Bits of this and that...
I've been meaning to write a review of a great book I read, Four Seasons of Ministry, by Bruce Epperly and Katherine Epperly. They compare a pastor's career to the seasons--first church pastors are in the spring, with everything fresh and new; then as a pastor progresses, she moves into summer, when they cultivate the crops, so to speak; then as they move into fall, they harvest the fruits of their labours; in the winter of retirement, they benefit from the work they have done earlier. The writers dont' pay enough attention to the slightly different trajectory of second-career pastors, I think; and in their references to "family, partners and loved ones," they tend to leave out those of us who are single, especially in reference to where pastors get support and how they take their Sabbaths. But those are minor. One of the themes I really appreciated was that of setting patterns of prayer, study, rest, and retreat early on, and how those can fill different needs as you move through your time as pastor. I will try very hard to get that review done and up this week.
Emotionally I'm settling down as well. It was very hard to change my relationship with Strong Heart into friendship; it was the best thing to do, we were not working out as partners--and yet when the relationship was good, it was very good. I will miss those wonderful good parts very much. However, we are finding that we can be friends--our sharing and mutual support around ministry (from sermon prep to dealing with a board to Bible study resources) was always one of the most satisfying parts of our relationship, and that is intact. It just takes time to adjust.
I'm still listening for God's voice in my sense of restlessness. I think I'm hearing a faint call, but I'm not certain. Prayers for discernment, please!
I may have an article published! A journal that focuses on bisexuality is publishing a special issue on bisexuality and spirituality; the editors like my article and want to send it out for review... I've been associated with scholarly publishing, but on the other side--as a reader and as a librarian, so this is a new experience--very interesting!
I've been enjoying a local cafe very much--often spend at least part of a weekend afternoon there. They have organic teas, gluten free cakes and other baked goodies, and generally healthy food. They also have some of the other stuff--espresso to die for, great martinis, and some very interesting grilled cheese combinations (my fav is cheddar and mango chutney).
I met friends there for tea yesterday; Musician and his partner, Artist Doctor. They had a wonderful belated birthday present for me--an advertising poster they had picked up on a trip through Hong Kong (AD works for a university, doing work in Cambodia with free clinics and clean water projects). The poster is for a variety of things, all of them vaguely bug-related--it seems to be for bug powder, a mosquito coil, and so on. But the amazing thing is the illustration--two women, flowers in their hair, elegant earrings dangling, dancing close together, rapturous expressions on their faces. I am SO having that framed!
In the interest of that study thing mentioned in the Four Seasons book, I am embarking on a new project--reading A Course in Miracles. I tried once before, with my best friend, but when we started discussing it, we digressed totally and ended up gossiping instead of dicussing the book. So I am going to try again...
I have started really cooking again. My first attempt was Sag Ghosh, an Indian/Pakistani recipe involving beef, spinach, and curry. My aforementioned best friend often makes it for her Pakistani husband, who calls it "Pakistani comfort food." She got the recipe from his mother, so I think it's pretty authentic! It turned out pretty well--I think I needed more curry and less cayenne; also less spinach. I used less beef than the recipe called for, but the same amount of spinach...a bit overwhelming in the spinach department, let's say!
Busy week ahead--appointments at the clinic, a wedding, and a meeting--all tomorrow; a lunch on Wednesday and another on Thursday, then a mini-conference on Saturday, with a church cookout on Sunday.
I'm trying to read Ann Coulter's book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism; having a difficult time. She makes such sweeping statements, as if all "liberals" (not a term I like) were members of PETA and Greenpeace, or atheists in Christian clothing. It's that old circular definition thing: if you don't fit her definition of a Christian, then you're not really Christian and are fair game. She doesn't seem to want to allow for honest disagreement between groups, or within groups, for that matter. That and her tone of sneering superiority is quite grating. And I'm only about 30 pages into the book!
There, cleaned up those snippets of this and that... Enjoy your weekend, and Happy Mothers Day to the mothers and those who have been like mothers!