Memorial for Tara Cole: mourning an unjust death


St Ann’s Episcopal Church, 419 Woodland Street, 5th & Woodland – East Nashville

While part of Tara Cole’s family will be celebrating her life in Elgin, Illinois, the family has asked the Nashville Homeless Power Project to organize a memorial on the same day at the place of her death in Nashville, Tennessee. Family and friends will be there to celebrate her life and grieve her loss. Community members are also invited to attend to recognize her life and remind us that we are all responsible for ensuring that our brothers and sisters have safe places for shelter and housing.

Tara Denise Cole, died at the age of 32 on August 11, 2006. Tara was born on November 25, 1973 in Humboldt, Tennessee. At 7 months old she moved to Elgin, Illinois and attended Larkin High School in Elgin.

Tara loved music and writing. She wanted to write plays and poetry. She was a very special person, loved all people and hated discrimination. In a letter to her mother Tara described herself: “I am a strong willed, extremely warm and open hearted, intelligent human being. Unfortunately, I’m a victim of this unchanging world”. So, I have to struggle just to be myself”.

Tara’s mother, Pearl Cole shares: “Tara always wanted to change the world. She cared so much about people and the injustices of life. She wanted so much to make a difference.”

Tara was survived by her parents, Dewitt and Pearl Cole of Elgin and Darryl Boyd (Carole) of Indianapolis, Indiana; her brothers, Rahman Cole of Elgin and Eric Boyd of Indianapolis, Indiana; And a host of Aunts, Uncles, Family and friends from Elgin Ilgin, Illinois, Humboldt, Tennessee and Indianapolis. Tara was preceded in death by her maternal grandmother, Ruthie Pearson of Humboldt Tennessee.

Newsflash: Ariah Praises Walmart (it’s about light-bulbs)

News Flash
No, that is not my idea that Walmart is bad being shattered on the right, but it does make a decent illustration. When you invest your energy in being a critic of someone or something, it is important to acknowledge it’s strengths and positive steps as well.

I’m a big fan of being environmentally conscious, and one area we could all make a huge step in is our light bulb purchasing (I’ll post about the Biblical backing later). The “swirl” bulbs on your left are a no brainer when it comes to taking a step in the good steward direction. Now if only we could convince the rest of the USA of this… in steps Walmart.

Here’s some of the details from a Fast Company article about Walmart’s initiative:

In the next 12 months, starting with a major push this month, Wal-Mart wants to sell every one of its regular customers–100 million in all–one swirl bulb. In the process, Wal-Mart wants to change energy consumption in the United States, and energy consciousness, too. It also aims to change its own reputation, to use swirls to make clear how seriously Wal-Mart takes its new positioning as an environmental activist.

It’s a bold goal, a remarkable declaration of Wal-Mart’s intention to modernize and green up a whole line of business using market oomph. Teaming up with General Electric, which owns about 60% of the residential lightbulb market in the United States, Wal-Mart wants to single-handedly double U.S. sales for CFLs in a year, and it wants demand to surge forward after that.

I think this is well worthy of praise for Walmart’s efforts. I think they have a long way to come before they have any position as environmental activist in my book, but it’s a good step.

I’m not sure yet, but I might consider stepping into a Walmart to purchase one of these bulbs. No decisions made, but I’m pondering it.

Setting the record straight about Nashville Recycling

There’s a terrible myth, an urban legend, a horrid lie that has been traveling around the Nashville community concerning recycling. It appears there might be tiny trolls running around putting outdated stickers on Curby’s, whispering in people’s ears when they are sleeping, making prank phone calls and handing out flyers to spread this information.

It must be stopped!

Here’s the truth about your Curby:
you can recycle ALL PLASTICS

any kind of clean, dry paper: cardboard, paperboard (cereal boxes, freezer boxes, and 12-pack soft drink boxes, but not pizza boxes), paper bags, office paper, envelopes, junk mail, catalogs, magazines and phone books.
-aluminum cans and metal food cans (remember that some materials may sit in your cart for a month, so please rinse cans first).
-all plastic bottles.

The one thing you shouldn’t put in there is glass.

I’m not making this stuff up, this is straight from METRO’S recycling website!

Also, while your crusing around metro’s site,
check out the sweet composting bins they are selling.

I am African: Is it accomplishing it’s goals or just offensive?

I heard about and read some commentary concerning a recent ad campaign I thought I should share with you.

Mixed Media Watch – tracking media representations of mixed people

I was surprised to learn that supermodel Iman is behind those “I Am African” ads fetauring Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker and other, mostly white, celebs in faux tribal makeup. As Global Ambassador for Keep A Child Alive, an organization that provides medication to African children with HIV/AIDS, she created the campaign to call attention to the plight of those who cannot afford lifesaving drugs. She states on that “each and everyone of us contains DNA that can be traced back to our African ancestors.” So this is why we should care about the issue? What aboout compassion, empathy and commitment to social justice?

A documentary, what do you think of it?

So, it looks like a very well made and well supported documentary is coming out. It’s something I’m not sure I feel comfortable with it being in the limelight.

I’m really curious what everyone’s thoughts are on this video. It seems there are a lot of issues “Christians” need to deal with in house and amongst one another, instead of waiting until a video like this comes out that cast the whole bunch in a negative light.

I’m saying all this cause I know of people that already feel like Christians (i.e. ALL Christians) and a documentary like this will just confirm that.

You won’t question it, unless you step out of it.

It’s extremely difficult to recognize and acknowledge that what you are doing is wrong. It’s much easier after the fact, or when you are not in the midst of your crime, to reconsider things and give an opportunity to entertain the otherside.
So many arguments are often worthless because we are such stubborn creatures, standing firmly in our opinion refusing to back down. It’s only after the argument when we’ve stepped out of defending our views that we can go back and acknowledge the correct views of our opponent.

Specifically, I’m talking about our lifestyles though. I’ll give some specific but controversial examples. It’s hard to willingly acknowledge the arguments of Walmart’s clothes being made in sweatshops, when we regularly shop there. It’s difficult to agree to the benefits of using less gas, when we have a long commute and drive everywhere. Seeing how good it is to compost or recycle or not eat red meat is tough, when it has never been a regular part of your lifestyle.

This is one of the reasons I’m so excited to be living in the community that we are a part of now. All of us have chosen to step out of our normal lifestyles and come together to live in an intentional way. The way we are living is a bit different then are lifestyles have been in the past. What is exciting is that this will give us a huge opportunity to consider our faith again, and really address how we feel our faith is to be lived out in our lives. And, we are having the opportunity to do it, while not in the midst of a lifestyle that might strongly contradict what we want to acknowledge as part of our faith.

Step away.

School for Conversion: Monasticism on the rise

From folks like The Simple Way and the Camden House, a new collaboration of communities calling themselves the new monasticism have begun to spread the word, and now they are doing “conferences.”

New Monasticism

Introductory Schools— Existing new monastic communities host three to four day intensive Schools during which participants pray and work with the community, study the biblical and theological foundations of new monastic community, and reflect carefully on the community’s responses to the particular needs of its location and make-up. For a list of upcoming dates and locations, click here.
New Monasticism Retreats— If you are part of a church, Bible study group, community, or ministry organization that would like to host a retreat on new monastic community and Christianity as a way of life.

We live in a culture of specialized education where people incur an incredible amount of debt and invest as many as twenty-five years in education for the sake of professional training. Hardly anyone, however, invests time and resources into learning how to live well. Even less in becoming holy. Yet Christians claim that this is the goal of life: to be holy as God is holy. SFC is a response to the great need for a space where Christians can think carefully about the way of life that Jesus taught and practiced while experimenting in the new reality of God’s kingdom here on earth.

Find more info and everything else at New Monasticism.

Tips on Moving: wet stuff + sealed plastic bag=mold

I pretty much gave away everything in the title here, but I’ll share the story anyways.

The place we just moved into will eventually have a Washer and Dryer. In my hope that that might happen soon I neglected to really settle in, specifically as it relates to dirty cloths. Let me backtrack a little.

The day we moved from our old apartment it was raining outside. Not a big deal usually, but it means the dirty clothes from soccer, biking, etc that I usually hung on the railings on the back porch did not actually dry, they got wet. When your moving you don’t have time to think about how to quick dry your already nasty smelling stuff so you find a big plastic bag tie it up real good and throw it in the truck.

Said bag then came out of the truck and sat in the corner of the kitchen of the temporary location for over a week. I guess I was thinking it might magically dry or something. Add to that story the fact that the air didn’t stay on in that unit after we moved out of it (man I know this is confusing to most of you), thus providing a nice warm, wet, dark environment.

On Wednesday, I finally pulled some stuff out of the bag, my soccer shoes and shinguards. Little did I know mold of white, green and yellow colors can grow on fake leather shoes. I was impressed and disgusted all at the same time. I wish I had taken pictures of it.

There is still a bag full of clothes sitting there and today I think it’s time to open it and wash away the mold that has now made a nice home amongst my personal items.

Final Tip: keep things dry.

I think I’m back (with air conditioning intact)

Our lease in this apartment started on the 15th. Unfortunately, all that was supposed to be done to the apartment, stuff we had agreed upon with the landlord that would be done, was not done on the 15th. I think, since he had let us move in earlier into the two bedroom next door, he felt he didn’t have to stay within that time-line. I’m not sure the reasoning, but on the 15th those things where not done. On Friday, the 18th, we rented a carpet cleaner from the grocery store and cleaned the carpets ourselves. We moved in on Saturday.
Just yesterday an air-conditioning unit was finally put in upstairs (where Mindy and I sleep). There are still holes in the walls that need to be patched (a priority mostly for efficiency of air escaping, not so much aesthetics), and the toilet in the bathroom is still leaking, and there are a couple other things. Eventually they are going to put in washer and dryer hook-ups as well.

Mainly though, our air-conditioning upstairs is working, which means it’s not 90+ degrees. This means I can comfortably work at my desk, unpack my stuff, and what you’ve all been waiting for, sit undistracted and type. I think that means I’m back. Hopefully you can tell by the amount of posts this week.