others. To read all of the responses, see the July feature article, “What Sustains Me.” Below is the response from Father Richard Rohr.
As the name of our center probably makes clear (The Center for Action and Contemplation), my daily and primary practice is contemplation. I try in every way, and every day, to see the events, people, and issues in my world through a much wider lens that I hope is “Christ Consciousness.” I have to practice letting go of my own agenda, my own anger, fear, and judgments in very concrete ways and through daily practice. In that empty space, it seems God is able to speak and sometimes I am able to hear. In that space, I find joy.
I have worked for most of my life and with the help of my Franciscan tradition and other spiritual teachers to spend a good chunk of every day in silence, solitude, and surrender to what God and the moment are offering. I fail at it far more than I succeed, but grace grants me just enough “wide-lens experience” to know that it is my home base, my deepest seeing, and by far the best gift I can also offer to the world.
Without a daily contemplative stance, I would have given up on the church, America, many people, and surely myself a long time ago. Without a daily contemplative practice, I would likely be a cynical and even negative person by now, but by Somebody’s Kindness, I am not. With contemplative eyes, I can live with a certain non-dual consciousness that often allows me to be merciful to the moment, patient with human failure, and generous toward the maddening issues of our time. For me, it is the very shape of Christian salvation or any salvation. My sadness is that so few have been taught this older and wiser tradition, although many still come to it by great love and great suffering.
Father Richard Rohr is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province. Click here to read more about the spiritual disciplines of social activists.
Here's an article by Christopher Robertson, at Harvard Law School, on the Medical Causes of Home Mortgage Foreclosures that I found on the Social Science Research Network.
For me, this speaks to our need to focus on health care coverage for all as a way to impact the economy in a positive way. I've underlined and boldfaced the abstract below where information stands out to me. I encourage people to read the entire thing.
Get Sick, Get Out: The Medical Causes of Home Mortgage Foreclosures Christopher T. Robertson Harvard University - Harvard Law School
Richard Egelhof affiliation not provided to SSRN
Michael Hoke affiliation not provided to SSRN
Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, Vol. 18, No. 65, 2008
Abstract: In recent years, there has been national alarm about the rising rate of home foreclosures, which now strike one in every 92 households in America and which contribute to even broader macroeconomic effects. The "standard account" of home foreclosure attributes this spike to loose lending practices, irresponsible borrowers, a flat real estate market, and rising interest rates. Based on our study of homeowners going through foreclosures in four states, we find that the standard account fails to represent the facts and thus makes a poor guide for policy. In contrast, we find that half of all foreclosures have medical causes, and we estimate that medical crises put 1.5 million Americans in jeopardy of losing their homes last year.
Half of all respondents (49%) indicated that their foreclosure was caused in part by a medical problem, including illness or injuries (32%), unmanageable medical bills (23%), lost work due to a medical problem (27%), or caring for sick family members (14%). We also examined objective indicia of medical disruptions in the previous two years, including those respondents paying more than $2,000 of medical bills out of pocket (37%), those losing two or more weeks of work because of injury or illness (30%), those currently disabled and unable to work (8%), and those who used their home equity to pay medical bills (13%). Altogether, seven in ten respondents (69%) reported at least one of these factors.
If these findings can be replicated in more comprehensive studies, they will suggest critical policy reforms. We lay out one approach, focusing on an insurance-model, which would help homeowners bridge temporary gaps caused by medical crises. We also present a legal proposal for staying foreclosure proceedings during verifiable medical crises, as a way to protect homeowners and to minimize the negative externalities of foreclosure.
Robertson, Christopher T., Egelhof, Richard and Hoke, Michael,Get Sick, Get Out: The Medical Causes of Home Mortgage Foreclosures(August 18, 2008). Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, Vol. 18, No. 65, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1416947
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Running through Dr. Soetoro's doctoral research, as through all her work, was a challenge to popular perceptions regarding economically and politically marginalized groups; she showed that the people at society's edges were not as different from the rest of us as is often supposed. Dr. Soetoro was also critical of the pernicious notion that the roots of poverty lie with the poor themselves and that cultural differences are responsible for the gap between less-developed countries and the industrialized West.