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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Last Entry for a Bit

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word created the heaven and the earth without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. All things were made by the Word, and without the Word nothing was made. God said, Let there be light: and there was light. In the Word was Life, and the life was the light of men.

God pulled the light apart from the darkness, and the light shineth in the darkness, even though the darkness did not comprehend it.
Sort of Genesis 1, Sort of John 1.

Today I feel a bit like the world with its undivided dark & light and formlessness. I am about to take a trip back home to Indiana to see my family, but for Grandma's funeral. It will be time off, but hectic. It will be time together, but mournful. The memorial will be in two parts, and I will leave directly from the second part (at the grave side) to go to Chicago. In Chicago I will experience the much anticipated St. Baldrick's celebration that will begin there, then I will fly home to have a party here with my friends, then I will travel to Albuquerque for the final head shaving of my team members. Basically a three-day three-state party, all in memory and honor of the life of Nathan Gentry.

In the days to come, I pray for the Word to bring the light of life into my soul.

Speaking of Accountability

The folks at Sojourner offer this Call to Lament and Repent, as we approach the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War. The Call includes the following:
As a sign of repentance and commitment to lead our nation toward a new path, I pledge to:

● Pray for our nation to learn lasting lessons from the tragedy of the war in Iraq and commit to greater wisdom in the future.

● Help heal our nation by talking and listening to our fellow Christians, finding better ways to resolve conflicts—by seeking the reconciliation of our divisions and working together for a more peaceful world.

● Reach out to the veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who often, after making terrible sacrifices, feel abandoned.

● Urge our elected representatives to:

* pursue a foreign policy consistent with moral principles, wise political judgments, and international law
* ensure that veterans and their families are provided with the medical, psychological, financial, and spiritual support they need
* fulfill our responsibility, working with the international community, to stabilize and rebuild Iraq, provide humanitarian support, and resettle those displaced by war.
I like two components of this pledge particularly. First, it makes it clear that the Iraq War was wrong. Whatever the next step is, the invasion of Iraq was a mistake, it was a sin. It is something we are paying for and will continue to pay for in years to come. Not because an Almighty on a cloud will shoot lightening bolts at us, but because there are consequences to reckless disregard for wise counsel and anxiousness to go to war.
Second, this pledge does not suggest a reckless withdrawal. It suggests a shifting of responsibility to the international community and the Iraqis. It does not suggest, what I've heard from some, that its the Iraqis fault for not fulling embracing our gift of freedom to them, so screw them.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Marjorie Evelyn Kershner Barton

Yesterday my grandmother passed away. I've included the entire fit for public consumption obituary below, the details are important, but what I remember is that she was a blue collar feminist before it was cool, while it was cool, and after wasn't cool anymore. She was a fierce Democrat her whole life. She rooted for the Cubs not the Reds or the Cardinals, and Kris Evert over Martina Navratilova. She managed a family of six sons, an adopted daughter, and a rough around the edges husband. She didn't take crap from any of them. When we would go to her house after church she always had Ritz Crackers. At age eighty-six, she told me that she kept her days full taking the little old ladies to their doctor appointments. I admired her strength. I admired her compassion. I loved her very much.

Marjorie Evelyn Kershner Barton was born to Neil and Evelyn Kershner on September 21, 1920 in Indianapolis. She was a lifelong resident of Indianapolis. She was married to Harrison DeShaw Barton in 1941, he proceeded her in 1990. Also predeceasing her was her sister Mildred, her sons Mark and Daniel as well as her granddaughter, Christy.

Throughout her life Marjorie was active in the social, political and religious life of her community. She was a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). As a teen she belonged to Downey Avenue Christian. Later, she belonged to Meadlawn Christian and for the past several years she was a member of Eastgate Christian. In the church she held many offices and participated in choir and was longtime elder. Growing up in the Irvington area she was an Irvington Debutante. A person who knew how to keep friendships she maintained contacts with her fellow debs her whole life. She attended School 57 and Arsenal Technical High School graduating in 1938. When Margie and Harry returned to Indiana after World War II she became an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary holding many offices including president. She was member of the Delta Sigma Kappa Sorority. Active in local politics she was both a vice precinct and precinct committee chairperson for several years.

As a member of what has been recently called the greatest generation she exhibited care and concern for others. She participated in the community contributing her ability to work with her neighbors for a better life. As a member of the Daughters of the Grand Army of the Republic she took great joy in her family’s participation in national life. Always with ready smile and joyful disposition she would always be available to help.

Surviving Margie are her sisters Doris Browning and Lucille Galdi. Also she leaves four sons Harry (wife Claudia), Neil (wife Barbara), James (wife Pamela) and Gary. She is also survived by her daughter Machelle Shipp Ireland. Margie leaves twenty-eight grandchildren and thirty great-grandchildren.

Services will begin with visitation at 10:00am on Wednesday, March 13th at Eastgate Christian Church located at 8100 East 16th Street.

If you wish in lieu of flowers donations can be sent to The Community East hospice program.