Friday, November 30, 2007

I Don't THINK So...

But maybe someone else will be able to confirm this.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Northeast


The Midland

The South


The West

North Central

What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

I've never lived in or near the region. In fact, I've spent a grand total of two days in Chicago.

Having lived most of my life in the West.... Maybe Inland North sounds like Western shot through with Strine--I once had an Aussie accent that persuaded everyone, including the Aussies, that I was a native of Down Undah. A few Fosters and an Aussie to speak with and I slide back there easily.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Recommendations wanted for memorial reading

Without going into all the details... I've been asked to do a reading at a memorial service. And to provide it.

The service is for the adult daughter (20?) of an acquaintance who is a friend of mutual friends--and for a time the family attended our fellowship, years ago. I interacted with the daughter, but we weren't ever close.

She was killed in a car accident.

And I'm just starting to look for a text. Naturally, I need it ASAP, although the memorial won't be for a few weeks.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Now here's a great question, and another, too.

My wife just got a book which I'll be swiping and reading (I'm going to claim it as extra-curricular reading for my UU Polity course), The Fellowship Movement, by Holley Ulbrich, subtitled "A Growth Strategy and Its Legacy." Now I haven't even cracked the book -- so what in the world am I doing already writing about it?

On the back cover there's this:

"Why, when 32% of current membership is from congregations started during the fellowship movement, do we still question this growth strategy? But also, how can this type of historical growth lead to congregational cultures that block growth today? Ulbrich's thorough and comprehensive history offers answers and insights pertinent to today's growth efforts."
Um. Yeah.

My own congregation's a fellowship (still--and I suspect for good--despite having a full time ministry for over 15 years. And no, I'm not sure what that hybrid will eventually result in; it does mean that there's a very strong culture of member leadership, of joint ministry...). I see both the success -- even by Monroe Husband's estimations, this was damned dubious, since a group big enough to support one nascent fellowship opted (for geographical reasons) to found two fellowships. Both still exist, as fellowships (with ministers), and both are successful and growing.

And I see something of "we're a fellowship" attitudes that create obstacles to growth--to people embracing and permitting the growth that wants to happen. We get a lot of visitors. If more of them--if more of them who came back a second time...--stuck, we'd be growing much faster. I'm not sure how much of that is attributable to the fellowship, and how much to UU failings in general in this regard, but I'm really looking forward to Ulbrich's comments.

Now the question: Can I squeeze this 125 page paperback into the next few days, when I have some reading and a paper to write as well?

Urging you to support the WGA

It doesn't seem that there's a great deal that most of us can do, in support of this strike (I could drive to L.A., and refuse to cross the picket line--but then, if I crossed, I'd be turned away by security right beyond the picket lines...). That's frustrating to me, since I generally support the ideals of unionism and my impulse is that there must be something I can boycott (TV? I already don't watch broadcast and cable; what I see on our set is DVDs--which only makes the WGA's point).

So here's something you can do. Sign a petition.