Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christianity and The Good for the All


The Eupan Global Initiative is not a specifically Christian organization, though many persons who share partnership with us embrace Christian faith. 

Since I have been part of Christian faith communities for all of my life, it is important for me to think about how Christian faith shapes extended ideas about establishing the good for the all - and for bringing peace on earth. 

In the season of Christmas, persons in the West - and certainly in America - are caught up in the swirl of activities that come with what is so often perceived to be central to the season.  I am reminded of the the Nativity Scene - or the Creche that so many Christian persons use to decorate their home in this season.  From my perspective, for many, the Nativity Scene has become an object "to collect" more so than an object to call us toward world-peace-making in establishing the good for the all.  This is unfortunate because the Nativity scene itself, dates to the 13th Century, and to a Christian reformer (of sorts) who called Christian persons to a lifestyle of non-materialism and non-acquisitiveness.  (See more on St. Francis of Assisi and his view of the "Poor King" here.)

What is more urgent to me - though - is the actual persons who are "at" or "in" the Creche.  Magi represent foreigners, who are welcome with Jesus and Mary and Joseph.  Shepherds represent the common, even poor - non-stereotypically-religious-non-elite.  There are no "religious" "officials."  And, angels announce "Peace on Earth."

The Creche should be a reminder - perhaps the most important reminder to Christian persons - that peace on earth comes when all persons of any nation - and all persons of any "class" can be participants together in partnering for world peace.

As a Christian, Peace on Earth is always my hope - and the Nativity Scene reminds me that partnerships toward peace can include diverse groups of people.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Nobel Peace Prize


Through the Eupan Global Initiative we add our voice to stories of struggle - opportunities for solidarity - and extended success in peacemaking.

Delighted to read that a story we featured with our 2010 public campaign to screen "Pray the Devil to Hell" is connected to the fact that Leymah Gbowee, featured in that film, is one of three women to have received the Nobel Peace Prize!

In Gbowee's Nobel acceptance speech, she voiced:

“In the past we were silent, but after being killed, raped, dehumanized, and infected with diseases, watching our children and families destroyed, war has taught us that the future lies in saying NO to violence and YES to peace! We will not relent until peace prevails. . . ."

Particularly for persons of Christian faith - but certainly for any faith - I recommend this supplement (non Nobel speech) from Gbowee available here, Gbowee notes:

"In almost 60 years, I’ve done nothing really great or to let my light shine. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything extraordinary but to take my little light and shine it in darkness."

"The US has resources but they lack activists. . . . it’s time we do collective peace building. It’s time that we do collective experience sharing. It’s time for us to stop the hypocrisy of sending money to Africa when there’s communities here that need that money more than anything.  It’s time for you Christians to stop getting on planes to Rwanda to teach children to read when down the street in Brooklyn, children cannot read."

Our part through EGI is small - sharing our voice - and yet this serves as a reminder that our efforts to share awareness and engage solidarity in action!

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

OKC Specific - With Focus on the Poor


Because changes like this affect *every* customer - - and many of those customers include the urban poor or public services and charitable services operating with limited budgets to help the poor - a change based on what is proposed will have major effect if something like this passes.  It seems worth noting that this issues shapes "the good for the all" which is at the heart of the Eupan Global Initiative.

The public is invited to participate in the hearings regarding whether OG&E is entitled to a rate hike. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is scheduled to begin hearings on OG&E's request for a rate increase at 10:00 a.m., December 13, 2011, in Courtroom 301 on the third floor of the Jim Thorpe Building.

OG&E is seeking an annual increase of approximately $73 million "to recover increased business costs and electric infrastructure investments the Company has made since 2009".

The $73 million increase, as proposed, would raise a residential customer's bill by 6% when compared to current rates. More than 70,000 small business customers would receive an average 2% rate increase. For industrial rate classes, the average increase would range from 1% to 7%.

The hearing will be held each business day and continue until concluded. All interested parties may appear at the hearings to make public comments. After the hearing the Commission will issue its final order and any rate changes will become effective after the final decision is issued.

UNOFFICAL NOTE in ADDENDUMIt is my understanding that the CEO of OG&E makes 5.5 million per year.  Also, I have been told that the board of directors each make $100,000 a year, and if they stay on the board for ten years, they receive that sum for the rest of their lives.  Also note that industrial rates may not go up at all, while all individual accounts will go up if OG&E gets their way.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Sunday, December 4, 2011

"An Ocean of Grief"

It is always good to be reminded about how we use resources - and how we can be better stewards.

This four-minute trailer for a  film due out in 2012 helps focuse our attention toward how we can do better "for all" including wildlife.

The MIDWAY media project is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishingly symbolic environmental tragedy. On one of the remotest islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic from the Pacific Garbage Patch. Returning to the island over several years, our team is witnessing the cycles of life and death of these birds as a multi-layered metaphor for our times. With photographer Chris Jordan as our guide, we walk through the fire of horror and grief, facing the immensity of this tragedy—and our own complicity—head on. And in this process, we find an unexpected route to a transformational experience of beauty, acceptance, and understanding.

<p>MIDWAY : trailer : a film by Chris Jordan from Midway on Vimeo.</p>

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative