Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nelson Mandela, Hope and God

From a recent email I received from Bernie Sanders:


World leaders gathered Tuesday for a memorial service for Nelson Mandela, who went from being a prisoner to being the president of his nation. “The extraordinary quality of Mandela was his persistence and refusal to give up even at extraordinarily disheartening moments,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, who witnessed Mandela’s inauguration. He said Mandela had an impact not only on South Africa but on the entire world “and he will continue to be a model as we continue our struggle to end racism and oppression.”


Here's what's so interesting to me about this man, Mandela: 

He gave up his life on account of his hope. It is recorded in the Bible that Jesus says if we cling to our life we will lose it and if we lose our life for his (Christ's) sake we will gain it. Nelson Mandela's life is an excellent depiction of what Jesus was talking about.

Mandela was motivated by his vision of equality and hope and was able to release his own comfort and pleasure. This is the kind of hope and vision that God gives. God can also grant the persistence and refusal to give up (belief) required to live into the hope.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Our best work. What should I do when I grow up?

Have you ever done a poor job on something? if you have, have you felt badly about it?  It seems like a lot of times we feel badly because we didn't try very hard.

And conversely, we usually feel pretty good when we do our best. Unless we get a sense that others didn't feel like it was a good job.

Which brings us to the possibility that the best work we can do is work that we have an ability for and that we try out best at.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Can we have conversations about real life through mass communications?

Recently reading the news on a website for a local radio station - the headlines were: woman dies in car crash. Man charged with abusing 13 week old baby.  VT Sugaring facilities smashed and robbed.

While these are current events, I think there are a lot of other current events happening also (including positive things).  It seems like a lot of our news is entertainment based.  I noticed this as I found myself scrolling down the page in search for the next shocking headline.  I wanted to be entertained and excited.  That feeling then made me want to read this webpage tomorrow to be shocked again. 

Then it hit me - this is why I don't watch much TV or read many traditional news outlets.  Our media channels are often based around a traditional profit model in which the company makes money if viewers come back and bring their friends.  And we know viewers/readers will come back if they are shocked/excited. 

So here's the bummer - in some of our public spaces, especially media driven spaces (like TV and newspapers) we aren't having conversations.  We're trying to entertain and excite each other.  So the broader social issues from immigration to gender identity are not being discussed in these channels in an honest, serious way.  Yet, those are the things that create the fabric and future of our shared nation and culture.

I wonder if there are mass communications that would enable us to have conversations about important things.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tuna (Brandon) Praised For Communications Work

Greetings friends. The below blog post was written by a friend and consultant, Mark Vincent.  He has been working closely with me (Tuna) on our campaign at Bethany Birches Camp to rebuild the main building at camp (Pavilion).  It's a high complement of my work.


Capital campaign communication: 2 awesome examples

We learn so much from our clients. Occasionally we can pass the benefits along.
I have been privileged to work with Bethany Birches Camp as they ready themselves for their first big capital campaign. Their Executive Director, still in the early stages of his career, is an outstanding example of someone who knows he doesn’t know and is therefore able to learn and grow and put a lot of long-timers to shame at the excellence he is already achieving.
Most noticeable is the way he, the board and volunteers have been able to inject the organizational culture of the camp into all their campaign communication. Whenever the constituency interacts with them they are having a camp experience, not just a communication from the camp. Here are two awesome examples:

1. Their video that introduces the campaign and makes the case provides an excellent standard other organizations can aspire to reach:

2. A recent update on an unanticipated project that could have harmed momentum conveys a non-anxious, thankful, yet light-heartedly determined way forward. Anyone who participated can find themselves in the blogs/photos etc. that are linked in the note. It provides a great personal touch mixed with the benefits of social media and web. Here is the text:
Greetings friends.  I’m writing with deep joy in my heart for each of you.  As you probably remember about a year ago we received some tough news from the fire marshal: that the Bethany Birches Cabin would be shut down April 1, 2012 until we complied with numerous requirements.
One of my biggest concerns was how we’d pay for the upgrades to the building.  My second concern related to how to get the work done.  Because of you, the work was finished and paid for!  THANK YOU!
Some goodies for you:
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support of this effort and for your ongoing help in Bethany Birches’ mission to help young people develop their relationship with God.  Without you we would still be without the use of the cabin!
And here is one more idea.  Why not take these examples to your development and/or communications team to view and then ask what is one step we might take to better inject our organization’s culture into our communication–especially in a capital campaign? How might our constituency have an ongoing experience and not just another communications piece?
mark l vincent, design group international

- See more at: http://bethanybirches.org/2013/06/bethany-birches-in-the-news/#sthash.SkuhAD1y.dpuf


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