Monday, March 28, 2005

Joyful, joyful

Christ has risen!

Easter services at our little church tend towards the weird.

Yesterday, we celebrated the power of Good over Evil, of Light over Darkness, of Peace over War, of Life over Death. As we did so, we tore the blackened coverings from our windows letting light flood in our sanctuary.

Confetti was cast from friends' hands over our heads, fluttering down like colorful rain on a brown land.

Balloons fell from heaven and were batted about with enthusiastic joy by children and adults alike.

Noisemakers sounded, horns honked, songs were sung, strange dances were danced, people laughed and cried and hooted and hollered. Justice rolled down like a mighty water, in the community God had created in this strange and barren land and in the love shared between us.

Yeah, Easter at our church tends towards the weird.

And Christ has risen, indeed.

Saturday, March 26, 2005



Friday, March 25, 2005

Thy Kingdom Come....Later

Oh Lord,

In a perfect world, I would be a pacifist, too,
with smiles and hugs, kisses and kind words.
But this world is so far from thy blessed heaven.

In a perfect world, I wouldn't have to
kill the poor bastards trying to kill us,
blast their cars to jagged, blackened shards
blow up buildings
and whoever the hell is inside them.

In a perfect world, children wouldn't have
their parents incinerated in front of their eyes or
their stillnew arms torn off
by their bullets and bombs
or my bullets and bombs...

it's really hard to say which,
'cause this is not a perfect world, Lord.

And so I pray:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done...somewhere.


In a perfect world.
by Dan, December 2004

Monday, March 21, 2005


A bakery not far from our church, on the day Bush invaded Iraq (note the newspaper rack)
Although it looks like a normal day, it wasn't. On this day, the US became an openly invading force.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Vernon Easterhare Declares:

I'm decidedly a tiny player on the world stage. I want to write about something I did for the Coalition for Immokalee Workers (CIW), nitty-gritty poor, hard-laboring tomato pickers from Florida who happened in from Florida to agitate locally-owned YUM! Brands for a modest wage increase and improvement in work conditions.

This victorious job action gets best journalism from CIW website (; I've not checked it out, though, as I lack a computer. All I need to do is tell you that on Thursday, March 10th, Crescent Hill Baptist Church served up a victory feast for the protesters from Florida, and I was delighted to make the most of serving to those much in need of being served. It was a joint event of Crescent Hill and Jeff Street members.

I tried the night before to think through what it would have been like for the farm workers here from Florida: speaking little or no English, in an unfamiliarly frigid climate, more wet than dry, facing daily indifference if not hostility on the Taco Bell picket lines. So I thought I would try to make our guests feel as wanted as possible. My knowledge of Spanish is vanishing, but I do have an English-Spanish dictionary. I patched together the expression, “bienvenido a nuestra iglesia!” (Welcome to our church!) and other expressions of congratulation, solidarity and friendship. I tried all these with vigor on our guests!

The other servants to the CIW folks showed equal enthusiasm, and the approximately 100 diners seemed in a celebratory, bubbly sociality; they ate well and there were seconds served. I must have shaken sixty sets of hands, and no doubt some merriment and forgiveness obtained in the farm work crew for my Anglo accent and linguistic malapropisms. But, as we shall see, communication means two hearts talking, not necessarily with perfect grammar.

So it occurred to me that a sun-kissed man who seemed to know as much English as I Spanish came up for more cookies as I served in the dessert line, saying, “Me happy! Thank you!” Apparently he liked practicing his English for the same reason I liked greeting him in his tongue.

It was a mountaintop experience, a peak experience, for me. I turned to a Crescent Hill server and said, “It doesn't get any better than this!”
Vernon Easterhare is the pseudonym of a fellow who needs no introduction

a depressed economy

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


my dad said
son how do you view peace
in a world full of terror
and I replied
like a young bird flying across the sky
without losing one feather
he said
it sounds like a pipedream
like food for the starving
or the homeless finding some shelter
but then I turned back and smiled said
it's better than the alternative
he said
what's that,
I said
war on terror

you could fire all the guns
and hope for a direct hit
and cling to the halo
you're fitting yourself with
but when you wake in the morning
and the fallout starts a pouring
who then is to blame
when you're the only one left
to point your finger at
by Crit, who is a righteously angry young man

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Putt Putt your way through the Bible! Hole 1
(warning: may contain concrete nudity if you look REEEAALLL close)

Friday, March 11, 2005

And now, for something a bit different...

A few questions for the fundies to answer so we can more fully read the Bible literally:
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female,
provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims
that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7.
In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period
of menstrual uncleanness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have
tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing
odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbors. They claim the odor
is not pleasing to them.

Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly
states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or
should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination -
Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality.

I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev.21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect
in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have
to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around
their temples, even though Lev. 19 expressly forbids this. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me
unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different
crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two
different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse
and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble
of getting the whole town together to stone them?

Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do
with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
by an unknown-but-surely-hellbound wag

I kid you not...

18th Hole at the Golgotha Fun Park Putt Putt!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Hard times, come again no more

As I got out of jury duty today, too late to try to join up with the Anti-Bush rally but not too late to swing by the Hall of Shame where Bush was speaking, I was walking back towards work heading west on Main St. The day was cold, the sky gray and the wind biting, as it often is along the river on winter days.

Main Street was blocked off and there was no sign of protestors nor supporters, who I suppose were corralled some place away from W's eyes. The police and secret service people were heavily armed and ready for whatever evil might come their way.

As I got past Ground Zero, a young man passed me carrying a "Bush is a War Criminal" sign. The police descended upon him and told him he couldn't walk on that block, he'd have to go some other direction. They were letting other people by, I'd just seen a man walking down Main with a large W in honor of his god, I suppose. He wasn't stopped.

The young man questioned, "Why can't I walk this way?" The cop just said, "Go that way" and pointed in the opposite direction. I turned and said, "What do you mean he can't go that way? Other people are! What law is he breaking?!" The cop just waved us both off, saying, gruffly: "That way."

The young man complied and I sadly watched him go in the opposite direction from which he was headed. I then continued on down west on Main Street towards my office.

By the time I got down to work, a motorcade passed me by and, as two black limos passed, I yelled SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!! to the blackened windows.

Truly a shameful day in these Fascist States of America.
by Dan, who finds solace in his family and community, if not in his country

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

No Right Turn

by our own Captain Mellow, Charlie Merrill

Celebration, Jubilation!

Some comments from Pastor Cindy, on the fantastic success of the Taco Bell boycott.

[Brief history: We, along with others across the US, have been boycotting Taco Bell for some time to support the Immokalee tomato pickers who supply YUM!/Taco Bell with tomatoes.

As part of that, last year Jeff Street had the opportunity to receive a "charity check" from YUM! that went to certain social services agencies. In a press release, we handed our check over to the Immokalee workers. Cindy announced clearly, "We don't want your charity, we want your justice!"]

From Cindy:

Andy just called me with the news that Yum Brands gave in to the demands of the farmworkers and then some! Whoohoo! Wisdom and her sister, justice, are dancing in the streets!

Dylan and Jesse and I went to the party last night to celebrate the Immokalee Farm Workers’ win! When I met one of the organizers, I told her my first name. As we talked, and she found that I go to Jeff Street, she said, “Oh, you’re THAT Cindy!” She went on to say how important our statement about “we don’t want your charity, we want your justice,” was. She said that it launched a strategy that resulted in other groups thinking the same way. She mentioned Notre Dame... I found this article this morning:

Basically, it tells about how the students of Notre Dame did hunger strikes to demand that the Administration refuse an ad contract with between Taco Bell and the athletics department. A kind of a “we don’t want your dirty money” thing. How neat to see that our little loaves and fishes gift was multiplied in ways that we’ll never know!

Friday, March 04, 2005


Thursday, March 03, 2005

Vernon Easterhare Declares:

Anyone's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in humanity, and therefore
never send to know for whom the bells tolls;
it tolls for thee.

These words of John Donne registered with me as I listened to a memorial sermon for a member of Jeff Street yesterday, a mental health consumer who ended his life.

Since there were several other mental health consumers in the congregation besides me, Rev. Cindy's eulogy was certain to hit home in a soulfelt way that can only be known by those affected by mental illness... and that includes an entire village of folks, not just the afflicted person him/herself. What I know of the Jeff Street experience vis a vis this tragic suicide illustrates this principle.

My church is a loving church. I have found, opening its doors and arms to all the 'dysed' in the community. The guy who died had become a member apparently for the same reasons that I had -- to feel accepted as something other than a crumb-bum freak who had no better attire to wear to worship than blue jeans and a polo shirt.

But apparently too this mental health consumer 'tested limits' and I respect the fact that the church did deal with his threats in a way that was constructive and not unloving. I say "not unloving" with complete certainty, for several times at the mention of this man's life and demise, Cindy broke into tears, both in the pulpit and in the church narthex discussing him.

Blest be the tie that binds
our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
is like to that above;
When we asunder part
it gives us inward pain
But we shall all be joined in heart
till once we meet again!