Showing posts from August, 2015

Walking Alongside: Remembering a Friend

My friend the Rev. Laurie Thomas passed away this month. As I've been thinking about her and our times together, one memory that sticks out for a number of reasons is the time we traveled to Boston together for a weekend. I asked Laurie's permission, which she granted, to write up the experience as a blog post, but for some unknown reason I never did.

We encountered in the course of a weekend so many little, and big, accessibility issues and issues of injustice or prejudice, that my head was spinning. I was angry--furious--at the encounters. Laurie just shook her head at me. This was everyday life for her, and not out of the ordinary at all. Besides, she explained, she didn't have the luxury of being angry. If you're angry, people won't want to help you, and in some of these situations she might require help of people who don't know her. "Nobody likes the angry gimp," she said to me.

The first instance we encountered was before we even left …

Blessing the Backpacks -- Backpack Charm Craft Instructions

From my wonderful colleagues I got the idea of doing a "blessing of the backpacks" as the children of the congregation go off to school.  It's not a new idea -- Christian churches have been doing it for years, and apparently some UUs, too -- but I had never heard of it before.  Churches often apparently put some sort of zipper pull tag on the backpacks.  Here's an example found on Pinterest:

A couple of colleagues shared their ideas, and some images, in a closed Facebook group, which started me thinking.  I'm fairly crafty with things like this, so I knew I could come up with something.  I was inspired by Karen G. Johnston's example created by her DRE and a member, but couldn't figure out their fancy knots:
But, on the other hand, I do have some tricks up my own sleeve.
Here's my prototype:

My prototypes cost me over a dollar each to make, but to make in bulk they'll cost less than 30 cents apiece, not counting tools or jump rings.  You start wit…