This one time… the story of jedisoccermom”

Recently, I entered a contest for an HP DM3 through the blog, freeandflawed.com.  In order to enter, each contestant had to divulge their most embarrassing AIM screenname.  For most, the question is moot, as their first screenname is normally the most embarrassing, being that it was created during the awkward tweener and teeange years of melodrama and angst.  Mine, however, is a little more formidable and is actually still my current screenname because I have self confidence (I think), but it surely is my most embarrassing. Believe me, I would go back to some of the older ones of my teenage years, but I don’t think I will ever shy away from using jedisoccermom.  Therefore, I wanted to take this post to explain, once and for all, the story behind the screenname… (after the break)

I am from Chicago, originally.  As such, I tend to be proud of that fact and show it in my actions as well.  In moving to Indianapolis, I noticed a fair amount of difference in the driving ability of the other drivers around me, but I digress.

While I still lived in Chicago, we are all proud of the fact that we can parallel park better than most of the country.  So much so that when I was still driving my parent’s mini-van, I was able to fit into spots with just enough room to fit the vehicle.  Driving around with Andy and Amanda in a neighborhood on the near-NW side of the city, Divison and Damen for the natives, we were (of course) unable to find parking.  We finally found something that was just enough room and they said that I would never fit the van in the spot.  On my first try, I got it.  As we got out of the car, in awe of the feat, we realized that I was basically on the bumper of the cars both in front and behind my vehicle.

Andy goes, You would have to be a soccer mom with the power of the Jedi force in order to do that again!”  The sentiment stuck…


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The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.