Organizing a(n) (un)conference, BarCamp style

I’ve been writing about BarCamp, Unconferences and Open Space Technology — but how do you do it? [Later. I realized I haven’t written about BarCamp or Unconferences, but intended to introduce them before publishing this. “A BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment”–… Continue reading Organizing a(n) (un)conference, BarCamp style

Things to consider when you’re shopping ethically

When I go shopping — whether its for lentils or a vacation — a string of self-reflective questions run through my mind. (Was I Quaker in a past life? I doubt my Puritan ancestors would have approved. The Baptist ones might have coped.) Do I need this? can I put off buying this? Do I… Continue reading Things to consider when you’re shopping ethically

I love my “clean” union-made, USA-made blue jeans

Did you see the recent episode of Independent Lens entitled “China Blue” on PBS? It is the undercover story of real Chinese garment workers who make blue jeans for the American and other markets. The workers make pennies to make our clothing while their bosses, the distributors and the marketers grow rich. Paid $100 for… Continue reading I love my “clean” union-made, USA-made blue jeans


I’m waiting with baited breath for The Rev. Victoria Weinstein’s segment on Nightline. . . . (I knew her when, sniff) Rejoice with her at her Beauty Tips for Ministers blog. The other segments: about Colors, the worker-owned cooperative restaurant created by the surviving members of the Windows on the World restaurant and GodMan, the… Continue reading Beautiful

Union-made candles for church, too

Two of the larger suppliers of candles and lamp oil for churches have unionized workforces. Emkay Candles (Muench-Kreuzer Candle Co.) Cathedral Candles Since I also like sole proprietorships and cooperatives, add them in the comments if you know of some, particularly if they make candles in pure beeswax or soywax. Refurbishers of church furnishings, too.… Continue reading Union-made candles for church, too

O Cooperative tree

Among the most potent of Christmas images is the Christmas tree: a decorated evergreen. It is so iconic that it can be reduced to almost any cone shape, or even a green, white, or silver triangle. That’s graphic power. But there isn’t any theological reason to tie a conifer to Christ. Here’s a nice thought… Continue reading O Cooperative tree

Church cooperative?

Let’s think for a moment of how a church is organized; not the theological justification for its being, but the social models for its running. Business models are common; so are models from civil government. So too hints from organized labor and mass social movements. Sometimes these borrowings are conscious and obvious and others are… Continue reading Church cooperative?