Daily Practice for August 1, 2016


Can I just take a moment to scream? It is August 1st and I am not ready for it!! Whew, that feels better. Thank you.

I would also like to take a moment to scream because if this US election and news cycle continues in this manner, my brains are going to fall out of my head. Can we all say, augh!!

All that aside, I have been pondering how people make decisions regarding who they will elect. It seems to me that there is a trend towards electing personalities. I wonder how this plays out in our regular life. In leadership studies, there is the "Great Man" theory. The "Great Man" theory says that the right person for a job is the person with the right charisma, intelligence, or wisdom for a job. Great men are born, not made. It is largely not used in leadership any more. We can see the change in leadership style and philosophy by looking at the new civil rights movement. We have moved from the "Great Man" of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the highly decentralized leadership of #blacklivesmatter.

Setting aside for a moment the inherent sexism of the "Great Man: theory.

There is a team of leaders that started #blacklivesmatter, Alicia Garza, Patrice Cullors, and Opal Tometi. You rarely see them on the news or making speeches. They leave it to each community to determine the change and leadership that is needed in their own space while uniting across geographies when a major event happens. This is the opposite of the "Great Man" theory. Perhaps it could be called the "Great Community" theory of leadership. Leaders rise from the community, are informed by the community, and with with community to create change and to be changed.

That actually sounds like a great model of leadership! I consider myself a pretty good leader. I've founded two organizations that are functional and serve the communities they were created to serve. When I consider what makes me a great leader it is not the "Great Man" theory. I feel like I'm an ordinary person. The qualities are patience, perseverance, team-building, collaboration, administrative detail, collaboration, creativity, commitment to communal mission, collaboration, continued education and learning...you get the picture? I suppose that I want leaders that have that same commitment. That is what I look for in our political leaders both nationally and locally. It is the leader I strive to be.

 What makes you a good leader in your home or community? What qualities of leadership do you look for in others?

Reminder: the Synchroblog event, 100 Thousand Poets for Change, will be occurring on September 24 at The Bardo Group Beguines. Along with live events and a Peacemakers for Change event in Tukwila, WA. Put it on your calendars!

Today's practice brings us music from The Piano Guys, a poem from AE Stallingswisdom from Mitch Albom, and graphic from Tara Hunt at flickr. Along with readings from the Jewish and Christian lectionaries, the Qur'an, and the Buddhist tradition.   And as always, we have our BIBOLOVE practice from Soyinka Rahim. (BIBO = Breathe In, Breathe Out). Our prayers for this week focus on countries in the Carribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.



Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.

BIBOLOVE: Breath In, Breath Out--roar!


Lord of the Rings - The Hobbit by The Piano Guys



Ajar by A. E. Stallings

The washing-machine door broke.      We hand-washed for a week.
Left in the tub to soak,       the angers began to reek,
And sometimes when we spoke,       you said we shouldn’t speak.

Pandora was a bride;      the gods gave her a jar
But said don’t look inside.       You know how stories are—
The can of worms denied?       It’s never been so far.

Whatever the gods forbid,       it’s sure someone will do,
And so Pandora did,       and made the worst come true.
She peeked under the lid,       and out all trouble flew:

Sickness, war, and pain,       nerves frayed like fretted rope,
Every mortal bane       with which Mankind must cope.
The only thing to remain,       lodged in the mouth, was Hope.

Or so the tale asserts—      and who am I to deny it?
Yes, out like black-winged birds       the woes flew and ran riot,
But I say that the woes were words,       and the only thing left was quiet.

Lehman, David; Alexie, Sherman. The Best American Poetry 2015 (The Best American Poetry series) (Kindle Locations 1964-1976). Scribner. Kindle Edition.

Sacred Text

Jewish Daily Reading: Daily Study from Chabad

Christian Daily Reading: Revised Common Lectionary Daily Reading

Muslim Daily Reading: Daily Verse from The Only Quran

Buddhist Daily Reading: Daily Zen

Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. If there is something else you'd like to see, let me know!

Sacred Quotable

“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie


Weekly prayer focus comes from the World Council of Churches prayer cycle. We know the world needs to be surrounded with prayer and positive thought. This allows us to work through the world country by country. We focus on one set of countries per week with the same prayer, lifting them up.

Focus countries: The Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago

Let us pray.

We know that we fail to live up to being makers of peace. Let us bring in rather than push out, be invitational rather than confrontational--seeing signs of life while decrying the desecration of hope.

For signs of hope and peace, we pray for

  • The Caribbean Council of Churches and all Faith Communities
  • Warm seas and idyllic beaches.
  • Calypso, reggae, plena, merengue, salsa, and all the new rhythms being created in these lands.
  • Pepperpot stew, cou-cou, bananas, sweet potatoes, conch.
  • Patois, Creole, Srana, Bajan and other languages which fill these islands with meaning.

For the oppressed and weary, we pray for

  • Political stability and ethical, honest leadership from those in power.
  • Improved economic status for all peoples.
  • An end to exploitation and oppression based on race, religion or rank.
  • Faith community leadership, ecumenism, and tolerance.
  • Improved health for all.
  • Those affected by hurricanes and floods.

For those who suffer, are homeless, or are sick
For those we love, those we hate and those we are indifferent to
For the transformation from ME to WE

Let peace prevail on earth.
So may it be.

Lord’s Prayer:

Translation by Neil Douglas Klotz, Sufi

O Birther! Creator of the Cosmos,
Focus your light within us— make it useful:
Create your reign of unity now-
Your one desire then acts with ours,
as in all light, so in all forms.
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight.
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all ruling will,
the power and the life to do,
the song that beautifies all,
from age to age it renews.
Truly— power to these statements—
may they be the ground from which all
my actions grow: Amen.

May Peace Prevail on Earth. Amen. So mote it be.

by Tara Hunt (CC BY-SA 2.0)
by Tara Hunt
(CC BY-SA 2.0)

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