Friday, June 15, 2012

Various & Sundry: A Vertitable Buffet of Fabulous Tidbits

I am, for the moment, caught up in the editing I need to do on the revised Confirm not Conform curriculum and will take advantage of the opportunity to post a veritable buffet of fabulous tidbits.

Let's start with the Baroness Gisela Josephine von Krieger's 1936 Mercedes, shall we? The tale of the forgotten roadster is full of romance, tragedy, and triumph. But mostly that is one cool car! H/t to the Anonymous Historian who sent me the link.

After reading some of the reminiscences about Ray Bradbury, I think I'm going to have to go back and read some more of his work. I haven't read any since I was in high school, I think. I particularly loved this piece about him. Here's a snippet:
Bradbury's favorite book in the Bible is the Gospel of John, which is filled with references to love.  
"At the center of religion is love," Bradbury says from his home, which is painted dandelion yellow in honor of his favorite book, "Dandelion Wine."  
"I love you and I forgive you. I am like you and you are like me. I love all people. I love the world. I love creating. ... Everything in our life should be based on love."
I had no idea. Not that we should base our life on love, but that this was the basis of his work. Any recommendations on what to read?

Meanwhile, in a less charitable state of mind, I love the first sentence of the book Dispirited: How Contemporary Spirituality Makes Us Stupid, Selfish, and Unhappy. To wit:
When someone tells me that they are “Not religious, but very spiritual,” I want to punch them in the face. 
Interesting interview with the author here.

With news of the President's announcement allowing some illegal immigrants who were brought here as children to remain, I hope there is a happier ending for Heydi Mejia whose story was featured in the Washington Post this week.

I thought the obituary for Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to win a Nobel in Economics (in 2009!) was as interesting for the economic principle she outlined as anything else. It is succinctly explained in the obituary, but too complicated to repeat here. It has to do with what conditions best lead to communities taking care of communal property, and relates to things like climate change. Also fascinating: she's a political scientist, not an economist (which burned some people's wicks when she won the Nobel, poor boo boos).

My friend Andee Zetterbaum, who founded the World In Prayer ministry, had a terrific reflection last week on the contentious issue (in some circles) of whether or not to allow those who are not yet baptized to receive communion. She approached it from a radically different perspective, saying (I paraphrase) it doesn't really matter what we're trying to say; what we need to know first is what message people are receiving through our actions. If this is a topic that's on your mind, I heartily recommend you read what she has to say. It may change how we as a church approach this issue.

It's a bit like a watermelon dinosaur shark, isn't it?

Or maybe not.

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