Blue Holiday

A Blue Holiday is not a new concept, particularly Blue Christmas. It is a phrase denoting sadness during a time that everyone is or at least expected to be blissfully filled with joy. Typically, it refers to a sadness resulting from some type of loss or loneliness; a sadness that overshadows or eclipse what is normally a time of love, light, and liveliness. However, today, for some, it may also adequately describe a profound lament regarding perceived realities of the human condition.

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A Call to Action

But then something gave me pause. While it was comforting to know that I did have a failsafe in place, I quickly dismissed the idea and used this pivot in American history as momentum to continue my work through my own non-profit. Meet the Middle East, which aims to foster relationships between the US and the Middle East through education and immersion travel, is more important now than ever before.

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Into the Unknown

Our task, as we go forth in the aftermath of a brutal, ugly, frightening and vastly disappointing election is to speak up and make our voices heard if and when we see injustice and bigotry injected into our daily lives. Our character will be on display as we go forth into this wilderness. Will we be able to  speak truth to power?  Will we be voices of conscience, compassion and consistency, or will we allow the waves of ugliness that this election has unleashed go unchecked?

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With Justice and Mercy for All

In this season of demonstrable democracy, we must elect leaders who use their power to lift up the lowest among us, who with their authority seek to be generous and faithful and steadfast.  We must engage in discourse the way Jesus did, surprising one another with our mercy, setting our hearts toward openness rather than judgment.  Using our words to create a culture in which even our enemies have a place at the table.

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The Day After the Election

Knowing that I am standing with thousands of others in this great state who not only share my values but who have, by signing on to the Interfaith Force for Good, committed to acting upon these values strengthens my resolve to live my values in ways great and small.  Borrowing from Mahatma Gandhi, the day after I cast my ballot is the day I resolve anew to “be the change [I] wish to see in the world.”  

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With Liberty and Justice for All

As the interview continued Katie summed up her own observations about their relationship. It was summed up so beautifully that I thought the interview could have ended at that point and would have been a wonderful testimony to how we might live out that line in our pledge of allegiance to the flag that says we are, “one nation, under God with liberty and justice for all.”  In so saying we are admitting we are one nation, though many races and cultures and opinions and points of view.

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Voting Our Values

Does the candidate’s attitude toward the poor and marganilized reflect your values? Does the candidate’s concern for the oppressed express your values? Does the candidate’s views around the health of Earth’s climate align with your understanding of our role as stewards of God’s creation? In fact, does one political party’s positions and policies have a tendency to align more closely with your faith-based values?

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Keep Faith Alive

This hope is not sitting idly by waiting for something to happen, change, or transform. This hope is born out of a determination to make change, speak Truth to power, and to love with unconditional positive regard in order to make it through the suffering. It is born out of struggle to produce endurance to build character to remain steadfast and immovable in hope (Romans 5:3-5).  

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No Work is Insignificant

This is a small step in the right direction. A yes vote will tell our workers we believe in them and we are grateful for the contribution they make to our lives. Each of us, regardless of our wage or employment status, is of inherent worth and dignity; each of us, whether we’re just starting out in the work force, are in the middle of our career, or are retired (or wishing we were) is crucial to our nation, our economy, our communities.

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I Am White

Perhaps it’s time to give up the questions, lay down the assumptions; they’ve become burdens. And my tradition of Christianity teaches me to lay down burdens. This tradition also teaches me to follow the way of Jesus, a first century Jewish Rabbi. Scripture after Scripture…Jesus is found hanging out among the mistreated, the kicked around, the neglected, the broken. He listened. He reminded them that they are not alone. He said he came so that they may have life—abundant life.

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Traveling in Vienna

Admittedly, the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels made me nervous. Meanwhile, millions of refugees had poured out of Syria, many hoping to resettle in Europe. Fear from the attacks roused dissent among European leaders about receiving refugees.  Governors reacted to Obama’s pledge to resettle 10,000 refugees much the same way.  Months before the trip, Austria and Slovenia closed their borders to refugees. It didn’t seem we would encounter any.

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