Thursday, June 29, 2006

Excused Absence

(Whine on)
I've been sick. Again. At first I thought it was a cold, one of those early summer things that you get with the weather changing every twenty minutes, and going from 85 degrees outside to 55 degrees inside (ahh, the blessings of civilization and air conditioning). You know, scratchy throat, tickly cough, sinuses the size of golfballs (well, that's how it feels!). Etc.

But no fever, no aches other than sinus and head, no upset stomach, none of that.

Laryngitis. So bad that I had the deacon lead the service on Sunday, except for the sermon and the baptism (which is a story in and of itself, and perhaps I'll get to it someday). I still have it. Sunday is coming up. And then next weekend is my sister's wedding, at which I am to co-officiate! Panic is setting in.

I think it's allergies. To what, I couldn't say. I do have allergies to trees and grass, but they've been blooming (actually finished) for a while. There's obviously something out there that's got my number.

I'm not sleeping well, my voice is gone (friends don't recognize me on the phone), my head hurts all the time, my sinuses are killing me, and my nose hurts from blowing it (yes, I have a stuffy head, too). I missed the big fireworks last night, although I watched them on TV between coughing fits (they celebrate Juneteenth--the emancipation Proclamation in the US--Canada Day and July fourth, all rolled into one extravaganza of gunpowder, lights and noise--a great time). I woke up at 5 am this morning coughing, couldn't get back to sleep, got up, took more Tylenol Sinus (TM), conked out on the couch for an hour, woke up coughing, made coffee, read a bit (a book I had planned to save for the plane trip to Boston, but that's yet another story), and finally decided I had to face the day at 9:30. That's a pretty typical morning for this week.

And I'm just so tired of being sick and tired!

Yesterday was a killer--errands and meetings all day that couldn't be put off (working on a grant application that was due, a phone conference with my regional elder, etc.), and then an emergency wedding.* Today I have no energy--I should be working on the sermon, making phone calls, etc., but I just can't work up the energy, although strangely enough I can blog...

I just don't have time for this--whether it's a cold or allergies, I need to function at a higher level than this! Sermons, meetings, church events, my sister's wedding, Pride coming up in three weeks... I wanna get better NOW, johnbrownit.

So that's why I haven't posted in a while.

(Whine off)

*Normally I don't do those, but being here in River City, sometimes it's an act of mercy. One couple I married in an emergency situation (defined as the couple calling me and saying, "Can you please marry us today?") had missed their train to Toronto, where they had planned to be married (officiant set up and everything) but only had that weekend before one of them was relocating (the other was to follow when the house was sold), and the next train to Toronto would get them there after City Hall closed for the weekend. They were active members of their church, and really wanted a church wedding. I talked to their pastor, and performed the wedding. Another case--being here in River City, on the border, we have lots of same-sex couples from the States who depend on the wedding planners and wedding services that are popping up like weeds. Unfortunately they (the planners and services) are not always all they could be. One couple was completely stood up by the service, which was supposed to meet them at Customs, take them to City Hall to get the licence, then to the location for the service, then to lunch. No one met them. Nothing, nada. No answer at the number for the service. Deposit money gone. Couple in despair. They managed to find their way to City Hall, where they got the licence and the list of officiants willing to perform same sex marriages, which has my name on it. They found their way to me (in the middle of one of those meetings). I married them. One of these days when I get some energy back, I'll write about the weddings. I love performing weddings!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday Five of My Own!

Here's my Friday Five:

Name five things you are glad you learned in seminary/ministry training, hope to learn in seminary/ministry training, or wish you had learned in seminary/ministry training:

1. I wish I had learned more about creative preaching. We were given examples (to read or watch or videotape, and some of the other students were very creative), but not much on how to tap that creativity for ourselves, or much opportunity to explore and try it out (when every sermon you preach in class is for a grade, you're not likely to push any envelopes...)

2. I wish I had learned some basic church book-keeping and financial know-how. If this had been offered as an elective, I would have taken it. We had one class session in the Church Administration course on finance, and a lot of that was spent on how to fill out the seminary's denomination's yearly report. As it is, I can (just) read a balance sheet and treasurer's report. But to feel knowledgeable about a capital campaign or investments? That's a big NO, Mort...

3. I am glad I learned the denomination's hymnal. Even though I am in another denomination now, it was very helpful to spend the time going through it and learning what the notes meant (like " D" and "Cwm Rhondda"). One of the preaching professors had helped with the most recent revision of the hymnal, and the professor of church music had been a part of a hymnal supplement, and both of them spent time in their classes teaching us about it. I learned some theology, I learned a bit more about the denomination (and the politics thereof), and how to create a better worship service, too. Not to mention the credibility I now have with church musicians...

4. I am glad for the diversity of the seminary I attended. It was a United Methodist seminary, but we had students from almost every Christian denomination and some non-Christian. We had African Methodist Episcopal and African Methodist Episcopal-Zion, we had Korean Methodists, and Unitarians, we had Quakers, we had American Baptists, MCC-ers, Disciples of Christ, Assemblies of God, Lutherans (ELCAs), Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Catholics, and some Jewish students. We were part of a consortium of seminaries in the area that included an Episcopal seminary, an ELCA seminary, a Catholic seminary and a Baptist seminary (historically African-American). We were required to take at least one course at another denomination's seminary before we graduated. Being a procrastinator, I waited until my last semester to do so, and I was very sorry I had waited!

5. This isn't so much about the seminary, but I wish I had been able to figure out a better way to balance seminary, work, and family, especially during my internship. There were so many demands on my time--it was a paid internship, so the church I was serving had a call on me for 20 hours a week; plus studying (minor things like Systematics and United Methodist History and Doctrine) and the commute to school. It didn't leave as much time for my family as I would have liked, and we all suffered from it.

How about you?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wednesday Conversations

Once again, God had to hit me over the head with truth.

I had posted an entry about a group I am working with, and all the frustrations I am feeling over working with them (or not working, as the case may be), feeling distrusted and snubbed.

Well, I still feel a bit of the snub, but having had a conversation with one of the individuals involved (ah, communication!), I understand more of where they are coming from.

We're trying to organize an AIDS vigil, and from the beginning we had talked about it being interfaith. I have no issue with that, I'm very into ecumenical and interfaith projects. But I kept running into a brick wall every time we talked about the spiritual leaders we should be inviting--I got resistance, and foot-dragging and speculations that whoever we invited would suddenly start spewing homophobic garbage, etc. I could not understand it--to me, common sense said that those whose faith deemed homosexuality incompatible with Godliness would simply not be interested in participating. To others in the group, there was a concern that people would agree to participate and then use the opportunity to fulminate against homosexuality or People living With AIDS--I found this farfetched. I was feeling that my understandings and my own previous participation in interfaith gatherings was being pooh-poohed and dismissed.

Conversation can resolve a lot of things.

After conversation with one of the individuals, I understand their concerns--which are different from what I had thought. The fact is, there are very few spiritual leaders in River City who are supportive of PWAs, because (presumably) of the issue of homosexuality. We don't want to invite someone simply because he or she represents a certain faith tradition, and then have them say hateful things or act inappropriately. And the other issue is closetedness--someone may not want their religious leader to know about their sexuality, and yet here they are at an AIDS event. There simply aren't supportive spiritual leaders outside of the Christian (MCC and United Church) aboriginal (First Nations/Native American), and Unitarian traditions. We don't know enough about the (2) rabbis in town, and we certainly don't know a supportive imam. The Buddhist community isn't organized, and the Sikhs and Hindus are not sympathetic either. So our problem with the event being interfaith is not a lack of desire or will; it's a lack of participants from other than a very few traditions.

I am really resonating with a certain bumper sticker today--"Mean people suck," mean people being those who would condemn all homosexuals and all PWAs, who would shove those of us who love others of our own gender out into the cold beyond all possibility of God's love.

And I am glad to have had that conversation. Like the thunderstorm we're having right now, it cleared the air and left me feeling cleaner and lighter.

But mean people still suck.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Retreat Location--Found!

Well, I’ve decided where I’ll be going for my retreat this fall, and I am very excited. It’s a retreat centre supported by the Fetzer Institute, which is involved in the re-integration of spirituality and everyday life—of spirituality grounded in reflection and carried out in action.

The foundation runs a retreat centre, called GilChrist ( GilChrist consists of several “hermitages,” 1-person cottages, gathered around a meadow, with a central main gathering hall and a chapel. Group retreats gather in the main hall; individuals come and go as they please. The main hall includes a library, meditation loft and chapel. The centre also has a labyrinth and trails for walking.

It seems like a perfect place for a combination of individual, personal reflection and meditation and writing on the one hand, and some interaction with other folks and resources on the other. I love the feeling it has of the Celtic monasteries—with the “cells” out around the periphery of the settlement with the church and library in the centre. My seminary was like that, with the library and chapel facing each other across the main plaza, their glass walls reflecting each other. “…unite the two so long disjoined--knowledge and vital piety,” said Charles Wesley. And he was right. (Alumna note: the above quote is engraved on the cornerstone of the library; bonus points if you can figure out the seminary…).

So I’m beginning to plan that in earnest now—in between: plans for River City Pride, coming up in a month or so, including a candlelight vigil for HIV/AIDS, the church’s worship service, three fundraising events for the church during Pride, a parade, and the celebration itself, at which the church will have a booth; preparing for my sister’s wedding, in three weeks, at which I will co-officiate; and our continuing search for our own worship space. Oh, yes, and the usual day-to-day of pastoring—calls, sermons, letters, etc. When I need a break, I take a mini-vacation and plan a bit more of the retreat…

Anyone have stunning summer plans?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday Five—Five Things You May Not Know About Me…

Here's a new meme I picked up from a list I'm on...

Five jobs I have had:

1. Transportation survey worker
2. ID card photographer
3. English teacher
4. Dime store cashier
5. Librarian

Five movies I could watch over and over:

1. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
2. Fried Green Tomatoes
3. Steel Magnolias
4. Shrek 2
5. Monty Python and The Holy Grail

Five places I have lived:
1. Washington DC
2. Munich , Germany
3. Baltimore
4. Lansing, MI
5. Charlottesville, VA

Five places I have been on vacation:
1. Puerto Rico
2. England
3. Los Angeles/Malibu and Santa Barbara, CA
4. Boston
5. Williamsburg, VA

Five of my favourite foods:
1. Chex party mix
2. Lager beer
3. Coffee
4. Caesar salad
5. Chocolate

Bonus for a Friday Daydream:

Five places I would rather be right now:

1. Beachside cottage on Lake Michigan
2. On my porch, reading and sipping iced tea
3. Hanging out with DP
4. In a classroom learning something new
5. Browsing in a bookstore with an unlimited gift certificate….

There you are! If you play, let me know in the comments...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Friday Fivezzzzzzzz

In honour of the topic, here's my Friday Five on Thursday so I can go to sleep early!

1. In what kind of environment do you sleep best? (e.g. amount of light and noise, temperature, number of pillows, breathe-right strip, sleeping in the buff, etc.)

I like it quiet, but not too quiet. A hard mattress, one firm pillow, and at least a sheet over me (unless it is a very hot and humid night). I don’t like pants-style pyjamas; nothing around my legs—makes me feel trapped. A short nightgown or a t-shirt are perfect. Cool is better than hot, and fresh air is good (if it’s clean), but I’m not wild about the air actually moving over me—my face, anyway. Atavistic, I guess—I keep thinking something’s attacking me, and it’s just the breeze.

2. How much sleep do you need to feel consistently well-rested? How much can you get by on? What are the consequences when you don't get enough?

I need seven hours, can get by on six (or five, if I have to) for two or three nights. When I’m sleep-deprived, I get migraines, I get depressed, I get cranky. Not a pretty sight. Question: In thrillers and science-fiction novels and other action adventure-type books, people often go for two or three days without sleep. They are often described as exhausted, worn out, etc.—but none of them ever gets migraines. Can you really believe that there are so few of us migraineurs in the world that none of the detectives or spies or space pirates are one of us? Hah—another hole in their plots…

3. Night owl or morning person?

Morning, mostly. I don’t stay up much past 11:30, and I’m usually up by 7:30 at the latest. One day a few weeks ago I slept in until 10, but I’ve done that a handful of times in the last ten years.

4. Favourite cure for insomnia:

Reading: usually Moltmann or Kung…although I don’t dislike them, there’s something about those Germanic sentences that wander on for a paragraph...or two...that just…lets…me drift….off….snnnnzzzz….

5. To snooze or not to snooze? Why or why not?

I just can’t. Once I wake up, I wake up. I tried snoozing this morning, in fact, and ended up just thinking about all that I had to get done today and why was I still lazing in bed? I wish I could.

Actual picture of me, sleeping...NOT!! I wish...

A Summer of David

I’m beginning a sermon series. I’ve never done one before. I’ve been part of sermon serieses (seria?) before—one on difficult questions (Can God really forgive anything?), and one on the ten commandments. (I got Thou Shalt Not Covet, if I remember correctly). But I’ve never sat down and planned out a connected series of sermons before.

However, when I looked at the lectionary for the next few months, to give the musician a heads-up and to give myself a head start on worship planning for the summer, I was struck with how appropriate the series of readings from Samuel is for our congregation right now.

As I think I’ve mentioned, we’re looking for a building of our own, a space of our own. We want to be able to set our own schedule, decorate the walls of our sanctuary with our art, have a place to call home. We’re working with the government of River City for a lease on a government-owned building. It involves some manoeuvring and planning and lots of meetings and discussions, but it’s looking hopeful.

David was trying to establish himself as well. God chose him, a seemingly-insignificant person, to rule the Israelites. He had to prove his strength and ability, he had to show he had not only brawn but brains. David stumbled, but he got up and moved on, with God’s help. There are so many lessons about leadership and congregation-building in David’s story, I can easily preach on those every single week all summer.

My concern is to keep from preaching the same thing every week. I have a theme in mind for each week, but I need to tie them all together in one over-arching idea or concept, without wearing that one idea out. I’m thinking along the lines of “A New Beginning,” or “Starting Over,” or something (brainstorming here). What I’ll be doing is to lay out the series ahead of time—June 18 I’ll focus on Topic A, the 30th on Topic B, and so on. I’ll try to come up with an idea or metaphor that can carry through the whole series, and be used in a number of different ways, that I can use for continuity through the series (besides the idea of David). I’ll be busy the rest of the day!

Any wisdom out there on pitfalls and pluses for sermon series?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Friday Five--Rain

Courtesy of the RevGalBlogPals, here we have a Friday five:

1. Favourite way to spend a rainy day
Curled up with several cups of tea and a good escapist book, or napping, or cleaning house. Really! If the house is clean, then I know I've gotten something done in spite of wanting to curl up with a good book or go to sleep.

2. Favourite song about rain
OK, no laughing now..."April Shower,"” from Bambi. "Drip drip drop little April shower, I'm getting wet and I don'’t mind at all."” I also like "“Rainy Days and Mondays," and "Who'll Stop the Rain" (I'm not sure that's the title).

3. Favourite movie featuring rain

Now that's a tough one. So many movies have rain in them! I've got lots of images of rain from movies, but darn if I can remember what movie they'’re from. The hail scene in The Ten Commandments is pretty impressive. I'll get back to you on this!

4. Favourite piece of raingear, past or present
I had a wonderful umbrella, very sturdy, that was black on the outside, but underneath was a reproduction of the Rose Window at Chartres. I got it at an art supply store, where it was languishing in a "“final clearance"” bin, with no price tag. The clerk gave it to me for $5. I carried it for ten years, and then left it, somehow appropriately, under the pew during a district worship service. I still miss it, although I have a very nice iris umbrella now.

I also had a red rain slicker when I was in third grade. Everyone else had a yellow one, but mine was red. I think that'’s why I liked it--because it was different. Not too different, but just different enough to be interesting.

5. Favourite word for rain
"Typhoon." A typhoon itself is a terrible thing, but the word sounds lovely, like an elegant Japanese lady standing on a bridge in the rain with a blue oiled-paper umbrella.

Japanese woman on a bridge, c 1925.
(Kodak collection)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Thursday Thoughts...Reloaded

The church is doing some planning--lots of planning! Yard sale this weekend, special dinner at the end of the month, golf outing, car show, River City Pride coming up with all kinds of events...

I'm trying to show the church the value of planning. Ideas are great, we need them, that's how movements and programs and change get started. But then we have to sit down and plan how we can implement them and if it's affordable in terms of resources (time, money, people) and what kind of results we would get from it. We have to be sure we have those resources before we start--that's what planning is about.

Ideas are great, but not every idea can or should be implemented. There's a lot an organization theoretically CAN do, but whether it SHOULD or not is another question.

That's where the mission comes in. Companies have mission statements--churches do too. So you look at your mission statement. Does the idea, the concept, the program fit with that mission statement? If so, then you look at the resource needs and whether the resources are available.

The other point I'm trying to get across is that God has a time schedule, and our time is not God's time. We may feel a sense of urgency--God has plenty of time. It's one of the hardest lessons I've had to learn--that if God has a purpose for a church, a person, a program, it will come about--in God's time. That may be sooner than we are prepared for, or it may be later than we want it to happen, but when it does happen, it will be the right time. People get impatient, they are eager, they feel the hot breath of mortality on the back of their necks, they want to do things right NOW, johnbrownit. But "now" is not always the right time. Sometimes it's best to let concepts, plans, ideas rest for a while, to grow and come into their own when the time is right.

When we talk, we don't say everything that comes to our minds (well, most of us don't); we've learned that in polite conversation, some things are better left unsaid, or not said to certain persons. In the same way, not every idea is worth pursuing into reality. Some are too large for this particular group to handle; some don't produce enough results; some are too expensive for the organization; some require too much personnel; some require too much space; some aren't part of what a church is about. Some can be put aside for a while, to see if resources (persons, money, space) become available.

Finally, we need to be sure we follow up and complete what we have begun. It's as bad to have a plan or project that falls apart in the middle due to lack of follow-through as it is to not have it at all--perhaps worse, because you've built up expectations. It's not enough to have the resources to begin a project and hope the resources for continuing it will magically appear--you have to have them in place.

Think of it in terms of a small business (although I’m not a big fan of the church-as-business concept, it can be a useful metaphor). When someone wants to open a business, they don't just rent a storefront, buy merchandise, and start selling. At least, most people don't, especially these days! You want to be sure there's a market for what you're selling, in the place where you want to sell. If you're a florist, for example, you don't open a shop two blocks from a garden centre that also sells cut flowers. A luxury car dealership doesn't open during a recession. There’s no point in trying to sell sand by the beach (unless you’re selling to tourists, perhaps!). And so on. You probably need a loan to get started (have you priced retail real estate rentals these days?), and the bank you're borrowing from will want to see a business plan. That means you need to be able to prove to them that you have the training/experience/know-how to run this business and pay back their loan. So you locate rental space, get prices from suppliers, estimate salaries (don't forget your own!) and expenses and write up the plan (yes, that's a simplification, for your business-school types out there). In other words, you plan, not just for getting started, but for the long-term.

I would submit that doing the work of God is more vital than opening a small business. We should give the work we do for God even more careful planning and support than we would a business.

All of this is why I am cautious about new ideas, about jumping in. I want to see us go new places and do new things--and we certainly are! But we have to be aware of what we are risking as well, and balance the risk with the potential gain. We should trust the Holy Spirit, of course, and follow where we are led. But it is also true that God has made us stewards, and we cannot waste what we have been given--whether what we have been given is funding, an energetic congregation, or the good will of the community.

It is a delicate balancing act, and it's tough on the high wire! Did I mention I hate heights? As pastor, though, that's where I have to be--balancing the choices, showing the way, never too far ahead or too far behind, "leading from the side," as someone once put it.

And always, always, listening for the voice of the True Shepherd. I'm just the under-sheep-dog.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Family Values Rant

Family values. OK, you want to talk family values?

How do any of the following support, encourage or strengthen families:

  • Telling parents their gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender child is sick or crazy and that the parents should force them to “change” or kick them out of the house?
  • Allowing children to remain in the limbo of foster care (I’m not down on foster care, but it isn’t a permanent home) rather than allow them to be adopted by (gasp!) same-sex couples.
  • Telling the public in general that the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in their families are sick, evil, etc.

Do these Koncerned Konservative Kristians (thanks for the term, LC) who spout that sort of nonsense think that GLBT folks are hatched, for Pete’s sake? I can safely say that every single GLBT person I have known grew up in a family. We are families, we have families. We have brothers and sisters and parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins, not to mention step-versions and great-versions of each of these, many of whom are loving and supportive of us just as we are, and of our partners, too. We ARE sisters, brothers, etc. How does scapegoating us contribute to the well-being of OUR families? And do those Koncerned Konservative Kristians think they don’t have any GLBT family members? They just don’t know about it, is my guess—I know I’d be way deep in the closet, or out of the family if my relations were of like mind with the Koncerned Konservative Kristians.

My point is, this yammer about “family values” serves to polarize and separate: it makes a false dichotomy, assuming that GLBT people have no relationship, no connection to anything like a family—no parents, no children, no spouse (many of us have been or are in heterosexual marriages), no cousins or sisters or brothers. We’re in our own hedonistic, self-focused world of fashion, sex, cats, and the club scene—according to those who want to use us as a scapegoat. As opposed, of course, to the Koncerned Konservative Kristians, who are part of a close-knit, caring family that plays soccer on weekends and visits Grandma every weekend.

Guess what? I have friends, same-sex couples, who do that too—visit Grandma, play soccer with the kids, take cupcakes to school for the kids birthdays, build a deck on Memorial Day weekend.

Life ain’t that easy, simple or polarized, but it makes a good sound-bite to portray it that way.

Is it any wonder that one of the anthems of GLBT Pride parades is “We Are Family!”?

And I think of Sojourner Truth and her cry, “Ain’t I a woman?” (Read her speech here: She pointed out that no one wanted to treat her like women were “supposed” to be treated (helped over puddles, go first through doorways)—and yet she was a woman. And she pointed out that she did as much as any man--worked in the fields, raised her children before they were sold away from her. But she was a woman.

Well, we—gay men, lesbians, bisexual people and transgender people—we are family members too. We have families, are part of a network of families. But the not-so-religious right isn’t treating us as if we are. Because it's easier to see us as not like the rest of the planetary population, when in fact, we are a part of it.

Ain’t we family, too?

Yes, we are.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I'm Not From Wisconsin, But Boy, Am I Cheesed!

The US has a war in Iraq, there's fighting in Afghanistan, all over there are high gasoline prices, people are dying of HIV/AIDS, famine, and tribal warfare in various locations around the globe, homeless people are living across the street from the White House, and the environment is degrading even as we speak. What is the president of the US concerned about?

Preventing two people who love each other from getting married, because they are both the same gender.

Am I the only one with my head cocked to one side like my dog when I talk to him in words he doesn't know?

What is the matter with this picture, people?!

Talk about the tail wagging the dog.

It seems that things aren't going so well for the president in areas where he really does have responsibility, so he's trying to get conservatives excited over a social issue that is already dead in the water. Even the conservatives in Congress aren't interested in it--they know it's a state issue, not a federal one, and the strict Constitutionalists are outraged that the federal government would take on something that is a state perogative.

Of course, things aren't a whole lot better north of the border, where I'm living. We've got a PM who wants to reopen the issue in the fall. Perhaps he's just testing the waters by bringing it up this early--if it gets a lot of negative reaction, he can allow the talk to die away by the fall.

Most Canadians don't care, at this point. Bill C-38--the one allowing same-sex marriages anywhere in Canada--is the law of the land. And guess what? As had been said of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there have been no cataclysms. The sun has continued to rise and set, the trains run as on time as they ever did, Nova Scotia did not fall into the Atlantic, Vancouver is still hanging on as well, and no one was forced to either have or officiate at a same-sex wedding.

But, of course, the religious not-so-Right is banging on the war drum, crying out for the protection of the children (but what about children whose parents cannot get married because they are same-sex?) and the sanctity of the family (every gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered person I know is the product of a family; they have their families of origin and the families they have created) and foundations of society (how can stabilizing and recognizing personal relationships destabilize society?) and Biblical mandates (but they also say this is the beginning of a slippery slope, and polygamy will be next--well, excuse me, but isn't that what King David and King Solomon practiced? And they were beloved of God!!).

In a few weeks, two Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers are getting married. They're the first RCMP same-sex couple to be married--that's right, Mounties, the ones who always get their man (and don't think that joke hasn't been made in every article about them!). The RCMP are dealing with it just fine.

I pray for the day when there's a same-sex married couple in the US Green Berets.

Now there's a conservative's nightmare!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Friday Five: Summer Bockbuster Edition!

1. If you were a mutant, what ability would you like to have? (think superpower)
I would love to have an alternate face—just to be able to go places and not be recognized, to have a whole other identity, to explore things people don’t want/expect their pastor to do. I don’t really mean anything shocking here (although that has possibilities!); just simple things like going to another church on Sunday morning before my service, or seeing a really dumb movie, or lounging in the coffee shop on my day off (without having to explain that it IS my day off).

2. Tell us about a memorable road trip you've experienced.
The summer I was sixteen, my mother, my younger sister and I took a road trip from Michigan through Nebraska and Colorado to Utah, then back through Four Corners, New Mexico, Texas, and Missouri. I had never seen the Rockies before, and they have only been surpassed as scenery by the Pacific coast of California and the Bavarian Alps. It was also our first car with air conditioning, cloth seats, and an AM/FM radio—all chosen specifically with the trip in mind. We saw relatives and friends we hadn’t seen for years, took tons of photos, and celebrated the USA Bicentennial in Dinosaur Monument, Utah. I’ve never been back…

3. Do you enjoy solving riddles and working on puzzles? If so, what kinds?
I’m terrible at acrostics and codes. Crossword puzzles I love and I’m pretty good at. I once tried Myst, the computer game; it was very interesting, but ultimately frustrating because you had to keep solving the puzzles, even when you already knew the solution, in order to get to the next step. Either that or I missed a cheat somewhere.

4. Take two of your phobias and combine them to make a campy horror/disaster flick. What would it be called?
“Spiders on Top of Tall Buildings.” I hate heights and critters with lots of legs.

5. Just how batsh*t crazy is Tom Cruise, anyway?
Beyond human telling or comprehension.

Bonus: Name each of the five movies that inspired these questions.
X-Men:The Last Stand
The DaVinci Code
Scary Movie 4; Slither; The Omen--take you pick of fears.
Mission Impossible: III

Clarence Darrow--Beyond Scopes and Leopold & Loeb

Personalities fascinate me--people do. One way I try to understand history and places is through people--which is why I love good histor...