Summary: Featuring guests Rev. Becca Stevens, founder of Magdalene House and Thistle Farms; J.C. Smith, Outreach and Alumni Program Coordinator for Operation Stand Down Nashville, Elbert Ventura, Managing Editor for the Progressive Policy Institute, and Karl Frisch of Media Matters for America.

Links: Thistle Farms, Operation Stand Down Nashville, Progressive Policy Institute, and Media Matters for America

Faces of Love, Part 1 A quick run down of the news of the week and then we feature representatives from the two organizations we are adopting this holiday season. Listen to our interviews with Rev. Becca Stevens, founder of Magdalene House and Thistle Farms, and J.C. Smith, Outreach and Alumni Program Coordinator for Operation Stand Down Nashville. [20.3MB download mp3]

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Faces of Love, Part 2 A quick run down of the Senate health care debate. Plus, Elbert Ventura is back! And he’s packing a new website for pragmatic progressives. And Elbert’s replacement, Karl Frisch of Media Matters, issues the smack down on this week’s conservative obstructionist redonkulousness. (He is a very busy man.) And just whose interests are Republican legislators looking out for as they stand in the way of meaningful health insurance reform? [21.3MB download mp3]

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Faces of Love

On tomorrow’s show we will be joined by representatives of two local non-profits we are offering our support to during the holiday season.

First, Rev. Becca Stevens will tell us about Magdalene House, the residential community for women with a criminal history of prostitution and drug addiction she founded in 1997, and Thistle Farms, the non-profit business operated by the women of Magdalene. HINT: Who doesn’t love sweet-smelling gifts for the holidays?

Watch a short video about Magdalene House:

Read Rev. Stevens’ moving essay, about their Faces of Love project:

I chose the moon as my face of love, because it looks like a wafer hanging over the earth, and it was the biggest expression of love for the sake of the world I could imagine. In September fifty artists and our hosts for this evening gathered at Dyer Observatory to share their face of love images and take pictures for the video. At the end of the evening we were invited to climb the stairs and see Jupiter. I looked into the telescope and for the first time saw the gilean moons of Jupiter, all four moons bigger than our small moon. And, like the countless times before, the face of love expanded beyond my own imagination to encompass a bigger idea. That is how love works. Last year my youngest son, Moses, asked me, “Are you the boss of Magdalene because you thought of it?” “Yes,” I said. “It must have been a big thought.” “No sweetie, it wasn’t.” The community of Magdalene now, this face of love, is bigger and wider than anything any one of us could imagine. This community is the coming together of individual visions into something more powerful and lovely than any single idea. It is why love in community remains the most powerful force for social change in the world.

Next, is J. C. Smith, Outreach Coordinator for Operation Stand Down, the primary nonprofit resource for veterans in Middle Tennessee.

OSD is VA approved and supported. OSD clients are primarily honorably discharged homeless veterans and their ultimate goal is to give veterans in need the tools to rejoin their community as productive, responsible citizens.

The details surrounding homeless Veterans in the area are startling:

The most recent homeless count, conducted by the city of Nashville in January 2009, found 2,157 homeless people in Davidson County. The count did not include homeless in the surrounding counties who also come to OSDN for services. With approximately 30% of the homeless being veterans, at least 647 veterans are homeless in Nashville/Davidson County, with more in the surrounding counties, on any particular night. Our unique partnership with the VA Medical Center and the VA Regional Office allows us to provide more direct, personal social services than any other agency in this area.

As OSDN says, no veteran should be homeless, jobless, or hopeless.

We’re thankful for Rev. Stevens and Mr. Smith and the great work both organizations do for our community. We’re also thankful they have agreed to spend part of their Thanksgiving week with us.

Until tomorrow morning then.

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