Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Work is Yet to Come

I am as excited, have been as numb-struck with emotion, have celebrated and prayed with my fellow citizens of the world. I am proud to be an American. I am proud to be a part of the generation that has made it possible for us to now give the title President-Elect to Barack Obama.

I also know that while I never have been before and perhaps never will again be so supportive of a candidate, this candidate will also let me down from time to time. There are a lot of reasons I voted for Mr. Obama, a lot of reasons to support him. Yet there are also some policies I am sure he will implement that I do not like. I suppose the only way for that to cease to be true, is to run for office myself (and even then I am not sure).

One thing we MUST do is continue to be active. To call attention to things that are important to us, to continue letting him know what really matters to us. We did this by the millions during the election, and we need to continue this activism well into his term.

President-Elect Obama has spoken out against injustice. One of the greatest injustices of the world is to strip someone of their humanity. In the US, we are guilty of doing this. We implement the death penalty, we refuse to give persons a fair trial, we use torture tactics on our enemies. The list is endless.

One way to help assure President-Elect Obama will take proper steps in continuing our fight for justice is to support Amnesty International. Their website is full of rich resources and information if you are looking to learn more about a given topic or to find out the most recent proceedings in an area of interest. They are also a great organization that helps us to pool our resources and work together for a greater good. Right now, they are calling on Obama to make human rights central to his new administration's work. They are looking for your support in calling him to take action during his first 100 days in office.

To read more, visit Amnesty International USA's website. To read and sign the 100 Days Petition, you may follow this link.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Eric Volz :: on being re-tried in Nicaragua

You may remember this unjust 'trial' and imprisonment of Eric Volz not too long ago. I have a mutual friend with Eric, and he posted this on Facebook this afternoon. I hope you will watch, follow, act, and pray with him.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ecumenical Conferencing

I have not done much Ecumenical work in the past. Mostly, I think this is because it is something I have taken for granted and not thought of as something that was in great need of being a "movement."

When I was invited to attend the General Assembly of the National Council of Churches and Church Word Service, I jumped. I have been here for two days now, and after spending that time with the (first ever) young adult conference "New Fire," I cannot believe how much I have learned. I have heard incredible testimonies and been moved by intentional holy conferencing. I have struggled to be patient and love brothers and sisters who seem to sometimes argue for the sake of arguing. I have learned about denominations I did not even know existed, and my eyes have been opened to the importance of seeking communion as one united body of Christ.

Our group of 12 young adult stewards spent today getting to know each other better, coming to understand our roles over the next few days better, and wrapping up logistics for the next few days. The conference begins in the morning, and I look forward to watching and being a part of this conference as it unfolds. It will be very different than the past few days, and if its anything like the past few, I know it will be demanding and difficult, engaging and empowering, challenging, and encouraging. I can't wait.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Historic Victory

Tonight will go down as one of the most memorable nights of my life. One of the most memorable nights of my generation. It will go down as a historic day to be remembered and memorized for generations to come.

Barack Obama has been elected the President of The United States of America. Immediately following John McCain's concession, Obama gave a brilliant acceptance speech in Grant Park - in downtown Chicago. I was one of 70,000 granted a ticket to this event, and still cannot believe I was there and got to be there to see and hear (LIVE!) this historic event.

I have to say I was *really* impressed with the work of the Chicago Police and the CTA. Everything ran smoothly, and I don't think it could have been organized better. Well done. I wonder if this will help them with the bid for the Olympics, now that they've proven they can handle such a large-scale event?

Barack Obama will be sworn into office on January 20, 2009. I can't wait for the change that is yet to come. The long process of change ahead begins tomorrow, when two new people are granted full access to files in the White House so they may begin preparing for their terms and "hit the ground running."

A few other thoughts:
I am VERY pleased that this election went as I wish it always did: the winning ticket claims the majorit in BOTH the Electoral AND the Popular vote. Incredible.

John McCain gave a decent concession speech, but he was really hard on himself. He clearly took this loss very personally, and although I'm glad he didn't win, it was hard to listen to and my heart ached for him.

When I got home, I turned on the news, and they were just turning to show Obama's acceptance speech once again. I watched and listened, and must say it felt a LOT longer when we were watching it live/in person. Perhaps because I was so caught up in the moment, savoring the moment and trying to take it all in. I still can't believe it. Seriously - Barack Obama is going to be our President!!!

Obama's speech was INCREDIBLE. INCREDIBLE. please, Please, PLEASE go listen to it!

As excited as I am about the events, my heart goes out to McCain supporters. I hope my family handles it ok, and selfishly I hope they do so without attacking me/my sister for supporting Obama... I know they shed lots of tears tonight...

I am very tired. I got up at 4:30am to vote EARLY before work, and its getting really late (but I'm running on adrenaline and fortunately can sleep in tomorrow).

In other election news tonight, I havne't had a chance to look up much, but this is what I do know:
In California, Prop 8 passed. This was an ammendment to the state constitution, and it overturns the Supreme Court of California's decision to legalize gay marriage. :( I mourn this loss. (but remain hopeful for this change, too... as Obama even included equal rights for gay and lesbians in his acceptance speech!)

On a better note, South Dakota attempted to pass amendments tonight that would give them the most strict abortion laws in the country. While I wish abortion never had to happen, I am pro-choice, and I am thankful this did not pass.

Lots and lots and lots of other elections... but I need to sleep and leave some creative space for you to look them up. Maybe I'll post some pictures later (for sure look for them on facebook!).