Showing posts from August, 2006

Thursday Random Thoughts

I have more to do today than three people could get done, so I'm going on with the understanding that lots of stuff won't get done. One thing I need to do for my own sanity is a post here. So here goes.

I want to read "Getting Things Done," but I have too much to do.My sermon isn't even going to be started until Saturday.Why do people assume that you are doing only what they know you are doing, and that therefore you have some free time? They don't have any idea of the other six projects I'm involved with, each just as time-consuming as the one they know about.
I'm getting better at saying "No."I'm getting better at asking for help.Ya gotta have friends (see #5). One friend offered to do my laundry--I talked her into working the church's bingo night instead!My daydreams these days involve three hours of free time with a good book and a full pot of coffee, instead of a deserted beach and a tall cool colorful drink. I'm trying to b…

Tuesday Morning

It’s raining, I’m preparing for a funeral later in the week, and I haven’t started my sermon for Sunday.

Whine over.

I’ve been thinking about what someone said to me this past weekend, that she saw the real work of the church being done—the support, the caring--around the death of one of our members. “That’s what the church is supposed to be about,” she said, “not the service on Sunday and whether you go or not.”And she’s right. When our churches turn inward and focus on “inside activities,” like fundraisers and social hour and Bible studies, to the exclusion of those things that lead us out of the church, like community work, or missions work, then the church is stagnating. At one church I served, I knew we were in trouble when we could get lots of turnout for the annual Fall Festival fundraiser, but no volunteers for the CROP Walk for Hunger. Here in Windsor, my involvement in community projects is about more than raising the visibility of the church. It’s about making visib…

Friday Back-to-School!

Well, I should be working on my sermon, given that I have a church dinner tonight, a wedding most of the day tomorrow, and a dear church member seriously ill in hospital (I spent most of the earlier part of the day there). But I need a mental break, so here goes:

1. What is your earliest memory of school?
My mother took me to meet my kindergarten teacher one day the summer before school started, and while they were chatting, I wandered out to the fenced-in “kindergarten playground” just off the kindergarten classrooms. I found it boring—only the cement “tunnels” cut from huge pipes and a sandbox—so I went on out to the “big playground” and starting swinging on the “big kids” swings. When I was found, I was told in no uncertain terms that kindergartners had to stay on the kindergarten playground. Sigh. Seems I’ve been going places I’m “not supposed to go” ever since.

2. Who was a favourite teacher in your early education?
Mrs. Emery, my third grade teacher. She read to us every day after l…

To Lection or Not to Lection? That is the Series!

I'm just finishing up my first-ever sermon series, on King David (with a couple more on Solomon), and I've learned some lessons.
Always outline all the sermons in the series (at least, that you are going to preach) before you decide to do such a thing. This way, you will be sure you really have enough to say about each item in the series.
Be sure the series is something you feel passionate about. I like David's story, I think it has a lot to say, but--I feel much more passionate about Psalms, or Peter, or the prophets.
Try to have a theme that runs all the way through the series (using God's gifts, or bread-hah!-or good vs evil) to bring the units together. Alternatively, have a non-thematic series and just run with it. A mentor pastor had parishioners list questions they had on cards, and drop them in the offering plate. She did this over about a month. At the end of the month, she selected the ten most popular/interesting questions for the series, which was done during …

Friday Phrase Meme

Once again, the RevGals have the best meme for a Friday. Here are my tongue-in-cheek definitions for these British terms:
Adverse Camber: A cranky mountain climber. The sort who always complains about the snow, the bad food, the cold, the lack of oxygen…who has no stiff upper lip at all.

Butts Wynd: A vulgar term for the terrible storms that come down from the North Sea.

PlagueChurch: A congregation made up of nothing but antagonists.

Free House: Parsonage; rectory; vicarage; a home given to the pastor of a church as part of a compensation package. See also: parsonage committee; repairs.

Mind the Gap: Warning to new seminary graduates going to first pastorates in communities with theologies vastly different from that taught in the seminary.P.S. And I'm proud to say that I know what each of those mean! And since my son is in the UK with his dad this week, I'm hoping he's seeing these same phrases and enjoying them!

Holy Midnight Hunt, Batman!

I like to think of myself as a nature girl--or at least being comfortable with Nature. I camped at least once a month (well, June throuogh September, anyway, being in Michigan) from the time I was nine or ten until I went off to college. I played with snakes, I fed orphaned fawns, I led an orphaned fox on a leash; I even did some survival camping (i.e., dig a hole for the latrine, cook over a fire...). I'm not normally a squeamish person. So you'd think I could survive a bat in the house.

You would be wrong.

Last night I decided to check email one last time before heading to bed (I had sent off an email to several friends, and I was curious about the responses), against my better judgement (usually emails right before bed mean sleepless nights). I sat down at my desk, hit the "power on" button on my trusty laptop, and sat back to watch it go through its startup routine. It was then that I noticed the shadow fluttering around on the walls and the ceiling. "Geez, t…


We are still waiting on the ceiling repairs. It's unclear at this point how long they will take.

Of course, we're now wondering if we want to move back into that office.

However, that is in the future. For now, we need to reorganize in the basement space where we've been temporarily moved, and figure out how to do church without an office (only a pile of boxes and a table with the computer on it, and a couple of chairs).

Many thanks for all the prayers and support over the last few weeks!

Sermon Procrastination...

Sermon procrastination time!So I’ll run the book meme—I’ve been meaning to do it anyway…One book that changed your life:Faith and Fratricide, by Rosemary Radford Reuther. It made me really look at the real-world effects of our exegesis, and brought home, painfully, that our exegesis is not done in isolation. We can hurt others with our thoughts.One book that you’ve read more than once: The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien. I used to spend every Christmas break, from age 13 or so through 20, reading it again.

One book you’d want on a desert island: Fat Girls and Lawn Chairs, by Cheryl Peck, probably. As others have said, I’d need something to laugh at. On the other hand, being isolated on a desert island might be a good time to work though Augustine’s City of God.

One book that made you laugh:Besides the above mentioned Fat Girls and Lawn Chairs (laugh-out-loud), I like David Sedaris. Anything by David Sedaris. He wrote a phonebook? I’ll read it.One book that made you cry:Up a Road Slow…

Mr. M., Before and After

Finally, here are the photos I've been wanting to post for a couple of weeks now.

Here's Mr. M. before the shaving...

And here he is after the shaving, happily nekkid on our front steps...

Yes, he does look a bit brighter and happier, doesn't he?

Booked Up for Jeeezussss!

For some reason, I’ve been thinking about books a lot lately. They’ve been central to my life, certainly—as a reader from an early age, an English major as an undergraduate, with a library science degree and now a divinity degree, books are indispensable to my work.I remember distinctly being taught by one of my elder sisters to read. It was “Are You My Mother?,” about a baby bird that falls out of its nest and looks for its mother in a variety of creatures—a cow, a dog, a steam shovel (for years, I called steam shovels “Snort” after the one in the book).The Snort puts the baby bird back in its nest, where it finds its mother waiting. After that, there was no holding me back. Luckily, we had a large bookcase of children’s books, besides all those that my parents had, and my parents believed in weekly trips to the local library. I do remember at one point in my horse-crazy childhood, I was forbidden to get more than one horse book from the library each week. I don’t remember my first “…

Ceiling update

It will be longer than a few days before we get back into our office.

The workers started by removing the damaged plaster from the ceiling above the drop ceiling (what do you call that anyway? A sub-ceiling, like a sub-floor?). They discovered mould all through the plaster and the wood under the plaster. So now they have to do the bleach treatment; although I'm thinking they may have to remove some of the wood and replace it, if the mould has gotten too deep into the wood. And then they have to replaster. And then it has to dry. And then they have to install the (new) drop ceiling.

At one point I had thought we would be spending today moving back in. Now it looks like it will be the next weekend or the one after that...

I never realized all the implications when I walked into the office and saw our musician desperately snatching up the computer CPU, sloshing through three inches of water to the sanctuary and dashing back for the printer, dodging the ever-increasing drips from the cei…

Saturday Bakery

By popular request (from a couple of weeks ago), here's a Canadian Butter Tart recipe from Joy of Baking:

Pate Brisee (Short Crust Pastry)
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.54 cm) pieces
1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 - 60 ml) ice waterPate Brisee: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/8 cup (30 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Flatten into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour before u…

Friday Five! On Broadway....

Well, here we go with another version of the Friday Five meme! Today we're getting all uptown with Broadway! Get out that top hat and cane, or the greasepaint--are you ready for the Great White Way?1. Describe the last play or musical you saw. (At least provide the what, when, where, and why). What was your opinion of it?Just two weeks ago I saw "Norman, is That You?" It was a fund-raiser as part of the Pride activities here in Windsor. The beneficiary was the Rainbow Fund, a scholarship for GLBT students at the University. The fund was founded by the young man who was shot back in January. It was very funny--about a young gay man, Norman, living in New York City with his psychiatrist lover, when his father comes to stay with him because Norman's mother has run off to Montreal with Norman's uncle (his father's brother). You see, Norman has not come out to his parents. It's funny and bittersweet--some of the things Norman's father does are the stereoty…