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Showing posts from March, 2006

Tired, Stressed and Weary

Change is never easy. For church members, change in their church is not usually easy (unless things are so dysfunctional that they have to get better or the church is going to collapse). Our church here in River City is changing. Some members think it is for the worse; others think it is for the best. I only know that I am trying to follow God's will for this place. But oh, it is hard some days--I feel like I'm pulling uphill.

I woke up today feeling like I just got off the Tilt-A-Whirl (carnival ride, for those of you outside North America). I thought maybe I needed breakfast. So I ate some toast. It didn't go away. Well, I've been keeping some late hours, so maybe I was short on sleep. I tried going back to sleep. Nope. DP finally talked me into calling the doctor and making an appointment. See, I have what they call an arachnoid cyst. It's a benign fluid-filled cyst in the arachnoid layer of the brain. Totally harmless, probably had it all my life, only found it …

Friday Five on Friday (now, don't faint)

Five things I would have on the shelves in my store"
1. Books, books, books! Lots of good books of all kinds, from theology to fiction to history to poetry to photographs to essays....
2. Food, food, food! (needed to go with No. 1). All those hard to find things that are so good--the special chutneys and jellies and mustards and pretzels and spices and cookies and candies and teas and coffees and sauce mixes and soups and....
3. Gadgets, gadgets, gadgets! Little thises and thats--the neat pepper-mill, the page markers that don't damage the pages, the book holders, the spaghetti measurers...
4. Pet goodies, pet goodies, pet goodies! Treats, fancy collars, dishes, food containers, toys, furniture, beds...
5. CDs, CDs, CDs! All my favourite whimsies, from movie soundtracks to singers and showtunes and operas and sacred music--Rutter to Mozart to Etheridge to Moody Blues to Louis Armstrong to Cabaret to Bernstein's Mass to Figaro to Grease....

And it would be in a huge octogon-shap…

A Sunday Morning Walk...

Well, I hang my head in embarrassment. After getting al upset because I felt ignored, here I go not even posting for a week or more!

Life. Sometimes I get so busy with living, I forget to have a life!

There’s a group of women here in River City that has started meeting regularly on Sunday mornings to hike on one of the many nature trails in the area. They set it up for Sunday mornings because DP and I have church on Sunday afternoons. Many of them bring their dogs—it’s for fun, not a hard workout for fitness. I went yesterday for the first time, with the dog, Mr. M—DP has gone before. What a blast!

It was cold but sunny, in that Midwestern way, where the wind whips tears from your eyes, which then freeze in the corners of your eyes, and makes your nose run. Lots of people were on the trail, taking advantage of the dry—and relatively warm—weather (one of my friends who has worked above the Arctic Circle jokes about the warm weather anytime the thermometer reads above 0…).

I could just see …

Thursday Thoughts...

So the crisis is treated for the moment (final resolution to be decided, but immediate flames have been doused). My midday sermon for the Anglicans was as close to a triumph as such a creature can get (I was invited back “any time"). I met with a couple I’m marrying in June (they’re getting married, I’m officiating, just for clarification), and they are just delightful!

I am feeling much better today, even though I don’t have the sermon even started for Sunday, I have to work at a bingo on Saturday, DP’s hurting (torn shoulder ligament), and I had to cancel a visit to my mom for tomorrow.

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Clergy self-care. There’s a hot topic. Where do we draw the line between keeping ourselves strong and healthy on the one hand, and taking care of the flock on the other? It’s about more than boundaries (although that’s part of it). I think it’s also about time management—not the Franklin-Covey kind (but it helps). Jesus knew what his priorities were, and stuck to them. He took the time for ret…

Wednesday Update

The clean-up meeting went pretty well last night. It was a sobering and difficult experience, but it had to be done.

So now I'm off to speak at the midday service--and the focus of the scripture is rainbows...!! I'm going to enjoy this. If I had created the bulletin, I would have used the image I use for my profile--the swirling rainbow with a cross.

My message is that the rainbow, with all its colours, is a symbol of God's all-embracing and unconditional love, as is the cross. As we begin Lent, the cross seems far away; the rainbow is present as a reminder of whose we are and the love God has for us. The rainbow and the cross--both symbols of God's unconditional love for us.

Hellooo Oooouuut Theeeere!

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on? (tap tap SKEEEREETCH) Yeah. OK, guess it is.

I showered and everything. So where is everyone? Have I fallen into a wormhole or a black hole or a rabbit hole or some kind of hole where my posts are visible only to me?

I know I haven't been as regular as I have been in the past, but gee golly...

(Boy, don't post for a couple days and they forget you...mumble, mumble..."Rainbow who? " That's what they're saying... paranoia off...)

You are now returned to your regularly scheduled blog...

Tuesday's Struggle

Well, I have two sermons this week--one in the midday Lenten series hosted by the tall-steeple church in town--and a minor crisis to deal with...

The crisis is one that could have been avoided if I had been more on the ball, but I'm trying not to beat myself up about that. What's done is done and now we have to deal with the consequences. Clean-up is such a chore.

Keep me in your prayers tonight, sisters and brothers, as we have the clean-up meeting!

And also during the day as I try to write the sermon for tomorrow with the meeting hanging over my head...

Friday Meme on Saturday

Can I plead a time difference?

No?

Well, here goes anyway.

1. Daily Prayer
I had a Celtic breviary, which I used for a good eight months or so during my first year of seminary. I loved the way it followed the cycle of the seasons, bidding farewell to summer, welcoming the return of the light in mid-winter, and so on. Eventually, I got so busy with life (part-time seminary, part-time work, full-time mom and spouse, part-time ministry interne…) I didn’t make time for it. I still have the breviary, which I look at longingly every time I run across it. I know, what am I waiting for?

2. Disciple Covenant
Some of you may be familiar with this. It’s a small-group discipline, based on John Wesley’s class meeting model, created (or refined) by David Lowes Watson. In a small group (5-12), you agree on 5-12 disciplines, in four areas—Worship, Devotion, Charity and Justice (at least one in each area). These are things that you agree to do, either on a regular basis or as a special project: pray or med…

"Have a Blessed Lent!"

I have a new member who has come from a tradition which doesn't observe all the events of the Christian year. Lent is new to him. So he asked me, "what do you wish people? A Happy Lent? A merry Lent? May you keep to all your givings-up? Did you enjoy your putzkis?" [A Polish delight, like filled doughnuts, found only on and around Shrove Tuesdays]

I suggested wishing people a "Blessed Lent."

So how do we welcome members of our congregations who aren't as familiar with our ways as our long-time members? This is as true for our services as it is for the cycle of the Christian year.

A friend was in another tradition's church a couple of weeks ago, and while he liked using a hymnal (which we have gotten away from), because he could read the music, he was also juggling the hymnal, a book of prayer, the order of worship and a second songbook. He spent a lot of time figuring out the mechanics of getting through the service. Hard to pray or contemplate when you&…

Further Adventures in Hair...

Well, yes, I do have a service tonight, and I'm preaching next Wednesday at River City's tall-steeple church's midweek Lenten service, and then there's a couple of upcoming weddings (yay!)... But here's a few lighter thoughts.

I went back to The Stylist (see January 17th for THAT story). I planned on simply a cut, to trim the shaggy-ness. He started snipping and trimming, got my mop into some kind of shape, took out the blow dryer, and then suddenly stopped. "No," he said. "You need colour."

Now, if you'll remember, he had mentioned that last time. I've been more sort of a Clairol and Nice 'n' Easy gal (though there was a time when I had professional highlights and colour on a regular basis). But The Stylist is, as I said, high fashion, and I wasn't too sure what he might have in mind. Well, he whipped out his colour book, and had his assistant mix two colours together, and hustled me off to another chair while he finished the …