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Showing posts from September, 2005

One more thing...

Well, I wasn't going to take the time to post today, but something happened last night that I have to talk about.

A friend called about 9:45 last night to say that gas prices were predicted to go up by 20 cents per liter, and that there were lines at all the stations. Another friend had waited 45 minutes to fill up!

Well, DP and I are heading off on vacation tomorrow, and my tank was on empty, so I headed off to the gas station on the corner (good thing, too; as I pulled away, the "low-gasoline" warning light came on!). I waited in line about half an hour, watching folks fill up their cars, then fill up gas cans and load them in their trunks... Things were getting ugly by the time I got to the pumps--very un-Canadian behavior was going on. Usually Canadians are fairly laid-back and take turns well, but not last night! One man cut into the line, and the woman he cut in front of really told him off--that he had to "wait in line like the rest of us!" and how rude he…

We're Off! (But not to see the Wizard...)

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We're about to take off for a much-needed vacation, so I've been trying to double up on things--the order of worship and the sermon and the discussion group preparation--for when we return, so I don't have to plunge in and have a lot to do immediately. Which is why I've neglected this...

DP and I haven't had a real vacation since last year about this time, when we spent a weekend with friends. I've had Sundays off, but they were for family event weekends, which, while fun (and I always enjoy seeing my family), aren't vacations, really. So we're off to Lake Michigan for a week at a housekeeping cottage--sleep late, read, browse the art galleries, listen to music, relax. It's the first anniversary of our commitment ceremony--a special reason to celebrate.

I do plan to do a little work--some things are best done in isolation from the church! Some reading on contemporary worship and listening to contemporary Christian music, a little planning for the fall…

The Cost of Hurricane Recovery and Other Random Thoughts

Well, Bush's speechwriters should get a bonus for that speech last night. All the right notes were hit, and Bush even seemed to take responsibility for the delay in getting aid to the Gulf coast!

But did he really? And what was all that about mobilizing the military? Personally, I want the active-duty military (Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy) used for combat. And am I mistaken, or isn't the governor of the state the only one who can call out the state's National Guard? In other words, the governor should call out the National Guard, as needed. I wouldn't want to have the president sending federal troops into my state, under any pretext, because the governor doesn't command them. There's a parallel chain of command, and that, as any military strategist will tell you, is dangerous. The soldier (or airman or sailor) theoretically has several people telling him or her what to do. Call me reactionary, but I get nervous when the president starts talking about using th…

Calling and Response

I read an article on church leadership a few weeks ago, in connection with a lectionary reading on Moses, and found it so interesting that I sent it on to a friend of mine who trains leaders for non-profit organizations (churches, associations, etc.), expecting agreement. Instead, he said he didn't agree with everything the writer said, and asked what I thought.
OK, now I was on the spot. This friend was in my systematic theology study group; we has wrestled with some big questions together, I know how he thinks (extremely well!) and he had challenged me.
What I came up with was this. My main issue as a leader (and the pastor/senior pastor is the leader of the church, regardless of theory), especially as a leader of a church, is my concern with listening to God, to what God wants for the church. Not what I want or the Board of Administration wants or the church hierarchy wants, or really even what the members want--but what God wants. So I want to distinguish between God's voice…

Another Monday

Well, technically Monday is my day off. Clergy really need to designate a day as their day off and do their own thing on that day every week--no checking the voice mail at church, no sermon research, no appointments, nothing but household chores, resting, maybe some reading. That's it. In theory, anyway... The truth is, at least for me, that it gets very difficult to keep to that. I need to have the order of worship to the person who lays it out, prints it, and copies it on Tuesday--which means I really want to put it together on Monday. So then I think I'll take Thursday off--I have office hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays--except that by Thursday I need to spend some time on the sermon, and Friday I have to finish it up and do things for the service on Sunday--and Saturday there's often a wedding, or membership class, or meeting, or other event. So when do I take the day off? The truth is, like many pastors, I don't. The fact that I'm part-time doesn't make it…

Wedding Musings and the Animals in New Orleans

No, I'm not musing about my own wedding. As pastor to a GLBT-friendly church, I do quite a number of same-sex weddings here in Canada. I am touched and amazed by the number of US citizens coming here to be legally/civilly married, even though their home country/states/cities won't recognize it. It means so much to them, to have a marriage that is recognized by a civil authority, any civil authority. And many of them have been together for years (anywhere from five to 25 years). Some of them have already had committment ceremonies in their churches or on their own. But this is different for them, and I am privileged to be a part of it.

I have GOT to learn how to keep from getting weepy during the vows, though...

This is running through my mind this week because I performed a wedding Thursday evening and have another this afternoon. I've done a fair number (about eight or ten since April), but not two in one week! At the same time, I love doing them. Their wedding day is one o…

Friday Afternoon

As usual, I am procrastinating on the final sermon polish for Sunday. It's so easy with the Internet to bobble around, pretending to do more research or check the news or your email instead of doing what you really need to get done.
It's inevitable that Katrina's on my mind. I'm infuriated by the government's inability to just move--state, federal, and local. They have known for a long time that New Orleans (in particular) is susceptible to flooding (not llike they haven't had hurricanes and floods there before, eh?). Why didn't they start evacuating people earlier? Why weren't buses made available for those who didn't have cars or couldn't afford the gas or the hotels needed when you evacuate?
My nomination for most jaw-dropping moment: Mike Brown's comment that FEMA "didn't know" about the thousands of people in the Superdome. It had to be a deliberate falsehood--either that or the man is clueless to imbecility. It was on all …