Archive for the ‘Heard and Read March 2009’ Category

Baked Beans

April 2, 2009

From a conversation about different religions with a colleague who prefers to remain anonymous…

“It’s a little like going to the grocery store, isn’t it? You look on the shelf and there’s all these different kinds of baked beans, but in the end, it’s all just — baked beans.”


Joseph Campbell – Computers

March 26, 2009

Source: The Writer’s Almanac, produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by American Public Media, March 26, 2009.

“I have bought this wonderful machine – a computer … it seems to me to be an Old Testament god, with a lot of rules and no mercy.”

Mary Oliver – Praying

March 20, 2009

Source: Thirst

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

Al Doseger – The role of a pastor

March 19, 2009

Source: Al Doseger, as quoted in “‘Garage Sale’ Church” by Brenda Melles.  Geez Magazine, Winter ’08.

“We never wanted to pet the poor,” says Doseger.  “Once you recognize that we all share belly buttons, that we’re all pretty much the same, it makes it easier.”

When asked to describe his day-to-day role as a pastor, Doseger said, “I get people what they need.”  In his experience, this is one of three things: encouragement in the midst of difficult days; practical help with things like life skills, food or furniture; or warnings that going around in the same destructive circle is going to lead to chaos.

The key to social change, he said, is engagement.  “I’m not sure that it is any great program.” he said.  “I’ve had people tell me that calling each other by name has changed the neighbourhood.  It’s not hard to threaten loneliness.  You befriend somone.  Hunger is an easy target too.”

John Updike – Giving the mundane its due

March 18, 2009

Source: The Writer’s Almanac is produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by American Public Media, March 18, 2009.

But he [John Updike] didn’t enjoy living in New York City, and he realized that he was a small-town boy. So he moved with his wife to a small town outside of Boston, and he supported his family by writing short stories about middle-class, white Protestant families. He said that his early stories “were written on a manual typewriter … in a one-room office … between a lawyer and a beautician, above a cozy corner restaurant. … My only duty was to describe reality as it had come to me – to give the mundane its beautiful due.”