Poetic Excerpt
Fackenheim's What Is Judaism.

The Last Fortnight

So, in a rush to catch up.

Be-bop a Baden
Two weeks ago guests from the Baden Chuch of the Union of Evangelical Churches were visiting the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference of the UCC. We were fortunate to host Susanne and Albert for dinner at Iron Star BBQ. It was their first time to eat fried okra.

They were delightful and we had a fun interchange about cultural differences. Albert was amazed at how unhealthy Oklahomans are, including how little they walk. They both had never been to the US before -- Kansas and Oklahoma being their first trip! They were amazed at the spaciousness of it all.

Susanne had one of the best observations of Oklahoma culture that I've ever heard. We were discussing some of our history and Oklahoma's resulting psyche (I think as a state we are slightly depressed with a self-esteem problem) and Susanne said we had a culture of "suffering and displaced persons." She grasped up pretty quickly.

Pop, Pop, Fizz, Fizz

On the 5th, Michael, Jon, Danny, Colin, and I roadtripped up to Arcadia to see Pops the new convenience store/diner on Route 66 with the unique architecture, the soda bottle statue, and hundreds of different soda options. We had fun picking out our unique sodas and then passing some around while we were waiting for our table. We were intrigued by the celery soda, for instance, though no one really loved it.

A few of our group ordered the chicken fried steak (unfortunately I did not) and it was amazing. Maybe the best I've ever had (Cheever's has competition).

Barking the Blessing

The morning of the 6th CoH hosted its first effort pet blessing. A handful of church members attended with their pets (mostly dogs). Everyone was well behaved, though some were more energetic and rambunctious than others. It was really fun to see the joy on church members' faces as they brought their pets to church and to share with friends who otherwise might not see their pets.

Bravo! Renee

On the 6th, Michael, Christa, Jon, and I went to see Renee Fleming. Reneefleming

Michael cried during the concert. She is so lovely, and I love her performing style -- there is so much energy and interaction.

She is currently at the peak of her career and considered by many to be the best in the world at what she does at this particular moment. As we drove home we discussed whether any of us had experienced anyone else at the peak of their careers in any other field of endeavour.

Say you want a Revolution

Last week Michael and I went to see Across the Universe. I had been looking forward to it since Michael sent me the first trailer on-line. I loved Julie Taymor's Titus back in 99 and was excited to see what other visual splendors were in store.

Well, it is visually splendid and enjoyable to watch. But, it's not a very good film. Too contrived in many places. Weak plot and characters throughout.

My favourite vignette was actually Joe Cocker's cover of Come Together.

Fag, Dyke, Bitch

Last Thursday was our Stop Hate in the Hallways anti-bullying conference. We had a capacity audience. Kevin Jennings of GLSN was great. His presentation was on the statistics and facts of bullying in schools and what schools can do that is proven to help. I wish our OKC school board members would listen to this data!

I was moderater for a panel discussion of the role of religion in such bullying. It was entitled Religion: Cause and Cure. The panel was incredible. Dr. Uysal, a Muslim, shared a story of a young eighth grade boy at Norman High who was called a terrorist and how he had counseled the young man. Dr. Uysal cried while telling the story. Rabbi Fox spoke about how one of his congregants was upset when she heard that at her school's See You at the Pole, the Christians were going to erect a cross and nail the names of non-Christians to the cross! Each panelist discussed ways they had dealt with such bullying in their faith communities. I was really pleased with the end result.

Okay, so now I just have to bring you up to speed for this weekend just past. I wish I'd blogged separately and at more length for each of these!

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