Monday, December 31, 2007
In 2007 I learned the values and stress of family. My grandfather's health is starting to fail. My father went through his first surgery. i have seen what it is to try and keep track of three house holds, and how large families are a blessing and a curse all at once. I have learned that family goes far beyond blood. that there are some friendships that blur the line of friend and family and for all of those people who blur that line I am most grateful.
There are two things that are very clear to me about 2007. I am going to become a minister and ministry will always be a part of me in some way shape or form. The second thing that is most clear to me in 2007 is that I am still learning what it means to be an adult, but maybe that is something that we never fully accomplish or maybe it is...
I wish everyone a happy and healthy 2008!
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
What i have learned is that when my parents can longer shovel their own driveway I am either hiring someone to do it for them or they are going to live in "the home". We live in the same town as my grandparents which has been wonderful growing up, but now it means that we have two driveways to clear. Even with the snow blower (snow thrower depending on where you are from) it is a lot of work. It is kind of sad up until last winter Grandpa who was 85 at the time could still do all of this stuff for himself. sadly in the past couple years grandpa's health has been in a real decline. Unfortunately none of my 2000 ( OK not that many but there are a lot) want to really deal with it. Leaving my parents to deal with most of it. To be honest my one of my parents is handling it better than the other. It has consumed our lives and conversations and is just causing stress. of course I realize that a large part of the problem is that my parents are HORRIBLE at communicating.
Needless to say this is certainly a learning experience for me. Both in life and in ministry. I am in no way trying to counsel my family but definitely keeping track of things to keep in mind anytime I see this in the future.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Right now I have one final and one paper standing in the way of my break. I decided not to take a class over Jan term. I have five goals for myself over the month of Jan.:
3. Get some planning done for Church
4. read at least two books not for school
5. Get back into a regular gym routine that I can maintain during school
Off to bed before the final tmw
Friday, December 07, 2007
1. You have a busy week, pushing out all time for preparing worship/ Sunday School lessons/ being ready for an important meeting ( or whatever equivalent your profession demands)- how do you cope? I cope by just pushing through and then venting to my seminary /pastor friends who share the same problem.
2. You have unexpected visitors, and need to provide them with a meal- what do you do? Pray that i have some tomato sauce in the cupboard and some noodle and one other ingredient (meet or seafood) put on a smile and have a meal
Three discussion topics:
3. Thinking along the lines of this weeks advent theme; repentance is an important but often neglected aspect of advent preparations.....I need to make this a priority
4. Some of the best experiences in life occur when you simply go with the flow..... most of my closest friendships have come out of going with the flow
5. Details are everything, attention to the small things enables a plan to roll forward smoothly... this would be why things go don't go smoothly in my life
Bonus if you dare- how well prepared are you for Christmas this year? better than usual
Friday, November 30, 2007
I know, I know.... pretty grumpy for November but why not get it out of our systems now so we are free to enjoy the rest of the festivities.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
As found at Mary Beth's place. Here is a game developed by Jeanne of Social Class and Quakers, based on the copyrighted exercise developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University.
If you play and post, please acknowledge their copyright.
Bold items are privileges I have had. Italics are mine.
Father went to college
Father finished college
Mother went to college
Mother finished college
Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor.
Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers
Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
Were read children's books by a parent
Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
Went to a private high school
Went to summer camp (sports and church camps)
Had a private tutor before you turned 18
Family vacations involved staying at hotels
Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
There was original art in your house when you were a child it was done by family friends
Had a phone in your room before you turned 18
You and your family lived in a single family house
Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
You had your own room as a child
Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
Had your own TV in your room in High School
Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
Went on a cruise with your family
Went on more than one cruise with your family
Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family
But I still passed my DCOM .....One more step down about a million to go.....
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE
Sunday, November 18, 2007
- I am grateful for my friends
- I am missing my college friends big time
- There is only two weeks left in the semester... where did the time go
- This week I go before my DCOM to become a certified candidate
- The field Hockey team that I have been helping coach lost in the state semifinals. They had a great season and were a fun bunch to coach
- I have never laughed so much in one weekend
- You need a lot of laughter to spend three days with 21 teenage girls
- Death is never easy unexpected death at a young age even harder
- Just when i think i have one particular situation under control it blows up again
- I live in dualities
- The church I serve always surprises in both good and bad
- We need change I'm just not sure how to get it...
Friday, November 09, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
The other reason why I have not blogged as much is because dumb boy is still in my head and sometimes i get kind of sad about that . Which then makes me angry at myself because I know that i should not be wasting any more of my time.
Luckily yesterday there were some things worth blogging about. My mentor is working on her DMin and came to school the last two days to interview some of us about our ideas about the post modern church for a project for one of her classes. It was kind of weird for me answering the questions because she knew a lot of my answers. However, it was good for me to say them out loud in a more formal setting. There is potential that the video of our interviews will be shown to my Board of Ordained Ministry and she asked if I was comfortable with that. I did not say anything too awful about the current church but I was clear in the fact that the status quo was not working and I think church hierarchy and bureaucracy are part of the reason for that. So my answer to her was yes show it to who ever you want, because I am who I am and there is room for me to change and grow however, I don't think that these views are going to change that much except for maybe get a little stronger.
Second bloggable topic that is not related to ministry or school is local elections. Ever since I was a little kid I have like politics. In high school I used regular attend city council meetings and I attended charter review meeting (my city's governing document) and even added the the changes in the charter ( I even got to write the section myself). Well yesterday was election day in my home town. There is a very clear very deep "good old boys" network in my town. that for a long time has been very powerful and in the 5-7 years has done quite a bit of damage with the decisions they have made in regard to city government and to building (my town has become high rise central with luxury apartments, condos, multi-million dollar homes.. green space what is green space???). The last two years however we have had a great female mayor who has done a lot of work in a short amount of time to change the thinking of what Saratoga should look like and taking a step back from the local issues and really listening to what the community needs. Well she was the incumbent and was viciously attacked my her opponents. She was even challenged by her own party because she actually listened to the people and some times that meant not doing what the party expected her to do. These attacks were really vicious and sad. Unfortunately despite her best efforts she lost a fairly close election.Which is really sad to me. Here was a women who was willing to take on the old guard to make things better for everyone. I did not always agree with her, but she really did seem to work for the people. Sadly, I think our new mayor will be working for the developers and contractor of the city and those who will be willing to contribute to his next campaign. I have a feeling thing are going to get much worse in my hometown before they get better....
Friday, October 26, 2007
All Hallows Eve (Halloween) is near. As a child, Halloween was one of my favorite holidays. We didn’t yet worry about razor blades in apples or popcorn balls or some of the other concerns people have with Halloween these days. Halloween was a chance to be mildly scared, and better yet, to dress up and pretend to be something we really weren’t. Let’s talk about that a bit, but then let’s add in some food ideas for this year. Where I live the leaves are falling, the temperature is chilly and pumpkins are for sale everywhere, along with many kids of apples. What's more, the "Holiday Season" will soon be upon us. ACK! I could use a new idea for dessert. So, here we go…
1. How did you celebrate this time of year when you were a child? Jumping in leaf piles and the neighborhood kids would make leaf forts and about 10 of us would go trick-or treating together
2. Do you and/or your family “celebrate” Halloween? Why or why not? And if you do, has it changed from what you used to do? We don't so much any more now that I am older, but this year I am craving a pumpkin
2. Candy apples: Do you prefer red cinnamon or caramel covered? Or something else? I'm not such a big fan but if I do I eat one it is caramel covered!
3. Pumpkins: Do you make Jack O’ Lanterns? Any ideas of what else to do with them? I love Jack O' Lanterns!
4. Do you decorate your home for fall or Halloween? If so, what do you do? Bonus points for pictures. Just a few pumpkins it's really more fall than Halloween
5. Do you like pretending to be something different? Does a costume bring our an alternate personality? No not really really, it;s only fun for me when a bunch of my friends do it
Bonus: Share your favorite recipe for an autumn food, particularly apple or pumpkin ones. I love mulled cider and this is an odd one.. i don't really enjoy backed fruit that much but when my mom makes apple pie like wrapping the raw pie crust around the Cinnamon and sugar apples
Monday, October 22, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Have any of you been to/lead a special themed worship such as a cancer awareness service or domestic violence awareness service? What did you like/not like? Or why have you not been to or led this type of worship? Would you ever attend/ lead this type of worship?
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
This happened right when I needed it too. I was about to enter crisis mode, I was on the edge, now I'm a few yards back. Unfortunately it is the same struggles that I always have and that I know others have. that struggle with the organized church. What it means to be called to Ministry. Am I going to be able to make change? Am I supposed to make change? What is the change?
Then the big question if I am part of the organized church will I live authentically?
Like I said I am only a few yards away...
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Right now I am angry and sad ... and I hate being sad... angry I can handle that just takes a trip to the gym... and I feel like I should not waste time being sad on a boy who breaks up with me over the phone...
Monday, October 01, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
So I'm almost halfway through first semester. Where does the time go??? And I am not feeling too overwhelmed by work and sermon writing. SO far I have a pretty good handle on things. Although I do have to admit that when emergencies come up ( such as my dad having a seizure.. more on that later) that it does put a really big cramp in my schedule and I end up having to turn in at least one thing late. But hey most people will tell you supervised ministries journal are crazy and if anything has to give it is that because we do plenty of work for that class. Anyway my class leader was understanding and it is turned in now.
Half of my classes are pretty interesting. I really like Christian ethics and as hard as it is to do the role playing that our prof makes us do it really does help. And she has been really great at bringing in a variety of perspectives, that are helping me shape my own voice. Also, my novel theologies class is really helping me understand what It is to form theologies and make connections where you thought it was not possible to make connections. I actually get excited to write papers for those two classes.
My other classes however..... how do I say this nicely...... I spend a lot of time saying why am I there. Supervised ministry, the class that goes with our "field experience" NOT GETTING ANY THING OUT OF IT! The class part that is. And my preaching class.. the readings are ok, but the class eeh . I guess I should be happy that I like 50% of my classes.
Ok So On to my Dad. He had "routine" surgery on Monday. The day surgery type of thing. He didn't feel good most of the day but he did feel awful. Well the Doctor prescribed him a pain killer that caused him to have seizure. Of course it didn't happen till the second time that he took it. My mom had been with him all day so I told her that I would stay up with him for a few hours and make sure he got his meds. So I gave him the pain pill and five minutes latter he said he felt nausea, and I knew from experience that was normal on pain meds, so I went to make him a peanut butter sandwich because sometimes if you eat something it helps. Well While I was doing that he had a seizure it was the scariest 3 minutes of my life. Come to find out it was an adverse side affect of the pain meds. Greeeeaaattt. Well needless to say that was the last time he took the med. He is doing better now. Still lots of swelling,but over all better.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
It is very very frustrating. Although I was literally just offered help. One of my classmates has training in how to target youth and how to bring them in. AMEN! I am taking her up on that offer. And I am really going to do it. You all are my witnesses. Even if she can't help us it will at least be an attempt.
I feel like my preaching right now is shallow. Which I am largely in control over. Largely though I know it is that I don't feel connected to my congregation. Interestingly enough I have to write a paper about why I preach----> the theology of my preaching. I am hoping that may help me.
It is weird because I feel really in control of my course work. With the exception of the face that I do not have some of my textbook through no fault of my own. They aren't in the bookstore and the book list wasn't available for me to get them online. I have ordered the ones I can and I am just going on from there. And by in control of my work I mean I am getting it done. However, right now it is not as fulfilling as it was last year. Last year's work inspired me and energized me and this year it just isn't there.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
So far my appointment is working out well. My congregates seem very supportive. I've preached about 5 times and I feel like there is improvement in my delivery, so i am happy about that. I am still in the feeling them out mode. Trying to figure out what changes they really want make vs what they say what changes they need.
Friday, August 31, 2007
It's Labor Day weekend here in the United States, also known as Summer's Last Hurrah. So let's say goodbye to summer and hello to the autumn. (People in other climes, feel free to adapt as needed.)
1. Share a highlight from this summer. (If you please, don't just say "our vacation to the Canadian Rockies." Give us a little detail or image. Help us live vicariously through you!) Going to Ocean City with my Boyfriend. The Car ride was horrific but we survived it. Which is a good sign. There was lots of miniture golf and the beach was great. Plus it was my first vacation without the family.
2. Are you glad to see this summer end? Why or why not? Yes and no... I like going back to school and will be happy to be done babysitting. No because I love summer weather and summer activities
3. Name one or two things you're looking forward to this fall. Being back at school, apple picking, apple cider and cider donuts
4. Do you have any special preparations or activities to mark the transition from one season to another? (Cleaning of house, putting away summer clothes, one last trip to the beach) Well going back to school but I guess that won't be forever. I guess putting away my summer clothes.
5. I'll know that fall is really here when __________________________________. When the leaves change and I go to a football game in somthing other than jeans and a teeshirt
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Although I do know that I can't wait to be living in my own space...
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
My three Sundays of summer preaching are over. The church that I am serving does combined services with two other churches during the summer with each church hosting three Sundays. So the next time I Preach will be labor day weekend. I thought my three Sundays went fairly well. People seemed to like the services. I actually received a few constructive comments which are helpful. Week 2's sermon wasn't as strong as the other two I felt, but a couple people told me they enjoyed the services so that was nice. Of course I always live in the well did they really enjoy it and did it have meaning for them or are they just telling me that because I'm the young seminary student, but I'll never know so I just move on.
I already have to keep reminding myself that I am only a part time pastor and I really need to be part time. They just seem really excited and hopeful for change. But I need remember rather I am quarter time or half time or full time I need to work with them not for them. I figure if I say it and write it enough I might actually do it.
On the personal side, my boyfriend and I are going to the beach together in three days! I can't wait it will be the first beach vacation that I have had in a few years. Then two weeks after that I spend a week volunteering at our conference camp. Something I look forward to even though it is a pretty tiring week.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I received lots of positive feed back. even more then the usual that was very nice dear that I tend to hear. People seemed to really listen to the message, which was about being inclusive and welcoming toward theological and cultural diversity. During joys and concerns many joys were shared over upcoming mission projects with some of the immigrant families that are in the area. I was pleased to hear that. Right now the church has no mission budget but I am hoping to change that.
We had an administrative council meeting after church which also went well. They seem like a group that works well together. They were very open to the few ideas that i had.
I was very encouraged by a conversation that i had after church with a couple of members who said they were looking forward to fresh ideas. I keep hearing that and I am starting to believe that they really want them. I'm hoping sooo!
Sunday left me feeling really good for a variety of reasons.. one i survived my first service of the church were I'm the only pastor, two i actually enjoyed myself, the congregation seems sincerely happy to have me , and I'm excited to work with them!
Not that is was all peaches.. i left out a word in the unison prayer when i printed it in the bulletin and i knocked over my water while we were singing the third hymn right before I preached, and it was a union service with another church in the area so I have no idea if many of the people typically attend my church or the other church
Good things are to come! thanks be to God!
Friday, July 20, 2007
Friday 5- looking back, looking forward
When I began work here at Downham Market a wise friend told me that after one year I would see a few changes and sense God at work- years two and three would cause me to question and to wonder why I had chosen to accept the post here and in year four I might see the beginnings of something new.And so with that in mind alongside yesterdays celebrations I bring you Friday 5 Looking back, looking forward..
1. Share a moment/ time of real encouragement in your journey of faith as scary and as acrazy as I think it is sometimes my call to ministry was that moment, because if God can Call me to do this work then he really does love me no matter how many times I've turned my back
2. Do you have a current vision / dream for your work/ family/ministry? work right now = school and my vision and dream for that is to not only survive it but enjoy it
family dream is to spend the rest of my life with the man I love and make each other as happy as possible
ministry- engergize people make them excited about their faith
3.Money is no object and so you will..... live in differnt countries for a couple years at a time then pick up and move to the next doing service projects
4. How do you see your way through the disappointments? What keeps you going? I try to
remind myself that other people face similar struggles or worse and knowing that they survived keeps me going
5. How important are your roots? they help me know everything I want adn don't want
6. Bonus= I am forever grateful for my friends whom many of I now consider family
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I went to a wedding and the movies this weekend. The pastor for the wedding that i was at was to say it nicely interesting. The homily was more of a sermon, much longer then it needed to be and made us all feel like it was 1950 again. And I sat through the movie (transformers) thinking about how it could be used for a children's sermon. Wow how my life has changed since I answered this call!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
In other news, my new bf and I are taking a long weekend to the beach! :-)
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I also worshiped with the congregation that I become a pastor of officially on Sunday. I met lots of wonderful people and I am I truly looking forward to becoming their pastor. Their current pastor had a wonderful liturgy all about change. He has been extremely helpful in this transition.
This is the last week of my summer class. YAY!!!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
5. Describe a perfect place to read. ( could be anywhere!!!) In the summer in a Park... my favorite is congresspark
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Dear class,Forgive me for interrupting your summer interlude, but I wanted to let you know of one more relevant issue to our course. My wonderful colleague and our music director, Mark Miller, is being attacked with a full press by UMAction and Institute for Religion and Democracy. According to them he is unacceptable to lead music at General Conference next year because he is a self proclaimed gay man. YOu may remember the stories he told us about General conference in the past where he has been a powerful prophetic voice. They are well funded and have mailed all the churches in the country to get a letter writing campaign going to protest the selection of Mark and his co director Marcia McFee (who will be teaching for us this summer. This makes me so sad and angry, to see someone with such a generous and loving spirit and dedication to God attacked this way. I have felt the presence of God so often in the midst of music lead by Mark. He is an incredible person and musician, and we have had to work hard at Drew to keep him from being lured away. This is what our class was about--the power of religion to destroy and do harm.IF you want to write letters of support to counteract this campaign, let me know and I'll provide the addresses. I just thought that since so many of you had been moved by Mark's presence in class that I needed to let you know.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
editor's note: while writing this post the current pastor of the congregation I am serving called and I will be meeting and worshiping with the congregation this Sunday
Thursday, May 31, 2007
- Summer class= not so much fun, not sure if it is the material or the fact that it is a summer class
- I am moved out of Drew Housing
- My love life is the best it has been in a long time maybe ever
- I am in a good place spiritually mentally
- I really need to pick up my exercise routine
- I am excited to have at least one more Saratoga Summer, but I am not looking forward to living with my parents
- I'm still dealing with the fact that soon i will not be worshiping but leading the worship and that makes me a little sad
Friday, May 25, 2007
I was feeling OK about how it went. I didn't think it was spectacular or anything. Then the chair of the committee came into to my pastor's office (the meeting was held at the church I attend) to fill out some paper work and I was sitting there and she paid me a really nice complement which totally caught me off guard. However, it made me realize that I really can do this. I have been feeling pretty good lately about the whole going into ministry thing anyway, but for the first time I really understood that this really is in me. I had a conversation with one of my friends about it and I related it this way. It's like at a job interview you go out of your way to impressive to the point were you almost try so hard to be yourself that you aren't. I didn't feel that way. I really felt like just being me was enough. Gosh, I really hope that I am not sounding cocky here. The reason why I am sharing is because I have never really had this feeling before. I've always felt like my successes were someone else's. While now I have this understanding of being fully capable of fulfilling my call I know that I will always always always be indebted to and in of the people in my support system [especially my mentor cause she rocks! ;-) ] and that they are part of the reason that I am capable. Thanks y'all
As many of you know, I have been experimenting with some severely curtailed Internet usage. I realized that I had gotten into some bad habits, which got me thinking about habits in general. I understand that a habits/random facts meme has already been going around. In the hopes that it hasn't hit too many of us yet, be as lighthearted or as serious as you'd like with the following:
1. Have you ever successfully quit a bad habit, or gotten a good habit established? Tell us about how you did it. I used to be a nail biter as a kid and I think I just grew out of it
2. "If only there were a 12-step program for _________________!" Buying music on itunes and procrastination
3. Share one of your healthy "obsessions" with us. The hallmark store, everyone loves getting snail mail!
4. Share the habit of a spouse, friend or loved one that drives you C-R-A-Z-Y. I have one friend who doesn't say good bye when she hangs up the phone.
5. "I'd love to get into the habit of ___________________." Running
Bonus: What is one small action you might take immediately to make #5 a reality? put on my sneakers and go do it
Bonus 2: Try it, and let us know how it goes in a future post!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007RevGalBlogPals, Inc., was to be able to attract grant support for a large scale RevGalBlogPal meetup? My dream from the beginning has been attracting financial support that would allow as many of our bloggers to be together as possible.
RGBP, Inc. now has a planning committee, and we are in the early stages of planning the RevGalBlogPal Big Event. What, When, Where and Who are all on the table at the moment. In that spirit, I bring you the Big Event Friday Five.
1. What would the meeting be like? (Continuing Ed? Retreat? Outside Speakers? Interest Groups? Workshops? Hot Stone Massages? Pedicures? Glorified Slumber Party?)
2. When in 2008 might you be able to attend? January? Shortly after Easter? Summer? Fall? Some other time?
3. Where would your dream meeting location be? (Urban Hotel? Rural Retreat Center? New England Camp? Southwestern Fantasy Hotel? Far away from civilization? Nearby Outlets or Really Great Thrift Stores?)
4. Who would make a great keynote speaker? (That's if #1 leads us in that direction.)
5. Did I leave out something you want to suggest?
Dream big for the Big Event!!!
This is a tough one because there is so many possibilities
1. I think I would like to see half workshops half retreat so maybe 2 days of workshops 2 days of retreat
2. I'm a student so summer works best for me.
3. Well the question said Dream so I would say a tropical island, but more realistically i love be at Resort anywhere in the country. I think resort would provide workshop space and retreat space.
4. I think a female in leadership role with in the Church ie a Bishop would be great. I would love to hear Judith Craig
5. I think it would be great to have a panel discussion of women who are at different stages in their ministry.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Reverend Mother says:
There are two types of people in the world, morning people and night owls. Or Red Sox fans and Yankees fans. Or boxers and briefs. Or people who divide the world into two types of people and those who don't. Let your preferences be known here. And if you're feeling verbose, defend your choices!
1. Mac? (woo-hoo!) or PC? (boo!)
Why yes, the Friday Five author reserves the right to editorialize!
2. Pizza: Chicago style luscious hearty goodness, or New York floppy and flaccid?
3. Brownies/fudge containing nuts:
a) Good. I like the variation in texture.
b) An abomination unto the Lord. The nuts take up valuable chocolate space.
[or a response of your choosing]
4. Do you hang your toilet paper so that the "tail" hangs flush with the wall, or over the top of the roll like normal people do?
5. Toothpaste: Do you squeeze the tube wantonly in the middle, or squeeze from the bottom and flatten as you go just like the tube instructs?
Bonus: Share your favorite either/or.
1 PC but i am seriously considering a switch
2. NEW YORK all the way that is the real way to eat pizza. And you must fold the slice to eat it!
editor's note: There seems to be a lot of NY pizza haters out there and y'all don't know what you are missing!
3. Bring on the Chocolate
4. I go back and forth on this one.. right now I am an over the top girl!
5. flatten you must flatten
Bonus... it's BBQ season hot dogs or hamburgers.... I'm a hamburger girl but I do like one good grilled hot
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Again Of course we weren't done with the homosexuality legislation. There were some resolutions before us on Saturday. We did not use the circle process for these and the theatrics began. You know it just amazes me the venom church folks spew. Especially pastors. I don't care where you stand on the issue there is no reason to be hateful in your words. Especially a pastor. Do they not realize the damage that they are doing? Especially to young adults? Children are killing themselves because even their pastor does not care about them. That is very troubling to me. A pastor stood and said something to the effect that people need to enter marriage for the right reasons as if all heterosexuals enter marriage for the right reasons or all homosexual people enter for the wrong reasons. What really triggered me though was when he said if we allow gays to get married the next thing we know we will be allowing people to marry their dogs. I am not quite sure I understand that argument. Why is it every time we talk about homosexuality, people against homosexuals make the comparison to bestiality and pedophilia? If you have to stretch that far to make the argument maybe your argument isn't that good. The dog comment drew me to the microphone though. I was quite angry but we had respectful speaking rules given to us by the bishop and I am a new candidate for ministry so I was respectful and to the point. And simply said that the church should recognize any two people who wanted to confess their love and commitment to each other before God. I wanted to say more but I knew if I said anything else I would get very heated. So I chose not to. I did receive some thanks for what I said. Happily those petitions passed as well.
The one issue at conference that I got so upset about I had o leave the room was unexpected. We were dealing with giving churches media grants to put screens and power point into churches. I could not believe the number of people who argued against it. It was troubling to me because media helps bring in youth and young families. I have seen how much the PowerPoint because we are a dying denomination. It helps connect people to the service. Even something as simple as it lifts people's heads out of the hymnals and the singing is so much brighter. Anyway the media grants went down in defeat. It just makes me sad our churches had the opportunity to connect with a new generation and turned it down.
The best part of conference was the social aspect. I got to meet a lot of pastors and did some hanging out with people I would have never thought I would have spent time with. the fellowship was definitely the highlight of conference. I have even more respect and admiration for my mentor, who by the way was elected as one of our two clergy delegates to General conference. I made some connections that will be nice to have and a lot of pastors who have offered their support to me. That time spent away from legislation was invaluable for me.
So now I am in prayer for my conference and for those whose conferences are yet to come.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Let me just say going to conference this year was quite the interesting experience. I'll start with my hot button issue. So This was the annual conference where we repented and reconciled for the racism and discrimination of the central jurisdiction. Well what a joke that was. The intention I think was very good. The conference has taken steps to right it's wrong. We can't drag minorities into our pews, but we have had racial and cultural sensitivity training. We've done quite a bit. I do give the conference credit for that. But these two services were bad. The first service of repentance was a two hour service at the end of which we forgave ourselves. Honest to goodness, no lie we forgave ourselves. The bishop's sermon was more of a history lesson. She did have a few high moments of calls to action and the need to recognize our privilege, but I thought there should have been more. In fact one of my pastor friends came up with a great new term. Hermeneutical mutiny: when the congregation wants to storm the pulpit. Anyway back to the forgiving ourselves. So we wrote the service, had a few token members of our sister pan-African denominations at the service , then asked one of them to stand up and read a statement of forgiveness which we had written. It was sad. I was angry and ashamed. I was given hope that there were quite a few people who felt the same way about the service. Of course there were some that thought it was wonderful. SCARY!!!
So then the next morning we had a service of reconciliation. Again let's tote out the token minorities again. There were two speakers whose sermons were very touching , although they were given by two white women. At least what they had to say was relevant. Then we had all the minorities who felt called to do so come up on the stage. the great thing was there were inclusive of all minorities, not just blacks. So we had Koreans, Africans, African - Americans, Native Americans, and Multiracial people on stage it was nice to see. then without warning we were asked to introduce ourselves. Then we had to introduce ourselves (yes I went on stage) and say something. A little warning about that would have been nice. Anyway I spent the rest of the day at conference with people seemingly feeling awkward, but still asking me so what is your herbage. I was kind of interesting to see the reaction people had. But in particular i have really come into my own comfort level with my multi-racialness. It is not who, but it part of me. I can't help the fact that my skin is not as dark as others think it should be. My father is black. My mother is white, I look like i am white. I am not. I am not white. I am not black. I am mixed I am me and I am proud that I can say that and not care how much that may unsettle other people. I must say that I will not forget how much it meant to me when a retired pastor who knows my family very well came up and told me how proud of me he was for going up on stage. Anytime I struggle with my identity in ministry I will keep that with me.
Then came two hot button topics. Our statement about the withdrawal from Iraq and homosexuality. the Iraq discussion was a little unexpected seeing how at district conference we had no discussion about it. We passed the statement after about an hour of debate. Of course the man sitting next to me said how dumb we were because we would just create a christian genocide. As if there aren't Christians dying there already. But he is also the man that was convinced that the NY part of our conference should care less about VT because they seceded from us 200 years ago. Yes there are always a few.
That's all for now installment two will happen shortly
Friday, April 27, 2007
2. Pondering.. how will I be effective in ministry..
3. Reading.. i am in seminary I'm reading lots of stuff for school
4. Dreaming... two things the possibilities of a future of healing and positive change and this great new person in my life
5. Eating.. mart ones ravioli
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Now I know that this feeling may not last forever. that my questions nerves and doubts on occasion are going to rear their ugly head. I will need to live in those moments and see what comes out of them.
I just have to say thank you to the wonderful people around me who listen to me and support me as i drift from one emotion to another and still love me just the same.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
This past Saturday was our district conference. It went fairly well. legislation was very quick but we of course couldn't talk about most of the legislation. We are saving all of that for Annual conference Joy of Joys. although we did show two videos at conference that later became referred to as the white and black videos. We are having a service of repentance for the black racial discrimination of the past. We watched a video on the history of Black Untied Methodists. Right before that we watched a video about the potential merger of some of the conferences in New York State. There was not a single person of color in that video. It was interesting to see the contrast. Now none of the the NYS conferences are terribly diverse which i think is the bigger issue. The UM church in our region is not appealing to the minority community in the same way it doesn't really appeal to young adults. That is big issues. You can't have people in a video that don't exist. Not that there aren't any minorities in our conferences there are just very few.
One of the fellow pastors pointed out to me the hypocrisy of this repentance service. We are still contributing to to racism and discrimination. We have not learned from our past mistakes that is for sure. While I think this act/service is needed. We really need to change our actions!
Last thing and then I have to do some work before class. I am dating a wonderful guy. We meant through a mutual friend and it is in its very early stages but I have to say i am very happy!
Friday, April 20, 2007
He said to them, "Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. (John 21:5-7)
Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:5b)
This week I've been watching parents of the young people slain at Virgina Tech trying to make meaning out of the lives of their lost children, and each one seems to begin by focusing on something joyful about that child. It's a gift that most humans have brains wired to respond in that way. For some of us it can be harder to work our way out of dark places, but I believe joy remains the key. It is the spirit of resurrection.
Tell us about five people, places, or things that have brought surprising, healing joy into your life.
1. Spain and all things spanish and hispanic... who ever thought that another culture could bring one person such Joy
2. Little kids especially my cousins... The love of a child seems as thought it can change any mood into a bright one
3. Church.. although the church causes lots of pain and it is organization i struggle with often my church family has been amazing. Being in the sactuary makes me feel at peace, and worship has become surpingly important to me. A big change from when my parent shad to force me to go on Sundays
4. Music.. up until recently I had no idea how much listening to music brings joy to m life
5. My friends... I love them all and each one never ceases to surprise me.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
So a year ago I was getting ready to preach my very first sermon and I was waiting to hear back from Drew. Now i have preached a few times ( it still makes me nervous) and I am four weeks away from the end of my first year! This year has been quite the whirlwind and I know it will continue to be.
So I'm still on the path to ordination (as much as I can be), I'm developing what my theological stances are, constantly questioning and reexamining what my faith means to me, and have a new appreciation for the fine line between love and hate, because that is how I feel about the whole questioning and reexamining process.
God never ceases to amaze me and I am so thankful for that!
Here's to another year!
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Second, we as the black community have to look at the way we treat each other. In some hip-hop and rap music being called a nappy headed ho would be the least of my concerns. the use of the N word outrageous. How can we expect others to treat us with respect if we do not treat ourselves with respect?
We all ,every human being, needs to step up to plate and starting treating one another with respect. We need to teach our children what respect means, what it is to be respectful. That is missing big time right now in all communities. I glad that Imus is being called to task on this, but I am sad that every case of racism gets this kind of attention. If we don't make some serious changes this is a story that will be back again and again.
Finally, think it is a shame that the Rutgers women's basketball team and women's basketball are only making the press for these issues and not the successes they achieved this year.
The lunch I had with a friend on Good Friday and The sermon Easter morning really put things in perspective. Lunch with my friend really left me truly questioning why would I get ordained when there are points that I so clearly disagree with church on. The Easter sermon answered that for me. I believe in a powerful God. I believe in the Resurrection. I believe that in the hard times I get my strength from God. None of that is really new for me but this Easter I heard it very differently. My seminary friend and I chatted afterward and we both felt that we had been called on the carpet. Are we ready to put our faith where our mouths are?
I was also struck by a very different part of the scripture this year. The women hadn't listened, they were looking for Jesus in the tomb when they had been told he would be risen. It made me think what haven't I been listening to?
So my new plan is to listen. I need to be a much better listener
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I love you Grandpa!
check out these links
Saratogian number 2
So yesterday in systematic theology we were talking about process theology, which I truly enjoy. I enjoy it because a lot of it is how i have always felt but i just couldn't put a name to it yet. There is one thing that I am hung up on though... That is doesn't God really have a path for us does God know what is going to happen before it happens. Obviously before i went to school believe that god had a path for each of us, I mean it is the name of my blog, but I don't think I was ever a believer in this all controlling God who knows everything we are going to do before we do it. I mean that takes away the whole concept of free will. Yet I really feel like God does have some kind direction for us and influence over those choices. Of course it is our free will to accept that influence. I really like the idea of a God of possibilities... I'm just not quite sure what that means for my believes, my theology, or my life.
Yes I love it when a class gets me thinking and shakes things up...
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
As we near the end of the long journey toward Easter, a busy time for pastors and layfolk alike, I ponder the words of Isaiah and the relief and refreshment of a river in the desert.
For this Friday Five, name five practices, activities, people or _____ (feel free to fill in something I may be forgetting) that for you are rivers in the desert.
so this one was hard for me cause i do have some great rivers in the dessert
1. My friends... i have the most wonderful group of friends i easily take up all five spots with names of my friends but it would mean leaving people out.
2. Music... my mood determines the music i turn on and normally i feel much better
3. Worship... being in community to worship God 9 times out of 10 leaves me feeling renewed and refreshed
4. Cooking... i really enjoy it. some times i even enjoy doing it for myself but it is much more fun to cook for friends
5. Grey's Anatomy... ok this one is a little superficial but that one hour of TV a week when i forget about school and the world is just a great release
Editors Note: There are two big ones that I missed, writting both this blog and in my journal, and giving and getting hugs!
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
John 12:1-8 March 18, 2007
The last two verses of that scripture sound a lot like Jesus is saying pay attention to me the poor do not matter. “Let her alone… You always have the poor with you. You don’t always have me.” The sentiment certainly contradicts the teachings of Jesus found in the other Gospels. A Jesus who asks a man to sell all his possessions and give the profits to the poor (Luke 18:22). A Jesus asking his companions to ignore the poor is simply not a Jesus who comes to our mind. This statement taken at face value or out of context seems out of character.
I looked at how the other gospels handled this story and the other three have him saying very similar things there will always be poor people, but I will not always be here. It makes him seem downright conceited as if he should be the center of attention. As if the poor simply do not matter. When in reality the opposite is true the poor do matter. Sharing with the poor is one of the corner stones of Jesus’ ministry. So how can we see this statement in a better light?
Steve Khul a member and one time president of the crossing.org (a website designed to help people connect the bible with their daily life) examined the passage in this way:
One of our enduring problems is deciding what we should do about the poor among us. We agonize (and rightly so) about political, economic and social strategies that will truly help the poor. But the text identifies a deeper problem of the poor among us. It identifies the way Judas (and we) hides behind the poor, giving the illusion of concern, but only to betray them and advance our own self-interest (v. 6). Health care reform, welfare reform, are all undertaken to help the poor, or so the rhetoric goes. But whose pockets get lined in the process? The fact that "the poor are always with us" gives us the answer: not the poor, but we would-be helpers, the Judas' of the world. As such, the persistent presence of the poor in our midst represents more than failed economic and political systems. They represent our thievery, our greed, our moral poverty, though always well-hidden.
It is not that our well meaning social programs aren’t exactly that; well meaning but are they really helping the issue of poverty? This is true in our own country and I found this to be very true in
For thirty years
Another staggering problem in
Now if we take this scripture at face value than according to Jesus it is ok we can forget those suffering with illness and disease mostly because they are poor. That is what he is saying. Right? Somehow I don’t think so. I think what he is saying here is stop fussing over them and making a show of it. He is asking is companions not to let Mary alone, not because he thinks she is less of her as a person due to her economic status. He is asking them to let her alone because their comments are not about taking action to change the situation. Jesus is not about words, he is about action. Jesus is about taking real steps to create positive change. He would much prefer his companions to look at their own lives, instead of judging Mary. It would be more productive if they took steps to live more simply. He encourages simple living for a variety of reasons. First, we can not worship two gods. We can not worship our things and God. Secondly, the more simply we live the more there is to share. Just think if we cut back on the resources we used. Think of the amount of waste we produce and the resources we abuse.
It is especially important that we figure out how to address the poor seeing how we live in the richest country in the world. Our poor would be considered wealthy in other countries. We live very comfortable lives. What do we do for the poor? What do we do for the poor in our country and in other countries? I recently watched the Diane Sawyer special Waiting on the world to change. The special focused on those struck by poverty in
It is actions such as those then can help create change. It is in taking these actions and making changes that we can live out our Christianity. In the scripture Jesus asks his companions to stop judging Mary because they are simply talking and not doing anything. Not only are his companions not doing anything, but Mary is honoring him. She is taking action to demonstrate her faith. In the last verse Jesus says “She’s anticipating and honoring the day of my burial." Anticipating and honoring. Honoring. Yes his guests have invited him to a banquet, but it is Mary who showed her reverence for him. The actions of the poor and oppressed Guatemalans remind me of the actions of Mary. In their pain and in their poverty they still reach out to each other. They share with each other. They share with complete strangers. I was absolutely amazed at their hospitality and warmth. Everyplace we went the people welcomed us. I can’t count the number times I was hugged, the number of times that I was told I was family. These people were absolutely serious. At first we thought it was simply because we were Americans, but it had nothing to do with that. Two of the three medical clinics we visited were started by men in their homes. The men who started these clinics and the men and women who staffed these clinics often get very little in return. Many of them have jobs beside the medical clinics. The medical clinic was their offering to their community. They just as easily could have only helped their own family. One if the men actually donated the land that the clinic was on. Not only did he donate the land for a Medical clinic but also for a church as well because the nearest church was a two hour walk that the majority of the community actually made. That was valuable farm land. Farmland that his family used to make their money. Now they work in another farmer’s field or find other means of a job for income. It just shows those with the least sharing the most.
So how is it that Jesus can so easily say leave the poor alone because they are always with you? Especially when it seems that there is so much that we can learn from them. Yet if all we do are going to do is chastise them then maybe it would be better to “let them alone” and follow Jesus. Of course in following the example of the life of Jesus there seems no way it is possible to ignore the poor. Jesus knew that He really wanted to people to live out his teachings. He never asked anyone to worship him, he called them to action. He called them to spend time in prayer, to give up their positions, to love one another as they love themselves. All that involved action, involved change, often hard changes. Yet, those changes are necessary to live a life closer to God.
I would like to share a portion of a poem by Calvin Miller with you
My easy Christ has left the church.
Who can say why?
Maybe it’s because His video-logged apostles all
read diet-books, travel agency brochures
and Christian fiction thrillers
on how the world should end
But none read books on what the starving ignorant
should do until it does.
He left the church so disappointed that Americans
could all spell “user friendly”
but none of them could spell “
Can we say for sure he’s quit?
Oh yes, it’s definite, I’m afraid:
He’s canceled his pledge card.
I passed him on the way out of the recreation building
near the incinerator where we burn
the leftover religious quarterlies
and the stained paper doilies
from our Valentine banquets.
“Quo Vadis, Domine?” I asked him.
“Somewhere else,” he said.
My easy Christ has left the church,
walking out of town past seminaries where
student scholars could all parse the ancient verbs
but few of them were sure why they had learned the art.
He shook his head counfounded that many
had studied all his ancient words
without much caring why he said them.
He seemed confused that so many
studied to be smart, but so few prayed to be holy.
Some say he left the church
because the part-time missionaries were mostly tourists
on short-term camera safaris,
photographing destitution to show the
pictures to their missionary clubs back home.
I cannot say what all his motives were.
I only know I saw him rummaging through dumpsters
that he could multiply.
“Quo vadis, Domine?” I asked him.
“Somewhere else,” he said.
He’s gone - the melancholy Messiah’s gone.
I saw him passing by the beltway mega-temple
circled by its multi-acred asphalt lawn,
blanketed with imports and huge fat vehicles
nourished on the hydrocarbons of distant oil fields
where the poor dry rice on public roads
and die without a requiem, in unmarked graves.
Is it certain he is gone?
There are issues in this poem that I struggle with. I went on a mission trip and I’m sharing my pictures with you after this sermon. There in lies my struggle in that by sharing these pictures that I took with my digital camera I want to share my experience, but while I am really am sharing my experience I am also demonstrating my privilege. Jesus did not start his ministry in order to start a new faith tradition. His ministry focused on the way people lived in relationship to God and to each other. We as present day Christians especially United States have a lot of work to do. Everyday feel like I struggle with tough questions and choices the same way you do. Most days I don’t know if I get it right. They are tough choices and decisions. It is my prayer for each of us we can make these decisions thinking about the example Jesus has given us.