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Showing posts from June, 2008

The Visit

My daughter and Ryan arrived here last Tuesday. For two weeks I told our dogs that "JT and Ryan" are coming. The dogs would run to the window and look out expectantly. So, of course, the day they arrived, the dogs were primed and started barking as soon as the garage door opened. I have never seen two more happy dogs than when they walked in. Mom and Dad were really happy too. After a tour of the house and backyard and pool we headed to an arts community for some touristy activity. We wandered around a mexican pottery shop, a turquoise shop with hand made Indian jewlery and pottery (some of it very old), and walked through an outdoor sculpture garden. After our walk about we to dinner at Cowpalace...for a little taste of the local flavor.

My husband and I stumbled on Cowpalace last Dec. when we were here interviewing. One day we decided to take a drive and see the area so we headed south on the highway. Not too far along we realized that our rental car had no gas, it was giv…

A reflection on Proper 8: Genesis 22:1-14

Few scripture readings are as disturbing as our reading today from Genesis. Through out the ages people have wrestled with this text. In our modern world we struggle to understand a God who would be so cruel. As Christians we read back into this scripture story and hear it as a precursor to Christ, specifically the idea that just as God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, so God sacrificed his son. This idea, that God chose to sacrifice Christ, is known as “Atonement Theology” and it conveys one example of what God was doing in the life death and resurrection of Jesus. Although some are more familiar to us, there are seven or eight “Atonement Theories,” or versions of what we humans think God was doing. They include absurd notions like, “It wasn’t really Christ on the cross, just a body, Christ was someplace else” to things like “God needed this in order to reconcile sinful humanity” or the more contemporary version, “God sent Christ into the world that we might know the fullness of G…

A Summer Reading Friday Five...

Over at Revgals Songbird has posted this:

1) Do you think of summer as a particularly good season for reading? Why or why not? Oh, yes! I switch gears in the summer and move from reading church related books to fiction and poetry. During the year I read a lot of books on leadership, group dynamics, visioning, etc. etc. etc....

But during the summer I have a list of authors I want to read and I scoop up their books and read to my hearts content. I'm not a fast reader and I don't have a lot of time to read, so maybe two books a week.

This year however I am only 4 months into a new call at a bigger busier church. My learning curve is a little steep and the my energy is running to the low side. Thus far I've only read two books. I do have vacation time coming up in August, that might help.

2) Have you ever fallen asleep reading on the beach? No, I don't go to the beach very often these days. For about 7 years I lived near a one of the BIG lakes and walk there, but I had little…

My daughter in town

My daughter and Ryan are here, arriving yesterday afternoon. We took a drive down to the artist community yesterday. This morning we went to a museum/zoo place north of here. Learned a lot about the desert. Tomorrow we're going down to Mexico and the Friday and Saturday we're going to the Grand Canyon. I hope to have pictures to share when all is done....no work until Sunday (sermon already written) - nice to have time off....hope you are enjoying your week too!

Well, we're about to begin again...

In a few weeks Bishops from around the "Anglican Communion" will gather at Lambeth for a conference. The Lambeth Conference convenes once every ten years at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury. I don't know if this has happened in the past, but for this Lambeth Conference the Archibishop of Canterbury has chosen NOT to invite a few Bishops. One is Martin Minns who gave up his membership in TEC when he was ordained a Bishop by Peter Akinola. Another is Gene Robinson, TEC Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire.

Some think it most unfortunate that the Archbishop chose to do this, especially excluding Robinson. Others think it will enable a more comfortable, freer expression of faith and sharing without all the attention going in one direction. And of course some won't even recognize Robinson as Bishop...which says nothing about what Minns has done by chosing to be consecrated by the Bishop of Nigeria and then using the US as his mission field for the Diocese …

A reflection on the propers for 6A

Elizabeth O’Connor in her book, Cry Pain, Cry Hope tells this story of her experience as a volunteer in a shelter for homeless women: “It was a very cold night and the women began to arrive early in the evening. The rooms reserved for them were behind the sanctuary of the church and were used for other purposes during the day. Foam rubber mats were laid over the entire area in one room. Many of the women chose a mat as soon as they arrived. Some had very little with them, though most of them had the bags that gave them the name of bag ladies. One carried her possessions in a child’s wagon, and another, more affluent, had hers piled dangerously high in a supermarket cart. The conversation was disconnected, but the atmosphere was warm and peaceful. Each one was given a bowl of stew, bread, and tea….

When morning came the peaceful atmosphere inside the shelter turned hostile. Distraught women – some of them worn and sick – could not comprehend why they were being ‘pushed out’ into the str…

A Journey

How many of us ever really use the word journey? We say things like, “I’m going on vacation..” or, “I’m going to take a trip…” Or “We’re driving too…” Can you even think of a time when you used the word, “Journey?”

When religions use the word journey they often means something like a quest. And because it’s a quest, it means the journey will have a degree of difficulty to it. A journey will be arduous in some way - with a distant, perhaps unattainable goal. A journey is filled with uncertainty and danger. By comparison a road trip in a comfortable car is hardly a journey.

Ancient people went on journeys. I think of my ancestral grandmother who left England some 150 years ago to travel as a pioneer by boat, train, wagon train, and on foot, to arrive at her destination in Utah. For her, and many others of our ancestors, journeys like these were both physical and spiritual, arduous and dangerous, and completely compelling…it simply had to be done!

A journey means to move from one place to …

Going to Texas

This afternoon I am flying to Texas for a conference. The conference begins tomorrow and runs through Saturday and is sponsored by the Church Pension Group of the Episcopal Church. It's a conference on Safeguarding God's People, the adult to adult version, train the trainer. My parish serves a lot of older adults in homes and assisted living facilities. We need to be up to date on the latest issues and responses. We need our volunteers to be trained so that they can be wise and attentive. So I am going along with two other staff members. It will be a long weekend. I'm bringing my knitting....so I can sit through two days of presentation. The only thing I am hoping for - no role playing. I don't like to do that in this kind of a setting.

Also, while there I am going to my first Revgals meet up with Mary Beth. Whoo hoo! She's coming to the hotel, since I will be carless and the hotel is apparently convenient for her. I am so excited. We're having dinner together F…

A New Foundation

A reflection on Matthew 7:21-29, Proper 4A Pentecost 3

Jan Richardson from the The Painted Prayerbook offers this reflection:
“ When a friend of mine was ready to build a house on the land he had purchased in eastern Kentucky, he sent out a request to some friends. Scott invited us to offer an object, a tangible blessing that he would bury in the ground upon which he would build the house. He recalls that “Folks were amazingly thoughtful— some of the items included tea, Legos and puzzle pieces from my childhood sent by my mother, guitar strings, a bit of climbing rope, a bit of granite from my home town (Lithonia meaning roughly “rock place”), a wine chalice from my potter friends, shells from our childhood vacation spot,herbs, bits of plants and dirt from various parts of the country, and chocolate.” After all the gifts arrived, Scott gathered with some friends for a ceremony on his property. Placing the gifts in the ground, they offered a blessing for what would take root in that plac…