stories of revolution by love of neighbor

I recently had a dream in which I was explaining to someone that the so-called “end of the world” actually gives me substantial hope for the future. I am not some fatalist who wishes for the end of the world just to be done with it all. Quite the opposite, in fact. I’m a happy-go-lucky optimist who looks at life though rose-colored glasses.

What I refer to that gives me hope is an interpretation of the Mayan calendar which I have heard is the most accurate interpretation. What this particular interpretation gets at is that 2012 is not the end of the world, but simply a new beginning; it is to be a moment of transformation and rejuvenation for the Earth and all in it, and that is what gives me hope for the future, because what the world needs now more than ever is transformation. Sometimes what I really think we need is just to press some sort of reset button. Read the rest of this entry »

One Year Hoping

On September 5, I celebrated the one-year anniversary of my arrival to Colombia. Looking back on the past year, I recognize the changes that I have undergone in the past year are significant and have left a lasting impression on my life.

Over a year ago, while I was in my training to become a Mission Intern, we were asked one day to reflect upon our hopes and fears entering into the process, as well as other aspects of our feelings. I saved the sheets from this activity, tucked away in my bible, and recently came across them again. Reflecting on this list recently has helped me process the ways that I really have changed over the course of my year here. Read the rest of this entry »

This was originally posted to In Our Words, and goes out to everyone doing or considering international service.

On September 5, I celebrated a full year of my service in Colombia. Just shy of a year ago, I left my family, my friends, my home, my native tongue, and many other aspects of my life in the U.S. to live and work in Bogota, Colombia. Initially, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but along the way, I’ve made some important discoveries and realizations about myself and international service. Read the rest of this entry »

June 2012 Newsletter

It’s that time again! So without further ado, here’s my June newsletter! Read the rest of this entry »

I had a recent conversation with the owner of my apartment. I live in Colombia, so we were speaking in Spanish, and on this particular occasion we were talking about Spanish. He told me stories of his time spent in the US and how he would occasionally have confusing moments where he only knew one translation for a word which stands for multiple ideas in Spanish, but its translation only means one of them.

A particularly funny case was with the word “cita,” which basically means anything you could put on your calendar, from appointment to date. He only knew the translation “date,” so needless to say he had some hilarious mishaps with trying to set up appointments with coworkers and the like. (Imagine “what time is our date?” being the question in place of “what time is our appointment?” and you’ll get the picture.)

All hilarious language-related mishaps aside, it got me thinking…what other Spanish words have multiple meanings? One that came to mind was the verb “esperar,” which means either “to hope” or “to wait.” Since a lot of recent events in my life have much to do with hope and some to do with waiting, this really got me thinking about the two concepts. Read the rest of this entry »

It was just like any other early May morning in Tampa, hot and muggy. The General Conference of The United Methodist Church, the main decision-making body of The UMC, would soon be coming to a close. We knew that it was the big day, the day that whether or not The UMC would agree to disagree on human sexuality would be on the table.

No legislation had made it out of committee to be passed on to the main body, but in one last-ditch attempt to salvage the dignity of queer folks, a replacement was proposed. While effectively stating that The UMC agrees to disagree on human sexuality, the compromise offered was less than satisfactory in some regards, but the legislative strategists among us knew that it was likely our only chance to remove the statement that “The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers it incompatible with Christian teaching.” Read the rest of this entry »

This was originally posted at In Our Words, a blog a friend of mine from DePaul started. As it is part of my reflections on General Conference, I have decided to re-post it here with a few edits so those who do not follow IOW or who didn’t see my facebook posts of this article could know a little more about my activities at and reflections on General Conference.

Dancers from the flash mob
Photo from UMCOM GC Photostream

For the last week of April and the first week of May, I spent my time in Tampa, FL. No, it wasn’t some sort of Girls Gone Wild-esque Spring Break misadventure. Instead, it was a misadventure of much more epic proportions, or so it felt at times. It was the General Conference of The United Methodist Church, or, more simply, a conference of 1,000 United Methodists from across the world coming together to talk about the structure, management, and social stances of The UMC for the next four years. Read the rest of this entry »

I have recently seen many blog entries reacting to General Conference, many of which touch or focus on the failure of any restructuring proposals to pass at this General Conference. One in particular which did not resonate well with me was a post by Pastor Andy Langford called “An Open Letter to United Methodists” [click the title for a link to the post]. The following began as a comment on his post, but got so long I decided to make it a blog post in response to the original. Please keep the discussion going. Read the rest of this entry »

March 2012 Newsletter

Below you will find my March 2012 newsletter. Running a little later than my six-month mark due to a number of big events that set me back in my ability to put it together, but you’ll be able to read about that soon!

Take care, and I hope to hear from y’all soon!
For reasons of complications with another Mission Intern, I’ve needed to remove the newsletter from my blog, but if you want a copy of it, let me know at and I’d be glad to send it to you!

Martyrs for Love

For me right now, Valentine’s Day could have easily passed by without my batting an eyelash. Colombia (thank goodness) has not caved to the consumerism of the holiday. When I saw the notifications that all of my friends were talking about Valentine’s Day on Facebook for the past few days, I decided to not let it bring me down; I would reclaim the day. I began by reclaiming the day as Singles’ Self-Empowerment Day, because I’m not fond of the idea of Singles’ Awareness Day; that just seems depressing and like it continues placing coupled people on some sort of pedestal. Of course, it’s also the birthday of Anna Howard Shaw, so it is already reclaimed as a feminist holiday. But this morning, I saw that a friend had posted the following, a history of St. Valentine: Read the rest of this entry »