Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday Five Halloween Scary

1. Do you enjoy a good fright? No, I really don't. I refuse to see scary movies. When I watched Silence of the Lambs I saw on video at home so I could walk out of the room when my anxiety got too high....I don't like watching people being hurt, I guess.

2. Scariest movie you've ever seen. Probably Silence of the Lambs, since I won't go see any of scary movies my teenagers like to see.

3. Bobbing for apples: choose one and discuss:a) Nothing scary about that! Good wholesome fun.b) Are you *kidding* me?!? The germs, the germs! I've only bobbed for apples once, when I was a kid...it was fun, but who thought of germs back then...at least not the way we do now.

4. Real-life phobia...messing up, not being "smart enough"...yikes, the "girl" self esteem stuff that I still work on sometimes.

5. Favorite "ghost story"...loved to tell and hear ghost stories at camp as a kid, sadly I can't remember any of them. But I could tell you a few experiences I've had of people after they've died....would that be a "ghost" story???

Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday Five Random Thoughts

Whirlwind - my life some days
Foundation - my faith most days
Lightening - speed of life, summer storms in the mountains
Den - woodchuck then red fox under my deck
Prey - coyote, look out

Approaching 50: reflections on body

Lately I've had to learn to live in a body I do not recognize. This body of mine has always been on the slight side, tending to be chilly at all times. But these days I lean more to being warm and often hot. The other day the "heat" began in my ear lobes and cheeks and moved through out my body. That initial flush eased, but I remained warm for the rest of the night.

I never know how to dress, will I be hot, warm, or cool? Especially with the changing seasons, with fall upon us and winter around the corner....It is just so strange.

But in addition to body temperature I've noticed other changes...like flab in places I never knew a body could be flabby, perpetual stiffness, finger nails and toe nails that turn soft yet lined with ridges, worsening allergies, and like I've already said, chin stubble.

I don't really mind all these changes. I knew they'd happen some day. But mostly I feel too young, not at all the almost 50 year old I am. My mother and mother in law were both winding down in life when they hit 50: kids long raised, work done, retirement on the horizon.

But me, I'm still raising kids, 18 and 14.... And I'm only 6 years into the work and ministry as an Episcopal priest, work I will do for another 20 odd years. I don't even own a house but I have a mountain of debt; car payments, student loans, launching my daughter into a career with horses...

I'm not really complaining, nor even lamenting, mostly just observing the way this body of mine is living through life...and the disparity between mind (still young, but not as naive nor impulsive) and body (aging)....

Monday, October 09, 2006

IMAGINE

From Sunday Oct. 1 through Friday Oct. 6, 177 women, deacons, priests, and bishops, gathered at Kanuga, a retreat center in Hendersonville, NC, to reflect on the role of ordained women's leadership in the Episcopal Church. The week was filled with panel presentations on various leadership themes, including one with our newly elected Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori who spoke about qualities of leadership:
1. Courage - a quality that can be learned and is a process of spiritual training with the possibility of producing wisdom. A leader needs to have courage.
2. Risk - when you have risked enough and failed enough you learn something about yourself as a leader.
3. Creativity - we are made in the image of God, the creative process can lead to common ground.
4. Playful - a leader needs to be playful
5. Interconnection - a leader recognizes we are all part of a larger whole, all of creation is made by God, God is present in all that is (mystery), creating the Body of Christ.
6. Curiosity - willing to explore and consider possibility; if we've always done it this way, why? A leader will, at times, be dissatisfied with "conventional wisdom."
7. Dream big dreams - imagine and dream big dreams, focus on the "essentials" but consider the big picture.
8. Vision - one needs to go right to the "edge" to gain perspective and get something central to the "vision" (which is also about taking risks).

Katharine Jefferts Schori also said that in a unique way women are 'bodied" beings, incarnational, because of how we feel, how we know pain and feeling in our bodies.

It was very powerful to be in a place with 177 ordained women all worshiping, praying, talking, reflecting, and imagining church. I have been blessed by the time we spent together and am very hopeful for the future of the Episcopal Church.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hiding on Sunday morning

I have taken the day off in order to rest from the family wedding last night (nephew) and pack for my trip to Kanuga for a week long leadership conference for women clergy (leaving for the airport at 2pm). But, because I live next door to the church in the rectory I end up "hiding" out until everyone has left church for the day. Soon they will all be gone and I can take my dogs out for a walk. It is a beautiful day. So far I have spent the morning reading blogs, making breakfast (pancakes and sausage) and reading the paper. (Oh, not mention instead of getting up at 5am, I got up at 8...of course I went to bed after midnight...).

The one thing I don't want is for the members of my church to see me loafing....they know I am going out of town, but if I'm still here during service times then shouldn't I be there leading??? After all I asked one of our lay folks to lead the service...to do a "Morning Prayer" service with no Holy Communion. Someone is bound to feel slighted..."What no Eucharist??" And if they knew I was at home having pancakes and coffee....oh, dear.... So, I hide out, stay away from the windows. Keep the curtains closed. Go out for a walk later...it is a very strange feeling to be captive in one's home.

Well, like I said, I'll be gone for a week to the mountains of North Carolina - Yippeee!! Now, off to finish my packing and walk the dogs.
This morning I am taking a day off. This is my first Sunday off since mid-March. Otherwise I have preached and presided at two services on Sunday and one on Wednesday. I am taking this day off, in part, because we had a family wedding last night and I am leaving this afternoon to go out of town, and it felt that trying to preside and preach at two services would be too much.

Usually I do not go out on Saturday night. Saturday night is a kind of Sabbath time for me, I have dinner, maybe a glass of wine. I watch a little television (usually British comedy or a good movie), and go to bed early. I aim to be rested and prepared for the long Sunday.

So, having a family wedding on Saturday night throws off my whole Sabbath. Actually we did not go the ceremony, only the reception...but that's another reflection...Nonetheless by the time we were ready to leave the reception, and drive my mother-in-law home, it was late. I finally went to bed around midnight. Yes, we had a nice time. But since I scheduled this day off from church I was able to sleep until 8am!

Now I will make breakfast, sausage and pancakes, read the paper, and walk my dogs. Then I will finish packing and leave for the airport around 2pm.

The Aim of Life

Like most people, when I was in my twenties,  I was focused on trying to figure out my life. I struggled to figure out what I was going to...