15 October, 2006

Stewardship meets Pledge Drive

What would you get if you crossed your church's stewardship campaign with a public radio/public television pledge drive? I have just been through both in my listening and worshiping lives. Who is more successful? My public radio station always seems to fall woefully short of its goal. I think our stewardship drive went well, but how many of those pledges are fulfilled? Should the church offer premiums to those who tithe? ". . . And at the 10% level we have a wonderful tote bag. If you can manage more than 10%, we'll throw in a coffee mug, too." Should the church have challenge grants? "If we can get five new families to pledge, the Smiths will throw in enough money for a new roof!" Could there be underwriting statements at the beginning and end of each worship? "This worship brought to you by worshippers like you!"

Actually, I think the premiums may have potential. Some day. . . .

13 October, 2006

RGBP Friday Five: Creature Comforts

Reverendmother writes...

Maybe it's the arrival of crisp October, my favorite month. Or maybe it's the fact that the divine little miss m has been sick all week (and if the baby ain't happy, ain't nobody happy). Whatever the reason, my thoughts have been turning to cozy creature comforts--those activities and spaces that just make a person feel good. And so...

1. Comfort beverage: Hot tea, usually herbal. But if I can get it, when I'm sick I prefer Ribena (hot). Ribena is a blackcurrant concentrate that can be diluted and drunk hot or cold. You can make it as sweet and syrupy as you want, depending on how much you dilute it. I encountered it first in Finland as a high school exchange student and then in its homeland, the United Kingdom, when I did a college semester near Oxford. We've ordered it online a couple times. I really should stock up for the cold and flu season.

2. Comfort chair: Our big brown one, while not exactly the color we imagined, it has a mushy pillow back and is wide enough for me to tuck my feet up under me.

3. Comfort read: Calvin and Hobbes. I have the 3-volume hardcover set. It works to sooth mental health aches, too. Second choice, any non-thought-provoking magazine.

4. Comfort television/DVD/music: "Who's Line is it Anyway?"/"M*A*S*H"/Anything Indigo Girls

5. Comfort companion(s): My husband, children, or best sem friend (via phone), but if I'm really sick, I prefer to be alone.

06 October, 2006

RGBP Friday Five: Civic Duties

Friday Five: Civic Duties

It's that season of the year when lawn signs are sprouting as surely as flowers in the spring; elections are just around the corner. And so today we bring you a Civic Duty Friday Five.

1) How old were you when you voted for the first time? I imagine I was 18, but I don't have a clear memory of the event.

2) What was the contest at the top of the ballot? I turned 18 in an off-year, 1987. The next year I voted absentee in the primary and general election for the President since I was out-of-state at college.

3) Can you walk to your polling place? I imagine I could, but there are no sidewalks for part of the way. It would be a bit of a hike, and the road w/o sidewalks is a 35 mph that everyone treats as if it were 45.

4) Have you ever run for public office? No, but my grandmother was on the school board while I was in junior high.

5) Have you run for office in a club or school or on a board? I've always been in on clubs when they just start out, so "running" for office is not really the right word. As an undergraduate, I was Vice President and then President of the Women's Soccer Club in its 3rd and 4th year of existence. As such, I was responsible for creating our schedule, securing transportation, finding a coach (who would volunteer; we had no money), recruiting players, fundraising, uniforms -- you get the picture. These were burdens of "club" status, no varsity standing with the university. As a grad student (the first time) I helped start a student chapter of Habitat for Humanity. I think I was their first secretary. Since then I've been laying low.

05 October, 2006

Tornado Tension

Last night we had some powerful storms blow through Our Fair City. The sky had that yellow-green color that is characteristic of tornadoes. We had rain, and strong winds, and then hail. Hail that we could hear pounding on the roof and windows. Looking at the satellite images on TV, we could see the pink area heading right over our house. Suddenly I was telling Gift Girl to get on her socks and shoes and doing the same for Bonus Boy so that we could head for the basement. I don't think I've ever done that before. I know my heart was pounding. The thing about tornadoes is that they can spring up suddenly. You know "conditions exist that are favorable for a tornado," but you don't know when or where or if it will actually form. Kind of tricky, and kind of makes you need to prepare even if you can't see it coming down the road.

Speaking of preparing, we have been thinking about, intending to, "prepare" for emergencies for a while now. Since Katrina definitely, and even before then, b/c we had lost power for 4 days over Christmas the first year we lived in this house. (We had to take Christmas on the road.) Crankable radio and lights, water, food, etc. I also thought about those who were facing Katrina last year (and other hurricanes). What does it feel like to see a huge storm bearing down on you? What do you take with you when you have to go, quickly? Gift Girl wanted her favorite doll after we had gone to the basement. I went to get it. With tornadoes, you never know. They come; they don't; and then they're over in a matter of minutes. It's so random. Just over thirty years ago, my mother went to work at the hospital in Xenia, Ohio just after the huge tornado passed through there. She saw the roofs flying in the air as she was driving, but then it was over.

I'm thankful it wasn't a tornado. I don't need that kind of adrenaline rush.