Showing posts from 2015

"Wrestling with God" MCC Detroit/MCC Windsor, September 27, 2015

Readings The story so far: Our last reading was about Abraham and the angels who visited him. We are skipping a generation here, when we come to the story of Jacob, grandson of Abraham. Jacob is a bit of a trickster, like Coyote in Native American Navaho tradition. He has a twin, Esau, who is actually the older one. Even before they were born, they wrestled, and Jacob was born holding on to Esau’s heel. When they grew up, they were constantly at odds with each other, and as parents sometimes do, Jacob’s mother, Rachel, favoured Jacob, while their father, Isaac, favoured Esau. Through a trick, Jacob received the birthright blessing—inheritance—from Isaac that was actually due to Esau. Naturally this made Esau angry, and Jacob had to flee for his life to his relative, Laban. There he met Rachel and fell in love. Rachel’s father, Laban, required him to work for seven years before he could marry Rachel; then he tricked Jacob and substituted Leah, Rachel’s older sister, on the wedding night…

“That Blood Thing” MCC WIndsor, September 6, 2015

Hebrews 9:1-14
Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary.  A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lamp stand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant.  Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.
When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy …

Summertime, and the Livin' was Easy...

And it was! I continued with Trivia, took on some new responsibilities at work, slept in from time to time (!!), and was grateful for A/C! But summer is unofficially over, and it's time to ease back into the routine(s) of fall and winter.  I have some thoughts the political scene as well as a few observations on the spiritual (not to mention a couple on where the two meet). I'm continuing for the second year with the Narrative Lectionary, and looking forward to that. There are more resources for it as more of us use it, which is helpful--but I also enjoy writing my own!  I also want to get back in the habit of posting my sermons (messages, musings, reflections, homilies). I did a series of interactive ones, which is, I think, when I got out of the habit.  Bring it on, Autumn!

Five Favourite Places

Doing the Friday Five a bit late...

My five favourite places, in no particular order:

1) GilChrist Retreat Center, Three Rivers, MI
I have had several retreats here, and they have been healing and grace-filled. GilChrist is arranged like an ancient Celtic monastery, with retreat cabins (more comfortable than the monk's stone cells!) set around a meadow, with a stone chapel built into the hillside. Another meadow holds a labyrinth, with the main building, Windhill, overlooking it. There's a library, a meditation loft, and a light-filled chapel in Windhill. To one side of the Lea (the larger meadow with the chapel) there is a medicine wheel, and the Path of Many Faiths--mini-gardens reflecting many faiths: Christianity, Judaism, First Nations, Islam, Buddism, etc. In the summer, they keep an organic garden, and retreatants are welcome to help themselves from the garden.
Part of the value of GilChrist for me is this arrangement--I am alone, and yet not far from others; I can atte…

Friday Five--"Spring"-ing into Something New!

It's Friday, and that means a RevGal Friday Five meme. 

"For today's Friday Five, share with us five experiences of renewal that you have recently enjoyed, or would like to launch this Easter season."


1. Healthier meals. I have two jobs, and work strange hours sometimes. It can be hard to plan ahead and too often I end up grabbing fast food on the way home or snacking instead of having a nutritious meal when i do get home, I am not sure how to change this, apart from cooking for the week on the weekend and reheating during the week. Summer doesn't feel like crockpot season, but it probably is actually a good time for it--less heat in the kitchen. That would be helpful too. 

2. In partnership with #1, more exercise. I am not joining a gym, but I am slowly convincing myself that I can park half a block from my apartment building, or at the far end of the parking lot, and so on. I already have a hellacious climb to my apartment (two long swooping flights to the th…

There's a Woman in the Pulpit: Christian Clergywomen Share Their Hard Days, Holy Moments, and the Healing Power of Humor

I had not realised, until I was ordained, just how blessed I was in the many strong women who surrounded me all my life. I’m one of five sisters, with an independent mother who went back to school for a graduate degree in civil engineering while I was in high school. The youth group pastor and director of Christian Education at my childhood church was a woman who gave me my first opportunity to preach (at the tender age of 14 or so). With so many examples of strong women around me, it never occurred to me that my gender might be a bar or an impediment to whatever I wanted to do with my life. As an adult, I have been surrounded with intelligent, strong women in leadership roles—military officers, entrepreneurs, professors of everything from information technology to Hebrew to ethics.
But when I was out there on my own, serving a new church in a new town, with no support system in place, I longed for those connections. I had started a blog, being a bit of a techno-geek, and just vain en…

A Steward's Hands

Manicures. They're something I do partly for myself but for my ministry as well. 

Yes, it feels great to have someone cleaning up my nails, shaping and filing them, and then painting them an interesting colour (and every once in a while, adding an air-brushed decoration). It's nice to have nails that don't chip or split or have raggedly cuticles, too. But there's another reason why I get my nails done every two weeks religiously (pardon the pun). 

One Sunday during my internship, I was the celebrant for Communion. Afterwards, one of the congregants approached me, almost in tears, and thanked me for celebrating Communion. She had grown up in the Roman Catholic tradition, she said. "It was so powerful for me to see a woman celebrating Communion, and then you held up the chalice--seeing the Cup lifted in hands with polished nails--it was so moving for me!"

I know that for some, that would not be a meaningful moment. For others, it might actually detract from the sa…

Spring is Coming! Spring is Coming!

Holy cow--can't believe I haven't posted since December!

Well, the winter months of January and February are always rough for me, and while this year was better than most, I still struggled a bit.

However, spring is on the way--we've had lovely warm weather, the huge piles of snow are vanishing from parking lots and lawns, and I am gathering my information for the tax guy...

I have gotten a lot of reading done--a biography of Joan of Arc (quite readable, if a bit heavy-handed with the feminist theory--not all legs are phallic), one of Teilhard de Chardin, the Hunger Games series (liked the first one, thought the second two should have been one), and a collection of essays on book collecting. I'm still reading a bio of Alan Turing, How Shall We Then Live?, the collected works of HP Lovecraft (99 cents on amazon! How could I turn it down?), City of God, and a Profiles in Courage for LGBTQIA history. And I am participating in an on-line reading group for the Aubrey/Maturi…