The Intermittent Volunteer’s Weblog

Befriending People in Dallas Who Are Homeless

Poetry From Prison: From Jail to Yale January 13, 2016

Filed under: Communication,healing,inspiration,Leadership,peace,Racism,Solutions — Karen Shafer @ 10:08 pm

Wednesday, January 17, 2016

 

Poetry From Prison:  From Jail to Yale

 

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/stuck-behind-bars-a-writer-found-a-way-to-connect-to-the-world/

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Please Watch This Video If You Are Concerned About Race In America. September 5, 2015

Filed under: inspiration,Leadership,peace,Solutions — Karen Shafer @ 9:24 pm

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy

I came across this interview with Bryan Stevenson by Charlie Rose by accident last evening, and this man is my new hero…  what a beautiful, humble human being.  It is riveting television, and I think he has it exactly right about race in America.  I hope you’ll take the time to watch it.

If you have trouble with the link, go to http://www.hulu.com, search “Bryan Stevenson + Charlie Rose” and click on the first video.

Bryan Stevenson’s book is called Just Mercy.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-mercy-bryan-stevenson/1120199052?ean=9780812984965

 

An Oasis in a Food Desert August 7, 2015

Filed under: healing,hunger,inspiration,Leadership,peace,Solutions — Karen Shafer @ 8:59 pm

Friday, August 7, 2015

 

Building an Oasis in a Philadelphia Food Desert

 

This story is so inspiring!  We’ve become familiar with the extreme difficulty that people living in poverty face in accessing fresh produce and healthy food, and also with the barriers faced by those who have formerly been incarcerated in securing employment after release.  Here is a wonderful man — a grocer — who is solving both these problems in an exceptional way.

 

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/building-oasis-philadelphia-food-desert/

 

 

 

Servant? Leader? Both. May 23, 2015

Filed under: Christianity,healing,Henri Nouwen,inspiration,Leadership,peace,Vocation — Karen Shafer @ 8:52 pm

Saturday, May 23, 2015

 

Servant? Leader? Both.

“Ministry is… a mutual experience… [Jesus] wants Peter to feed his sheep and care for them, not as ‘professionals’ who know their clients’ problems and take care of them, but as vulnerable brothers and sisters who know and are known, who care and are cared for, who forgive and are being forgiven, who love and are being loved.

 

Somehow we have come to believe that good leadership requires a safe distance from those we are called to lead… Someone serves, someone else is being served, and be sure not to mix up the roles! But how can we lay down our life for those with whom we are not even allowed to enter into a deep personal relationship!

 

We are not the healers, we are not the reconcilers, we are not the givers of life. We are sinful, broken, vulnerable people who need as much care as anyone we care for. The mystery of ministry is that we have been chosen to make our own limited and very conditional love the gateway for the unlimited and unconditional love of God.

 

Therefore, true ministry must be mutual. When the members of a community of faith cannot truly know and love their shepherd, shepherding quickly becomes a subtle way of exercising power over others and begins to show authoritarian and dictatorial traits. The world in which we live — a world of efficiency and control — has no models to offer to those who want to be shepherds in the way Jesus was a shepherd. Even the so-called ‘helping professions’ have been so thoroughly secularized that mutuality can only be seen as a weakness and a dangerous form of role confusion. The leadership about which Jesus speaks is of a radically different kind from the leadership offered by the world. It is a servant leadership — to use Robert Greenleaf’s* term — in which the leader is a vulnerable servant who needs the people as much as they need their leader.”

 

               ~~ Henri J.M. Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus, Reflections on Christian Leadership

 
*Robert K. Greenleaf, Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness

 

Lent: I’m Not Much, But I’m All I Think About February 18, 2015

Filed under: Christianity,healing,inspiration,Leadership,peace — Karen Shafer @ 11:40 pm

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lent: I’m Not Much, But I’m All I Think About

This evening I sat in the beautiful Church of the Incarnation and listened to a wise, direct, and very profound sermon by our rector, Bishop Anthony Burton, on preparing for Lent.

In speaking of the temptations that Christ experienced during his forty days in the wilderness — which we symbolically replicate through our observance and celebration of the Lenten season — Bishop Burton clarified them in a way I hadn’t previously understood: Christ, he said, was tempted to become the star of his own show — the centerpiece of his own movie.  He refused.

As I sat through the service, surrounded by the majesty of a church I’ve loved for decades, I observed how often my thoughts are centered upon myself.  Briefly, I can be fully present within the momentous mystery and magic of what is going on around me, but quickly and automatically, I am back to…  assessing myself, critiquing myself, speculating about myself…  which then turns in an equally automatic way to quick and sometimes even scornful and petty judgments of people around me.

To quote a friend who has spent decades successfully working twelve-step programs, “I’m not much, but I’m all I think about.”

Referring to the unremitting humility of Jesus and of His unwillingness to become a person of consequence and importance — or, perhaps in today’s parlance, one could say His unwillingness to become “relevant”, the bishop said, “I want that.”

So do I.

ks

Church of the Incarnation incarnation.org

 

Bored & Brilliant January 29, 2015

Filed under: inspiration,peace,Random Post,Solutions,The Natural World — Karen Shafer @ 9:14 pm

Thursday, January 29, 2015

 

Bored & Brilliant

 

Those who know me even a little know I’m a fan of unplugging from technology — mild understate.  I’ve gone so far as to ban electronics for a week on family beach vacations…  if I felt I could get by with it.  Slightly autocratic I admit, but the results in calmer grandchildren who let their creativity shine amidst this “boredom” and wonderful conversations between adults — not to mention just gazing out at the scenery as opposed to down at the electronic device — was impressive.  Of course, this does not mean that one can’t be creative with and through technology.  Still…  Needless to say, I was interested to hear this interview on the BBC World Service.

 

Slight conundrum:  participating in this project of unplugging from technology requires an “App”!  (It’s only in the last couple of years that I figured out what that word even means.)  And this project comes through a website called “New Tech City.”  But even a luddite was impressed with and intrigued by this interview.  Also, yes, I am aware that, once again, I am putting this “out there” on a computer through WIFI.

 

http://www.wnyc.org/series/bored-and-brilliant/?utm_source=showpage&utm_medium=treatment&utm_campaign=featured&utm_content=item0

 

Common Cathedral February 13, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2012

 

Common Cathedral

 

I’ve just been invited by my daughter, her family, and a wonderful friend who is a nurse serving the homeless community in Boston to attend services at Common Cathedral one Sunday in the next few weeks.  Can’t wait!

 

http://ecclesia-ministries.org/common_cathedral.html