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Archive for October, 2007

I’ve been getting this catalog for a while, but hadn’t paid attention to it: Heartbeats, a ministry of the Sisters of the Humility of Mary, “Networking women, developing world and minority artists.” There are a number of good opportunities to spend well, and some unique, creative, and interesting products, including Christmas cards and fair-trade gifts that don’t make you feel so bah-humbuggish.

Anybody have other alternative shopping leads in this vein? I know there are lots of others.

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In Lieu of Flowers

From: Communication Division Chair
Subject: Mike Casey – Memorial Dontation Suggestion and Graveside Service Information
Date: October 25, 2007 3:16:45 PM PDT

Memorial Donations

Mike Casey had in the past few years been instrumental in creating a scholarly center (the Churches of Christ Heritage Center) here at Pepperdine University that catalogs original documents and manuscript collections, academic research, information databases, and critical historical records and documents of the Restoration Movement and specifically materials related to the heritage of the Churches of Christ. The Casey family has asked that in lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Churches of Christ Heritage Center, by making the checks payable to Pepperdine University, Church Relations Office, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265 (Telephone (310) 506-4270 and the contact person would be Jerry Rushford, Director or Tammy Williamson) [Please write on the memo line any such gifts with either “Mike Casey Memorial” or “Churches of Christ Heritage Center”] or to a education related or scholarship charity of your choice.

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Looking back over some of Mike Casey’s articles. Here’s a conclusion to a piece where he traces the cultural mainstreaming of Churches of Christ and the loss of the pacifist tradition; a moment of biting prophetic scholarship directed at civil religion swallowing:

No longer disinherited, members of the mainstream Churches of Christ are active at all levels of the federal government and have prominent roles in the military. Politically conservative and embarrassed by or ignorant of the past, the sons and grandsons of the religious rednecks have joined the elite whom their forebearers feared and loathed. Despite a long and important pacifist outsider heritage, the Churches of Christ became a bourgeois patriotic insider religious denomination. Deviants, scum, and the riffraff, once a source of pride, are now objects of ridicule, and so the Churches of Christ are quintessentially American.

Michael Casey, “From Religious Outsiders to Insiders: The Rise and Fall of Pacifism in the Churches of Christ,” in Journal of Church and State (44 no 3 Sum 2002), p 455-475: 475.

I wish I could bring to mind some of his communion meditations, or hearing him talk about T.B. Larimore or K.C. Moser. That’ll come from others, I’m sure.

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Mike Casey

Mike Casey passed away Monday night. I’m grieving as part of his church family, and as someone who benefited so much from his contribution to understanding the better angels of my own faith heritage. Mike eagerly provided some of the best leads and contacts for my research in social concern among Churches of Christ. I always looked forward to his contributions to any study or conversation on peace makers and grace givers deeply rooted in our often forgotten history. He knew them well, and gave them voice in times and places where they were most needed.

The greatest loss, of course, is Mike the husband, father, brother, son, friend and fellow believer. Please remember Judy, Neil, and Mike’s extended family.

In one very small way of remembering him today, I happened on and joined this Facebook incarnation of a group he inspired: Churches of Christ Peace Fellowship. I’m thankful for his life with us, and trusting in the hope of resurrection for all those who will miss him dearly. Mike will be buried in Missouri, where his father is buried, November 3.

In the Pepperdine Graphic: In Memory

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Thanks for asking

We’re fine, just briefly relocated and a bit smoked, and never in as much danger as so many others. Sad for Pres, and the wider losses; the folks who are housed in temples made of human hands.
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Sturm und Twang

I barely broke the surface of Radiohead’s In Rainbows, when some kind of aural backdraft swept me into a weekend of 60s soul, followed by nearly a week of gravelly Texas songwriters. Maybe I’m ironically reacting against the triumph of technology over hardwood resonance. Or maybe it was a brief flippant exchange with happytheman about knowing where I’m from. Or maybe it’s because Memphis Soul Stew is the soup you can eat like a steak, and stuff like these eight lines from John Prine make most radio tracks look like 98 lb weaklings:

Back before I was a movie star,
Straight off of the farm,
I had a picture of another man’s wife
Tattooed on my arm.
With a pack of Camel cigarettes
In the sleeve of my t-shirt,
I’m headin’ out to Hollywood
Just to have my feelings hurt.

“Crazy as a Loon,” Fair and Square (2005)

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I am officially closing the window for entries into our latest giant contest, coming up with a better movie for the cast of The Kingdom to appear in. Well, the competition was fierce, but since 50% of the entries submitted also included a vote that we publically recognize Mark’s brilliant work on this subject, there was no way to not honor him and still live with any kind of integrity. As well as eternal fame and glory, Mark will also be named as the honoree in the gift of Flock of Chicks through Heifer International. Gabe, thanks for trying. You are also kind of a winner.

For those of you who missed his work, a fantastic pitch with a graceful nod to the upcoming Dylan biopic I’m Not There (or maybe he invented it, and they just beat him to filming), here it is. I would see this in a theater, and then I would rent it again later. In a boat. With a goat.

The Kingdom (2009)
A Mark Film, reviewed by Mark
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