Saturday, June 14, 2008

Shark Words

If you get a chance, check out Shark Words at A strong message and beautiful images.

All of my poems are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. All rights reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss for usage. See all 19,840+ of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Proposal by the NE Chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action, The NE Annual Conference Reconciling Ministries Committee and ...

A Witness to Conscience

On April 30, 2008 in Fort Worth Texas the General Conference of the United Methodist
Church voted not only to maintain condemnatory language concerning homosexuality in
the section of the Social Principles dealing with Human Sexuality (paragraph 161.G), but to significantly weaken the current statement of the church by deleting affirmative language and inserting further judgmental statements. Sadly, due to the limits of parliamentary procedure, delegates never had an opportunity to debate the merits of the majority report coming out of the Church and Society II Legislative Committee. This report, in the eyes of many, represented an honest, gracious and fair statement of the present reality within the United Methodist Church and held great promise for the healing of our church. (Both statements are attached.)

The Social Principles are not church law. They are intended, in the words of their
preface, to be “a call to faithfulness” and “instructive and persuasive in the best of the prophetic spirit.” We believe that the disparaging language of the adopted version of 161.G is neither faithful nor persuasive, and it is certainly not prophetic. It is instructive only to the degree that it indicates how far the United Methodist Church has to go before its motto of “Open hearts, open minds, open doors” becomes reality.

Recognizing that, from time to time, the legislative efforts of the church fail to keep pace with the leading of the Holy Spirit, and being further convinced that faithful United Methodists can never acquiesce to discrimination, no matter how many votes may be mustered in its service, we call upon the New England Annual Conference to do the following:

• Declare that we will not recognize the destructive and discriminatory language
contained in Paragraph 161.G as faithful, persuasive or prophetic.

• Charge the Conference Board of Church and Society with drafting an alternative
paragraph 161.G to be presented to the 2009 session of the Annual Conference for
its perfection and approval

• Disseminate that alternative paragraph to all of the churches in the New England
Annual Conference with the suggestion that it be appended as a spiritual
corrective to the 2008 Book of Discipline.

• Invite other annual conferences to join with us in this witness to conscience.

Respectfully submitted by the New England Chapter of the Methodist Federation for
Social Action, The New England Annual Conference Reconciling Ministries Committee
and the New England Annual Conference Board of Church and Society.

All of my poems are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. All rights reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss for usage. See all 19,840+ of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

Letter from Congressman Carol Shea-Porter, May 28, 2008 on waterboarding

May 28, 2008

Dear Mr. Foss:

Thank you for contacting me about waterboarding. I strongly believe that methods of torture, such as waterboarding, hypothermia, and stress positions, are not an acceptable or humane method of obtaining information.

I was proud to introduce as an original cosponsor, with Chairman Jerrold Nadler of the Constitution Subcommittee of the Judiciary, the American Anti-Torture Act (H.R. 4114). H.R. 4114 would have extended the U.S. Army Field Manual prohibition on torture techniques like waterboarding to all U.S. government agencies. This language was included in the Intelligence Authorization Act (H.R. 2082) and would have prevented intelligence agencies from engaging in torture. The President objected to this language and subsequently vetoed the Intelligence Authorization Act.

I was also proud to cosponsor the Justice for Victims of Torture and Terrorism Act (H.R. 5167), which prohibits the President from granting immunity to Iraqi officials that participate in inhumane acts. H.R. 5167 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. As an advocate for human rights, I am closely monitoring the status of this legislation and look forward to supporting it, should it come to the House floor.

To learn more about current legislation or about my voting record, I invite you to visit the Library of Congress legislative information website ( There, you can find the full text of a bill or a summary, who introduced it and when, who is cosponsoring it, and where it is in the legislative process. I also invite you to visit my website ( for more information about bills that I have introduced or cosponsored, and for issue updates, position statements, event announcements, or to sign up for my email newsletter.

Thank you for contacting my office. It is a privilege to serve you in Washington.


Carol Shea-Porter
Member of Congress

the son shines brighter

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Into His Hands

Into His hands, we lay down our burdens
we lay them into His loving hands
Our father, our shepherd, our guide in life
triune God, we turn them over to you
wash our cares away, knock the scales from our eyes
cast off this burden, leave it by the wayside
Rise up, rise oh my spirit, feel your embrace
strength lies in that faith, that your will may be done
that your arms are enough, that they are there
to hold us, to provide for us, to meet our needs
daily bread, living water, unmerited love
Wash over me, make my way straight
let me turn to you in need
and know they will be met
Let my doubts be a fading memory
may your presence be my joy
May I bring that message of calm,
of hope, of love
everywhere I step

June 12, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Legacy

By their words, of memory, of love
they shared a bit of her life’s story
But in their dance, varied and wondrous,
they revealed the power of her ministry
a legacy of praise, of beautiful worship
They brought her into the sanctuary,
into this holy space, filling the room
with her love, her legacy sang praises to God
this holy ground, this space, this place
Worship she brought, these disciples of hers
a legacy of dance, sacred dance
to the glory of God
Continuing her ministry
for generations to come

June 10, 2008
June 7, 2008 Sacred Dance Sharing Program
Wesley United Methodist Church, Concord, NH,
dedicated to Elsie Keeffe

In Dance

They worshipped, praised the Lord,
sang with their movements, their bodies, their beings
In dance they prayed, sang with their feet
barefoot, on holy ground, they spun, and kneeled
their arms to the heavens, their hearts to God
In dance they sang for our creator
what a joyous sound they made

June 10, 2008
June 7, 2008 Sacred Dance Sharing Program
Wesley United Methodist Church, Concord, NH

Did You Hear Them

Four second-graders, each reading, in unison
A message for themselves, for the congregation
reminder of the ancient truth, the power of the words
the hope, the guidance, the direction in the words of God,
inspired providential, the promise of God, in these holy pages
A light to our way, in this dark and troubled world
Hope for all who delve into its pages, ready medicine
for souls in need, for hearts looking for a path,
a journey begun, continuing in this place
Did you hear them, speaking words of power
for the congregation, for all who have ears
Listen; there is joy here

June 10, 2008
Psalm 119:105
Presentation of the Bibles, Wesley United Methodist Church,
Concord, NH, June 8, 2008
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Under Advisement

Taken under advisement,
how to explain those words
aggrieved party
Did the case get its due
the judge hear our plea
through the haze of the lies
the lies and half-truths
made without script, without thought
So it is each time
the matter is taken
under advisement
The order is in the mail
and the arrearage grows

The Judge was Laughing

I have often wondered,
is it better that the judge was laughing
would that be my one good moment that day,
the next time I am before them
will that be the quota for the day
Those same walls, that same space
working, white collar, sweatshop
a selfish mistress, demanding loyalty
fealty, hours spent preparing
for scant minutes on the record
Maybe negotiate in the hall
bring that smile to the judge’s face
All set, signed and sealed, case closed

All of my poems are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. All rights reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss for usage. See all 19,840+ of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

Into the Courtroom

Waiting our turn before the Court
the capital letter, this Honorable Court
waiting for our brief short minutes
the clock is running
the watchful gaze of the one in the robe
The clock is running, the Bailiff on watch
in silence waiting, their facts painful
aired into the ether, onto the record
fault and blame, his face reddened
his back tight under his blue shirt
the room hushed, paused, waiting
for the words, the judgment
of the man in the black robe

By the Children

We were taught
once more
the stories of his life
By the children
just as he said,
our salvation
in becoming like them
We were reminded
of his life
his lessons for us
by our children

May 8, 2008
Children’s Sunday,
Wesley United Methodist Church,
Concord, NH