Interfaith Spring Eggs

This week's blog post comes from Better Together Committee Member Anne McGlamery, who joined me (Shea) for a springtime adventure around OU's campus in Athens, Ohio.

Once upon a time two bunnies left UCM to give out interfaith eggs to the Ohio University community. Ok so it was actually Shea and I, but we had on bunny ears so it counts. This past weekend is what most people would call “Easter Weekend,” but it is highly unfair to give it that title. This time of year represents many different celebrations from the Jewish celebration of Passover to the Hindu Festival of Colors and so many others. It was because of this great time of celebrations that members of UCM decided to celebrate by giving out interfaith eggs with candy and one of thirteen Golden Rule quotes.

As with any great journey, we began at UCM and made our way down Court Street, which is a lot like our Main Street, where we were able to give our eggs to so many different kinds of people from students to professors to Athenians and even a parking patroller! This just goes to show how many different kinds of people make up this community and how those differences really bring us together as a diverse community. It also goes to show how two woman can walk down the road with bunny ears on and no one even bats and eyelash!

It was through this that we ecided to also go around to the different offices/departments to show our thanks for their support and to brighten their days. We began with the Women and Gender Studies building and then moved onto Baker Student Union where we gave eggs to possible students who were touring. Probably the most exciting part was going to the Art Gallery and being given BIG PINK BALLONS!!!!We were so excited and carried them around with us for the rest of the day, and once we got those we continued on. We visited such people as the Multicultural center,The Post Office (where we waited in line to give an egg to the Post Master), The Post (where we saw and gave an egg to Dean of Students Ryan Lombardi!), the English and Classical Civilizations offices, the LGBT Center, and The Woman’s Center. We visited these places to show some interfaith love to our friends of UCM and also to show some support for a few of the many offices on campus that supply support to OU students.

Nearing the end of our adventure we decided to make a special visit to 29 Park Place to visit President McDavis and the First Lady at home.  At OU the President of the university and his family live on campus, and we wanted to take advantage of this to share the interfaith love! We went up and knocked on their door and were greeted my First Lady McDavis who accepted two green eggs for herself and the president and thanked us. Ok so let me insert here that yes it was kind of crazy to go knock on their door and we kind of thought they may not answer, but they did!!! We finished our journey back at UCM by giving out eggs to the people at “home” who we also wanted to share the interfaith love and show our thanks for all that they do to support us.

Peace out,


If God Had A Name, What Would It Be?

Hi again!  Shea here. *Waving.*

There's other posts coming but this week you're stuck with me. And because you're stuck with me you're stuck with my current thought process.

I have been thinking about the universe, and about the divine, a whole lot this week. 

When I was a young teenager Joan of Arcadia was my favorite television show.  I was captivated by the idea that God could be anywhere, at any time, and present as anybody. I was never concerned by God's willingness to present as different sexes, social classes, genders, ability levels, religious backgrounds, and dressed in different clothing styles.  Of course God would do this.  Of course S/he would present as an innocent, book-savvy girl.  A goth teenage boy.  A scowl-y old lady.  This made perfect sense to me.

I'm a decade older now.  I have learned many things in these ten years, but one of the most startling was that some folks believe God would not, under any circumstances, present as a teenage goth boy, a book-savvy girl, and a scowl-y old lady, especially not in one day, because these folks believe (or, I am under the impression they believe) God is a conservtive man.

This is a valid belief system.  I am not saying this is not a valid belief system. I am saying it shocked me.  I am saying that when I learned this, I began thinking what I had before called God could not be called this because my God, S/he was all of these thing and atleast 10,000,000 more.  I began wondering the word for what I believe, and wondering how to serinade the devine.  How to ode the creator the mountainsides, exploded and non-exploded.  I wondered how to ode the God of giggling children and lost socks and burnt soup and the corner behind my bed where I inevitably find all of my lost pony tail holders. The God that sent me so many people to love, so many people to love me.

Joan Osborne asks a question I have been asking the Universe a lot lately.  If God had a name, what would it be?

Sometimes I feel God like I feel the light, like I feel the beauty, like I feel the poetry.  There are days when I feel that the earth is based in goodness, that people are based in goodness, that despite my flaws and shortcomings even I am based in goodness.  On these days I write poems. I write poems on Microsoft Word and napkins and on the palm of my hand and in my Black Writing Notebook. On these days I pick flowers to wear in my hair and I tell people that what is coming is better than what has come before, because I believe this to be true the way I believe chocolate makes even flunked tests better or that hugs could bring world peace.  Most days are like this, but some are not.  Sometimes I do not feel the light.  Sometimes I know God is there because I believe in the steady and unchanging, but sometimes what I feel is not light but that I am too young to have the answers my peers want when they call me at 1AM.  Sometimes I feel like my heart is not big enough pr wizened enough to understand how so many people can feel so much fear and pain. 

The light, it comes and it goes, but this Being I believe in, S/he stays the same, and when I look up I know I am saying thank-you to the sky and the Sky Creator and I do not hesitate to burn sage and step inside churches and string prayer beads and tell Holy Stories that perhaps are not really mine.  Every day, every time I walk, I imagine my feet saying thank you for this somewhat-splintered but still-sacred ground because every single day I know a Holy Being needs thanked.

If God had a name, what would it be? I do not know. But I know I want to continue looking this world in the face and seeing Him or Her, even means I have to reconcile this belief with a world that is not always beautiful, or even perfect.

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Joan Osborne's One of Us. The series Joan of Arcadia is mostly on YouTube, if you'd like to check it out between homework assignments or shifts as work.

Interfaith Community Gardening

Happy Spring Quarter everyone! This quarter we'll have posts from UCM interns and Ohio University students alike. This week intern Sam Fersky and her beautiful views on community gardening.
Every time I think I know Athens through to the core, like an old friend, Athens surprises me with gifts of beauty and joy.  This quarter Shea and I decided that we were going to plant a garden in order to stretch the summer food supply.  After doing some research, it seemed that taking advantage of the Athens Community Gardens would make the most sense for Thursday Supper.  I had no idea the community gardens would be a scene of bliss that would send me spiraling into a state of utter happiness.  All the gardeners working side by side, in harmony; so many different kinds of people, including students, low income members of the community, and student groups like Thursday Supper.                                           
It has long been a dream of mine that all people have access to healthy food regardless of how much money they make in a year.  Eating vegetables is not a privilege, it is a right.  It is a fact; everyday children in America go to school hungry.  Before we diagnose a child as having ADHD from now on we should ask them if they ate breakfast in the morning.  Rhetorical question:  do you find it difficult to learn when you haven’t eaten breakfast or even dinner the night before?  I do.  Sometimes, it seems like we are more willing to give our children pharmaceuticals than a healthy meal.  Unfortunately food insecurity is a reality for many children and adults in Athens County.  Food insecurity is a serious issue and there are some people and organizations in the community trying to do more than put a band aid on the problem. I have never been prouder to say that I live in Athens than now.  It seems that every day I learn about a local organization that I have never heard of tackling issues dealing with poverty.  The sheer fact that someone can lease a plot of land for one year, for $25.00 to grow as much healthy, organic food as they can fit on the land is simply amazing to me.
The point I am trying to make is that poverty exists, and not just in developing countries.  It is right down the road, it has a face.  It might be the woman at the bus stop, the child walking home from school, or the man you see in the library every day.  Hunger looks like you, and it looks like me, and it’s real.  Athens is my ray of sunshine; it gives me hope for the future that maybe one day, no children will have to go to school hungry ever again.