Monday, July 28, 2008

Afghans for Afghans

As a Red Crosser who is passionate about humanitarian work, a Friend who is passionate about non-violent activism, and a Witch who is passionate about magic, I really like the work afghans for Afghans is doing.

(One of afghans for Afghans' partner agencies is the American Friends Service Committee; afghans for Afghans also references the Red Cross knitting tradition on their website.) ("Our Boys Need Sox -- Knit Your Bit!")

afghans for Afghans' next major project is the Youth Campaign in Time for Winter. They are looking to fill 80 cartons with wool garments and blankets to be air-shipped to Kabul in time for winter.

For details on the Youth Campaign in Time for Winter, please click here.

For general guidelines for what to knit or crochet, please click here.

To help spread the word, you can:
  • Post one of these banners on your website or blog.
  • Point a friend to this page:
  • Put a note in your Meeting's weekly announcements or monthly newsletter.
  • Host an afghans for Afghans handwork party through your Coven or Meeting, or at your house with friends and family.
  • Print out this flyer and post it -- at your local yarn shop, in your Meeting, at your local library or community center, local independent bookstore, etc.
  • Something completely different.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Position open at Pendle Hill

I received this email from a F/friend at Pendle Hill. Please alert folks you know who might be interested. Thanks!

Dear Friends:

Much good is happening at Pendle Hill but at least a bit more is needed.

This summer, we have been richly blessed by the gratitude and enthusiasm of many. We are excited by our up-coming program schedule. In the midst of this, our long-time Director of Short-term Education Programs, John Meyer, is leaving. We are sad to see him go, but find in that experience a tremendous opportunity. I will be hiring and supervising the new person. They need to be very knowledgeable of Quakers but I am also wanting someone with teaching skills quite possibly in the area of peace and social justice issues.

Would you help me find those energetic, visionary individuals who can rise to the challenges of program development, team work, teaching/workshop leading and living in community? We need to quickly identify candidates for this role. Full details on the position are on the Pendle Hill Website:

Please forward this message to anyone in your network that might be the person or who might know the person who could serve Friends and Pendle Hill in this way at this time. Or send your suggestion or your resume to me.

Thank you for your interest, your support, and your creative thinking.

Much Love,

Any help in circulating this info would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Amply repaid

I have a somewhat embarrassing habit: I enjoy I Can Has Cheezburger.

I have a friend who often complains about her cat's offerings of dead small animals. I have tried to explain to her that Fluffy loves her and does not want her to go hungry. She remains unimpressed.

I can see both their points of view.

I recently forwarded her this picture from ICHC.

A few days later, I was sitting at the computer when one of our cats came streaking in from the back porch (it's on the second floor -- no access to anyplace else) with a triumphant hunting cry, dashed into the bedroom with me in hot pursuit, and dropped a chickadee on the bed.

I chased the cats out. The chickadee was still alive, looking stunned. We left it to rest quietly while we called the local songbird rescue. (Yes, we have a local songbird rescue. Is that too cool or what? It's mostly staffed by volunteers and student interns.) They said all cat-caught birds should be checked out, and that they'd be able to take it.

Now all we had to do was get it into a box for transport.

When I went to do this, the chickadee took exception and fluttered down to hide under the laundry pile. Then under the bed.

Beloved Wife came to help me. At this point, the chickadee started flying around the bedroom. Eeek. None of us (except the bird) seemed sure if we should laugh, curse, or squawk. The bird came to rest in an upward-facing lamp; we got it into the box without ever touching it; and off we went to the Bird Center.

The chickadee was in good shape, only two puncture wounds, and was expected to make a full recovery.

I decided I needed to email my friend and tell her I was amply repaid for having sent her that lolcat picture.

A few days after, we received another call from the Bird Center: the chickadee was ready to be released; could we come get it and release it in its own neighborhood?

Beloved Wife fetched it, bringing home a shoebox which contained one hopping mad chickadee. We took the shoebox into the back yard, opened it up, and off the chickadee went!

It landed in a nearby juniper, where it called loudly in chickadee, several times: "Big, slow, really irritating predators nearby!!"

I am amply repaid a second time.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Any of my readers on GoodReads? If so, let me know; I'd love to "see" you there.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Overheard at Registration

These days, Beloved Wife and I usually arrive at Friends General Conference Gathering a day early so we can help at Registration the day Gathering begins.

My favorite spot to help out is at the Housing table. This is where people who have problems with their Gathering housing come to get them solved. This presents assorted challenges for us housing volunteers, but we still manage to have a fair amount of fun.

Late in the day Saturday, I'm sitting at the Housing table with the incomparable Barbara A. and another volunteer. The Workshops table is next to ours. Business has finally slowed down, so we're all breathing a little.

A Friend, well-known to all of us, approaches the Workshops table and inquires brightly, "Can you tell me where my workshop is?"

A volunteer at the Workshops table replies as cheerfully as if she hadn't given this answer forty gazillion times to Friends who really should know this by now: "If you look in your packet, it's listed in the Final Program."

"Oh! You actually want me to read that stuff you give me!" the seeking Friend twinkles, clearly laughing at herself.

At which point Barbara intones gravely and severely, "Friends are encouraged to read the Final Program and all other relevant materials in their Gathering packet."

The rest of the Housing and Workshops volunteers try not to crack up.

The Friend who's trying to find her workshop waves her hand and says, "I'm marching in a different Light."

Whereupon we all crack up, and much merriment is had by all.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

North American Convocation of Pro-LGBTQ Christians, and Trans Pre-Event

I received the following email from Chris Paige. See below for more information. - sm


A Transgender Pre-Event
September 3, 2008

Arrive early in New Orleans, LA, for Many Stories, One Voice ( to join us for this historic opportunity for personal networking, community collaboration, and movement building.

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS will gather transgender people of faith, our loved ones and allies for discussions about practical topics relating to life in religious communities, including:

* Strategies for transgender education
* Dynamics of ministry with the transgender community
* Blessings and challenges of becoming more visible
* Opportunities for collaboration across denominational lines
* Our need for authentic relationships of support and accountability between transgender people and our allies

Our emphasis will be on creating conversations and dialogue in and about transgender religious community -- both formally and informally.


Confimed Speakers (MSOV and FSTAT combined) include: Erin Swenson, Julie Nemecek, Archbishop Demond Tutu, Bishop Yvette Flunder, and many more!

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS Panel Discussions are still in formation. The transgender pre-event is a community oriented event, focused on developing community connections in the transgender religious community. Please contact us with your nominations for additional speakers!


While we will place a high priority on hearing from transgender-identified people, this event is also appropriate for our significant others and family members; allies who are working with or want to work with the transgender community; and anyone who is simply interested in learning more about transgender people and our concerns.


If your church, business, or community organization is interested in showing its support for transgender people through sponsorship of FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS, please contact Chris Paige, 215-840-2858,


Chris Paige

TRANSFAITH ON-LINE ( is dedicated to supporting transgender folks in our faith journeys, while providing useful resources to help people of faith become better educated trans-allies.