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

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