More on Dan…Otis Redding at Stax….Connor’s Army….Going Green at Church…And Miss Maria Mis-hears the News…

Many of you have stumbled on my blogs about Dan Fogelberg, especially this second one. Thanks to everyone for your kind comments. It has done my heart good to know that I was not alone in all my thoughts about Dan’s passing.

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Some of you who have watched the Dan Fogelberg Tribute Show Videos have noted that one appears to be missing. For reasons that I don’t understand, Clip 4 was deleted. It may have had some glitch in it.

I uploaded it again yesterday, and again it was deleted by last night. So, “take three,” and let’s hope this one holds. It’s actually got some of my favorite songs: To The Morning, Stars, Run for the Roses, and Leader of the Band…check it out. (And let’s hope this version doesn’t get deleted again!) You can also see them at my MySpace page, under “videos.”

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Got a nice email from a guy named Tim, who runs the Stax Records blog. He was writing about  this entry, and was very kind in his assessment of my assessment of Memphis. He reminds us all that currently the Stax Museum is hosting a tribute to Otis Redding, featuring pictures from his family’s private collection. This would certainly be worth the trip, if you’re anywhere near Memphis. Learn about it here.

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An update on Connor’s Army. You may remember this blog entry about my old friend, Gene Connor, and his one-person crusade to raise money for cancer research by riding 2,000 miles this year. Gene’s December blog entry says this:
“This was absolutely the worst ride I have ever had.
Average speed was 14.9 and I usually average 19-20 on the same ride, top speed downhill was 32 and my best has been 45, my ride time was 55:36 and its usually 36:00-38:00.
Yet when I stepped off my bike I was crying with happiness.
Why?
Because I did it. Today I reached my 2,000 commuting mile goal.”

They are just shy of their $10,000 goal. But, there are still ten days left in this year, and you can still join them. I hope you’ll consider it as a holiday gift to honor a friend.

Gene has announced big plans for 2010… a Coast-to-Coast ride with the goal of raising $50,000!!! Stay tuned…I know he’ll be able to do it!

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A nice story in today’s DMN about United Methodist Churches purchasing green energy. Basically, 180-plus UM Churches in North Texas banded together and when they , ahem, renewed their bulk contract for energy purchasing, they required all bids to have a 10 percent “green” allotment. The story, by fine DMN reporter, Sam Hodges, says that this appears to the first time any church group has done this. It makes sense. Environmentalism is a value held dear by many people of faith: why not use our collective clout to affect change? Very proud of us all…

But, wait, there’s more! Because there’s a quote from your’s truly at the of the story. Our church made the choice to opt-in for a little more, such that we’ll purchase 100 percent green energy. The premium on that was a small 3.5 percent increase over the basic price, and we saw that as a “no brainer.” Very proud of our church too…

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Funny story from Maria…

She really does listen to what’s going on in the news. We must keep this in mind. The other day, she asked Dennise why “knee boarding” was illegal. Knee boarding, of course, is something you do on the lake….you sit on your knees, on a little float-board, and a boat drags you around. It’s like water skiing, only without the skis and quite as much falling down.

Maria says, “I don’t understand it, my friend Brittany does it all the time, and we did it as summer camp too…why is it illegal?”

To which Dennise said, “It’s not, honey, where did you get that idea?”

To which Maria says, “Well, it’s all over the TV…you know…how knee boarding is considered torture…”

“That’s waterboarding, honey. It’s totally different….”

And then, of course, we had to explain the unexplainable to a ten-year-old: what waterboarding is, and why anyone in our country would defend it for any reason.

She was greatly relieved to find that the kids at summer camp weren’t engaging in torture. She was a little more troubled about why our government seems to be.

Aren’t we all?

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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