In case you didn’t notice or inadvertently dropped it from memory or … whatever:  I’d like to remind you about the fundraiser this Sunday (August 29).  I hope you can come!  Here’s the announcement:


Whatever our political positions, most of us are distraught about the situation in Afghanistan.  It will almost certainly get worse.  As a result of the crisis, relief agencies there are under enormous pressure, more than in a very long time.

One of the charities supported by the blog is Doctors Without Borders, one of the truly great organizations in our world.  They are staying in Afghanistan for now (and hopefully for a long time) and their hands are incredibly full.  Naturally, they are desperate for additional resources (just look them up in relation to the situation there, and you can get some reports).

We will be doing a blog fund-raiser for Afghanistan relief, this Sunday.  I will be giving a lecture and we will be taking voluntary donations of any amount, in hopes of raising substantial funds.   Every donation will go in toto directly to Doctors without Borders.

The lecture is blog-related rather than crisis-related, since that is what I know about and is also why most of you are here.  It’s an intriguing topic, I think, and I hope you’ll be interested.  Here are the details, including directions for how you can participate.

TOPIC:  The Strange World of Religion at the Time of the Apostles

DESCRIPTION:  The earliest followers of Jesus were bound and determined to convert others to their new faith in Christ as the son of God who died for the sins of the world.  Most of their potential converts came from gentile stock, “pagans” who participated in traditional Roman polytheistic religions.  These religions seem very strange indeed to those of us who are imbued with Christian, Jewish, or Muslim understandings of “religion.”  The premises, assumptions, practices, and beliefs of pagan religions are not at all what we might expect.  And yet very few people today know even the basics about them.  In this lecture I will give an overview of what it meant to practice religion in the Roman world, at just the time that the early Christians began trying to convert it.

THE EVENT:  I will give the lecture on Zoom to anyone who wants to come.  The lecture will last 40-45 minutes, and I will then engage in Q&A for 25-30 minutes.  Participants, of course, can come and go as they please.

DATE AND TIME:  Sunday, August 29; 2:00 – 3:15 pm.

TO PARTICIPATE:  Everyone is welcome.  And everyone is urged to provide a voluntary donation.  It will be entirely tax deductible.  Please be as generous as you can.  If you can’t afford a thing, come anyway.  But if you can donate $2, $20, $200, $2000 — PLEASE do so.  You will need a Zoom link to access the event.

To get the link:  send an email to Diane Pittman at [email protected]  In the email indicate the amount you are willing to donate.  Diane will then send you the link. (It may take a day or two.)

To make the donation:  Simply go to the blog site as you normally do, and at the bottom of the landing page choose whichever of the two options for making a donation you prefer; click on it and go for it.   However much you donate, you will receive a star in your crown.

An Additional Incentive:  I am happy to have a 30-minute one-on-one with the highest donor (either at the end of the event or at a mutually agreed upon time) to talk about anything they fancy. If you want to bid for this, please put “30 Minutes” in the Subject line of your email.

   I do hope you can participate in the event.  It is an interesting topic and an unusually worthy cause.