A week ago, I'd have been gearing up for Vacation Bible School. You might think a scene like the one below, from night #1 where we're working with air-dry clay, would be first and foremost in my memory.
But I find myself instead thinking of our social justice project. Each night, we collected money to send to Lutheran World Relief to build wells in countries where people don't have easy access to clean water.
We set it up as a competition between the boys and the girls. Below, you see the bulletin board at the beginning of the competition. At the opening session, we collected money in buckets, and then counted the money and charted the progress.
In years' past, it's been a competition where if the girls won, two girls would be selected to throw pies at specified adults (below, you see our pastor being a good sport). This year, we had one boy and one girl. It makes for memorable fundraising.
But we're not just raising money for the sake of raising money. Along the way, we're doing some educating about the state of the rest of the world. We're teaching gratitude for the good life that we have, the easy conveniences that don't even register in our consciousness. I can drink water from a faucet without much worry about infection: much of the world's inhabitants can't say that.
Will the children remember? I think so--and if a pie in the face makes it more memorable, then it's worth the extravagance.
I'm a lifelong Lutheran, and although I'm aware of some of the problems with Liberation Theology, it has spoken to me for much of my adolescent and adult life. All of the thoughts on this blog are mine (or those of commenters), and I don't intend to speak for any other Lutherans or Liberation Theologians.
A poet, a scholar, an administrator, a wanna-be mystic--always wrestling with the temptation to run away to join an intentional community--but would it be contemplative? social justice oriented? creative? in the mountains? in the inner city?--may as well stay planted and wrestle with these tensions and contradictions here, at the edge of America.
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My Poetry and Creativity Blog
To read my posts on creativity, poetry, and a host of related topics (and the occasional poem of mine), go here. You can also order both of my chapbooks from links on the creativity blog or contact me to purchase a signed copy of either book.