Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Three Little Words... for the poor...

Christmas Eve saw us bustling around preparing dinner for the whole family.  As I walked from the kitchen to the dining room, my 8 year old granddaughter came towards me holding her two hands cupped together and reaching toward me... and she said "for the poor".

Looking into her hands I saw a huge pile of loose change.  Toonies and loonies, nickels and pennies.  I was dumfounded.  I looked into my son's eyes and he said "for some reason she thinks you look after poor people and she wants to help".

We sat on the couch to talk.  I asked where this money came from... it was her allowance.  She didn't need it and wanted me to give it away.  Shivers.

When the coins were counted they came to $24 and change.  My mind jumped... Almost enough for a Kiva loan.  But she's so young.  So here was a chance for a lesson on how to help people when you don't have very much yourself.

We used the analogy of a lemonade stand and how you buy the lemonade to make and sell.  We bought ingredients for $1 borrowed from mom and then made the lemonade and sold it to end up with $2 in our pocket.  We then paid back the $1 we borrowed from mom and we had $1 left for ourself.  I then showed her this year's Kiva calendar.  All the lovely photos of Francoise and her store in Rwanda and Vicelino and his pigs in Costa Rica.  She thought this was a wonderful idea.

More conversation convinced her that she didn't have to give it all away.  She decided to keep $10 for herself and give away the rest.  Well... I got down my Kiva piggybank and said that I was sure there was enough saved in here to add to her $14 for us to be able to do a $25 loan.

Dad assigned her one of his email addresses and I 'allowed' her to 'give' me the money to send to her new Kiva account.  I sent her a gift certificate and then she spent time with Dad on the website choosing who would receive the loan of her money.  She chose to help Diana Yadira in Mexico to buy used clothes to sell.

In April, the first repayment email should arrive in Andrea's inbox.  I can't wait for the joy of that day.

later man, jan

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fire & Grace December 22, 2011

Fire & Grace Contemplative Prayer Service
Living Spirit United Church – December 22, 2011 - 9:30am


Opening Reading  (spoken together)

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. 
He was with God in the beginning.
                                                          (John 1:1-2) 

O God, we call.  O God, we call.
From deep inside we yearn;
From deep inside we yearn
From deep inside we yearn, for You
VU #411 (repeat)
(Isaiah 7:14)  "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.                                               
(Isaiah 9:6)  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.        
(Isaiah 25: 9)  It will be said on that day, ‘Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.'   
Bind my head and my heart in You,
Holy One, O Holy One.                  (repeat)

Silent Meditation (20 minutes ended by a bell)

Prayers of the people

Loving Father. Help us to remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men.  Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world.  Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.  Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.  May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake.  Amen                      (Robert Louis Stevenson)

And Love says, I will, I will take care of you…
And Love says, I will, I will take care of you…

Closing:  (spoken together)
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.                       (John 1:3-5)


 * * * * * *
We missed your presence this morning and hope these words will help you as we prepare for the last days of Advent.  
later man, jan 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tareto Maa

Tareto Maa is a grassroots organization that I have admired and supported since they began.  Tareto Maa runs a shelter in Kenya for girls at risk of Female Genital Mutilation and early enforced marriage.  The progress they have achieved is amazing.  However, each year sees more and more girls learning of a safe refuge and so the need grows.

We are currently taking part in a fund raising competition  The challenge runs from now until December 31, 2011 (2359 hrs EST).

You can help us win some extra funds for the project by just sharing the project page on facebook by hitting its "share" button on Global Giving (right below "donate" on the right side of the page). The 5 projects who have raised at the end at least $2,000 from at least 25 different people and have shared their project page through this way the most on facebook will win an extra bonus of $300.

In addition, the project with the greatest number of unique donors at the end will be awarded a bonus of $2,000. Currently we are this project, yay... and if we stay like this, that would be just fantastic! Because an extra bonus of $2,000 would mean that we could build another urgently needed dormitory for the girls.

If you feel you could help with even a small donation then the best day would be today, Wed, 14 Dec.  This day will be "Bonus Day" on Global Giving. This means that all online, unique donations will be matched at 15% till the total matching grant of $3000 is used up.

The story is btw - of course - also Kiva related as we have a Kiva lending team  that supports the project.

later man, jan

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Heart of the Beast"

Dec 9, 2011.… presented to the people of Calgary as a lasting monument to the suffering of all humankind and to our unceasing desire to overcome.  

“Heart of the Beast” by artist D.H.

If you think this beautiful and heartfelt gift from Occupy Calgary to the people of Calgary should be allowed to stay put, please sign this petition.

Later man, jan (hugs)

Sunday, December 04, 2011

City of Calgary Restatement of Offer to Occupy Calgary

My email has gone to Bill Bruce as my personal response to this...

Dear Mr Bruce.
I am not an Occupier, however I am a member of the Occupy Movement here in Calgary.
I was in attendance at the Occupy Calgary General Assembly held on November 19th.  (I actually had my photo in the Calgary Herald, sad and old as I looked that day).  I heard the reading of the offer and I heard one person state this paper should be burned.  I heard another opinion voicing the proposal to form a working group to respond to this offer.  To my knowledge this working group was operating in good faith that the city offer was still on the table when by-laws came around removing tents on November 21.  I think that move on the City’s part destroyed much of the faith Occupy Calgary supporters have tried to retain when thinking of the City of Calgary as a partner in democracy and an advocate of the people.
As a member of Women in Black, who stand vigil for peace twice a month at the Five Famous Statues, we have met many of the Occupiers and actually had them help us hold our banners.  The people camped at Olympic Plaza have many times stated their willingness to work with other people using the park and I have seen many friendly interactions happening.  I think it is unreasonable to expect this willingness to continue if it means to actually move the tents which are insulated for the winter conditions.  I think the tents are situated in a good location to allow all citizens to use the park effectively.
I think it would be wonderful to have Occupy Calgary and the City of Calgary representatives sit down to negotiate this issue sensibly and without waving papers and overreactions of by-law officers and City Police Services.  I think it would be wonderful if the City assisted the Occupiers to find a reasonable way to continue to keep their message in front and center of the public eye.  Until this happens I support the camp as it exists. 
Jan Bacon
Resident in the riding of Calgary Centre  

Friday, December 02, 2011

Hugs for Occupy's (not a real) Lawyer ...

Ben Christensen  you did a wonderful job today... and I'm sharing your statement with all 3 of my followers...
"Today we make history....

We are the people who wish to have a voice, we are not the doctors, the lawyers,the aristocrats, or the ceo's: We are the people who for years have lined the pockets of the people above, the ones who serve them their laundry....clean their houses.

We are the silent afraid to speak and the oppressed afraid to stand. We are unnoticed in the presence of the politicians and forced into fear by the ones we trust to protect us and our freedoms!

We come and go day in and day out we punch the clock in the morning and are those who lock up at night while the shopowners at home with their family.

Who are we? Why are we here? What is our purpose? Questions we have been told we should ask ourselves if only to create doubt about our true selves. You can tread on us, kick us while we're down...but remember it is human nature to tolerate only so much before: WE WILL TAKE NO MORE!!!

That time is here, we are tired we don't wish to stand by and allow ourselves any further to be walked on, spit on, or to sit back and kiss the proverbial ass of those who live better than us as they profit from our efforts.


Who are we? We are tired, we are angry, we are ready to take a stand as we reach the breaking point WE ARE OCCUPY AND WE NEVER GIVE UP!!!"
thanks Ben, for not today frighten you...
thanks for wearing burgundy, my favourite colour...
thanks for your time, energy, patience and most of all your confidence...
(hugs) all round with all my family at Occupy Calgary...
later man, jan