Archive for the 'service' Category


Don’t Panic!

Tip 1: When getting ready to leave for church on the morning you’re presenting the sermon, don’t neglect to put page 1 in your backpack along with all the other papers you printed out.

Tip 2: Drink your coffee before checking over your notes, so that it doesn’t take you 3 times to notice that you’ve forgotten said page (the last being 10 minutes before the service starts).

Tip 3: Practice your sermon well enough ahead of time that you can recreate portions of it from memory (scribbled hurriedly on a spare piece of paper) if needed.

Fortunately I was ready for #3 despite failing #s 1 and 2!

Amusingly (in retrospect), this is almost exactly the scenario that occurred in the stress dream I had two weeks ago, just prior to presenting the same sermon at the other Mennonite church in Seattle.



on What I Do at Work

I just posted a quarterly report for Mennonite Voluntary Service, which serves as a recap of the past 3 months and a bit of a window into what I do all day long.



on New Arrivals at the Seattle VS House

The following have all shown up in the past couple weeks:

Andy
Andy (former VSer who’s moving back to town and staying here temporarily)

Ajax
Ajax (a friend’s Doberman who we are dog-sitting for a few months)

Elrond
Elrond (my new laptop!)



on the Plone Strategic Planning Summit

One month ago I had the privilege of participating in the Plone Strategic Planning Summit, at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA. (Plone is the content management software which we use at ONE/Northwest for setting up websites, and it is an open source project involving volunteer developers from around the world.) There’s plenty I could say about how well organized and how much fun this community is, but instead I’ll just point you at the Google Open Source blog entry about the PSPS if you want to know more.

The important part is this picture. Look how much fun we are having being geeks!
plonesummit08group.jpg



on the Care and Feeding of Household Appliances

I am learning not to panic too much when my housemates erupt in impassioned cries of “It’s not working!”

There was the furnace. It didn’t run for half a day, a few weeks back, which was annoying when I got home to be greeted by 58 degrees. But the fix was as simple as replacing the batteries in the thermostat.

And this evening, we discovered that the refrigerator had gone on the fritz. We had to throw out the milk and ice cream and some other assorted perishables, and cram the remainders into fridge #2 (which fortunately exists and is large). However, upon my inspection, I unplugged the fridge, re-plugged it, twiddled a few knobs inside, and lo and behold, it roared back to life. It’s very satisfying when a non-sentient being like a refrigerator responds so readily to the magic touch, if I do say so myself.

Incidentally, it seems just a bit incongruous that we have one device designed to keep things warm, and another designed to keep things cool, operating in the same domain. Why can’t we just store things outside in the winter?



on a New Year and a New Room

Happy 2008, everyone!

Late, you say? psssh.

I have a new room! (Thanks to Trent finishing his VS term and the subsequent reshuffling.) It has all sorts of goodies…a window seat and sconces and a spinny chair. Not to mention over twice as much space as any room I’ve had in recent history.

Here is a shot of my handiwork on the western wall:
room_pan.jpg

You can tell it’s staged because the bed is made.



on Unexpected Graces

Oh yes, I almost forgot to brag about the view from my 10th-story downtown office window:
Puget Sound from my office



on the Transition

Greetings from Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kansas. I just finished my week at Camp Mennoscah, just outside of the bustling metropolis of Murdock, KS (population 378), where I was oriented for the Mennonite Voluntary Service program I am beginning. The orientation sessions themselves were fairly good, although a fair amount of review for this Goshen College graduate who’s been muttering core values like “servant leaders,” “global citizens,” and “compassionate peacemakers” for the past 4 years. The really wonderful parts of the week were the surroundings (contrary to expectations, the Kansas prairie has so much LIFE), the food (our meals were home-cooked by former VSers), the people (what can I say…people who decide to give up a year of income in order to help change the world are pretty sweet).

Now I’m sitting here waiting for my flight back to Chicago, where I will spend the night at the Last Homely Home of the East (many thanks to Abby, Becca, Steph, and Jess, who are my gracious hosts and guardians of two of my bags for this week). Tomorrow afternoon I’ll catch another flight from Chicago on to Seattle, where I’ll be reunited with the one housemate I know from college, the three housemates I met this week, 5 or so continuing housemates whose terms are ending in a month who I met briefly in February but haven’t really gotten to know, and 1 other new housemate. (Did I mention the living situation for the next month looks a tad crowded? Ah well, here’s to intentional community.)

By the way, welcome to those of you from ONE/Northwest who found this blog. Thanks for the words of encouragement, and I’m looking forward to meeting all of you first thing on Monday morning!