Ben Brooks on Minimalism

Well, not exactly, but Ben’s commentary regarding getting rid of things smacks heavily of my consistent desire for minimalism in all the facets of my life. The key here is honesty and providing yourself with a consistent, undeniable metric, as described by Ben’s sister’s clothing thinning process:

She said that each year she hangs all the hanging clothes so that they are hooked from the wrong side. She had some like system for the folded clothes as well. And then at the end of the year she donates all the clothes that have not been touched in that year — easily indicated by hangers still turned the wrong way.

I immediately turned to Lexi and asked that we do this or something similar. As it is, I will be attempting to incorporate some physical representation of disuse to all of my things. When was the last time I use this appliance? This piece of untouched tape says six months. Why do I still have this old jacket? It’s been a year since I used it and I now have a replacement. Is this room full of furniture because it has to be or because I want it to be? Look at the layer of dust on this shelf. Kidding aside, it really is a good idea.

After reading his thoughts, it became abundantly clear why he created his new storefront site. His three pile system—Keep It, Toss It, Sell It—is close to my thought of Keep It, Toss It, Donate It. Even where technology is concerned, I simply don’t have the time, energy, or interest to sell things, although I once did have this trifecta in the form of a storefront on Ebay. Either way, Ben’s words had me nodding in agreement and thankful that he has embarked on his own version of NaNoWriMo because I assume that these thoughts would have otherwise gone unwritten.

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.