Summer, 2001, Update for Members and Volunteers
Scheduled for fall, 2001, release is "Spirit of Simplicity: Alternative Quotes & Art," a collection of serious, humorous, religious and secular quotations and illustrations on voluntary simplicity, social justice and related topics for personal inspiration and for publications.
Watch for it! It was chosen as top priority in the recent Stakeholder Survey. Thanks to those who submitted ideas.
Scheduled for 2002 is a collection called Worship Alternatives. For submission guidelines, contact us. The collection will focus on discipleship as seen through our mission.
Worship Alternatives is available for sponsorship/underwriting. We intend to publish the collection on paper (loose leaf format for easy use) and on CD-ROM (both Mac & PC on one disk).
The project was highly rated in a recent survey of Alternatives' customers, members and volunteers.
Scheduled for release in late summer, 2002, $5000 is needed for production and some marketing costs.
Recognition of the sponsors is negotiable. It normally includes credits in the collection itself and in the extensive national marketing campaign.
Sponsorship is a contribution to Alternatives, a nonprofit organization, and is therefore tax deductible. Partial sponsorships of $1000 or more will be considered. Donations of any size are welcome.
If you would like to contribute to the 2002 edition of our most widely-read, family-oriented booklet, "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?" please send ideas before January 15, 2002. That gives you time to prepare something during the holiday season when it's really on your mind. An item may be new or not, original or not. If it's by someone else, include a complete description of the source.
We can use...
- Art (line drawing, photo) that depicts the tension between faith and culture.
- Personal experiences (especially intergenerational ones) related to simplifying Christmas or finding meaning in relationships instead of stuff.
- Ideas for worshipful ceremonies or family rituals.
- We print about 150,000 copies and reach many more through our website. We intend to translate much of it into Spanish. Lead writers will Jim and Kathy McGinnis of the Peace and Justice Institute, St. Louis.
To read past editions of "Whose Birthday," go to our website. Click on Archives, then Whose Birthday?. Or go directly to http://www.simpleliving.org/Archives/XB/XBindex.php
The article by volunteer Christine Leonard Osterwalder in the 2000 edition was picked by "Horizon," the national women's magazine of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The cover photo by volunteer Phil Claeys, "Prayerful Santa," was carried on the United Methodist News Service website and was reproduced in dozens of publications.
MORE How You Can Help
- Remember Alternatives in your will. Consider gifting us some appreciated securities. Contact us (or have your lawyer contact us) for more information. Our legal name is "Alternative Lifestyles, Inc., dba Alternatives for Simple Living." We appreciate cash donations (they're tax deductible!) and project grants.
- When you see or hear about Alternatives in the news - local, regional, national (church or secular), print or electronic (TV, radio, cable) - please send us a copy or report it to us with a brief description (content, time, place, date). We can't afford a "clip service." We need help seeing if our outreach efforts are working.
- Take one or more media releases to your local editor(s) and identify yourself as a supporter of Alternatives. All our current releases are available on our Website under "Information: Media Releases."
- Download your choice(s) from the Website. Or we will send the release to your local editor in your name if you send us the publication's name, editor's name and editor's mail and/or email address. Contact us for a copy of your choice(s). Tell us if you want them by mail or email.
- Urge your Christian & Community Access TV channels to air our videos -- "Break Forth into Joy! Beyond a Consumer Lifestyle" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." We'll provide free copies if they agree to preview them. We request that you (or they) return the copies to us. If you get a local TV channel to air it, we'll provide support materials for you to promote viewing and follow-up.
- Link us to your Website. Put an excerpt from one of our resources on your Webpage and link it to us. For help, contact our WebMaster: David@SimpleLiving.org.
- Share our Resource Guide (catalog) with your church group, at a conference you may attend, as part of a display, at a meeting. A donation to cover shipping is welcome, not required.
We really need the help of our members, volunteers and customers to help distribute Whose Birthday?
The number we distribute each year has been static since 1995, and the initial print run for this year's edition (based on advance orders) was the smallest in recent history.
We have committees working on the content for future years. Right now we need you to do at least one of the following:
- Order free color flyers and distribute them with a mailing you may have coming up this summer or fall.
- Interest your church or friends in placing a bulk order so that each family in your church can have a copy this Advent. Whose Birthday is our most widely read resource for a good reason -- it's really good! It's on target without being offensive. This year the featured writer is Bill McKibben, author of "The End of Nature," "The Age of Missing Information" and "Hundred Dollar Holiday."
- Pray for this ministry.
- Give a special gift in the form of a gift membership, a donation or ....
Look What You're Missing
If You Don't Receive Alternatives' Free Email Newsletters!
- Announcements of new titles long before they appear in the Resource Guide
- Encouraging information about valuable work being done by like-minded organizations
- Quick links to timely articles in Alternatives' expanding archives
- Simple ways to be helpful and involved in the Voluntary Simplicity movement.
To subscribe, simply send us your email address. If you change your mind, unsubscribing is easy; just tell us "personal email only."
For MORE Worth Reading (and past recommendations), visit our Website. Click on Information: Archives: Newsletters: Worth Reading. Or click on Insider Info. Also, get our free email newsletter.
"I think lack of beauty and soul plays a large part in our society's focus on consumerism, too. So many things we have in our contemporary life are not very real - they are mass produced. They don't have much individuality. We make all sorts of functional things that don't have presence. When you don't have the presence of real objects in your life, you feel the absence and you go for quantity rather than quality.... There is a connection between simplicity and beauty, and what the soul needs is not large quantities of things.
"Friendships nurture the soul.
"I have grave doubts about this spiritual movement renaissance because so much is narcissistic, like a fitness program.... True care of the soul is not narcissistic.
"Over and over I see altruistic people who quickly burn out because they have that self-sacrificing attitude - you should care for yourself AND care for the world. One should feed the other."
From "Thomas Moore: Slowing Down to Discover our Soul," an interview by Janet Luhrs in "Simple Living Quarterly," Autumn, 2000, No. 32.
Our laws state that crime is a crime against the state, not an individual. It is the state's law that is broken, therefore, the state is the injured party. Victims may be called as witnesses should their case actually go to trial, but plea agreements can be made without the victims being informed let alone consulted. The district attorney, defense attorney and judge are able to perform their appointed tasks without dealing directly with the victims of a crime.
Restorative Justice turns this around by placing the harm done by crime in the center of the concerns. The needs of the victims, not for revenge but for healing and restoration, are the focus of Restorative Justice. This healing is best done through efforts to hold the offenders accountable to their victims.
From "PeaceWork," Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, #5 & 6, 2000, 704-521-6051. Also includes Restorative Justice bibliography.
For more on the problematic, misnamed Interfaith Council for Environmental Stewardship, as reported in the last issue of Member Update, see E Magazine, January/February, 2001, page 22-24.
- We offer an "eStore" or Shopping Cart. This allows you to order resources without typing the information into an order form. While in the eStore, just click on the item code. You can view the items in your shopping cart and take some out if you choose at any time before actually placing the order.
You can move easily between the eStore and its order form or the Catalog and its order form by using the "back" and "forward" buttons on your browser.
- We keep adding articles for personal inspiration and for editors to our Website Archives. Go to http://SimpleLiving.org/Archives/index.php
- Our web catalog has an alphabetical index by title.
- We get so many Customer Comments that we now put them on our Website and update them weekly. Visit www.SimpleLiving.org, click on Feedback, or Archives.
Thanks for listening. Your responses are welcome. If you'd care to read past editorials, visit www.SimpleLiving.org. Click on Archives: Newsletters: Editorials - Gerald Iversen, National Coordinator
Life on Earth is going to survive despite our best efforts to destroy it. Life may come down to just a few species of insects or deep sea bacteria. If humans would like also to stick around, we have three options:
- Bear the harsh realities of nature. After plundering virtually every natural resource imaginable, a few humans may survive, the remainder dying of poisoned air or water or from exposure to unfiltered sunlight.
- Simplify our lives through government "coercion" - laws and taxes. There may come a time when it is obvious even to the U.S. government that we cannot continue to plunder for the sake of "the economy."
- Voluntarily simplify our lives. A change of heart can lead us to a more satisfying life before an environmental collapse.
Actually, any resolution to our environmental problems will probably be a result of all three options. It's all a matter of degree. How bad do we want it to get before we take action to reverse the March of Death?
Here's a plan - reward those who are positive and we penalize those who are negative. More specifically, those businesses that promote the good mental and physical health of our citizens are rewarded with government aid to further their processes, for example, those who take responsibility for the full life cycle of the things they produce. Those who don't take responsibility are heavily taxed. To preserve free enterprise, the Negatives are free to continue producing their items of death, but they will pay a price.
The taxes paid by the Negatives fund the work of the Positives. For example, building contractors who insist on using virgin materials when comparable recycled materials are available will pay a tax. Those entertainment companies that insist on promoting violence in their movies and video games are free to do so... at a price. Those who portray peaceful resolution of disagreements are rewarded with grants to continue their peaceful creativity. The tax money from the Negatives would be so great that we would have plenty of jobs - jobs to clean up the environment and help people in other countries develop their own solutions to their needs, such as solar energy, rather than becoming merely markets for our inappropriate technologies.
When Pastor Elwood Rieke retired from First Lutheran Church, Sioux City, the congregation gave him and spouse Lavonne an extraordinary gift. A Mission Fund was established in their name and they were given the honor of choosing the recipients of the $50,000. The $50,000 was the church's tithe of the first $500,000 of their new construction project. The Rieke's chose Alternatives as one of the recipients. We really appreciate the donation of $5000!
Each year Alternatives produces at least three resources - Whose Birthday, a 40-day Lenten Guide and a special project. In the past those special projects have included "Stories and Songs of Simple living," "Simple Living 101," "Sing Justice! Do Justice!" "Living More with Less Study/Action Guide" and this year " Spirit of Simplicity: Quotes and Art for Simpler Living and Global Justice."
In 2002, we will produce a collection that's been on the drawing board since 1992! - "Worship Alternatives." If you would like submission guidelines, contact us.
We try to find funders for each special project. "Quotes & Art" is being funded by the New Road Map Foundation, American Baptist Church Hunger Program, and Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Circle Pines, MN.
Please consider personally or through your church or group helping to fund "Worship Alternatives" or another future project. All gifts are welcome. The minimum for a full sponsorship is $1000. Each sponsor is credited in the resource, as well as in the promotion. Thanks!
You are one of Alternatives' 750+ volunteers! The network is growing by 100+ per year.
You will receive this newsletter about twice per year to give you updates on the SLOw Down Network. Your comments, questions, concerns and stories are welcome. Please save this newsletter in your SLOw Down folder.
Thanks for the Feedback! Over 500 members, volunteers and customers responded to our Stakeholder Survey.
IT'S OUT! "Simple Living 101: A Toolbook for Sharing the Joy of Simpler Living through Speeches, Workshops, Events & Study Groups/Simplicity Circles," $10 ready for your binder, or $15 in a binder of recycled material.
Some worthwhile items not printed in "Simple Living 101" are available on our Website at Services: SLOw Down Network: Simple Living 101 Bonus (or go directly to http://www.simpleliving.org/main/sl101.php). Updates to the book will be posted on our website so that you can download them and add them to the book anytime. We do not intend to issue regular updates on paper.
NOTE! When we ask you to make a presentation or when you book one for our benefit, the support materials you need are FREE. (We'll loan you videos and display books which you can return or buy from us wholesale after the event.) You may choose to buy the entire resource, but if you are scheduled to give a speech, we will send you materials you need for that event.
In summer many conferences and conventions may include a workshop about Voluntary Simplicity. If you're on a steering committee, suggest such as workshop. We'll send you catalogs and brochures to display at events, even if a workshop is not offered.
Try scheduling a short series (fewer than 13 sessions) about simplifying Christmas in the fall and about year 'round simpler living in the winter, possibly during Lent.
We have displays of books too. Please call early to schedule your display materials. The books become committed quickly, particularly in the fall.
If you have a presentation or outline that you are willing to share, send a copy. If you have experience forming and/or leading a Simplicity Circle or Study/Action/Accountability Group, mark that on your response form. We're getting requests for help to start such local groups and we'd like to refer people to someone in their area.
Please take the media release "Alternatives Offers Speakers and Support for Simpler Living" to your local editor(s). Get it from us by mail or on our website anytime under Information: Media Releases: Non-Seasonal. Also, if you do not want to be interviewed when reporters call us, mark that on the enclosed SLOw Down Reply.
Take the initiative. We'll back you up! Thanks again. Gerald Iversen, National Coordinator
nothing this issue
Page updated 20 February 2013 (27 February 2003)
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