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All posts for the month May, 2012

I’m Off to See the Wizard

Published May 31, 2012 by sojournerkat

Did you know that tomorrow is the first day of June? I totally missed that. I’m still into Spring… the lilacs, the cool breezes, the bits of snow that still show up in the mountains here in Colorado. I’m not quite ready for summer yet. I want to linger. I like it here. It’s comfortable…

But I’m a sojourner. To wander is my trade. to bring not only a piece of myself, but a piece of everywhere I’ve visited to new places, and to take a piece of those new places back with me and onward, wherever my sojourn takes me.

So, now that the hot months are upon us, where am I going? South! Louisiana! New Orleans!

The odd thing is, I’m not going to be placed with a specific church like most sojourners are. I had a long talk with Rev. Mark, and he suggested New Orleans as a temporary… well, his words were “a holding pattern.” He feels that there is something on the horizon for me, but it’s just not ready yet. In New Orleans, I can work with several ecumenical missions, helping to coordinate the groups that come down to New Orleans from all over, helping to restore what Katrina destroyed seven years ago. Although I’m not looking forward to the heat and humidity, I am looking forward to doing something that’s more concrete than philosophical.

I’m sticking around Sojourner HQ for a few more days, then I’m off.

I’ll keep you posted.

Memorial Day

Published May 27, 2012 by sojournerjulie

Rev. Mark’s little girl Annie, who hid inside the alter for most of the parade.

I’m glad that my first post with the Pangalactic Sojourners is for Memorial Day. This holiday has always had a lot of meaning for my family. Both my mom’s side and my dad’s side have a proud history of serving in the military.

On Monday, Ford and I are going to visit some local cemeteries and historical markers. I think it’s important to teach our children to remember and be thankful for those who sacrificed themselves for the freedom we enjoy in the United States today. We usually take some crayons and paper with us to do some rubbings on the old stones. It’s good to actually feel and touch the memorial; that makes it a far more intimate experience than just walking around and looking.

This morning the sojourner trainees jumped onto the float that a few of the local churches put together. Just a truck pulling a flatbed with hay bales, and banners saying “God loves everybody” and “All Are Welcome.” My biggest contribution was the bread… we handed out individually wrapped yeast rolls, and grape jolly ranchers. What a fun way to symbolize communion! The pastors were flicking water at the crowd with what looked like little brooms. They made a point of not saying the word Baptize, and I think that was good because to actually baptize someone requires a conscientious choice on the part of the baptized. Actually, the crowd loved it. The pastors said things like “It’s hot outside, but God is cool!” while sprinkling the audience. Although a couple of people sheltered their digital cameras from the sprinklers, only one actually seemed to shrink away as if offended by the holy water. (I think she may have been a vampire, and was afraid it would burn her skin :P)

So how do we as Christians celebrate Memorial Day? As citizens of the USA, we remember and honor those who served our country, whether they were enlisted military, or some other kind of support personnel. We honor them whether they are fellow Christians, or Muslim, or Athiests. God taught us to love and take care of each other. Just as our soldiers fight for all of us regardless of our faith, so we honor all soldiers regardless of theirs.

Happy Towel Day!

Published May 25, 2012 by sojournerkat

And Geek Pride Day… and DragonX about to connect with the ISS Day…

My sleep schedule is completely screwed up. We did one of those lock-ins where they take away everyone’s watches and we just move from one activity to another as we feel like it. I’m having so much fun back here at Sojourner HQ that I might never want to leave! Alas, there is only room for a few full-timers and I’m not one of them. But it’s been a blast meeting the latest batch of sojourners. I’ve even talked one into maybe, just maybe joining the blog! She’s never actually read the Hitch Hiker books, but she has an 8yo son named Ford. I think I scared her when I squeed at his name… she’s not used to that reaction lol! She’s half finished the first book already, and she only started… um… I think a couple of days but, like I said, I lost track of time.

Anywho, the lock in’s over but a few of us have decided to keep the campfire going all night, sitting out under the stars until 3:40 am when we should get a 2 minute glimpse of the ISS and Dragon as they fly over. According to NASA’s orbital tracking site, the max elevation is 42, which I take as a good sign for Towel Day. It should rise 40 above NW, which is in the mountains and might make it hard to see at first. It sets at 26 above NNE which, from where we’re sitting, is a great view. We’ve had scattered clouds, but I think it’s clear enough to see. Even if we don’t we’re having a great time!

Three Days to Towel Day

Published May 22, 2012 by sojournerdoug

Greetlings fellow sojourners, friends, family (Love you Mom!) and assorted random internet people who have stumbled upon this blog.

I bought a new towel this morning. It’s bright red, and works well as a cape. (No, you’re not going to get pictures. Don’t even ask.) I don’t usually choose beach-size towels for carrying around with me; in fact, I usually don’t have more than an old-fashioned handkerchief. But something about this particular towel called to me. Of course, it might have had something to do with the fact that a really cute guy smiled at me while I was testing its cape-worthiness. Alas, he had a ring on his finger, so a smile was as far as it went.

So much for flirting.

Contrary to popular opinion, I do know how to flirt. I have Friday off, so I’m going to go to the 2nd Street Mall and see if anyone else is carrying a towel. It’s a great conversation starter, and guarantees we have something in common. And I usually get at least a smile when they find out I’m named after Douglas Adams. I just have to be careful calling people a “Hoopy Frood;” even though it’s a compliment, some people take it the wrong way.

Westward Bound

Published May 19, 2012 by sojournerkat

A cool old picture of Colorado Springs I found on Wikimedia Commons

Last night the church had a little going-away party for me. It was nice, although it was mostly just my host family, and the pastor and staff. There was a baseball game at the high school and a concert at one of the middle schools, so a lot of church members couldn’t make it. I’ve really enjoyed my time here, but I think that as soon as people started to suspect I wasn’t straight, it made a lot of people uncomfortable.  I have faith that the congregation will eventually grow to understand that homosexuality is not a threat to Christianity, the nuclear family, and America as we know it, but for now, they’re just not ready.

I’m on the train now (Amtrak has wireless! Yeah!) and I should be in Colorado Springs in a few hours. Someone from Sojourner HQ should be there to pick me up. I’m going to spend a couple weeks with the trainees, talking about the sojourns I’ve completed, and generally helping out around the place. Hopefully I’ll get to do a little of the touristy stuff while I’m there, too. Feeding the giraffes at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is always fun, and going up to Pike’s Peak.

Maybe this time I can convince someone with connections to get me into NORAD so I can see if it really does look like Stargate Command inside! 😛

Nine Days to Towel Day!

Published May 16, 2012 by sojournerkat

In 2001 when we lost the late great Douglas Adams, I was not yet twelve years old. I had just finished reading Life, the Universe, and Everything and was trying to find Dad’s copy of So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish. (Dad didn’t believe in putting books on shelves… they were stashed everywhere but…) I don’t remember how I found out. For those of you who might not remember 2001, the internet was not as widely available as it is now. We didn’t have a computer in our house, much less an internet connection.

But I knew. Later, when I found out that his fans were declaring “Towel Day” to be celebrated two weeks after his death, which just happened to be my birthday, I took it as a sign. It was a Friday. I took a towel to school, and, well…no one noticed. I think I was already enough of a weirdo that people just shrugged and said “Yeah, that’s Kat. No, I have no idea why she has a towel over her shoulder. She’s just weird like that.”

I don’t always carry a towel with me. I usually have a wash cloth or some wet wipes though, and I can put my hands on a towel with very little notice in most situations. When I’m traveling, I always have a towel with me. Sometimes it’s rolled up like a neck roll. Sometimes I’ll sit on it if the seat I’m assigned is less than clean. (I’ve encountered levels of stickiness that I swear are beyond humanity’s capabilities… there must be Vogons involved somehow.)

I get to celebrate Towel Day 2012, which also happens to be a Friday, in Colorado Springs. I’ll be back at Sojourner headquarters for a few weeks in between sojourns. I’m looking forward to it, especially the part about staying in the cabins with the trainees.

Slumber party time!

Kat Told Me I Have to Blog

Published May 12, 2012 by sojournerdoug

Greetlings fellow sojourners, friends, family (Love you Mom!) and assorted random internet people who have stumbled upon this blog.

My name is Doug, and I’m a sojourner. I know, that sounds like an AA meeting. But a large part of my job at First Church is helping set up for AA every day at noon. I’m also in charge of teaching people how to use the fancy new dishwasher, and making sure the bulletin accurately informs the parents whether Sunday School is a normal day in class, or an art-day in Fellowship Hall.

News… let’s see… Rev. Larkin is recovering nicely from his bypass surgery, and it’s looking like he’ll be returning to the pulpit full time instead of retiring.  I’m still taking care of a lot of the tasks he can’t do, and I’ve agreed to extend my sojourn here until he’s ready to take on full-time ministering again. The only bad part about that is Mrs. Larkin is one of those women who looks at a perfectly healthy young man and decides that he must be starving to death. She’s an excellent cook, and feeds me well. Their son is graduating from SUNY next week, and I felt a little weird about the fact that I’m living in the basement apartment that used to be his. But he got a great internship in Silicon Valley, and he’ll only be home for a few days in between graduation and starting his new job.

As for all of you women (This means you, Mom) asking about my love life 1) Yes, I’m still gay 2) No, I haven’t met anyone “special” lately and 3) Even if I did, I certainly wouldn’t announce it in a blog post.