We are remembering Lois today as she would have turned 78 if she was still here with us on our little blue planet. Happy Birthday Lois! Sonya wrote a fitting picture of what she'd see Lois doing today:
I like to think of Lois having all the other saints in for a party today. There will be beans and rice, hot tea, cloth napkins and chipped dishes and oh-so much laughter and happiness. No sorrows today or any day, just supreme peacefulness that baffles understanding.
Indeed, Lois was a model of eco-friendly hospitality and she was so generous. How many times did she send you away with something recycled?!? She was our modern day saint and many of us still can't get over that she is gone. But we are comforted with great memories of having tea with Lois, learning together, discussing issues at length, protesting downtown, and even showing up for Thanksgiving and only getting rice! (OK, that doesn't seem so comforting, but that experience really did make a point.).
So today, we are thankful for all the lessons we learned from Lois. How she nudged each of us to live more simply and work for justice. How she dragged us to hear speakers we weren't sure we wanted to hear. How she brought us on trips to see how others lived--and how we all are richer as a result of these experiences.
We are also thankful for her New Years' gatherings, where we got to meet each other. And how friends of Lois are now coming together, to explore how we can continue her peace and justice work. Many of us feel so blessed as we get to know each other and share stories. We even feel healing comfort, as we grieve, of being with others that are part of the larger Lois' family. (We hope you can join us for a Lois' gathering sometime soon....watch for announcements via email and on her website!)
It is in this spirit of gratitude that members of the Lois' Circle and Lois' family has been exploring how we can "pay it forward" and work on Lois' Vision. The Lois Fund for Peace, Justice, and Sustainable Communities was set up at the Lutheran Community Foundation after Lois' death in June of 2012. The fund continues to grow and we hope to reach our goal of $10,000 by July 2014. (We are getting closer, currently at $6,000, climbing slowly, and hope you can help us reach our goal!)
Just last week, six of us met to brainstorm "What would Lois be doing now (if she was still with us) to be working on peace, justice and sustainable communities?" The key issues that surfaced included 1) food and farming 2) environmental issues 3) human rights and 4) Empowering teens + peace. While Lois worked on many issues and we can't support them all, the themes of learning (by doing) and working with youth stood out. As we work to build the fund, we hope to collaborate with a non-profit in early 2014 to host a Lois Festival to educate on her issues, share Lois' story, and create awareness about the Lois Fund.
To learn more about the Lois Fund, you can visit the website.