There’s nothing like being in bed all day to inspire completing the reading backlog. Only in this day and age, it’s also the social media, Facebook, LiveJournal, and YouTube backlog. Following up on the race discussion I linked into, here’s an excellent, straight-up three minute video:
from illdoctrine.

I have a great many friends who are math and science geeks. They include a chemistry/physics teacher, a biology teacher, and a couple of advanced geometers (people who work with geometry). My brother just finished his PhD in artificial intelligence, my father is a chemical engineer, my mother’s degree is in applied math, and I have a friend working on a doctorate in bioengineering and nanotechnology, with some connection to microfluidics. Her husband is an actuary. Then there are the friends who work in software security.

I’m so glad I spent time in computer tech before I headed into ministry.

Anyway, recently knitters and crocheters have been working on ways to use their crafts to make 3D representations of advanced mathematical stuff. There’s a klein bottle hat, for example, and a number of other things that I understand much less.

All that was important to explain this fabulous and fun cartoon. Props to Stitch Witch for the link.

We have a lot of knitters in church. Some people can’t stand it; for others it’s a lifeline. People think differently. People function differently. I believe in knitting if it works for you–staying present is the important part, and mindfulness comes in many forms. A recent study shows that doodling may actually help people absorb what is being said. Knitting probably does, too.

I’ve been thinking about our church building lately. It was built like a New England farmhouse, one piece at a time, with what and whom we had available. We have space for worship, space for community, space for education. But although this congregation’s unifying value undoubtedly centers around relationship and connection, the community room is the least beautified and most neglected. It has tired furniture and makeshift organization. Soon, we’ll be looking at a changed space–the sprinkler tanks that have so long occupied the corner will be gone, made unnecessary by our upcoming connection to city water. It is a time of great potential for transformative change, change that will allow us to shape the space according to both our needs and our values and to honor the sweat and labor that members put into building that room.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be expensive. But our space deserves our respect and our attention. Let’s dream a little. What would make it a brilliant space, a gem of our building–for socializing, for meeting, for making and nurturing connections? What would make coffee hour sweet and comfortable; what would make large meetings energetic and warm and productive? What else might we do there? Worship? Dancing? Workshops? What would let us feel like we are held in the heart of our building? What would give us another wonderful space for ourselves and the larger community?

This space, like all spaces, should serve our community and reflect our beliefs. How can we make that happen?

The Fetzer Institute was started with money from the sale of massive media holdings. It is privately owned. It works only on its own projects.

Its focus? Love and forgiveness. They have a retreat center and a meeting space and a wide range of programs. Read about it here.

I wonder what we could do with our churches that would serve our community like that. Ideas?


…and terrible for my schedule. No office hours today.

Google mail added a new feature recently: the ability to “skin” one’s mail page with a theme graphic and color scheme. I chose mountains. With ocean and trees, mountains round out the trinity of my heart–the three things that are always with me, and that I cannot do without. Living in Minnesota almost killed me, beautiful though it is.

So any chance to put trees (on my iGoogle homepage), mountains (on my Google mail page), or ocean (my desktop background) before me is a good thing.

Here’s what I’ve noticed: if I don’t clear the decks regularly, the trees and mountains and ocean pebbles get covered and I stop seeing them. If I don’t change the scenery it becomes invisible. And if I don’t make a conscious effort to see the beauty around me–the postcard-perfect view on my way to work or the sun shooting across the kitchen floor–I miss it.

In eighteen years of living less than two hours’ travel from the Twin Towers, I never went to the top, not once. And now I never will.

What are you taking for granted?

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