On the Frequency of Site Updates

I wanted to apologize for my recent absence on this site. The way that I wanted to run it was to post at a frequency of about once per week. For the first couple months, I was able to keep up with this. As most of you are aware, I recently entered a new, and rather daunting, part of my life that has commanded much of my time. In addition, I have become busy with work and helping out Lexi’s school with recent productions, both musical and theatrical; in other words, fun but time-consuming.

Either way, however, I had writer’s block. Each time I sat down with a little extra time, the cursor blinked, pounding on a blank document like the pulse in my brain, devoid of any new information to communicate. This post is therefore my return to form, my hope that I am able to start over and get back to where I want to be. I have many drawing board, long form items that I am looking forward to writing, a few items that should have been published but have been sitting unfinished for far too long, and I want to start discussing my preparation and thoughts on fatherhood. Also, I have had a couple of people mention that I need to start sharing my thoughts on cooking (including recipes and more generally), get back to technology more in my writing, and discuss social justice concerns while living in a place like Indianapolis. I will attempt to hit each of these and other topics as time goes on.

In the coming months, I plan to purchase my domain and rethink my use of Tumblr, as my publishing platform. If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions on this note, please drop me a line on a social network or through email. I have looked into Wordpress and Squarespace, as the former is used by many people I know and the latter looks to be one of the best hosted offerings in the space. In each case, the price is a barrier to entry, since this site is not meant to be anything but a hobby for the time being. 

In the meantime, thank you for continuing to read and I hope that we can continue to grow together, as I bring you more of my thoughts, concerns, and meanderings on all sorts of subjects.

See you next time,

Jay Ray

Read, Think, Share, Repeat

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.