Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tulip Thursday and Brother Toby on To Lent or Not Lent?

Tulip Thursday, that's what I am calling today. I received these gorgeous #tulips as a thank you gift a couple of weeks ago. Feb. 7th to be exact. The tulip flowers died last week but I took the picture and am meditating on them as metaphors for life, love, and death. The flowers bloomed in what passes for winter in sunny California. The bright red tulips were full of life, glorious and radiant in their beauty. Still, I remembered why I don't like to grow tulips; they need a lot of care and I don't have that luxury to give, I often think to myself. The bulbs have to be dug out of the ground and kept chilled during rest of the year if the plants are to bloom again. Even then they don't bloom with human care only but need the divine spark of life too.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Great Metropolitan Library

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Marcus Tullius Cicero

… Where there is no vision, people perish. Proverbs 29:18

I recently spoke with Mayor Steven S. Choi, Ph.D., about his vision of a ‘great metropolitan library’ in the Orange County Great Park (this link, btw, will take you to my blog as a Great Park Ambassador in the summer of 2008). Needless to say, I am very excited by the idea of a Great Metropolitan Library in Irvine, for Orange County. While the word "library" may seem anachronistic to many in this day of Google and digital libraries, the age-old functions of public libraries as "apostles of culture" will always be needed. Time has proved that and 'libraries' have become very good at adapting themselves to society's needs. I saw this for myself in 2005 when I visited libraries in Norway and other Scandinavian countries. History also reminds us that the great metropolitan libraries have not always been just about book learning; they were archives, museums, cultural centers, and meeting places; active forums which facilitated a vibrant and energetic society, that was alive and well, flourishing in the arts, sciences and all sorts of sports (not just the big stadium kind) because of these libraries. The iconic Tonsberg and Notteroy Bibliotek (Public Library of Tonsberg et Notteroy) captured it for me. The ruins of an old monastery and an old public library of just books was completely redone. A coffee shop, colorful spaces for children included story telling, a theater, hi-tech computer stations and wi-fi capabilities set behind gleaming black glass that reflected back the blue skies and buildings around were stunning to say the least. They inspired imagination and drew the crowds in. I will look for those photos to share with you all soon. Meanwhile, you can look at the library building here in 1001 libraries to see before you die :).

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Chelsea's Ordination

Days like this are hard to come by but when they do, they make me realize that this is what it means to be a blessing. That these sorts of friendships and relationships are what are worthwhile. I've known Chelsea since she came as a freshman to UCI 10 years ago.  Now, I am honored to have had the privilege of being a vital part of her ordination and installation service to the office of Teaching Elder, PC (USA). Here's her presentation, which we, Presbytery of Los Ranchos, did, on behalf of the Presbytery of Santa Barbara