Monday, October 27, 2008

This is where we actually went for my birthday

No live music, sadly. (Turns out a group of ten girls is hard to fit into a tiny jazz club. Especially without reservations. Whoops...) But I think cupcakes too can be a taste of heaven...

Katelyn and her pretty cupcake & latte!

(Apologies for the lousy formatting. I'm still working out how to use the Blogger controls, while simultaneously watching Heroes and writing a theology paper. Declares the perfectionist editor: it will get better.)

Why didn't I go HERE for my birthday?

So all I wanted to do for my birthday was get a drink and listen to some live music in Seattle. Preferably something cheap enough that my friends and I could all afford. Why didn't I hear about this place?

Q Cafe

Not only does it have affordable live music (if Nickel Creek plays there, then I'm encouraged about the flavor of their other artists!) BUT it's a coffee shop that's trying to change the world. 10% of their sales go to various charitable causes-- this month it's going to the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center. (They also sell fair trade coffee, making Erika happy.) And another fun fact: they give a 50% discount for college students. That, my friends, is not a typo. Except during live shows, we can get food & drinks for HALF OFF.

Turns out Q Cafe is an outgrowth/ministry of Quest Church, an emergent-style church in Seattle. It's tucked away on a corner of the website, not being trumpeted to the world, and hopes to be "a separate non-profit/non-religious community cafe with the simple focus: "Be a Good Neighbor."

Chai lattes, good music, and social justice? Seems to me like a little slice of the Kingdom.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

First Post (yes I feel that uncreative today)

I am feeling unsettlingly radical these days.

And it’s not a feeling I’m accustomed to. I’ve spent my life as a traditional Christian—proud to be one of the Frozen Chosen—who is still a little ticked that the new hymnals took the “bulwark” and other archaisms out of A Mighty Fortress. And politically, I’m a college student living west of the mountains—Obama & co. are pretty much my default choice.

But lately I’ve been more and more frustrated by the fact that the world isn’t working the way it should be. For example: My friend Erika and I have found ourselves in this business class (a place where I feel so stranded, as someone who tries to figure out what it means to be human, rather than how we can get humans to buy things!) And after a particularly aggravating ethics lecture, Erika pointed out something important: “The earth works in a circle,” she said, “which will never fit with an economy that’s based on perpetual growth.”

It makes sense to me, as a Christian, that we look for ways to live more in rhythm with God’s creation. But it doesn’t make sense to everyone. I’m frustrated with the fact that Christianity is so often seen—and used—as an agent of intolerance instead of the life-giving path that I think it’s meant to be. Where’s the focus on the prophetic call to look out for the weak and the poor? Why do we arguing about sex and salvation when we should be trying to make our world as much like the Kingdom of Heaven as we can get it?

But coming to this realization—that the world as it is, is not what the world should be— doesn’t solve it all. What am I doing to show God’s love to the people who need it most? If the world isn’t as it should be, how am I helping to get it that way? Am I just sitting around in my comfy corner of the world when I could be confronting the issues?

I put this question to Drew, my boyfriend and fellow crazy Christian, and he said something I didn’t expect: “Write about it.” I suppose I was looking for something more like chaining myself to the doors of Wal-Mart in protest. But I know better than anyone that words have power to move us to action. And I’m a writer, or at least that’s what I tell the world these days. If I really do believe that writing can change things, then I’ve got to start somewhere. And it helps if it’s somewhere outside my tattered blue scribble-book, available to more of the world than just me.

So that’s where the idea for this blog came from. That being said, I know I’m not going to single-handedly solve the world’s problems with a few scattered scribbles. So these introspective posts will come with a liberal sprinkling of less grandiose questions—like what’s going on in my life today, and which book I’m going to read next. (I’m currently open to suggestions!) I’m not sure where it’ll lead me, but I invite you all along for the ride.

Thanks to Drew for the idea and constant encouragement—if I’m radical at all, love, it’s all your fault! :)