Thursday, July 21, 2005

a shift of focus

Today I started an internship with Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon. I will appreciate my co-workers who are both very intelligent and delightful ladies about twenty years older than I. On the same day, I've just met my boarding host for the duration of the internship, she is twelve years my senior and is a PR manager for Tri-met here in Portland. She happily admits that she lives in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Portland, although I would guess that the gentrification happening in St. Johns is creating a bit more of a socio-economic spread. Nevertheless, I am delighted to be among fellow humans in the struggle against the man. Big brother will soon be watching if the Patriot Act is extended.
I feel I must divert much of my attention however to the job at hand. Catharine (my fellow intern) and I have been tasked with some PR and outreach already and we both feel we've been tossed right into the thick of it. But this is nice, Our supervisor Jenny is friendly but overwhelmed with work and there is much to be done. We are all grateful for these endeavours shall prove uplifting and educational by the end.
Today we had the priveledge of observing an energy audit by Doug who is a solar power consultant. The Zen Buddhist space we visited was very well kept and organized. The refrigerator was home to some sublime magnet phrases, but none which I can remember offhand. I learned about the basic design and function of the photovoltaics which operate much like a series of batteries being charged by the sun. A persistent shadow over a portion of the cells will cause the series to become interrupted and will cease to function properly. Therefore it is best to have an unobstructed south-facing roof for best deployment. We also learned today that available solar power in the Pacific NW is relatively equal to the rest of the country on an annual basis. The humidity of the East and Mid-west summers reduce the effect of sunrays on the modules. And of course the climate is milder here with less temperature extremes which means the energy required to condition the building is less. Doug is very cool and Catharine and I enjoyed our time with him and Kakumyo of the Zen Buddhists.
I was grateful for the chance to discuss theology with Catharine who studied it in college and was a Woodstock hippie back in the day. She's a member of United Church of Christ which I was eager to learn more about. I also inquired about Assembly of God and she felt that the two are worlds apart in terms of faith. I increasingly feel that greater extremes of faith can exist under the breadth of Christianity than there are between some sects of Christian, Muslim, and Judaism.
Well in all honesty, Jesus taught us such a good and simple way of life, I don't really understand anything that perverts His message in any way. Catharine spoke of a teacher of theology who termed this way as Christ -ean, to cleanse the word Christian from the mainstream orthodox dogma.
On the bus ride home, I spoke with a young lady who was on her way to church. I asked about her congregation and she said they were very inclusive in their membership and that they had a band and a choir. She invited me to go and told me where it was but I can't remember the name. I will check out the Ainsworth UCC this sunday, depending on what Dustin wants to do. Then the other church on Sunday next. Praise God.


Post a Comment

<< Home