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Showing posts from October, 2007

James of Jerusalem

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Not my sermon, but the fabulous one I heard preached at Clergy Conference. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, even without the preacher's voice and gestures to nuance the text...thanks, Joy, for sharing this

James of Jerusalem – the somewhat surprising, acknowledged leader of an ancient Church;

James the Just -- tradition calls him; not warm and fuzzy but clearly affirming;

James, Martyr – 3 decades after the Crucifixion, stoned to death by order of the high priest, – for persisting in his dangerous proclamation about a Crucified and Risen Messiah; a judicial murder, Josephus called it. Apparently, it ran in the family.

For I find that the most intriguing, and mysterious label for James, is the NT claim that he is the brother of the Lord.

Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us?

James and all those brothers and sisters give Jesus a certain credibility. I have a brother of my own; if you ask me, …

RevGals Friday Five: The B-I-B-L-E

My first response to this FF5 is, "I'm Episcopalian, we don't know the Bible..." but that is not really true. The Bible shapes and forms our Book of Common Prayer. We read three scripture passages and a Psalm every time we worship, on Sunday morning and we pray the Daily Office (Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline). So. We know the Bible. Although I have never memorized parts of I have internalized a lot of it. So, now, onto answering the questions...


1. What is your earliest memory of encountering a biblical text? When I was a child my family and I would gather every Christmas eve and read the birth narrative in Luke. We'd bring out our nativity set and "re-enact" the story. When I was old enough to read I loved to be the "narrartor."

2. What is your favorite biblical translation, and why? (You might have a few for different purposes). I really enjoy The Message. I use this version for our Holy Week readings, from Passion/Palm Sunday t…

"This I Believe"

This year my parish is participating in NPR's "This I Believe" essay project. I was inspired to do this by Grace-thing. She published her essay on her blog awhile back which lead me into a conversation with her about the project. Several other Revgals have participated in this project with their churches or dioceses.

Some of you may remember Edward R. Morrow’s series from the 1950’s, “This I Believe.” These essays offered an intimate glimpse into what the average American believed. The essays were not intended to be sermons or editorials or even specifically religious beliefs. Rather the series requested the real beliefs of real people. No reiteration of church dogma or doctrine. But the essays could be about faith, God, and what one believes in one’s life.

In 2005 National Public Radio resurrected “This I Believe” by inviting people to write essays following the original guidelines from Morrow’s series. You can hear these essays read by their authors on NPR on Monday’s …

A Few Things I'm Getting Tired Of

Last night while watching "Boston Legal" James Spader's character was arguing a case for a 15 year old girl. His character (whose name I can never remember) usually gets the best cases to argue. And he always makes a strong case for some issue we are facing in our country. Last night in his closing argument he brought up "faith based" initiatives and how the "current administration" has broken the boundary between Church and State.

It gave me pause to think. I really appreciate that prime time television is taking on major issues and arguing them a moral and ethical point of view. I appreciate that they bring faith and religion into the mix.

I am tired of people in the media, whether a TV program, the news, the radio, the newspaper, defining faith ONLY through the lens of ultra-conservative, sometimes fundamentalist, Christianity.

There is a more diverse perspective in this country. There are deeply caring thoughtful people of faith from all across the …

Tuesday Morning

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This morning has dawned crisp, cool, and sunny. The record breaking heat wave is broken, fall has returned. I didn't really mind having summer back, even though fall was but an infant when summer blew back. Still it was hot and we are all ready for cooler temperatures. In the heat the leaves, which were changing colors, just dried up. Now, maybe the rest of the leaves have a chance to turn into glorious fall colors.

I had an interesting weekend. First I hosted the RevGals Preacher Party on Saturday. That was fun to create and stay connected with all day. It is a little intimidating, at first, to put up ones creation on such a public event, and hope it works. I am so grateful to the RevGals community for the support I have received over the last year. I'm happy to give back by taking on some of the leadership responsibilities.

Sunday I had a parishioner preach. It was the first in a series for the month of Oct. called, "Why I Come to Small Church." He did a nice job. I …

RevGals Friday Five: Thankfulness

List at least five things people, places, graces, miracles for which I am thankful...

People I am thankful for:
1. My husband. He is a hardworking, kind man of high integrity, the love of my life.
2. My daughter. She is a beautiful young woman dedicated to her work with horses and to Ryan, who is safely home on leave from Afghanistan (for which I am grateful).
3. My son. He is a joy.
4. Our Dogs, the keep me healthy with their playfulness and love of life.
5. Steve the Chiropractor and Steve the Jungian who have helped through the dark ages.

Places I am thankful for
1. My house. We don't own it, the church does. But it is the biggest house we have ever lived in. Large enough to be comfortable for 5 adults, two dogs, two cats, and a bird.
2. Small church. I am thankful for the people here, the church itself, and the 5 acres of land which house the church and rectory. A lot of creative energy and potential.
3. Chicago. It is one of the best cities anywhere. Great museums, beautiful lake fro…
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And in my town, it's the High School Homecoming Weekend...

Coming up, will it be: Lamentations, Habakkuk, Psalm 137 or Psalm 37, 2 Timothy, or Luke - pick your team players! Me, if I were preaching, would go with the Gospel, Luke 17:5-10. I'd ponder what it means to be "rooted" in faith like a mulberry tree planted in the sea. I wonder about how the rootedness of faith would shape and form the way I live my life. I wonder about how faith informs the things we do in every day ordinary ways - like Jesus speaking to the disciples about their faith. He says their faith is enough, it is rooted, now it just needs to be lived. Slaves were everyday ordinary HARD working folk, disciples should be the same, living faith in everyday ordinary hard working ways so that the Kingdom of God can come near.

But to live life in ordinary ways we need to be fortified. Especially when ordinary life includes exciting things (like play off games and High School Homecoming and sermon prep). S…

And the World Tilts the Other Way...

As off kilter as yesterday felt, today moved in a complete opposite direction. The morning dawn brought bright blue skies and a vibrant sun. I rose early, got my son to school by seven and dropped Ryan off at a local health club to work out. He said that many of the guys his stationed with are getting fat. He doesn't understand that. He describes his time there like the movie "Ground Hog Day." Every day is the same as the last, get up, go to work, leave work, work out, eat a huge dinner, and then feel tired enough to go to sleep. Next day, repeat. Of course there is the matter of daily rockets that hit inside the base and destroy buildings. There is the matter of him sleeping lightly and waking to every sound. But, he says he is sleeping better now, than when he first got there in January. Then the sound of a door slamming shut and the sound of a rocket/bomb bursting were too similar. Now he can nuance the difference in his sleep. A little while later my son sent me a te…

Four Things

I've been tagged by Presbyteriangal...

Four jobs I've held:
1. Technical Director for a Dance Theater shop. I designed the lights and ran the technical end of dance concerts for every weekend and most week nights for four years. Until all the concerts began to look alike and then I left.
2. Next I sold shoes and hiking boots at Eddie Bauer on Wabash Avenue in Chicago.
3. Then I spent four years working for a VERY FAMOUS interior designer, but oh was he nuts. Really cruel and out there. But talented.
After that I was a stay at home mom and then went to school to be a trained and licensed Massage Therapist (not a masseuse). And from there I became an Episcopal priest. Go figure....


Four films I could watch over and over:
1. The Count of Monte Cristo - I really like how the main character evolves and is really out for revenge but then softens when he realizes that the love of his life has always loved him. (Ok he still does the revenge stuff, but he changes tactics).
2. The Italian Job -…

Safe and Sound plus other stuff on this crazy day

Some days just seem to go off kilter. I woke up this morning feeling a little anxious about Ryan and the timing of his arrival. But the morning went well. We heard from him about 8:15. He was at the airport in Atlanta about to board a flight to Chicago. My daughter would be able to pick up! This was very exciting. She hasn't seen him since he was home 10 months ago, before he was deployed to Afghanistan. So. Very exciting that she could get him.

So, I exercised and showered and did some work, and prepared for my lunch meeting and afternoon meeting. She took off to get Ryan. And that's when everything began to unravel.

Not bad, just little anxious things. All day. First. The airport is under construction. Signage is bad. She got turned around and couldn't get back to the correct parking lot nor to the arrivals. She called me panicked. I talked her down, all the while wishing I had gone with...sigh...even and 19 I want to do for her...but she managed to get herself back around…

Ryan Update

He is boarding his flight in Atlanta and will arrive at O'Hare a little after 11am Chicago time. Our daughter (his girlfriend) will be able to meet him at the airport. Now I just pray that the fog lifts and he is not delayed in the air...

Monday Morning Musings

A few of the things I'm thinking about this morning.

1. I had to delete my YouTube post "The Servant Song." I posted it yesterday as part of the Sunday afternoon RevGals reflection on hymns and what we sang in church. I like the song and enjoyed singing it. But the YouTube clip had a guy singing it to a friend acappella. I don't know the guy, and generally speaking I try not to show photos of people on this blog, especially photos of people I don't know. Having his image on my blog was bothering me. Nothing personal, I don't know. That's all.

2. We finally heard from Ryan, our soldier who is deployed to Afghanistan and coming home on leave. As of 9:50 this morning he is at an airport in Kuwait waiting for a flight to Ireland. From Ireland he flies to Atlanta and then to Chicago. He should arrive here sometime tomorrow (Tuesday). At least so far he is safe.

3. He will be exhausted from travelling for five days with little sleep.

4. It's raining here, a g…