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Showing posts from June, 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…

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 cam…

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…

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 (http://www.fetzer.org/GilChrist.aspx?PageID=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 a…

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. LibrarianFive 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 GrailFive places I have lived:
1. WashingtonDC
2. Munich , Germany
3. Baltimore
4. Lansing, MI
5. Charlottesville, VAFive 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. ChocolateBonus 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,…

Friday Fivezzzzzzzz

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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…

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 RiverCity for a lease on a government-owned building. It involves some manoeuvring and planning and lots of meetings and discussions, but it’s loo…

Friday Five--Rain

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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 wond…

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…

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…

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 …

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 conditioni…