This past weekend some girl friends & I took a road trip up through Richmond to Virginia Beach while also spending a little time in Norfolk. I met new friends along the way and had the wonderful opportunity of visiting some old family friends who had relocated to the area a few years ago. We four girls spent our twenty (plus) hour round trip drive singing, laughing, eating, dancing, switching drivers, reading books aloud, reflecting on life and relationships and just enjoying time on the road. It was a great getaway.
- I have decided that I will not be guilted into or made to feel obligated to vote for a candidate in this year’s election if it does not sit well with my conscience. I am thankful for the right to vote, the right to voice my opinion and the right to let my local and national government know if I do not agree with something. I absolutely take advantage of that right but I also have the right to abstain from that right. If my personal convictions do not align with a particular person, I will refrain from voting period. A common reaction to that is “well, you’ll never find a perfect human being anywhere.” (implying that our options will always be limited to less than ideal candidates & we just have to grin & bear it) But “the lesser of two evils is still evil” and I will only give my vote to someone who I think really deserves it. I agree with Derek Webb when he sings “we’ll never have a Savior on capitol hill.” So, just as much as I don’t count on a perfect president, I also don’t feel as though I am grieving the Holy Spirit by not casting my vote this election year. Personal conviction. For those looking for a simple and helpful way to see which candidates hold similar views to you, a friend recently posted this awesome interactive website.
- There have been some awesome people that I have had the privilege of working with over the last few months taking action for the rights of immigrants in Alabama, particularly by pushing for the repeal of the recent anti-immigrant law, HB56. So much has happened, it will be a challenge to recount everything. I have participated in several rallies and marches at the capitol. (Montgomery) You can view my photos of those events on my Flickr page.
As an evangelical community organizer, my goal was to mobilize evangelical churches to engage in dialogue about what it means as a follower of Christ to welcome the stranger. We hosted an event at Samford University in Birmingham called the G92 South Immigration Conference. This day-long event facilitated thoughtful, compassionate and Biblical conversation among pastors and church leaders and college students from the area. What an exhausting day it was for us organizers! I can honestly say that until G92, I had not participated in the planning of such a large-scale and important event. It pushed and challenged me and I know I gained invaluable experience. I co-lead a student session with Lisa Sharon Harper from Sojourners called “Engaging Effectively.” This session was planned for the end of the day as a call to action for those students who had just received all the info and wanted to put it into practice. As prompted by Lisa, our first step of action was to confess and repent of the ways we have believed the core lies that perpetuate such laws that oppress vulnerable people. A Samford student wrote a beautiful reflection of this time in the day. (this was probably my most favorite time as well) Lisa shared some thoughts on this as well in her blog.
Read some of the great articles and reviews of the conference:
- Professor Doug Clapp writes a viewpoint piece for The Birmingham News
- Executive director of the National Immigration Forum, Ali Noorani, reflects on the event for CNN
- The Birmingham News reports on G92
(Other great resources are a study showing that HB56 is costing the state over $2 billion and a wonderful film portraying real-life struggles of immigrant families, A Better Life, whose director is also working on a project called Is This Alabama?)
Well, for one… I am on the job hunt. And I am considering several options. In and out of the country. 🙂 But I won’t prematurely spill anything on those plans… just yet. We will just have to see how everything comes together. All I can say is that I am working on translating my resume to Spanish.
Thankfully I have had pretty consistent freelance video editing projects in the meantime. And I can’t lie, I pretty well enjoy making my own schedule and traveling for work and never knowing where I might be a week down the road. Who needs routine? Job security is for suckers.
AND, lastly, the group with whom I travel to Honduras for missions and I are preparing for our next medical trip coming up in July. We are currently fundraising and ironing out the details. I’m already pumped to be back. 🙂