Dear Dolly Mama,

By
Donna Schaper

Dear Dolly Mama,

When we broke up, he kept my grandmother’s shoe box of Christmas ornaments. He

also tried to steal the cat, but I kidnapped it back. The ornaments were inside his

apartment and therefore unkidnappable, even though I still had a key. He kept saying

(by email) that he didn’t know if he still had them. I knew he did, and I knew it was a

way to keep getting me crawling back to him.

I finally got a friend to go see him, get the ornaments, bring them to me. And all contact

stopped.

Until. He started to harass me online. What can I do? Even my cat is experiencing the

stress.

Ornaments


Dear Ornaments,

I am terribly sorry to know of your ex not being an ex. He must really have had it bad

for you, since he is being so bad, so consistently. While I have no answer what his

place is in this cosmic economy of loss and gain, nor do I believe that anything is ever

truly lost in the universe, I wonder if you might have a bit of a part in this mess yourself.

Have you tried blocking him online? Have you tried calling the social media police?

They must have a whole department that works on ex-cess. How much of your energy

is he taking up every day? Have you thought of putting up a Christmas tree and putting

only your grandmother’s ornaments on it and sending him a photo of it? Have you

thought about figuring out how not to give a rat’s……. about him? Or his foolishness?

We can almost always have what we can let go of, in direct proportion one to the other.

If you really let go of him, as in ignore him regularly, after a ritual farewell, like a full

Christmas tree photo, with ornaments, might be, you can really have an exit from this

ex. Even letting him bother you is a mistake.

Dolly


Dear Dolly,

What is the best way for congregations to get mission consistent use out of their

underused buildings?

Dear Consistency:

The Land keeper June 2019 Edition Evan Pritchard page 2


Adaptive re-use is the only way most congregations are going to live to pray another

day, another way. That might include giving space away to business owners doing

startups. Let them use your light, heat, machinery, internet. Be generous with the

space and understand it is more than a chair and a desk. Think of it as the loan of

infrastructure or as an investment in a human who is making an investment in others.

Or give it away to another two or three congregations to use at different times. Many

new immigrant congregations are desperate for space and love to worship at 4. Or give

the space away to a dance or theater group. Or do all of these. Crowd the building with

humanity. Set up a coffee station (after Covid of course) and let the energies mix and

meet. For all you know, they might come to worship. BUT NEVER ASK THEM TO.

Make sure you are full square living in the gift economy and see what happens.

Or consider turning some of the space into affordable housing. Cross subsidizations

are where market rates support affordable.  Build a high rise on your land. Penthouses

top two floors, the rest for the dancers and immigrants using your building.

Jesus would love the activity and the giving. And you might too. Every bill you pay that

is divided by 12 makes the costs of business high. Every bill you pay that is divided by

12 x 12, or 7 x 7, makes the costs of doing business lower. Multiple the gift economy

and it might even multiply you. Eventually some of these people will be the ones who

help you pay the “light” bill.

Dolly


Looking to preserve your space through a variety of creative strategies?