Wednesday, September 26, 2007

23 and beyond!

So 23 years old! I think I am actually a man, a grown up, scary! Can you believe it!

I have lately been feeling this crazy call to manhood. This weekend, I went down to Indianapolis Indiana to attend the wedding of one of my old friends from college. The wedding was nice, I got the chance to see all of my old college buddies that have disappeared since the move to Milwaukee. How fast things change, I feel that were all growing up!

Jon Swain came to the wedding with a lovely lookin' lady. I couldn't believe my eyes, out of all of Jon's grief about girls and finding the right one it seemed like it finally clicked for him. Jake was getting married, at the age of 24 Jake was immersing himself in a completely new and changing experience. John and Marie Williams, who also at the wedding who are 23 announced that Marie was pregnant and asked if I would be willing to be the Godparent. You know what that means don't you? I happily accepted amongst the fog of liquor, but simutaneously realized the tremendous responsibility of what he was asking, could I be ready? So Anna and I drove home reflecting on the speed in which things change as we enter this world into adulthood. Relieved that we had escaped all of this talk of growing up, we stopped at Brad's house down in southern Wisconsin before heading up to Milwaukee. Wow! now Brad is a real grown up. Also at 23, Brad and his fiancee' have purchased a house and have a 17 month year old child.

Its just amazing to see how all of this comes about... this aging thing. So much of a part of you wants to cling on to the good old times when responsibility is nill and freedom reigns reckless. Its crazy how much we change though; sculpted by the forces of age and accountability.

I find myself in that position now doing all of this organizing. In a place where nobody tells you exactly what your path should be, the exact measures in which you should follow to be successful in your life. You have guidelines, there the ones that you were supposeably taught for your entire life leading up to this point. However, somehow after all the preparation of things you feel as if you were the child in the talent show who rehearsed and rehearsed the song and dance to death in front of the mirror, only to forget it all in the face of the crowed stage. Why couldn't we just remember everything, be on autopilot, completely set up for the life that we always wanted. Why can't we just have it all figured out when we get to this point?

As I sat in the car on the drive back after seeing Brad's baby I thought of my parents. When they had my brother and I they seemed to have it all figured out, all set up, but I realized that I was now at the age that they could have been upon having me. With so much doubt fear and misdirection, how could they have possibly figured it out.

So I guess in conclusion, despite how much confusion and disillusionment about being this age, in the end we figure it out, perfectionism never seems to reign but instead we go through this process of mucking through it all and in the end we come out and realize that were in the light.

Who ever said that I life without perfection was ever a life without meaning?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Into the new season!

Wow! Can you believe that summer is already over? You can really tell by the way that that weather here in Milwaukee changed. Bicycle rides to work are cluttered now with layered flannel shirts, vests and a plethora of other junk aimed at making a bicycle ride warmer.

So Labor in the Pulpits went down without too many hitches. Speakers, for the most part managed to not get their butts thrown out of too many places because they dared to say that God was a God of the poor.

And here I stand, about a month ago I spoke about "Hanging on the Strings of Hope" and I am happy to say that I am now the Community Organizer down here at the Faith Community for Worker Justice(FCWJ), in charge of creating a program that the FCWJ can do throughout the year. I have a few ideas and will see what ends up flying.

It seems that this is going to be a neat year. By having the chance to work here for a year, I really feel like I can get FCWJ going to a point where it will have continued support from the Labor Council and possibly even have a few people that will work here on a full time basis by next year. The road to getting this organization up and running is a large one that will require much compassion and love by many people, but I believe in people and believe that there is enough concerned folks from faith and secular backgrounds to make it an effective organization.

Right now I am working on getting a strong bit of student support for the program to join the clerical support that we have had in the past. This means working both ways, supporting student organizations around town to create contacts between the religious community and the student community. We already have a student from Alverno University, here in town who is going to be volunteering down here over the course of the semester. She will be working on supporting the Capital Returns campaign in any capacity that we can by hosting a panel discussion and maybe sometime soon down the road organizing a direct action against the company.

There will also be an educational aspect to the FCWJ in having a seminar for lay and clerical leaders in the community on how to engage their congregations in issues of economic justice. This is tentatively scheduled to start Oct 11th at the Capuchin Volinteer Corp House, if you are interested in participating please give me a call at 414 771 7541.

We will also be teaming up with the Milwaukee Network for Social Change to get congregational support out for their Free Markets. Free Market is a program where a bunch of people bring all the old junk and give it away together, For Free!

We will also be working with the AFL-CIO's Health and Hygiene drive sponsored by United Way, if your congregation wants to get involved, feel free to call and we'll get you connected.

Brochures for our organization have also been created and we would like to distribute them to gain community support for FCWJ.

A website is also in the mix to be created, I will keep you updated on how that is going.

All and all were getting up and running to have a strong program for the 2007-2008 year.
Thanks for reading.

Peace Always,

Jon Royal
Community Organizer
Faith Community for Worker Justice