Thursday, October 22, 2015

Segregated Churches Should Go the Way of the Dodo

I just got out of a meeting.
The meeting was hosted by the department of transportation and it was filled with a lot of angry old black people from the United House of Prayer and other black churches. They were there to protect the diagonal parking they have grown accustomed to having. They apparently also sent a letter to DDOT to say that taking away the diagonal parking was infringing on their religious liberties.
Bull crap.
Religious liberty does not extend to crap you don't own. Like the street. Driving and parking is not a tenet of faith, but then again, UHOP believes in firehose baptisms maybe parking on public city streets is part of it too......I consider them as Christian as Mormons and 7th day Adventists.
But there were members from Baptist churches too, there to support the Afro-centric United House of Prayer. And I was reminded of one of the reasons why I left the black church. My G-d is not my culture and the black church sometimes gets into the business of worshiping Black history. In this case mistaking the privilege to park in front of their church building with following Christ.
There was a claim that black churches were being driven out of the neighborhood and someone mentioned 10 black churches that were in the neighborhood are no longer there. Well, one "church" on my street died out  because everyone was over the age of 90.  Another church around the corner, the screaming ladies church, they sold their building because their crowd of screamy ladies was getting smaller. I attend one of the few desegregated churches in the neighborhood. Right now the demographic of the 5:30 mass is well, gay, and evenly black and white with a few asians and latinos sprinkled in.
The Help's church is also desegregated. Yes predominately white, but there are Africans, from Africa there. There are also South Asians from IDK Pakistan/India. A buncha Chinese people go there too.
You know what is great about a desegregated church? A wonderful reminder of heaven and the diversity of the body of Christ. Also we worship a triune god, not our culture as some ethnic churches may stray and do.
So yes, there are fewer black churches. Good. Lets have Christian churches instead.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Pope Catholic.... News at 11

Just in case you weren't sure. The pope is Catholic. He was a priest and an archbishop before that.
But you know, people, including you and me, are going to hear what they want to hear and see what they want to see.
There are those expecting Pope Frankie to have women priests, blessing gender-neutral marriage, promoting contraception and laying off abortion. Basically giving into the sexual revolution and becoming irrelevant like the CofE.
Pope Frankie is trying to make the Church more open and welcoming without tossing her teachings to the side. She is a hospital for the sin sick soul in a world that thinks it's healthy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Things I need to save up for confession or people in theaters are bad

It is very hard for me to see a movie, in the theaters, because they lead me to sin.

What sin?

I violate the commandment, thou shalt not kill, because I have thoughts of wanting my fellow moviegoers dead.

Before you go calling the local authorities, I need to say I do not wish for a repeat of horrible tragedies carried out by mentally disturbed men in theaters. No. I don't want that. I'm not going to kill anybody.

My sinful self just wants the person who decided that this movie wasn't as interesting as their cell phone to die. Such violent passion boils in my blood when, after I have paid what $11 or so bucks for myself, plus the ticket for my husband and maybe, just maybe a overpriced popcorn and bottled water, over $40 in total, some *&^$! ruins the experience by whipping out their cell phone and checking Facebook or their texts or (yes this has happened) talking on their cell phone during the movie.

I am reminded what I dislike about my fellow humans and cease to love them.
This happens so often that there are very few movies I will see in the theater. Opening week of a superhero movie yes. Art-house film maybe.

Recently we discovered ticket prices do not seem to matter. We went to the theatre, yes, with an 'tre', live actors and dancers, it was a musical, and the cell phone addiction was a problem there too. The young lady who sat next to us, apparently mistook this Broadway Theatre for her living room. She insisted on sitting with her shoeless feet on her seat or draped over the empty seat in front of her. Okay, whatever, youth. But then, through-out the first act she kept checking her cell phone and messaging. Even with low light it was annoying. On top of her other annoying antics. I should say we paid over $120 each for our tickets, the cheapest seats go for about $89.

Netflix and Amazon Prime are my sources of movie entertainment, because in my own home, we'll stop the movie if you need to talk on the cell phone. Or use the bathroom. The popcorn is cheap and the seats are comfy. The water is even cheaper. I love the people, okay person, I am with and his annoying habits don't make me want him dead.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Oh, that's tempting, but no

We're looking around for daycare.
We have no children or even one kid yet. We are not pregnant.
We are in the process of adoption.
Just the process.
But we were advised to get that daycare thing lined up.
So many people have been helpful providing names of places that I or the Help should check out. One was a Catholic school with real live nuns that does infant care. They don't have the day care prices on line but the school tuition looks... if we had a school aged kid I'd totally put him or her in this school without batting an eye... provided the kid couldn't get into a neighborhood charter.
There are discounts for having more than 1 kid at the school and there is a discount for being Catholic, as there should be.
To get the Catholic discount, and it is a good discount, you have to have a letter from your priest. Easy peasy. Be a member of a parish, financially supporting the parish. Also, easy peasy. And most importantly, the kid must be baptized and Catholic. Nope.
With me being Catholic and the spouse being protestant, we have come to an agreement. Kids will be raised as really bad Baptists, until it is decided where the kid flourishes best. As we told our social worker, the child's relationship with Jesus is primary and they will go to the church where that relationship is best. Also I don't want any little lapsed Catholics as children. I also don't want little atheists or agnostics, either. So the poor little dears will have to go to church 2xs a week until I decide where they are best suited.
So it would be really tempting to baptize a baby for the Catholic discount, but I will resist.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Several in One

I've been meaning to post on a couple of topics but then something new happens. So I'm going to post them all at once.

At the cross

This hymn has been inside my head all day.
All weekend I've been bugged by a run in I had with a prostitute. Ho's Hobos and Joggers should stay out of the bike lane. It's a bike lane. Anyway I had rung my bell and she cursed at me saying I should move. It had been in my head to get her type back, but I experienced a small miracle and my husband's words (quoting the Bible) "Do not repay evil with evil" reminded me that I really should just let it go. But it is hard. I've decided the better come back is "Jesus loves you."
What does this have to do with the hymn in my head? Something to sing on my way to work as I pass the ladies serving the breakfast Johns. Otherwise nothing.

Catholic Deaconess- I'll take it

 I really don't think there is such an animal. Deacons are men and preferably ones who want to be priests. And in my husband's church, which also is a bit patriarchal, there are no deaconess. Well none since the split with the PCUSA.
The last week's mass was another where B & J did not show up, nor did K. Worse Fr. W. was on vacay or somewhere else, so Fr. L whose church is kinda crashing at ours, celebrated mass. Fr. L still hasn't gotten the rhythm of the Saturday quickie mass. He's got the short homily down but there were some parts (the creed) that got skipped. Now why is it important that B&J show up. J does the readings. I also do readings but I have been doing more of the readings since people aren't showing up due to Summer. And B & J take the offering, and know when to take the offering. And J also helps with the distribution of the host. J does a lot. If B&J aren't there Fr. W pretty much knows who to pull in to assist with the mass. Fr. L, and to be very fair any other substitute priest, would not. So I took charge (I did not want to) read the readings, got the hubby (who was in attendance with me) to help me with collecting the offering.
After the mass there was a regular & possible neighborhood character floating around begging for help. I have seen her interacting with Fr. W before and know she uses the church to get food. There is a food pantry somewhere in the church but I don't know much about it. Fr. L was unsure what to do or how to handle it as the people who normally deal with this matter were all unreachable. So I jumped in ans helped. I told her I'd run to the Giant on the next block and buy her 3 things, after a too long exchange of what she couldn't eat (high blood pressure, diabetes, really bad teeth) which seemed to be anything healthy (no salad, no green beans). She asked me if I was the deaconess. No, but I'll take that title to get this over with. The three things were hamburger meat, cheddar cheese and a roll of toilet tissue. You know what is near impossible to find in the store on the 4th of July in the evening? Hamburger meat. But I found it and lucky me the last few packages were for grass fed organic cows. $12 later, plus the .05 cent bag fee, she got her 3 items.

 You can't say I left the Episcopalians to get away from the gay

I am very happy that B. brings his non-Catholic partner C to mass and they are regular attendees. Same for A. who has been bringing, or has been brought by due to his illness, his non-Catholic partner (with the rings I suspect 'spouse') J. I love all these men, Catholic and non-Catholic and enjoy their presence. I also love that the diocese had a letter for everyone, that the church inserted into the bulletin clarifying its stance regarding marriage.
I was chatting with a friend at the Help's church about the continuing downward spiral of the Episcopal Church. But he summed up my feelings well saying, "Not your circus, not your problem." So with that I'm going to stop giving to all Episcopal and Anglican (even those who separated) because that's no longer my problem. There are other denominations going to Hell in a handbasket as well as they follow Mammon and the god of the zietgiest, but they are not my problem.
I am trusting the Holy Roman Catholic Church with my soul and pray that it will stay faithful to the teachings of Our Savior. I trust her to help guide me in my relations with my gay brothers and sisters in Christ as they seek G-d in a church that respects life, doesn't water down the gospel, and is universal with a place for the left and the right. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

#Rednoseday #joykill

Somewhere in the Bible it says to give without over thinking it.
Screw it, I overthink it, but we give.
A co-worker alerted me that it is Red Nose Day. Now, I remember Red Nose Day from my time in the UK and because I love British Television. So I am aware of it. Not so much aware of how useful it is.
Red Nose Day has jumped the pond and is over here in the Land of the Free & Home of the Brave.
It would help if I actually watched more television but the gist I get is that they are raising money for childhood poverty with promises that lives will be changed. I looked at the website for more information. They are vague on the desired outcomes, well besides wearing red noses and raising money. Not too much on the dull stuff regarding how the money will be used. Couldn't find jack on which organizations will get any of the money raised.
And now my critical thinking skills kick in.
This is bull.
There is something in a charity you know, and you know what they do and you see their work on the ground. There is also something in knowing charities you wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole because they are ineffective, have bad leadership, engage in things you despise, or something else that doesn't sit well with you. So I wouldn't be quick to support something where I can't see who is doing the heavy lifting and if any heavy lifting is being done and if it is just not a feel good exercise. Maybe there is a list of charities that are being supported by Red Nose Day but it's too buried in the site for my taste if it is there.

Want to feed people?
a. Find people who need food and feed them
b. Find who feeds the people in your community and give them money.

Want to help kids get out of poverty?
1. Figure out what gets kids out of poverty
    a. practice it in your own community
    b. give to organizations that do that thing or set of things that gets kids out of poverty
2. Learn about people who used to be poor children and aren't poor anymore. Tell people what you've learned.

Education is one of the things that helps get people out of poverty. Good education that provides marketable skills. But it is just one of several parts of a ladder needed to help, assist, people out of poverty.

But it is easier to have a party and focus on the spectacle than the hard work.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Practice, Practice, Practice

My thoughts are on training. At the place where they pay me, we have lots (I consider lots) of training. Thankfully, most of it is on-line. We also get memos of policy, some of those are written in a form of English that I understand. I have a graduate degree. I have two graduate degrees, I should be able to understand a stupid policy statement. But alas, jargon, inside knowledge of what a vaguely named department that is 2 weeks old, and pretzel logic makes it difficult.
What does this have to do with faith, Christianity and such? Practice. Our household is of practicing Christians. Not just believing Christians. We pray, not as much as we should, but it is a daily practice. The Help reads the Bible to me nightly, not every night (esp. if we're really sleepy), but most nights before bed he reads a chapter to me. We're on Philippians. We go to church once a week, sometimes twice, not always the same church. As a Catholic, when we travel, we sure as heck attend mass. But unlike that practice which kinda sorta lines up with the happy thoughts in our head, the missives and training at work don't always line up with the practice.
The biggest problem is security, but it would be not in my best interest to talk about that in detail. Let's say policy and practice don't really line up.
There is training. That is not always practiced. We are told a certain system is to do X and certain personnel respond to it as so. But in the day to day, it does not live up to that.
There is trust. Or the lack thereof. Despite the memos and other communication, a certain practice says daily, "we don't trust you." There is no daily/weekly practice here of 'we need you to help us preserve this', 'we need you to help people find things', or 'we need to work together for a true common goal.'
Some training, not all, is forgotten after it is done, because it doesn't relate to the culture of the place. There is the training, and there is the way you really do it. The practice of it.