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Archive for November, 2009

And President Obama, like all politicians and all Presidents, is being seduced by it. I’m trying to withhold judgment and opinions on his decision for a “surge” in Afghanistan, but I’ve seen nothing to convince me, yet, that this is going to be anything but disastrous, as disastrous as LBJ’s Vietnam and George W. Bush’s fiasco of a decision to invade Iraq. For me, it’s cold comfort that Obama at least has stood up to the enormous political pressure and the rage of the right wing to be what W. would call “the decider” and inject thousands of troops into the vast, vast and very vast sinkhole that Afghanistan is.
Contrary to all the rabid calls for war and more war, there are alternatives to more troops and more casualties–just as there were alternatives to dealing with Iraq and Saddam by invading with nothing like a Plan B, C, D in case enemies on the other side decided to do what enemies are prone to do, which is slaughter invaders. And, in fact, those who fought us back in Iraq weren’t even Iraqis, but suicidal terrorists and nasty thugs from other countries who poured into Iraq to mindlessly blow up innocent men, women and children in order to blow up our wonderful and brave troops.
Well, like I say, I’m trying to withhold judgment on Obama’s plan that he’ll spring on us next week, and not doing a very good job of holding my peace, obviously.
But the same high commanders pushing for more troops in Afghanistan are many of the same high commanders who lied through their teeth to us about the now infamous death of NFL football star Pat Tillmann, who was killed by friendly fire but held up as a national symbol of a patriotic hero by Bush and his little band of warmongers. Meanwhile, our troops are being killed and maimed for life every day, still, while we the American public struggle with our conflicted feelings about raising the stakes in Afghanistan. The loud clowns on the far right wing just keep on banging the drums for more war in their endless lust for more and more war–always easy to do when you don’t have a personal stake in war as all the most war-ready right-thinking pundits always do. It’s never the blood of their blood or skin off their backs. When it’s your kids, your spouse, your parents at war, you tend to be more discerning and thankful we have one as discerning as Obama carefully and cautiously trying to be “the decider” who inherited the W. disaster of a decision maker.
Meanwhile, here’s what brought this rant on: News from Terrell, Texas, which had a population of 13,600 people in the 2000 census, a town that has paid an exceptionally hard and high price for the war deciders. This story just broke my heart and I pray for these families–and pray for President Obama just as I prayed for President W even as I loathed him and prayed God’s mercy on my own soul for it the intense feelings I had against him and Cheney and Rumsfeld. War should never be about patriotic gore. War should always bring us to our knees and appeal to God to help us all.

Hundreds gather in Terrell to honor fallen soldier
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
By KAREL HOLLOWAY / The Dallas Morning News
kholloway@dallasnews.com

TERRELL — Angels flew above the American flags that lined State Highway 80 on Wednesday, symbols of joy and sorrow.
Hundreds waited under the Christmas decorations and flags to honor Army Spc. Joseph “Joe” Michael Lewis, the fifth Terrell soldier to die in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2004.

Lewis, 26, died Nov. 17 in Afghanistan when his vehicle was attacked with an improvised explosive device, according to the Defense Department. It is the second time in two months that the small Kaufman County town has organized to honor a fallen soldier.

The Lion and Rotary clubs placed large flags running along State Highway 34 from the city’s edge about two miles to downtown. The flags then continued on Highway 80, Terrell’s main street.

Peter Tuohy walked up and down the street, handing out flags that he had bought to those waiting. He’s from Mesquite, but “I like Terrell,” he said. He said a few weeks ago he also gave out flags for the procession for Sgt. Shawn McNabb, 24, killed last month in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

“It’s a tiny contribution for a large contribution — the ultimate contribution,” Tuohy said.

As they waited, residents talked about kids, dogs and Thanksgiving. But they kept watch for the procession, stepping into the street to look east.

Mary Spears, standing with a group of American National Bank employees, seemed surprised when asked why she was there.

“Why am I here? The reason being to pay respect,” she said. “My dad was 30 years in the military and he always came home.”

On the street in front of Anderson Clayton Brothers Funeral Home, Terrell firefighters had parked their trucks and used the ladders to hoist a giant American flag over the street. Funeral home workers had been out early Wednesday pushing small American flags around the edge of the home’s lawn.

Unfortunately, for them it has become a sad routine. The funeral home has handled services for all five of the Terrell soldiers.

Sophia Anders said the services are hard, “but we’re so proud of them.”

The family has declined interview requests.

At about 1 p.m., police and fire trucks blocked the intersection and the procession came through. The Patriot Guards motorcycle club led the way, followed by a plain white hearse.

Two white limousines carrying family members followed and behind them 10 vehicles with friends. The Guard, Terrell police, a fire truck and an American Red Cross emergency truck brought up the rear.

Linda Britton showed up with a group of family members just before the procession passed by. They numbered at least 11, including five grandchildren ranging in age from five to 16.

“I think my grandchildren need to see this. I think they need to know,” she said. “They have privileges and they need to know someone died for them.”

Lewis was born in Dallas and graduated from L.D. Bell High School in Hurst and attended Trinity Valley Community College in Terrell. He finished basic training at Fort Knox in 2004 and served in Korea and at Fort Lewis in Washington state before going to Afghanistan.

A visitation is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home, 301 W. Nash St.. Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, 200 W. College St. Burial will follow at Highland Memorial Garden in Terrell.

Lewis is survived by his wife, Teresa Lewis, and infant daughter, Abiageal, his parents, grandparents and a sister. The family has asked that memorials be sent to a trust fund for Abiageal at American National Bank, PO Box 40, Terrell, Texas, 75160.

Other Terrell troops killed since 2004 include Army Sgt. Gerardo Moreno, 23, who was killed April 6, 2004, in a rocket-propelled grenade attack near Ashula; Sgt. Sean Brady Berry, who died in October 2005 in Iraq; and Spc. Jonathan David Arthur “J.D.” Emard, 20, who died of combat wounds in Tikrit, Iraq, in June 2008.

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Coach Josh, Trash Talker

Don’t think the young Coach Tom Landry started out this way (Here’s an update, sports fans: Denver did beat the NY Giants (who hasn’t beaten the Giants lately?) on Thanksgiving Day, ending their losing streak–and the NFL Channel accidentally aired Josh McDaniels yelling the F-bomb at some of his players on the sideline. Ain’t been the young coach’s week:

DENVER (AP)—Josh McDaniels’ trash talk is the talk of the league.
The Denver Broncos’ brash—some would say cocky—coach exchanged taunts with a group of San Diego Chargers linebackers during warmups Sunday, at one point telling them, “We own you!”
Then, he watched those very players lead the Chargers’ 32-3 beatdown that knocked Denver out of first place in the AFC West.
His words reverberated across the NFL, with fellow coaches saying they had never heard of this happening before and at least one star player suggesting they should be allowed to fight back with fists and not just their mouths when taunted by an opposing coach.
According to players who were either involved in the heated exchange or who witnessed it, the main target of the 33-year-old McDaniels’ taunting was outside linebacker Shaun Phillips(notes), whose sack and strip of Chris Simms(notes) on his first dropback set the early tone for San Diego’s statement victory.
“As a coach, I hope he has that mindset, but to say you own us? You beat us one time,” said Phillips, who is five years younger than McDaniels. “How much has he really done in this league? He had a team 6-0 and now he’s looking up at us in second place.”
Denver rookie safety David Bruton(notes) said he didn’t see anything wrong with his coach jawing with the opponent.
“It shows that he cares and is fighting for his team,” he said. “Our coach is an emotional coach, he is a very fiery coach. He has a lot of passion for the game and for the Broncos. What he did wasn’t Woody Hayes. Hayes would reach up and hit you on the side of the head.”
Which is what Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark(notes) suggested players should be allowed to do when coaches taunt players from the other team.
“Honestly, my thought on that is, I would like to petition Mr. (Roger) Goodell and say, if a coach can talk to me like that, I should be able to fight him,” Clark said. “I don’t know where he’s from, but where I’m from, when somebody talks to you like that, they’ve got a problem with you. And we should be able to fight.
“If a player talks that way, you get to hit him. When a coach talks that way, you don’t really get to strike back. Who wants to have verbal jabs with a coach? That’s no fun. Let’s fight.”
Earlier this month, Goodell, the league’s commissioner, fined Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams $250,000 for making obscene hand gestures at Buffalo Bills fans.
But McDaniels’ trash talk won’t cost him anything in fines.
“No, it’s not anything we are reviewing,” league spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press.
Penalty or not, Tennessee Titans linebacker Keith Bullock said coaches have no right to razz opposing players.
“The coach had his opportunity when he was younger to have his time out there and obviously it’s over,” Bullock said.
As if taking a cue from their coach, the Broncos let their emotions get the best of them Sunday, unraveling with silly penalties and sideline spats in a reversal of their 34-23 win at San Diego a month earlier.
After taking the league by storm with six straight wins, including one over his mentor, New England’s Bill Belichick, after which he did his best Tiger Woods’ fist-pump over and over, McDaniels finds himself trying to straighten out a team that’s lost four straight heading into the Thanksgiving night game against the New York Giants (6-4).
He acknowledged his team lost its poise last week but he declined to discuss his own pregame chatter with the Chargers. After the game, he told the Denver Post that he didn’t want to make an issue out of it and, besides, he said, they started it.
Denver defensive end Vonnie Holliday(notes) gave a passionate defense of his coach this week only seconds after ripping on his teammates for all their “jaw-jacking” during the game.
“The thing about Josh is that he’s a very competitive guy, too. He’s right there in that fire with us. When we go out on that field, he’s right in it with us. Emotionally, he’s as charged as we are, and as a player you love that in your coach,” Holliday said.

“I think that’s great that as a coach he can do that. I’m sure it’s probably frowned upon or somebody’s going to say something bad about it. But as a player, I didn’t know that had happened, but I wish I had seen it. It might have gotten me going a little more.”

Broncos fullback Peyton Hillis(notes) said, “I don’t think it’s any different from a player going up against another player. Before the game and during the game you are enemies. At the end of the day, the coaches aren’t going to shy away from an opponent.”
Coaches have been known to crack an occasional quick joke with opponents before a game, but they usually don’t put themselves in position to get razzed by a rival. And if they do find themselves targeted by taunts, they tend to walk away and let their players handle things themselves on the field rather than provide any more motivation for the competition.
Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini said he couldn’t recall a coach ever getting into it with opposing players during warmups, “and even if that was the case, you have a game to play, so you just focus on that.”
Some coaches said the bigger issue is when players spill onto the opposing sideline during play, which can lead to scuffles like the one earlier this month involving Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall(notes) and members of his former team, the Atlanta Falcons.
“The referees are great at running in there and (breaking things up), but there’s not a place for it,” Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress said. “Typically, those guys can tumble into your bench or sideline, but you’re more worried about getting ‘em off the ground or finding out if any of your guys got hurt. It’s split-second stuff.
“It has to do with the emotions of the game, too. But as competitors, you have to be able to control that emotion. There’s not a lot of place for it. You get off-centered that way too easily.”
Titans coach Jeff Fisher, the elder statesman among NFL coaches, said he’s never heard of a coach taunting the other team’s players before or after a game.
“I personally feel like I have a great deal of respect for them. I’ll do a lot more of the other, just talking,” he said.
And what does he think of McDaniels’ trash talking opponents?
“Good luck in free agency.”

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Three Amigos (Clergy Div.)


Interesting story of three clergymen from as many faith traditions seeking that proverbial common ground:

November 24, 2009
Three Clergymen, Three Faiths, One Friendship
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
New York Times

NASHVILLE — It sounds like the start of a joke: a rabbi, a minister and a Muslim sheik walk into a restaurant.

But there they were, Rabbi Ted Falcon, the Rev. Don Mackenzie and Sheik Jamal Rahman, walking into an Indian restaurant, and afterward a Presbyterian church. The sanctuary was full of 250 people who came to hear them talk about how they had wrestled with their religious differences and emerged as friends.

They call themselves the “interfaith amigos.” And while they do sometimes seem more like a stand-up comedy team than a trio of clergymen, they know they have a serious burden in making a case for interfaith understanding in a country reeling after a Muslim Army officer at Fort Hood, Tex., was charged with opening fire on his fellow soldiers, killing 13.

“It arouses once again fear, distrust and doubt,” Sheik Rahman said, “and I know that when that happens, even the best of people cannot think clearly.”

The three say they became close not by avoiding or glossing over their conflicts, but by running straight at them. They put everything on the table: the verses they found offensive in one another’s holy books, anti-Semitism, violence in the name of religion, claims by each faith to have the exclusive hold on truth, and, of course, Israel.

“One of the problems in the past with interfaith dialogue is we’ve been too unwilling to upset each other,” Rabbi Falcon told the crowd at the Second Presbyterian Church here. “We try to honor the truth. This is the truth for you, and this is the truth for me. It may not be reconcilable, but it is important to refuse to make the other the enemy.”

Asked what is the hardest issue they have faced, the minister and the sheik simultaneously said, “Israel.”

“Yeah,” the rabbi said, “ ’cause these guys still don’t understand.”

Across the country, interfaith initiatives are multiplying. Jews and Christians have held dialogues for years, but after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, many local interfaith groups decided it was urgent to include Muslims. Many Muslims were eager, too, concerned that their faith not be defined by terrorism. There are now interfaith Thanksgivings, interfaith college clubs, interfaith women’s groups and interfaith teams building affordable housing. On Nov. 14 and 15, 100 synagogues and mosques in North America and Europe paired up for dialogues and joint social service projects.

What distinguishes the “amigos,” who live in Seattle but make presentations around the country, is a unique approach to what they call “the spirituality of interfaith relations.” At the church in Nashville, the three clergymen, dressed in dark blazers, stood up one by one and declared what they most valued as the core teachings of their tradition The minister said “unconditional love.” The sheik said “compassion.” And the rabbi said “oneness.”

The room then grew quiet as each stood and recited what he regarded as the “untruths” in his own faith. The minister said that one “untruth” for him was that “Christianity is the only way to God.” The rabbi said for him it was the notion of Jews as “the chosen people.” And the sheik said for him it was the “sword verses” in the Koran, like “kill the unbeliever.”

“It is a verse taken out of context,” Sheik Rahman said, pointing out that the previous verse says that God has no love for aggressors. “But we have to acknowledge that ‘kill the unbelievers’ is an awkward verse,’ ” the sheik said as the crowd laughed. “Some verses are literal, some are metaphorical, but the Koran doesn’t say which is which.”

Clearly, all three clergymen are in the liberal wing of their respective faiths. Mr. Mackenzie, 65, is a minister in the United Church of Christ, and recently retired from leading a large congregation, the University Congregational U.C.C., in Seattle. As a young man, he taught in Lebanon.

Rabbi Falcon, 67, is a Reform rabbi with a doctorate in clinical psychology who founded synagogues in Los Angeles and Seattle that meld meditation with Jewish tradition.

Sheik Rahman, 59, is a Sufi, a path of Islam focused more on spiritual wisdom than strict ritual. He is the son of a diplomat from Bangladesh, which helps explain his courtly ease. He co-founded an unusual mixed-faith congregation in Seattle, the Interfaith Community Church.

The minister and the rabbi met in a Christian-Jewish dialogue group, and the rabbi and the sheik met later when they were both on the board of a fledgling university that never got off the ground. After Sept. 11, Rabbi Falcon reached out to Sheik Rahman. They conducted several interfaith workshops, and for the first anniversary of the attacks, Rabbi Falcon invited Mr. Mackenzie to get involved, and the events were held at Mr. Mackenzie’s church. When they were over, the three said to one another, why stop now?

They began to meet weekly for spiritual direction, combining mutual support with theological reflection. Their families became acquainted over meals. They started an AM radio show, and they traveled together to Israel and the occupied territories. Recently, they wrote a book, “Getting to the Heart of Interfaith,” (Skylight Paths, 2009).

At one point, the rabbi read a line the sheik had written about the security wall in Israel and announced, “If that line is in the book, I’m not in the book.” After vigorous discussion, Sheik Rahman rewrote the line in a way that both men felt was respectful of their principles.

In the question-and-answer period at the church here, one woman challenged, “It would behoove you to start speaking in mosques.” (They already have some mosque events planned.) Others asked for practical steps to build bridges.

Afterward, Mark Wingate, a computer programmer and a Methodist, said: “Talking about the untruths of each tradition is very courageous. It gets it out of the platitude category and into dialogue.”

Mr. Wingate’s wife, Sally, added: “They had to work really hard to get to that point. Most of us are not willing to work that hard.”

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Yes, we’ve made Billy Preston’s signature song, “That’s the Way God Planned It,” the official JFJ theme song.
You can now find Billy’s famous live performance of it on video and play it any time you want by going to the “Pages” at the right top of the page here. The video features Billy doing the soulful and spiritual song at his close friend George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh–where Billy achieved his legendary status by jumping up and jitterbugging across the stage in the final minute of the song. George and the other musicians on stage–Eric Clapton is on stage there–had no idea Billy was going to jump up from the organ and go all Pentecostal on them, but Billy, who was a devout Christian and lifelong churchgoer, yielded whole hog to the Holy Spirit and had to get up and shimmy across the stage a while.
Enough about that.
This is what you need to know: Jitterbuggingforjesus.com is featuring Billy the rest of the holiday weekend with videos of this amazing musician in action.
Here he is–at the tender age of 10–with a guy that oldtimers will remember, but don’t stop there: we got an encore of Billy doing our theme song right below the Nat King Cole vid!!!!
And you’re quite welcome for this Thanksgiving Weekend treat, Ladies and Germs. Just click on the link for the Cole video (with a word at the end of it from Natalie Cole) before you click on the encore You Tube vid:

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13 When Jesus heard what had happened, He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” 16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
— From the Gospel of Matthew, Ch. 14

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We’ve been thinking for a while now that Jitterbuggingforjesus.com needs a theme song, something that combines God and Christ and the Holy Ghost and deep spirituality with some real jitterbugging music because, as you know, this blog is powered by the Holy Spirit and rock and roll theology (Jitterbug Theology to be exact). Because as Paul says in Galatians, “the fruit of the spirit is love, jitterbugging, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (the latter being the one that gives us the most challenge because of a weakness for Mexican food and margaritas).
And so, we here at jitterbugginforjesus.com (with its offices located off LBJ Freeway in Dallas, Texas, not all that far from the home of Texas blues, and that would be the down-and-funky Deep Ellum section of Dallas which, by the way, has a great new blues club called Tucker’s, recently opened by the Tucker family whose parents were all about Dallas blues)–we have searched our vaults for the perfect theme song–and video!–to serve as the JFJ theme song and video.
We’ll have more to say about this, but for now, for your listening and viewing pleasure, is our choice, and it’s the legendary Billy Preston–often called the “Fifth Beatle” because of his personal and musical association with the Beatles that goes back all the way to when they met in Hamburg–at the legendary Concert for Bangladesh hosted by Billy’s near and dear friend the Beatle George.
(Warning-Billy shocked the hell out of the audience–and shocked George and you’ll see that he shocked everybody in the room–in the last minute of this performance, which ranks on everybody’s short list as one of the greatest rock and roll performances of all time. So hold on to your seat because the late, great Billy Preston and the Holy Spirit are about to blow you up.)

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On this Thanksgiving Eve . . .
I thank God every day I still have my jitterbug legs (i.e., good health).
In my business, as a chaplain at a hospital where I worked three very difficult deaths with three grief-stricken families just last night, I thank God every day for life its own self.
People seem to think chaplains have the hardest, most depressing job in the world, and, indeed, it ain’t easy sometimes being around so much suffering and grieving and anger and sadness and all the rest.
Last night, I watched a man stand outside an ICU room with his twin brother–both of them crying their eyes out–as they watched a medical team try for 20 futile minutes to revive the man’s wife–the love of his life–before a doctor and I persuaded him it was way past time to let her go on home to God. He agreed it was time, finally.
I always tell people, as I told him, that there’s worse things than dying, and living for another minute would only prolong his suffering and that of his already dead wife. Comes a time when you can still be alive and be plenty dead too–my God, life can be so incredibly complicated as much as we want it all simplified–and lifesaving measures by medical professionals only get in God’s way.
The challenge in pastoral care ministry of any kind–and I’m sure your own pastor at your church would agree–is getting people to see that it’s time to let a loved one die and go home. We all have to die sometime, and there comes a time when no amount of medical miracle drugs and lifesaving measures and the best doctor in the universe can reverse it.
Ultimately, Dr. God is going to have the last word.
Well, my ministry as a chaplain is rarely so hard as to overwhelm me and a healthy sense of self, because I love life and thank God for every day I have of it. Out of living so close to suffering and death comes an enormous reliance on God’s grace and appreciation for every breath God gives me.
And anyway, there’s no greater privilege imaginable than being able to be present with someone as he or she draws his or her last breath and lies at perfect peace, perfect rest.
Very late last night, in a very dimly lit room, I stood over the bed of a 44 year old woman for almost two hours as I and her mother watched her gasp for another breath at a rate of about every 30 seconds. The many other family members were devastated with grief over this young and dying woman, so devastated that they were cursing and shouting at one another.
I and a very good nurse (who spent seven years as a hospice nurse) at one point had uh, sort of firmly persuaded the patient’s to take all their negative energy out of the room and take up their fighting somewhere else–the parking lot outside would be OK with me if it was OK with security–which is to say, we kicked them out of the room.
The good thing is, after the death and a lot of crying and hugging, they much regretted their behavior, but like I told them–grief brings out the best and also the worst in families and loved ones and that’s just the way it is. Everybody thinks their own family is dysfunctional but here’s a news flash for you from right out of the Bible–families are all broken, just like individuals, and all stand in need of God’s love and grace in order to keep from killing each other. Especially in the holiday season, hello???? Sound familiar?
Anyway, when finally this young woman breathed her last and it became obvious she was all out of breath, her mother reached across her daughter’s body, grabbed my arm and asked, “Is she gone?”
“She’s with God,” I said to this faithful woman.
“Oh good,” she said. And I was struck by the joyful energy in her voice. “I’ve given her back to Jesus.”
Wow.
And you think my job is hard?
My job is just the best. Thank you God for it.
WEll, my prayer for everybody during this holiday season is–that you come to appreciate more fully the “life more abundant” that Jesus came to give us; that you make sure your loved ones know you love them no matter what; and that God will shed God’s grace on thee.
And that you keep jitterbugging even if you don’t have legs at all.
And with no further ado: Here’s a little jitterbug history –some HONEST history in case you have sensitive sensibilities and may find some of it offensive — from Sonny Watson’s blog at Streetswing.com:

What a strange but unique name – The Jitterbug! Nearly all people attribute Cab Calloway (1907-1994) as coining the term. However, he was not the one. As you will see, Harry Alexander White (b.6/1/1898) who was also known as “Father White” by his peers coined the term “Jitterbug.” White was a trombonist, drummer and arranger on the “Keith Circuit” in 1914 as well as working with Duke Ellington (1899-1974) and Elmer Snowden, later White, would work with the renowned Cab Calloway.

Calloway’s trumpeter, Edwin Swayzee, overheard Mr. White using the term “Jitterbug,” which apparently was unheard of during this period. Swayzee wrote the song entitled “The Jitterbug” for Cab Calloway after hearing White’s use of the word. Calloway recorded the song in January 1934, which made it a household name. Sooo White coined it, Swayzee used it, and Calloway made it famous.

Incidentally, the very first song written for the movie “Wizard of Oz” (1938) was the song titled “Jitterbug” as well. (July/1938 Keen Magazine.)

Jazz lingo played an important part as well (Daddy-O, Icky, Reefer, Hep-Cat, etc.) and was big during the Jazz era. Here are some of its stories:
1) One description is that it meant a man or women, suffering from alcoholic or drug nerves.
2) Another story has Jitterbug associated to the English word “Bugger or Bugging” (a sexual act,) and was used to characterize someone suffering from Syphilis.
3) Another is of racial nonsense (resembling the preceding) was used to characterize a man or woman, who was sexually active with a dissimilar race (Black and White,) and/or who had the “Jitters from Drugs, Alcohol or Syphilis and was “bugging” them a Jitterbugger!
4) Some of the stories were comical, such as; the dancers looked like jitterbugs – (?) because they bounced. So, whatever the original intent of the word may have been, it is now, to be known as a dance.

– There were distinct forms of Lindy and Shag already being done at such places as the Savoy Ballroom. Today, the Jitterbug as a dance, is also known as: Hollywood Style, Lindy Hop, East Coast, West Coast, Push, Whip, Jive, Shag, New Yorker, Bop, Ceroc, Leroc, Rock and Roll etc. Jitterbug was a slang or umbrella term for what we call “Swing dancing” today with the term Jitterbug initially enveloping all styles of swing. Depending on what City or State you came from and what year you danced in. Each variant of swing that was danced was called the Jitterbug at one time or another. Today some people are trying to maintain it is only “Single or double rhythm East Coast swing” (Well … yes it was!, as well as all the other forms mentioned above.) The W.W.II and the U.S.O. spread the Jitterbug all over the World.

Benny Goodman (1909-1986) is credited with establishing the Swing Craze as well as helping make the word jitterbug a household name. Goodman was signed to perform on the “National Biscuit Saturday Night ” radio broadcasts in New York. Goodman would perform popular standards during the day for the popular radio hours in New York, but late at night, when New York was asleep, he would play some of his own music. Because of the national time difference, California being three hours behind, many younger Californians did lend an ear.

During the spring of 1934, RCA-Victor Records Company signed Goodman’s Band. That Summer he went on the road and toured the Ballrooms, despite having his own music, he was told to play the standards, as earlier attempts to play his music found much displeasure by the older ballroom dancers. This was to lead to a procession of failures (flops) on his tour, as no one eventually came. Nevertheless, when Goodman hit California, there was about to be a transformation.

The first stop was Sweet’s Ballroom in Oakland, Ca. young adults lined up for blocks to hear and dance to Goodman’s new music, They Jitterbugged all night long. This was ACTUALLY the first “Un-official” start of the Jitterbug craze and the Big Swing Bands. (Goodman wouldn’t believe his success, thought it was some flook.) Descending the coast to his next and final, would be permanent stop on his tour was in Los Angeles at the “Palomar Ballroom.” This would become the first “Officially recorded start of the Jitterbug” and Swing Bands.

Originally, before his successfulness at Sweets ballroom, the Palomar Ballroom was to be the final stop of Goodman’s tour (as well as to be their final gig, forever, due to all his previous touring failures.) The show at the Palomar was jammed with young adults that were listening to Goodman’s prior New York broadcast’s on the radio, due to the earlier time frame between New York and California, the young adults on the East Coast didn’t listen to his music. Benny Goodman became a TREMENDOUS sensation at the Palomar (to his surprise); these ‘West Coast kids’ and adults were jitterbugging all night long and loving it. The newspapers loved it as well and reported on the “jitterbugging” done at the Palomar.

From there, Goodman went on to Chicago (a success,) then finally arriving back in New York, where he formerly had his first dismal turnout after the Palomar on this “would be” famous tour. In the summer of 1936, the Paramount Theater in New York, on hearing of his achievement in California, hired his band to play. Goodman’s West Coast success at the Palomar was rivaled only by the Paramount Theater as the kids were “Jitterbugging in the Isles.” The newspapers reported on his band’s success and about the dancing. Again, the reporters used the term “Jitterbug” in their columns and the term “Jitterbug,” after that day, publicly was here forever.

So if you “Swing Dance,” whatever style it may be You are a Jitterbug, “Believe it or Not!”

Many folks ask what style of swing (Jitterbug) is best, West Coast, East Coast, Whip, Push, Lindy, Shag etc. However, there is no best style. The best style would depend on what type of music you are dancing to at the time, Geographics, the theme of the dance being held, geographics, the speed in which the music is played and the dance knowledge of you and or your partner. If you’re partner only knows one style of swing, then their style would be the best style to dance with them at that time. If they only know one style they usually will declare that the style they know is the best style above all others and usually will make derogatory statements for many varied reasons.

Swing (Jitterbug) is a wonderful dance form in all it’s versions that fits all types of music, personalities, finances etc. Calling yourself a swing dancer means you can at least do the basics in many forms of swing and a few well. So learn to swing dance whatever style, you’re unique and your dances should be varied and your style should represent your knowledge of dance that other, newer dancers (and they are the majority) don’t possess, not limited to only one. However you will eventually find you like them all and soon you will understand the importance of them all as well as understand why there are different styles to begin with. So enjoy them and mainly smile, laugh and have fun.

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Found this blurb I’m posting below at the blog called “Keep the Faith” which is published by The Houston Chronicle. The blogger is the Rev. Dr. Matt Tittle, a minister of Bay Area Unitarian Universalist Church in Houston. (He is also a former university professor, retired naval officer, marathoner, and triathlete; can you say over-achiever???) He found it at the blog site of a German blogger, but apparently the original author and creator of this analogy of “life after birth” with “life after death” is unknown. An interesting analogy indeed:

Am unborn set of twins are having a conversation in their mother’s womb.
“Tell me, do you believe in life after birth?” asks one of the twins.
“Yes, definitely! In here we are growing and gaining strength for what will face us on the outside,” answers the other.
“That is utter nonsense!” says the first one. “There cannot be life after birth; how is that supposed to look, may I ask?”
“I don’t exactly know myself, but it will certainly be much lighter out there than in here. And perhaps we will actually be running around on our legs and eating with our mouths.”
“I have never heard such nonsense! Eating with your mouth, what a crazy idea! That’s what we have umbilical cords for, to feed us. And you want to run around? It would never work; the umbilical cord is much too short!”
“It will work for sure. It will all be a little different.”
“You are crazy! Nobody has ever come back from after birth! Life ends with our birth and that’s it! Period.”
“I must admit that nobody nows what life will look like after our birth. But I know that we will get to see our mother and that she will take care of us.”
“Mother? You are trying to tell me that you believe in a mother? Well, where then is our mother?”
“Well, here! All around us. We are alive in her and through her. Without her we could not exist!”
“Rubbish! I have never noticed anything of a mother. Therefore, a mother cannot exist.”
It’s true! Sometimes when you are really quiet, you can hear her sing or you can feel when she lovingly caresses our world!”
Blessings,
Rev. Matt

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Here’s what happened when Martin Scorcese–in the best rock and roll movie ever made (The Last Waltz)–put one of best bands in rock history, The Band, with one of the best gospel, rock and R&B groups of all time, The Staples Singers (“God’s greatest hitmakers”), and simply pointed the cameras on them: (And if Pops Staples doesn’t give you goose bumps when he slides into this video with that honey sweet voice of his, you know what to do–go have your pulse checked for signs of life):

Induction Year of The Staples Singers into Rock Hall of Fame: 1999
Induction Category: Performer
Inductees: Pops Staples (vocals, guitar; born 12/28/15), Cleotha Staples (vocals; born 4/11/34), Mavis Staples (vocals; born 7/10/39), Pervis Staples (vocals; born 11/?/35), Yvonne Staples (vocals; born 10/23/38)
The Staple Singers have been called “God’s greatest hitmakers.” Steeped in the music of the church, this singing family from Mississippi crossed into the pop mainstream without compromising their gospel roots. Fronted by patriarch Roebuck “Pops” Staples, the Staple Singers have left an imprint of soulful voices, social activism, religious conviction and danceable “message music” across the decades since the release of “Uncloudy Day” in 1956. The clan’s musical signatures have been Pops Staples’ gospel-based songwriting and bluesy guitar, Mavis Staples’ rich, raspy vocals and the supple, ringing harmonies of Cleotha and Yvonne Staples. All three women are the daughters of Pops and Oceola Staples. Until 1969, son Pervis also belonged to the group, which has been configured as a quartet for more than half a century, with Pops and Mavis joined by Cleotha, Yvonne and/or Pervis.

By force of conviction and the rollicking, rhythm & blues underpinnings of their music, the gospel-based Staples cracked the Top Forty eight times from 1971 to 1975. Two singles reached #1: the funky, inspirational “I’ll Take You There,” which was the highlight of their tenure on Stax Records, and “Let’s Do It Again,” a film-soundtrack song recorded for Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom label. Beyond these watermarks, the Staple Singers have enjoyed a lengthy history that dates back to the late Forties.

It all began with Pops Staples, who grew up hearing both church and blues music in his native Mississippi. In 1931, he joined the Gospel Trumpets, a local quartet. After relocating his family to Chicago in 1936, Pops became a member of the Trumpet Jubilees. While Oceola Staples worked evenings, Pops kept the brood occupied by teaching them songs, and this diversion became their lifelong occupation. The family sang at churches around the upper Midwest, became regulars on a Sunday radio show and cut their first recording-a 78 rpm single on Pops’ own Royal label-in 1953. Another record for a local label (“Won’t You Sit Down,” on United) led to a contract with the Chicago-based Vee Jay Records. The Staple Singers stayed at Vee Jay from 1956-1962, a tenure that included their breakthrough single, “Uncloudy Day.”

Moving to the New York-based Riverside label, the Staple Singers adopted a more folk-oriented sound, recording contemporary, message-oriented songs by the likes of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan. Their late-Sixties tenure on Epic Records found them moving further in this direction, as the Staples recorded protest songs (Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”) and inspirational material (“Marching Up Jesus’ Highway”) in a folk-gospel style. The Staple Singers enjoyed their greatest commercial success at the Memphis-based Stax label, where their message-oriented material was emplaced in a funkier setting. Their run of Top Forty hits began in 1971 with “Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom)” and gained steam with the crossover success of “Respect Yourself.” A new plateau was reached when “I’ll Take You There” topped the pop and R&B charts. As regards their crossover from pure gospel to folk and soul-flavored material-a source of controversy within the religious community-Pops Staples explained to Essence magazine: “We’ve always tried to make affirmative, happy music that makes a positive point. Our aim is to get across a message while we’re entertaining people.”

After the demise of Stax, a move to Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom label at mid-decade resulted in the Staple Singers’ second #1 hit, “Let’s Do It Again,” a disco-era favorite. Moving on to Warner Bros., where they remained till the end of the decade, the group shortened their name to the Staples. (As a side note, guitarist George Benson-who played in the Staples’ band-launched a successful solo career with Pops Staples’ help at Warner Bros.) While at Stax, Mavis and Pops Staples had recorded solo albums, and they continued to do so for Warner Bros. and other labels. In the late Eighties, Prince signed Mavis Staples to his Paisley Park label and produced, played on and wrote much of the material for two memorable solo discs, Time Waits for No One and The Voice. In 1994, Pops Staples’ Father Father won a Grammy for the Best Contemporary Blues Album.

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God's got the whole world in God's loving hands

God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action
A Pastoral Letter from the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church1

God’s creation is in crisis. We, the bishops of The United Methodist Church, cannot remain silent while God’s people and God’s planet suffer. This beautiful natural world is a loving gift from God, the Creator of all things seen and unseen. God has entrusted its care to all of us, but we have turned our backs on God and on our responsibilities. Our neglect, selfishness, and pride have fostered:
• pandemic poverty and disease;
• environmental degradation, and
• the proliferation of weapons and violence.i
Despite these interconnected threats to life and hope, God’s creative work continues. Despite the ways we all contribute to these problems, God still invites each one of us to participate in the work of renewal. We must begin the work of renewing creation by being renewed in our own hearts and minds. We cannot help the world until we change our way of being in it.
In preparation for this letter and the accompanying Foundation Document, we, the bishops, have listened to thousands of United Methodists around the world. You asked us to lead with concrete actions, raise awareness, and offer a word of hope to ease our grief, guilt and concern. Because you informed the substance of this letter, we invite you to participate in its reading by joining in the lament, confession, and pledges in a few moments. The differences
1 The 2004 General Conference of The United Methodist Church called for the Council of Bishops to publish new documents and a study guide similar to the Council’s landmark call in 1986, In Defense of Creation: The Nuclear Crisis and a Just Peace. This is the Council’s response to the General Conference action (The Book of Resolutions of The
2 Pastoral Letter in Liturgical Setting, adopted November 3, 2009 at Lake Junaluska, NC, USA.
among us are great, but we share a common concern and a common call. We all feel saddened by the state of the world, overwhelmed by the scope of these problems, and anxious about the future, but God calls us and equips us to respond. No matter how bad things are, God’s creative work continues. Christ’s resurrection assures us that death and destruction do not have the last word. Paul taught that through Jesus Christ, God offers redemption to all of creation and reconciles all things, “whether on earth or in heaven.”(Col 1:20ii
Aware of God’s vision for creation, we no longer see a list of isolated problems affecting disconnected people, plants, and animals. Rather, we see one interconnected system that “groans in travail.”(Romans 8:22) The threats to peace, people, and planet earth are related to one another, and God’s vision encompasses complete well-being. We, your bishops, join with many global religious leaders to call for a comprehensive response to these interrelated issues. We urge all United Methodists and people of goodwill to offer themselves as instruments of God’s renewing Spirit in the world. ) God’s Spirit is always and everywhere at work in the world fighting poverty, restoring health, renewing creation, and reconciling peoples.
We cannot be instruments of God’s renewing Spirit in the world if we continue to deny the wounds of creation. Therefore, let us join in a lament for God’s people and planet:
Leaderiii
United Methodist Church 2004: “Replace In Defense of Creation with new Document and Study Guide”). : We see waters polluted, species destroyed, forests ablaze, and land abused. We see weapons and waste littering the earth. We see people, created in the very image of God, suffering
3 Pastoral Letter in Liturgical Setting, adopted November 3, 2009 at Lake Junaluska, NC, USA.
from famine and disease, burying their children, and living in hatred and fear. We know the farmers who cannot plant their fields because they are infested by land mines. We know the nations that build and make plans to use weapons of mass destruction in the vain pursuit of security.
People: We lament the wounds on our beautiful planet.
Leader: We see people overwhelmed by fear and anxiety; people who find the wounds of the world too deep to address; people who see the challenges to health and well-being for all as too great to overcome. We know the workers who can no longer provide for their families and the activists exhausted by the struggle for justice.
People: We grieve for our world, filled with pain.
Leader: We see communities without basic health care and clean water; communities stripped of natural resources and denied access to land; communities torn apart by intolerance, religious extremism and ethnic hatred. We know the refugee who risks death and capture searching for a safe place to live.
People: We weep for communities in crisis.
Leader: We see a world where some live opulently while others barely survive; a world where the innocent suffer and the corrupt profit; a world where too many still find their opportunities and freedom limited by skin color, gender, or birthplace. We know the boy who is caught in the snare of drugs and violence and the girl who is raped or forced into prostitution.
4 Pastoral Letter in Liturgical Setting, adopted November 3, 2009 at Lake Junaluska, NC, USA.
People: We mourn a world of inequality and injustice.
Leader: God sees the creation’s wounds. God hears our lament. And God calls us to accountability. We cannot be instruments of God’s renewal if we deny our complicity in pandemic poverty and disease, environmental degradation, and proliferation of weapons and violence.
Pastor: We, the bishops of the United Methodist Church, confess our failure to lead our members to care for God’s planet and people. We do not always maintain the bond and balance between personal and social holiness that marks our Wesleyan heritage. We sometimes focus on internal church matters and neglect creation’s daunting needs. We allow concerns about agreement and church growth to stifle our prophetic voice. We do not consistently provide the courageous leadership for peace and justice requested by our people. And too often we overlook expertise and gifts for leadership among our people.
We ask now that you join us in common confession, saying together:
All: As United Methodists, we confess our failure to embody the image of God. We rationalize our sin; satisfy our own desires; and exercise our freedom at the expense of the common good. We know that we should live within sustainable boundaries but we struggle to summon the moral will to change.iv As individuals and communities of faith, we have not been the stewards and caretakers that God created us to be.
5 Pastoral Letter in Liturgical Setting, adopted November 3, 2009 at Lake Junaluska, NC, USA.
Pastor: As your bishops, we encourage you to find solace and strength in the knowledge that God’s creative work continues. This gracious and loving God still calls us forth and prepares us to care for one another and the planet. With John Wesley, let us all affirm the “unceasing presence of God, the loving, pardoning God, manifested to the heart, and perceived by faith,” and turn to God offering “up all the thoughts of our hearts, all the words of our tongues, and all the works of our hands, all our body, soul, and spirit, to be an holy sacrifice, acceptable unto God in Christ Jesus.”v We pray for the wisdom and courage to change the ways we live and work, relate to one another and the earth, and allow our nations to be governed. Through God’s grace, we renew our minds, reorient our wills, and recommit ourselves to faithful discipleship as instruments of God’s renewing Spirit. We rededicate ourselves faithfully to follow the One who came into the world to reconcile us to God and to one another.
In that spirit of rededication, we offer three general recommendations and nine particular pledges.
First, let us orient our lives toward God’s holy vision. This vision of the future calls us to hope and to action. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”(Jer 29:11) Christ’s resurrection assures us that this vision is indeed a promise of renewal and reconciliation. As disciples of Christ, we take God’s promise as the purpose for our lives. Let us, then, rededicate ourselves to God’s holy vision, living each day with awareness of the future God extends to us and of the Spirit that leads us onward.
Second, let us practice social and environmental holiness. We believe personal holiness and social holiness must never be separated. John Wesley preached: “The gospel of Christ knows of no
6 Pastoral Letter in Liturgical Setting, adopted November 3, 2009 at Lake Junaluska, NC, USA.
religion, but social. No holiness but social holiness.”vi Through social holiness we make ourselves a channel of God’s blessing in the world. Because God’s blessing, care, and promise of renewal extend to all of creation, we can speak today of “environmental holiness” as well. We practice social and environmental holiness by caring for God’s people and God’s planet and by challenging those whose policies and practices neglect the poor, exploit the weak, hasten global warming, and produce more weapons.
Third, let us live and act in hope. As people in the tradition of John Wesley, we understand reconciliation and renewal to be part of the process of salvation that is already underway. We are not hemmed into a fallen world. Rather we are part of a divine unfolding process to which we must contribute. As we faithfully respond to God’s grace and call to action, the Holy Spirit guides us in this renewal. With a resurrection spirit, we look forward to the renewal of the whole creation and commit ourselves to that vision. We pray that God will accept and use our lives and resources that we re-dedicate to a ministry of peace, justice and hope to overcome poverty and disease, environmental degradation, and the proliferation of weapons and violence.
With God’s help and with you as our witnesses…
1. We as your bishops pledge to answer God’s call to deepen our spiritual consciousness as just stewards of creation. We commit ourselves to faithful and effective leadership on these issues, in our denomination, and in our communities and nations.
2. We pledge to make God’s vision of renewal our goal. With every evaluation and decision, we will ask: Does this contribute to God’s renewal of creation? Ever aware of the difference between what is and what must be, we pledge to practice Wesleyan “holy dissatisfaction.”vii
7 Pastoral Letter in Liturgical Setting, adopted November 3, 2009 at Lake Junaluska, NC, USA.
3. We pledge to practice dialogue with those whose life experience differs dramatically from our own, and we pledge to practice prayerful self-examination. For example, in the Council of bishops, the fifty active bishops in the United States are committed to listening and learning with the nineteen active bishops in Africa, Asia and Europe. And the bishops representing the United States’ conferences will prayerfully examine the fact that their nation consumes more than its fair share of the world’s resources, generates the most waste, and produces the most weapons.
4. We pledge ourselves to make common cause with religious leaders and people of good will worldwide who share these concerns. We will connect and collaborate with ecumenical and interreligious partners and with community and faith organizations so that we may strengthen our common efforts.
5. We pledge to advocate for justice and peace in the halls of power in our respective nations and international organizations.
6. We pledge to measure the “carbon footprint”viii
7. We pledge, to the best of our ability, to provide the resources needed by our conferences to reduce dramatically our collective exploitation of the planet, peoples and communities, including technical assistance with buildings and programs, education and training, young people’s and online networking resources. of our episcopal and denominational offices, determine how to reduce it, and implement those changes. We will urge our congregations, schools and settings of ministry to do the same.
8. We pledge to practice hope as we engage and continue supporting the many transforming ministries of our denomination. Every day we will thank God for fruit produced through the
8 Pastoral Letter in Liturgical Setting, adopted November 3, 2009 at Lake Junaluska, NC, USA.
work of The United Methodist Church and through each of you.
9. We pledge more effective use of the church and community webpages to inspire and share what we learn.ix We celebrate the communications efforts that tell the stories of struggle and transformation within our denomination.
With these pledges, we respond to God’s gracious invitation to join in the process of renewal. God is already visibly at work in people and groups around the world. We rededicate ourselves to join these movements, the movements of the Spirit. Young people are passionately raising funds to provide mosquito nets for their “siblings” thousands of miles away. Dock workers are refusing to off-load small weapons being smuggled to armed combatants in civil wars in their continent. People of faith are demanding land reform on behalf of landless farm workers. Children and young people have formed church-wide “green teams” to transform our buildings and ministries into testimonies of stewardship and sustainability. Ecumenical and interreligious partners persist in demanding the major nuclear powers to reduce their arsenals, step by verifiable step, making a way to a more secure world totally disarmed of nuclear weapons. God is already doing a new thing. With this Letter and the accompanying Foundation Document, we rededicate ourselves to participate in God’s work, and we urge you all to rededicate yourselves as well.
We beseech every United Methodist, every congregation and every public leader: “Will you participate in God’s renewing work?” We are filled with hope for what God can accomplish through us, and we pray you respond after each question: “We will, with God’s help!”
Leader: Will you live and act in hope?
People: We will, with God’s help.
9 Pastoral Letter in Liturgical Setting, adopted November 3, 2009 at Lake Junaluska, NC, USA.
Leader: Will you practice social and environmental holiness?
People: We will, with God’s help.
Leader: Will you learn from one another and prayerfully examine your lives?
People: We will, with God’s help.
Leader: Will you order your lives toward God’s holy vision of renewal?
People: We will, with God’s help.
Leader: With God’s good creation imperiled by poverty and disease, environmental degradation, and weapons and violence, will you offer yourselves as instruments of God’s renewing work in the world?
People: We will, with God’s help.
Pastor: May God’s grace purify our reason, strengthen our will, and guide our action. May the love of God, the peace of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit be among you, everywhere and always, so that you may be a blessing to all creation and to all the children of God, making peace, nurturing and practicing hope, choosing life and coming to life eternal. Amen.
i In 2002, Reverend Dr. William Sloane Coffin, referring to a political trio of threats said, “A more likely and far more dangerous trio would be environmental degradation, pandemic poverty, and a world awash with weapons.” The Chautauqua Appeal, with Joan Brown Campbell and Stephen J. Sidorak, Jr.
ii Unless otherwise noted, all scriptural references are from the New Revised Standard Version published by the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.
iii This Lament is offered as a responsive reading. The “pastor” is the voice of the bishops
10 Pastoral Letter in Liturgical Setting, adopted November 3, 2009 at Lake Junaluska, NC, USA.
throughout the letter; the “leader” is another person who directs the lament with the “people” –all those gathered together.
iv From Hope in God’s Future, a report of the British Methodist Church Conference on Christian Discipleship in the Context of Climate Change, July 2009, Wolverhampton, UK.
v John Wesley, Sermon 19: “The Great Privilege of Those That Are Born of God,” Works 1:442.
vi Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1739, ¶ 5.
vii ”When… Christian perfection becomes the goal, a fundamental hope is aroused that the future can surpass the present. And a corresponding holy dissatisfaction is aroused with regard to any present state of affairs—a dissatisfaction that supplies the critical edge necessary to keep the process of individual transformation moving. Moreover, this holy dissatisfaction is readily transferable from the realm of the individual to that of society, where it provides a persistent motivation for reform in the light of ‘a more perfect way’ that goes beyond any status quo.” Runyon, Theodore, The New Creation: John Wesley’s Theology Today (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1998), p. 168.
viii A “carbon footprint” is an estimate of how much carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) is produced to support life activities including travel and home energy use. Carbon footprints are also applied on a larger scale to companies, businesses, and nations.
ix In support of the many persons who have followed this project of the Council, an interactive multimedia website will have resources, educational materials, downloadable video clips and social networking: http://www.HopeAndAction.org.

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