Monday, December 31, 2007

Year End Post

So it is December 31st. I can't believe the year 2007 is over. I am not quite sure what to thing about this year. I do know that the year really flew by. It seems like it was just a few months ago that I was packing to go to Guatemala. Guatemala was with out a doubt a life changing experience. I am so glad i took that trip. 2007 was the first full calendar year that I spent in seminary. It has probably been the toughest year of my academic and personal life. I have grown and changed a lot over this year. My friendships have become the most important piece of my life. with out these friendships I don't know how I would survive. This year I have really learned the friends that I can count out, and what it truly means to be a friend. I have learned that friends come and go and that going doesn't always need to be a dramatic event. That sometimes friendships just change and occasionally they end, but that does not make them any less valuable.

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*

Well I am almost done with my traditional holiday festivities. The last stop will be around 5:30 when we go tot my paternal grandparents house for dessert and presents. I have survived my first Christmas Eve service, although I thought I was going to lose my voice. the service was nice and more special to me than I thought it was going to be. Christmas eve has always been my favorite day of the holiday season. even all those years that I had to go to the evil uncle's house, Christmas eve has always been my favorite. Mostly because of church services. As I looked onto the congregation with their candles lit, every happy memory of every Christmas eve came rushing back.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Let it snow let it snow let it snow

OK well i am going back on what I used to say. I used to always so I liked snow until Christmas and then I was done. well I have decided I like snow on Christmas eve as long as it is not to much to mess up travel plans, so that there can be a bout an inch or two of snow on the ground for Christmas Day and then i am done. Same New Year's eve a light snowfall at Midnight is perfect. To bad I live in the Northeast and that is just not the case. We are well into storm number three. the first storm was mostly ice , the second storm was ice and snow and the third storm was snow (4inches) and now sleet. oh fun oh fun.

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

Winding Down

The Semester is winding down and the year is winding down. I haven't been blogging as much as often as i normally do. Not because I don't have a lot going on because some of it is not blogable and some because I have completely lacked motivation to do so. I am in such a weird place in my life. Last week at school i had a really crappy week. i don't know exactly what ti was but I felt really stressed and sad. The worst part about it was that i could with out a doubt feel God in it. It was a very odd place to be in. I;m starting to come out of that a little bit now.

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.:
1. Visit some friends this is already planned so i know i will get this done
2. Fill out and send off my application for CPE yes i know I am probably already to late
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


In other news I cut my hair. And I mean I really cut it. I had about 10 inches cut off and I donated it. I am getting used to the new style but everyone else seems to like it. I also lately have been worried about being single forever. While I am fully aware there is nothing wrong with being single for some reason the past week and half i have been really dwelling on it. I used to be the girl who championed singleness. Oh well. Not to much else is really going on. I am excited about getting to see my friends over January. I have some other political/ social justice/church stuff I am going to blog about but they will have to wait.

Off to bed before the final tmw

Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday Five!

Here then is this weeks Friday 5:

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

Friday Five! Bah Humbug

Parishioners pushing for carols before you digested your turkey?

Organist refusing to play Advent hymns because he/she already has them planned for Lessons & Carols?

Find yourself reading Luke and thinking of a variety of ways to tell Linus where to stick it? (Lights please.)

Then this quick and easy Friday Five is for you! And for those of you with a more positive attitude, have no fear. I am sure more sacred and reverent Friday Fives will follow.

Please tell us your least favorite/most annoying seasonal....
1) dessert/cookie/family food... First is Fruit Cake, my Dad loves the stuff. Next is anything my uncle's second wife cooks

2) beverage (seasonal beer, eggnog w/ way too much egg and not enough nog, etc...) The home brewed beer my uncle gives us ( yes the same uncle with the wife that can't cook)

3) tradition (church, family, other) the staircase picture with my cousins at said uncle's house

4) decoration those blow up lawn ornaments especially when there are 250 on one lawn

5) gift (received or given) received fondue sets and yes it is sets plural because we got them several years in a row ( guess which person gives us that every year!)

BONUS: SONG/CD that makes you want to tell the elves where to stick it. Johnny Mathis not because he is a bad singer but because my mom plays it over and over again! Also, several songs were ruined for me because my favorite uncle used to force the cousins to sing them

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

Found this interesting

I found this interesting.. I found this at cheesehead's and she found it elsewhere:

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

Certified!!!!

I am a certified candidate for ordained ministry in the United Methodist church ( well provisionally assuming my psych eval is ok and nothing comes up in my back ground check. I am super excited. I wasn't to nervous going in. Only a little bit. I feel like I answered the question honestly and with integrity. I think one of the members is less than thrilled with. This one person basically asked me if you have to be part of a church to follow Jesus .. my answer in a nut shell NO. Yes I think Church helps in many ways, but is not a requirement. I mean aren't we supposed to be promoting and encouraging faith spirituality and a relationship with God and not just the church?

But I still passed my DCOM .....One more step down about a million to go.....



HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bullet Style

Life has been crazy so here it is...
  • 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...
Sorry that some of these are cryptic but that is how it has to be

Friday, November 09, 2007

Perspective

I am watching 20/20 right now and Diane Sawyer is doing a follow up to her story on Camden, NJ . It really puts things in perspective. When you hear a 13 year old say they have never had a best day in his life, that is sad. When you see a kid who really wants to be in school, knows that his only ticket out of poverty is an education and they are willing to do whatever they need to get it. You realize how much they take for granted. You realize exactly how selfish we are and how much we live in a bubble. I just can't express right now the desperation and in honesty guilt I feel.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Hello anyone home?

That maybe the question you are asking yourself about this blog. I have not been blogging with any type of regularity this semester. There are multiple reasons for that. First, school is kicking my butt this semester. Not so much in terms of work but in terms of being mentally draining. Even then it is not the I am learning so much I don;t know what to do with myself sense. Instead in more of the I am in class I should be learning something right? sense. Not that all my classes are bad. They just aren't as stimulating and exciting as the were last year. Therefor they do not lend themselves to be blogged about.

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

MY return to the Friday Five

I haven't played in a while so here it is!

It's a Pumpkin/Apple Friday Five

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

Lost and Found

I have lost my school mojo if someone could help me find it that would be great..... darn second year!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A few questions

Ok so I have questions for y'all...

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

So apparently I am a little better than I thought

So today I preached for my preaching class and m delivery still needs some work. OK a lot of work, but apparently what I was saying was really good. My peers were helpful in what their critique of my delivery. I was very surprised about their reaction to my content. It helped me realize that I really do have the potential to be a preacher. Part of my delivery will get better as I have confidence in what I am saying.

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

Not pleasntly surprised

So my bf( well.. now ex ) broke up with me over the phone on Saturday.... The reason you ask " I am an amazing person, but I need more dating experience before I get married, which I would like to do in the next four years." WHAT THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO SAY TO THAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

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

pleasantly surprised

So yesterday I was a little nervous about my sermon.l Not because I didn't like or didn't think it was good, but because it was very clear social justice sermon. My past few sermons have kind of hinted at social justice and this one more less came out and said we all ( myself included and I was very clear about that) need to be more social justice conscious. I wasn't quite sure how they congregation was going to react. Well they liked it. And told me so, in more then that was a nice sermon on their to coffee hour. One person actually raised it in the joys and concerns, that the sermon was a joy. And this is how I know they really go it.. they were talking about it during coffee hour. They were talking about their experiences with poverty. I was pumped. Hopefully good things are to come.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Ahh the school life

Ok So I know i spend a lot of time on here complaining and sounding very bitter, but I have to admit that i really do like school, and I like ministry. Sometimes it is just easier to complain....

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

More about the new title

Yes I am procrastinating when I really have no time to procrastinate. But anyway i wanted to explain about my new title. The New tile reflects my love and identification with Process theology. In my systematic class we talked a lot about process theology and my professor always talked about how instead God being a puppeteer God was beckoning us or luring us. I love the journey metaphor so i put it all together. Hopefully my blog post will be more reflective of this title. So far second year has been a rocky road so we'll see what happens.... Now back to planning my service for Sunday.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

New Blog title and website

I changed my blog title and website address to better reflect where I am theologically

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Blog title

So my blog title doesn't really fit with my process theology self..... any suggestions for a new title.. it does not have to be process theology related but it could be...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Beginings

Well I am three weeks into my time with the little country church that I am serving. My biggest struggle right now is that there are no children in the church. None the only children that have been in the church have been visiting and they have been infants.
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

The whirlwind

That wind that you hear blowing is coming from my spinning head. School is back in swing and by swing I mean full swing. Welcome to second year and here is you 800 pages of reading to do oh and yes I am also a quarter time pastor at a church where I am the only pastor. So as one of my friends put it I am "quarter -time" ( please notice the quotes). All in all it is going well. I am excited to be back and school in the learning, expanding my brain mode, and I like being able to see my friends and my boyfriend on a regular basis. I have to be very intentional about spending time with my friends because I am not living on campus this year.

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

Friday Five!


Friday Five: Seasons Change...


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

Scared

My Blogging has not been very consistent nor has it been very interesting as of late. I have realized how much school really sparks my social consciousness, my spirituality, and obviously my intellect. It kind of scares me however that it takes school to do that..... What exactly does that say about me?...

Although I do know that I can't wait to be living in my own space...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Update

Well summer is flying by there are only three and half weeks left until classes start again. I can say that I am looking forward to classes beginning. At least then life will settle into a more regular routine.

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

Should be Writing a sermon

The kids are at friend's houses so I should be writing my sermon I did this instead...

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday five

Friday 5- floods and droughts




Here in the UK we are struggling with floods, other parts of the world have similar problems without the infrastructure to cope with it, still others are badly affected by drought.... My son Jon is in Melbourne Australia where apparently it has been snowing ( yes it is winter but still!).... With crazy weather in mind I bring you this weeks Friday 5...






1. Have you experienced living through an extreme weather event- what was it and how did you cope? The only extreme weather situation that I have to live through are a couple of huge snow storms. We just wait it out inside the house and hope the power doesn't go out. If it does we put on lots and lots of layers


2. How important is it that we wake up to issues such as global warming? Extremely important. We only have one planet to live on. We have a strong impact on the future of this planet


3. The Christian message needs to include stewardship of the earths resources agree/ disagree? Agree without a doubt. If we destroy creation around us we will eventually destroy ourselves


And because it is summer- on a brighter note....


4. What is your favourite season and why? Summer and early fall. I love the weather and the sunshine, the food, swimming and all of the outside events that happen in the summer. I like early fall because of football and fieldhockey games before it gets to cold. Plus I enjoy being able to wear shorts and a sweatshirt. :-)

5. Describe your perfect vacation weather.... Hot hot hot! as long as their is water near by

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My First Sunday

So my first Sunday serving my little country church is done. It went much better then I had expected. My original plan was to leave the service exactly as it was at least for the first couple of weeks I was there. Well that didn't quite happen. The service was about 90% the same as it had been in the past with a few minor changes. I put in a passing of the piece and my goodness it was like giving a bunch of little kids candy... they really seemed to enjoy it. The liturgist was nervous about how he would get their attention back, but it all worked out.

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 FIve!!!.. and it's a good one!

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

Summer bloggin

Well my blogging this summer has been very minimal. I guess i just haven;t had a whole lot to say. I have been babysitting most of the summer and trying to wrap my mind around my first year of seminary. My first church service for the church I will serving as my internship is July 22 so I am trying to get that service prepared.

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

Best thing I've hear in this Class..

Two posts in one day what?!?!? what?!?!?!?

You need to go into church every Sunday expecting a Miracle not only in your building but out on the street everyday!- My Prof

Summer Class

So I have realized summer class is not for me! I love summer to much and even though it only meets twice a week and the reading isn't that bad it just isn't the same. Plus it's took me a good three weeks to understand how this calls was going to help me in ministry. I'm taking pastoral care and counseling, and I obviously know i need that, but this one has been very much a clinical psychology/psychiatry class. But the second half has been really good.

In other news, my new bf and I are taking a long weekend to the beach! :-)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Weekend

So I had an absolutely glorious weekend. It was Jazzfest weekend in my hometown. My parents a few of my aunts and one of my longtime friends and her parents have gone every year for the last few years and my boyfriend joined us this year.It is a wonderful weekend of eating drinking and enjoying Jazz.

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

Worship

So this isn't going to be a long post it's more of a question and I know there aren't a lot of solutions but I'm asking it anyway.... What do all of you who are in ministry do about your own worship needs. My transition from simply being in worship and leading it is quickly approaching. And I know that I am really going to miss the experience of worship.. what do you all do to fill that need. when school is in session I will have chapel so that will help any other suggestions????

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Five!

Friday 5, books, books, books....


I've just returned from a meeting in Cambridge so I'm posting this late here in the UK (it is 3:45pm).. because I took the opportunity of a free afternoon in Cambridge's wonderful book shops... I only bought a few- and they were on sale- very restrained for me!!!


So with my head full of books I've seen and a long wish list in my mind, I bring you a Friday Five on books!!!


1. Fiction what kind, detective novels, historical stuff, thrillers, romance???? Hmm it really depends on my mood.. I like historical stuff and romance


2. When you get a really good book do you read it all in one chunk or savour it slowly? I read all in one chunk especially in the summer


3. Is there a book you keep returning to and why? I normally don't reread books but i keep returning to Gifts from the Sea. I'm not really sure what my draw is to it, but it is amazing, a great book about life.


4. Apart from the Bible which non-fiction book has influenced you the most? Nelson Mandela's autobiography it was the first autobiography that I read


5. Describe a perfect place to read. ( could be anywhere!!!) In the summer in a Park... my favorite is congresspark

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Since when do we get to decide who God's people are

This is the e-mail that I got from one of my profs today if you are interested in writing a letter let me know in the comments section and I will get you the addresses. For those of you who have never heard Mark Miller he makes amazing Music that in doubt is insipred by God and made for the Golory of God

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

Wow

SO this is such a new place for me to be in and it has lasted for about a month now so I'm quite pumped. I am feeling really good. My life just seems really well rounded and settled out. Maybe it has something to do with the new guy in my life, but I really think a lot of it has to do with me finally realizing that my path to the ordained ministry is well on it's way. Although having this great guy in my life doesn't hurt either. It was interesting in Bible Study on Sunday we had really great discussions and we really go into understanding the history of different texts and the different interpretations. It was awesome. People actually asked for more study. Let's hope that the church I will be serving starting this summer will want some of those same things. The discussions really affirmed how hard it is to really get clear understanding of scripture, how much unpacking there is to do. It's exacting and daunting to me. Especially because being in seminary right now it means that I do that all the time and I almost don't know how to read the text with trying to unpack it with out adding in all the context and history. Daunting because I know that in 20 minutes you just can't get it done. I am really afraid that I am bringing in all of this energy and won't have the time to use it all. Bigger fear is that it will be lost on the congregation. Right now I am going to go on living in the goodness and I'm thanking God for it the whole time.

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

Posting Dot Style

I thought I'd go this route since I don't have anything exciting to post about
  • 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
Coming soon reflections on my first year of seminary

Friday, May 25, 2007

My first DCOM meeting

For all of you who aren't Methodist DCOM stands for District Committee of (on?) Ordained Ministry. They are the first group of people who will decided rather or not I can be ordained. So I met with them for the first time yesterday. It was just a getting to know you meeting, so I wasn't to nervous. They asked me my call story, which I managed to leave out a chunk of ( so I guess i was a little more nervous then I thought). Then they asked the typical where did you go to undergrad?, what did you major in?, etc. The last question was what do you want us to know about you? this stumped me a little and then I came up with this: That my calling really is figure out some way to help my generation create a relationship with God then hopefully with the church. I talked about loss of the feeling of community etc.

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

Friday five

says:
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

It's official...

So I am officially going to start my first appointment as of July 1! Last week just as I was finishing up finals, i had my intake interview. I was way less nervous then I had anticipated being. I am really pumped for this. They (Staff parish relations committee) seemed really excited to have me and enthusiastic about bringing in some new energy. Of course saying it and actually being excited when I do something new are two different things, but I am going to remain hopeful. My plan is to kind of just let things settle the first few months I am there. The reason I say the first few months is because I only have to preach three times over the summer because they combine their worship with two other churches over the summer. So I'm open to prayers and advice....

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday five

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Five: Big Event Edition

Did you know that the major purpose for forming a non-profit, RevGalBlogPals, 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

Friday Five

Reverend Mother says:

Friday Five: Potato, Po-tah-to Edition

I am out all day Friday, so I beg your indulgence once again as I post an early Friday Five. Don't miss the absolutely marvelous Ask the Matriarch below--color coded, no less!


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

Annual Conference part 2

So the next big issue we had to deal with was of course the issue of sexuality.... because there is nothing else of importance going on in the world..... on Friday we dealt the petitions that we want to send to General Conference that removed all of the anti - homosexual language from the discipline. This is of course an issue that I care very deeply about. This is the issue that makes me question if I want to get ordained the most. It was kind of ironic to me that we had services of repentance and reconciliation the two previous days for discrimination in the past, but we are still participating in that discrimination, so much for learning from our mistakes. Well in order to discuss this hot button issue we used the circle process. We were assigned tables, so that we could hear from voices we wouldn't normally have heard from, and then each person sitting at the table was given time to talk. yet as a truncated circle process in that we were only allowed 3 minutes at a time to talk. at my table we made it around twice. There were diverse views on the subject. Overall I think the process helped to allow more people to be heard. It definitely didn't change any one's vote but there were no screaming matches. I am happy and proud to report that we passed all the petitions. They will most likely fail at general conference, but it is a start.

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

Annual Conference part 1

Well I just got back from my first full annual conference session. Yes we already had our annual conference, in Troy like to get 'em early I guess. I don't know why it was so early it has something to do with conference center scheduling i think.. So this was the first conference I have gone for the whole time. The past two years I have just shown up for a day or two. This year I was able to vote because I am not a certified candidate for ministry and no one else from my church wanted to go as the lay delegate so I got to go. Of course for the next two years i won't be able to vote because I'll be a lowly seminarian, but I 'll take that because I got to vote on the all important general conference stuff.

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

Revgals Friday five

Friday Five: What Are You...

1. Wearing.... Jeans and my favorite NYC Madrid T-shirt

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

In a good spot

I have to say that I am in the best spot that I have been in a really long time. A large part of it has to do with the facts that I am finally able to take steps to get the candidacy process started. Yes I still have lingering questions about "The church" are policies and actions. Yet, there is this just something inside me that says this is still the place for you. This is the place where you can live out God's call for your life. That taking this possibility is going to make you happy and be fruitful. A large part f that comes form classes this semester and hearing that these thoughts that I have had for a long time others have had, and are valid theological. Another part of that comes from so many people who are in ministry that these questions are OK to have and in some cases even good to have. Third I feel much better about myself. I feel better about my own identify. I don't feel like I have to fit into some mold. There is no mold that will make my a better friend, pastor, daughter, PERSON, etc. The only thing that i can be is me. Me has to be enough and if it's not well there is nothing I can do about it so I need to move on to the next thing.

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

So much to say so little time

Ok SO I haven't posted in a while but so much has been going on. School is going well I can't believe my first year is almost over. That is just crazy to me! This semester has been full of the usual ups and downs, but i feel like I am in a really good place. i think a lot of that comes from the people around me telling me that the questions I have are good and valid. I went back and looked at my journal from two years ago and it was very funny for me to be able to see my growth.

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

Friday Five

Friday Five: Surprised By Joy

Jesus said to them, "Children, you have no fish, have you?" They answered him, "No."
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

Blogiversary

Today is my one year Blogiversary! It was a year ago today that I started sharing my journey with you all. This blog has been a great outlet for me. I have through enjoyed the community here especially The Revgalblogpals, you guys rock!

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

Rutgers Basketball

I decided to way in on this since I am a huge fan of women's basketball and involved in racial issues. I am going to go out on a limb here and I may really anger some people but here it goes. First what Don Imus said was wrong. However, he has said worse, others have said A lot worse. Not that others doing it make it right. Yet, I think there is a bigger issue you here. first and foremost, Imus has been on the air for a long time obviously people listen to his show and are patrons to his advertisers and therefore his show makes money and he stays on the air. Just as Howard Stern is still in the business, and many others. Look at the success of South park. A show based on making fun of other people. We justify it by saying that well they make fun of everyone, why is that acceptable?

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.

More about Easter

I said that I would update the Easter post so here it is. So the past few weeks I have had a lot questions about rather or not I would seek ordination. My break helped me do some critical thinking about the question. I have always leaned on the side of getting ordained, and I still do. And I am by no means at the point where I can absolutely say yes that is where I will end up. I think now I just have more clarity on both sides of the issues, before it was so easy for me to get caught up in the negative.

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

Quickie

Just a quick post, I'll probably expand on it later. I had the most wonderful holy week. There was a nice mix of family time, school work, and church.

Speaking of church Easter morning was the rejuvenation I needed.

More later off to class

Thursday, March 29, 2007

PROUD MOMENT

I had to post about my amazing grandfather and the other Tuskegee airmen. Today they were awarded the Congressional medal of Honor ( as a group). After 65 years their service was finally recognized. They fought for a country that didn't even give them their respect. These men are the definition of hero!
I love you Grandpa!

check out these links
Saratogian
Times Union
ABC
Saratogian number 2

what I am pondering

So I love it when a class just really shakes me up. And no, I'm not being sarcastic, i do because it makes me think. It makes me think about the world,the church, and importantly about me and about what my beliefs are. I am not typically a me centered person. In fact sometimes I feel like I give so much to my friends that i don't allow them to give and sometimes that gets me in trouble ( but that is for another post)

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

Plugging away

We just had spring break two weeks ago and then we are off for holy week next and for some reason I really need it. And it sounds like I am not the only one.. my classmates are saying the same thing. Maybe it's spring fever, maybe it's something else... who knows. I have two more days of classes three more days till I head upstate for the week and I'm just going to keep plugging away until then!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday Five

I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19, NRSV

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

reflections on year 23

Well it is official I am 24 years old today. 23 was a good year. It was the year where I really started coming into my own. It was much better then 22 when spent the first part still in college and the second half confused. This year has been great. I decided to go to seminary, applied, got in and started. I preached my first sermon. I struggle some days with my decision to go into ordained ministry, but I am loving theology school. I have been more honest with myself and those around in the past year than I have ever been. I have real goals and dreams. I am surround by a great support system. The people in my life right now are amazing. The experiences I have had this year will profoundly. My relationship with God is ever changing , yet ever present. 23 has been a great year... I'm hoping 24 is even better!

Monday, March 19, 2007

fun stuff

My latest sermon

I thought i would post my latest sermon. I was pretty proud of this one. I got some positive feedback from the congrgation and I thought it ( and others did too) it was my best deilvery of a sermon yet. Let me know what you think....

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 Guatemala. Guatemala is a beautiful country. It’s a country with beautiful landscapes and a country where the people are warm and welcoming. It is a country where minimum wage is $5 dollars a day and 75% of the people live at or below the poverty line. A country where for some families their one meal a day may come from table scrapes or possibly what they scrounge from a dump. It is staggering to see the devastation that the government caused to their own people, especially the native people.

For thirty years Guatemala raged in a violent civil war. People were disappeared (kidnapped and killed), or simply murdered for no reason other than the government wanted to. The peace accords were signed 1996. Yet, sadly the Guatemalan government is hiding behind their poor. For example, Guatemala has a 70% literacy rate which is low in itself, but it is even more tragic when you hear the truth behind it. It is true that 70% of the population who is registered with government is literate. However, it is impossible to register with the government if you do not have the money to do so.

Another staggering problem in Guatemala is health care. When we were in Guatemala we visited several medical clinics that were mostly supported by United Methodist Churches here in the states. They were not supported by the government at all. In fact they where set up in response to the poor health care provided by the government. In each department (more like a country then a state) there is a hospital. And in communities that the central government deems large enough there is a clinic. Not bad for a nation recovering from a war that lasted over 30 years. What they don’t tell you is often the walk to a clinic is hours. They don’t tell you that the public hospitals and clinics are often closed because the doctors refuse to work because the conditions are unsafe for both the doctors and the patients. Now of course there are private hospitals that serve those who can afford them. Unfortunately most of the people suffering are the poor. At the clinic we visited the cases they treated the most was dehydration due to diarrhea because if lack of clean drinking water.

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 Camden, NJ. There was this one little boy who was so excited about starting school in the fall. He worked very hard all summer learning his numbers while he moved from temporary housing to temporary housing. By the time he went to kindergarten he could count to 10, yet he could not name the three meals of the day. He never had eaten three meals a day. So poverty is a problem in our own country. It is the actions of our own country and other developed countries that have perpetuated the problem of poverty around the world. 20% of the world’s population live in developed nations and consume 86% of the world’s goods. In the US 40-50% of all food ready for harvest never gets eaten. The wealthiest 20 % of nations in the world consume 58% of total energy, while the poorest fifth consume less than 4% , the wealthiest 20% of nations in the world have 74% of all telephone lines, the poorest 20% have 1.5%, the wealthiest 20% of nations consume 84% of all paper, while the poorest 20% consume 1.1% the wealthiest 20% of nations own 87% of the world’s vehicle fleet, the poorest 20% own less than 1%. These numbers are staggering. Yet, while these numbers are staggering there are actions we can take to change this. First, we can volunteer in mission. I think experiencing poverty first hand is the best way to learn about it. To live with out hot water for a week or with out constant electricity can be an eye opening experience. Now I know not everyone feels they have the time to go out of the country in mission. There are plenty of opportunities for mission in our own country. There are depressed areas all over the country and even in our immediate area. How about volunteering at a soup kitchen or mentoring a student. Well, then that would take away from family time, what better way to spend family time then to volunteer together? Volunteering not your thing, what about making an effort at cutting back on consumption? Using high efficient light bulbs, eating a vegetarian meal once a week, making sure plastic gets recycled.

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 “Gethsemane

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

in Djakarta looking for a scrap of bread

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?

It is.

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.