Trees and Sacred Taxes: Vote “Yes” on The Home Fund

Tu Bishvat teaches that taxes are holy. Tu Bishvat, which we just celebrated this week, is the Jewish new year of the trees, and opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge our interdependence with the natural world, and with trees specifically. It is generally observed through a seder, a ritual meal which—like the Passover seder—is marked by …

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Yom Kippur Day 5777: “Addressing Homelessness in Olympia: The Need for Values in our Civic Life”

Last November, not long after the high Holidays, I took a risk when I, without prior consultation with the Board, committed our congregation to join with two other downtown faith communities to host a warming center for the homeless during the cold and wet winter months. I don’t normally eschew process, I’m very process oriented. …

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Where Do You Charge Your Cell Phone?

Years ago, I remember learning of a movement to create voice mail boxes that could be accessed from pay phones, so that people who are experiencing homelessness will have an “address” that could help with communication, job searches, etc. The lesson of how technology can address this specific social issue made an impression on me. …

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Why “Protect Our Children” Doesn’t

Here in Washington, we don’t have Election Day, we have election week. With all mail balloting the norm here, it means that we don’t always have the final tally of votes at the end of Election Day. Votes that are postmarked on Election Day are still valid, and as they come in a close election …

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Concerns and Hopes

Last week I attended a forum at St. Michael's parish about a new proposed homeless shelter in Olympia. The shelter would be a low barrier shelter, recognizing some of the conditions that are obstacles at existing shelters and creating a place for people to go when they normally wouldn't have another option. The current proposed location is …

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