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Showing posts from February, 2007

Tuesday Topics: talk amongst yourselves

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It's Lent. My goal is to simplify my life for Lent. Slow down. Spend more time with my dogs, who have been virtually ignored this last month and half - between bitterly cold weather or mud, multiple search committee essays and phone interviews, and everyday church stuff - I.HAVE.BEEN.TOO.BUSY.

Today I will send off my responses to the last search process I am entering. One church has notified me that they called someone else - which is good, I suspected that and would have pulled out if it went further... Three churches have my references, although no one has been called, yet. Two more churches are just receiving my essay responses...So....now...

Slow down. breath. work at a normal pace. find the rhythm to my life again. pray. exercise...

Sunday Morning and I'm Sick!

Oh dear, it's Sunday morning and I am sick...cold, sore throat, and intestinal flu....been up, off and on, since 1:00am dealing with the intestinal stuff...drinking black tea only and hoping I can make it through two services that will only have a handful of people because the weather here is so bad...no cancelling though, not bad enough....snow but no blizzard, ice but not enough to stop everything...so.I. am. going. to. church.

At least it seems the cold meds, tylenol, and black tea are finally doing their job to keep my symptoms at bay and let me function...

But, after church, I'm coming home to sleep.

Monday Morning Musings

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Monday. My day off. And today, I'm taking it. After a week of celebrating my 50th birthday I need to rest. I need to eat light and healthy. I need to exercise. And, I have a busy week ahead so, I'm taking this day off. Tuesday will be filled with setting up the church for Lent, changing everything to purple and muslin, plain. No flowers, vases of bare branches, rocks, and images of a journey. Burning palm branches to make ashes for Ash Wed. Setting up fellowship hall for a festive dinner for Shrove Tues and to raise funds for refugee families. Plus a regional clergy gathering...Wed. Ash Wed...fasting, ashes, I need a homily, three services. chiropractor appointment.Thursday: meetings. dentist (yikes first appointment since my infection last fall, new dentist). tea with women's clergy group. prepare for vestry retreat and Sunday. Write sermon for Sunday?Friday: pack and head off for vestry retreatSaturday: continue vestry retreat...

Monday Morning Musings

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Monday. My day off. After a week of celebrating my 50th B-D I need to exercise and eat well, s0 I'm taking a real day off! I need to rest before the busy week kicks in.
Tuesday set up church for Lent (a big deal, we change a lot), plus a meeting with the regional clergy, and then set up and participate in Shrove Tues. celebration to raise funds for refugee families.
Wed - Ash Wed., 'nuff said.
Thursday - meetings, dentist (yikes first visit since my infection last fall, new dentist...) and prepare for vestry retreat. Also, tea with my women's clergy group - yeah!!!
Friday - work in office for Sunday set up, pack and leave for vestry retreat
Sat. Vestry retreat and meeting...
Oh, and I need to write a homily for Ash Wed. and a sermon for Sunday....
But on this day off I am going to rest. walk dogs. blog. read. maybe go out for lunch?

RevGals Friday Five: Tourist Edition

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From the RevGals Blog: It seems like this topic has been done before, but I can't find it in the archives, so......I am downtown on retreat this week. Most of the retreatants are from out of town, so I get to experience this place through the eyes of visitors. So in the spirit of tourism:

1. What is one place you make sure to take out-of-town guests when they visit? Most of the folks I know live around here, so I don't have a lot of out of town guests. But there is so much to do here (Chicago area), so the great museums are a must: Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum of Natural History, Art Institute, The Aquarium and Oceanarium, plus lots of theater, dance and excellent restaurants.

2. When visiting another city or town, do you try to cram as much in as possible, or take it slow and easy? Usually when I go out of town it is either for a job interview or to see family. So, of course the job interview time includes trying to get a good feel for the city and community by …

Februray 15: The Day Is Here...my big 50

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Well, the day has finally arrived, my 50th birthday. Hard to believe I began this blog six months ago, in anticipation of this day. Waiting for it, moving into it, was intense some days, easy others, and included some real dark days when I was sick. Now, thanks to some amazing care by a Jungian therapist and a chiropractor (both named Steve....we're looking at my "inner Steve", that part of myself that is being developed, the male side of me?? which came up from my dream about the vestry retreat, a Tsunami, and a male guide who led me to safety....) I am doing better than I have for years. I feel strong, centered, calm, even happy. Nothing has really changed. I am still looking for a new job. I still have lots of stress. I still have all the same stuff...but I feel good. Go figure. It's not about denial but about facing life head on. Recently I went out and bought two new dresses for my birthday. One, a slim black dress for dinner tonight with kids and hubby. We are g…

Tuesday Topics: Talk Amongst Yourselves

We have a blizzard. Well, almost white-out conditions, strong wind blowing and lots of snow. A perfect day for me to slow down. I get to cancel all my meetings and appointments...and ponder what I will do with this day. Some sermon prep for Sunday? Work on my packet for CREDO (an Episcopal Church sponsored 8 day retreat for clergy to review vocation, spirituality, finances, life, etc. and I have been invited to attend in April YEA!!!! - but there is lots of prep work to do). And I need to review the answers I wrote yesterday for the search committee and then send them off.

But I can do all of this in a leisurely fashion. What a gift, an unplanned day off, at least from my appointment schedule. Plus, it is really pretty outside. Would be perfect if I had a fireplace...

Monday Morning Musings

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Ok, it actually isn't morning anymore. Another day off "working," writing reports from my weekend work. I spent the weekend as a group facilitator for a team of "listeners" who were discerning a group of "aspirants" and their call to ordained ministry. It's a very cool job, being the facilitator, I love group work and do it well. So, now I've been busy writing up the group report, a summary of what the individual listeners heard and experienced combined with the group experience.

Now, I've exercised, eaten, and am about to move onto answering essay questions for a search committee. Only three questions for which they want thoughtful but concise answers, no page limit. I've done this eight times in the last two years, as I discern a new call (and vice versa), so I have quite a file of answers. Still these three questions will require me to start from scratch....they don't quite fit any of the previously asked and answered questions,…

Friday Five

Friday Five: American Idols
Yes, it's true. I've been watching Season Six of American Idol with my daughter, our first time dipping into this particular well of pop culture. In the spirit of believing you can do anything, as the auditioners so clearly do, please fill in the following five blanks.

1) If I could sing like anyone, it would be...um, Julie Andrews? Norah Jones? the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks? Not really sure...

2) I would love to sing the song ..I tried to sing lullabies to my kids when they were babies, couldn't stay on pitch. I'd love to sing the Exultet at the Great Vigil, but I just don't have the vocal stamina to make it through and stay on pitch and do it justice...so I just chant a simple tone version of the Eucharistic prayer, I can do that!

3) It would be really cool to sing at.....The Great Vigil, The Passion on Good Friday...I don't really have any fantasies of singing...I did sing with a bluegrass band in college, that was fun (just loc…

Tuesday Topics: Talk Amongst Yourselves...

Yesterday, my day off, as I "prepared" for a phone interview for a potential new call, I spent some time watching, "Ten Years Younger." The show was about a 51 year old woman who wore her hair in a simple cut and naturally gray. Her clothes were basic jeans and baggy shirt, no make up, and glasses. Strangers had to guess her age and put her at about 59 years old. After the week of treatment (face and skin care - laser, hair cut and color, simple make up lesson, and new clothes) strangers guessed her age to be 42, or 17 years younger than the first time.

I have struggled with the role of age and appearance for those of us women who are leaders in ministry. How "young" do we need to look... or is there some advantage to looking a little older and perhaps wiser?

I wear my hair very short. I do a simple color process, which my hair dresser calls a "glaze." This is applied once every two or three hair cuts with the intent of "pulling" out the…

Monday Morning Musings

Once again my day off rolls around, and with a phone interview tonight for a potential new call, it won't really be a day off.
I am walking the parallel path doing two things at once - discerning the path for the parish I presently serve (should I "priest-up" and stay or is it better to leave, in which way will the work that needs to be done get done?)The second path is discerning a call to another parish - I am in six searches now (or three, since I haven't heard from a few of them in awhile, but then that happens). It takes a long time to go through the search process and I can't really wait until the place I am at runs out of money....although that is pretty much now anyway...We had our annual meeting yesterday that included lots of fun but also some difficult work. I now need to work with the leadership team to turn our work into something tangible.The church treasurer is really mad that the meeting yesterday (annual) was focused on discerning and not problem …

Discerning

Today we had our annual meeting and approached it in a very different way. For the last month I have asked the parish to be in a discerning mode, which we continued today. People (most of them) were ablet to stay with the process. A few were upset that we were not getting to the nuts and bolts problem solving, but most were able to do the work. I was very pleased with the effort people put forth.

What came from it: We discerned that what's most important it Building up Christian Community, which is very tough to do in a world filled with distractions, and that it was going to require us to make some commitments, which will add some stress (but worth it).

Mostly what I hoped for was for folks to understand that the health and well-being of this parish depends on them. The people need to be inspired and inspiring - grass roots stuff....The energy was good over all.

Now the vestry (our governing board for the congregation) will take the ideas and form a plan for the future. This plan ne…

Clarify What's Most Important....an annual meeting report

What we have before us lies on the cusp of being either depressive, discouraging, and potentially panic filled - or an opportunity to see this time as one asking us to be adaptive to the challenge, open to possibility, hopeful, and therefore quite possibly transformational.

I have invited us to approach this time, from the end of December until today, as a process of discernment and prayer keeping ever mindful of the need for a good sense of humor.

Discernment is an ancient Christian discipline, a practice that involves self-reflection, asking questions, taking risks, and…paying attention to what is going on deep inside. This paying attention requires us to focus on the subtle and the sublime – listening to overtones, paying attention to what quickens inside of us, surrendering ourselves to God’s love. It’s paying attention when we are not at all sure where we are going. Diana Butler Bass in Christianity for the Rest of Us says, “Discernment is an odd guide, however for it not only poin…

RevGals Friday Five

Friday Five: ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Change is a given in life, yet it's not easy for any of us. So strap on your seat belts and let's talk about it:

1. Share, if you wish, the biggest change you experienced this past year. Wow, I've had lots of changes this last year: daughter graduated from High School, son started High School. I had my first major illness and hospital stay. I have started seeing a Jungian Analyst - who is also an Episcopal priest (way cool) who is helping me discern my life, stresses, and dreams (as in the stuff that I dream about at night, and my hopes and dreams....)

2. Talk about a time you changed your mind about something important. I discerned a call to a church, was one of two finalists and the vestry became deadlocked, unable to decide between the two of us. The vestry wanted to do site visits and other things that the search committee had done. The whole process felt like they were not ready, and I pulled out. Broke my heart, but was probably the righ…

Approaching 50 Countdown

Ok, as of today I am officially two weeks from my 50th birthday. I initially started this blog as a place to process my thoughts as I approach this landmark year. In the days since September and the birth of this blog I have already had experiences that surpass any of my previous 49-1/2 years;

In October I attended the first gathering of women clergy in the Episcopal Church:IMAGINE, held in Kanuga, NCOur new Presiding Bishop attended the conferenceAlso in Oct. I was nominated to be the EMM Refugee Program Liaison for my diocese, working closely with Episcopal Migration Ministries and Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Ministry and local churches to help resettle refugeesIn Nov. I got very sick, with a terrible infection, which landed me in the hospital for 11 days. I am still recovering, the numbness remains in my chin and lip, a symptom of the infection.In December I started seeing a Chiropractor for the first time, ever. He has really helped me feel well, using a holistic approach to…