Sunday, August 03, 2008

Solidarity (Sean)

We are working today, at Red Cross headquarters in Mercedes, Texas on the Hurricane Dolly relief operation. And, while Red Cross policy allows time off to attend religious services, we have half our staff off today on regularly scheduled days off. Also, I am filling in for my boss, while Louise is covering the desk. Consequently, we were not comfortable with taking two hours to trundle out and back to the nearest UU congregation, in Pharr.

Nevertheless, we are mindful of the call to attend services today, in solidarity with our brethren in Knoxville who have suffered such a senseless tragedy. Since we were unable to travel to Pharr, I have elected to post here instead.

There is not much I can say about this event that has not already been said. We've been following some of the discussion and much of the news, although our ability to do even that is hampered by the hours we have been putting in here on the operation. We are in a slack period right now, affording me the chance to post, but we were in the thick of things as the tragedy unfolded, and we were in a virtual news blackout with our noses to the grindstone. It was only later in the week that the full extent of what happened became clear to us.

Our hearts go out to the victims of this tragedy and to the entire community. We can only hope that perhaps some good will come of this incident; that it will, in some way, expose the simmering intolerance that courses through our world, and call to action people of all faiths to work together towards understanding and peaceable coexistence.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Taking a year off (Sean)

In case you might be wondering why we are not posting here from Fort Lauderdale: we're not there. We decided to take a year off from GA, mostly because Fort Lauderdale did not fit in with this year's travel schedule.

For those who do not know, we live full time in our converted Neoplan bus, Odyssey ( Right now, we are in Wyoming, on our way to a rally where we will be conducting some training for the American Red Cross, our other calling. Immediately after we are done training, we will go on the availability list for Disaster Services, as storm season is upon us. The organization has already called out several thousand volunteers this season, and, frankly, if we were not scheduled to do this training, we'd already be deployed to one of the floods, which also would have preempted GA.

I expect we will be back at GA next year, and will again offer to be delegates for the CLF, providing no disasters supervene.