Thursday, September 29, 2011

Coffee!

Today is National Coffee Day! Coffee is by far my favorite beverage. I drink way too much of it. The habit started when I worked at a donut shop in high school and just escalated from there. The coffee industry, though, is not without its issues. I try to always drink Fair Trade and I hope you do to. Thankfully, it is getting easier and easier to find. If your congregation sells coffee, I strongly encourage you to buy through the UUSC's coffee project. They work with Equal Exchange (who works with many different interfaith organizations). This past weekend I toured their headquarters in Massachusetts and met with many of their staff. They are a truly dedicated group of folks that make sure their coffee is only bought from fair trade coffee cooperatives. So drink up - just make sure it is an honest cup!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Flying

I hate flying. I try to avoid it at all costs. I am convinced that it will end horribly and am reluctant to make plans that involve flying. Sometimes, though, it can't be avoided. And, honestly, I have had really good flying experiences (knock on wood...). My dad flys constantly for work, in addition to being a navigator for planes in the Navy reserves, so he thinks it is ridiculous that he has a daughter that hates it so much. I won't even step on a plane unless I have my St. Christopher pendent on. I also have a hard time relaxing on a trip because I spend most of it worrying about the plane ride home! It is silly, but fears are irrational. I keep thinking of that Mary Oliver quote regarding what "will you do with this one wild and crazy life?". I don't want my fears to stop me. I want to live this one life and not hide in fear. I had to really psyche myself up for this past trip to UUSC headquarters, but I am so glad I went. I will write more on that later, but I am glad I didn't let the fear stop me. I want to live this life and I want my kids to see me living it!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Headed To Boston

Tomorrow I am leaving for the annual Regional Coordinators meeting for the UUSC. While I hate traveling in general, I have never been to Boston, and am pretty excited to finally visit it! I am also excited to see UUSC headquarters. I have volunteered as an RC for several years and this past one I did not do as good a job as I wish I had. The last time I went to an RC meeting was almost four years ago when we met in New Orleans. It was a wonderful and inspiring experience. I am hoping to get that again from this weekend. I will keep you all posted!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Good RE Problem

This past Sunday was the first day of Religious Education for the new church year. We are literally bursting at the seams with kids. I am teaching the 5/6th graders and we had to add chairs to the classroom. Such a great problem to have. If you had seen our church just five years ago, you would have never guessed we would be having this problem now. Our RE program has grown from around 25 kids (on a very good day) to 60! It has been wonderful to watch the RE program get organized and a little more formalized. While there will always be issues and improvements needed, I feel like after a few years of really hard work, the program is coming together. I hope that the children and parents are feeling the same!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who is this Girl?

My daughter has come out of her shell. For the past ten years, she is has been quiet, pensive, curious, reserved, and only truly comfortable around people she knows well. These past few months, I have noticed that she is breaking out. I don't know if it just age, she is now eleven, a combination of successes she has had in various activities or sheer determination on her part - but she is putting herself out there! It started slowly with initiating conversations with acquaintances (if you knew her and her painful shyness, this has been huge in itself), asserting herself, and now actually wanting to go to a school dance! While she has always been interested in new things, they have steered towards the solitary. This year she is on the volleyball team and loving it. I am so proud of her, but am now realizing I have a to start relating to her in a different way. I had assumed (wrongly), that I would not have to deal with the middle school dances. Now she wants to go! Me, being over protective, is not so sure. I like having my kids at home, safe, with me! But, they are growing up. I completely trust her, it just all those other people ;-). I like having control and, as the kids are getting older, I am slowly having to let it go. I am still adjusting to this idea.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Morning Complaining

Quickest way to get someone to stop complaining about church? Ask them to volunteer.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Short-Sighted

I rarely delve into politics, mostly because I can't stand politicians and the fact that we are so limited in our choices. Yes, I vote, so I feel I can complain ;-). Classes are in full swing for me and it is hard to stay optimistic. Most of you know I am going back to school for a Masters in Sustainability (I hope to work with religious institutions in helping them and their congregants "go green"). Last nights class really delved into where the earth is going if we continue on our destructive, consumerist path. What was most frustrating was to see how the US and China are the largest polluters, and to learn that CHINA is now taking more steps to sustainability then we are!!! It is embarrassing the completely self-centered focus that is prevalent here. Of course, not everyone is like that and there are many people doing amazing things to help the environment, but we are so behind in getting policies passed that it is hard to consider us a developed country. The pull that special interests/big business has is incredible. Short-term gains continually trump long-term benefits. Don't these people care about the future? The future that will contain their kids and grandkids? I just don't understand. The OECD reports that with just the cost of 1% of the GDP for 2030, we could reverse the effect of much of our negligence. It just makes me sick. Our professor tried to keep it hopeful in that we can affect change and become leaders, but when you see how many people have tried to lead the charge and failed, it is disheartening. I will try, and I know my classmates and many others will try, but how do you convince lobbiest, special interests, politicians, business men/women, stakeholders that a little cost now will create great benefits for the future? It feels like they only care about themselves and how much money they make.