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Showing posts from November, 2010

Monday Morning Musings

After spending the weekend helping our daughter finish her packing and move, we will return to the old place today and help her clean it. The move went well as did the unpacking, she may in fact be finished with that this morning - or almost finished.

Me, though...I am getting too old for this kind of work - I ache from neck to heel - all that bending over to pack, lift, unpack....not the way I usually use these support muscles. And, I'm still recovering from the lower back injury a few weeks ago. I really need to see a massage therapist and a chiropractor...sigh. A day of rest (tomorrow) and I should be fine.

After cleaning the old place my week will take a different turn. I have a reflection to write for the WordsMatter workshop. On Thursday I fly to Seattle and on Friday this long anticipated workshop will take place.  We finish on Sunday and I fly back on Monday.....

But also on Thursday I get to meet two of my long time RevGal Pals RevSS and Barbara! Whoohoo!!!

That's my …

Sunday Prayer: Advent 1A, Sixteen Days of Prayer to End Domestic Violence

Image
(Monsoon sunset: photo by mompriest)
May we walk in the light of God Who calls people of all nations To turn their swords into plowshares To turn their anger into gentleness To waken to a new way of living
May we walk in the light of God Who calls people of every house To turn their anger into gentleness To take closed fists and open them Open hands of grace and peace Awakening to a new way of loving
Guide our human love of sport Especially football, statistically Associated with inebriated violence in homes, sport turned to fists Fists turned to faces, women, broken May our choices keep all safe
Pray for those who suffer from All forms of violence and abuse Pray for the power of God to Prevail at an unexpected hour To rise, the arbitrator of grace Awakening new life, new hope
May we walk in the light of God And create a world where women Are not beaten, girls not abused Men who waken to the love of God Immanuel, God with us Immanuel, God love us
May we walk in the light of God.

Crossposted on RevGalBlogPals and…
The poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, "Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."

In the ecology of God's grace, nothing is wasted."

Broken, Unbroken

The lonely
stand in the dark corners
of their hearts,

I have seen them
in cities,
and in my own neighborhood,

nor could I touch them
with the magic
that they crave

to be unbroken.
Then, I myself,
lonely,

said hello to
good fortune.
Someone

came along
and lingered
and little by little

became everything
that makes the difference.
Oh, I wish such good luck

to everyone.
How beautiful it is
to be unbroken.

(Mary Oliver, Evidence: Beacon Press, 2009)

The season of Advent is upon us. For me this has always been a season that invites me into deep reflection on the mysteries of life - why some are broken and others are not, why some suffer and some suffer less, and the fine line between hope and despair. The fine line between standing lonely in some dark corner of our heart or the mystery of holding the love of God so deeply in one's heart that it warms and lightens and sustains even the coldest nights. I  know fine lines such as these. In this season of Advent I wait, in anticipation, fo…

RevGals Friday Five: Pie-ola edition!

Please answer these five questions about pie:


Songbird, over at RevGals had gifts of pie for Thanksgiving. From that delightful experience she offers this Friday Five:

1) Are pies an important part of a holiday meal? It depends on the holiday. If it's MY birthday I prefer chocolate cake (well, you know, in families our birthdays are holi-days, right?). BUT  otherwise I'm trying to think of a holiday when pie is not important....maybe Valentine's Day - again chocolate cake, or just chocolates? But all the others I love pie - in the summer berry pies - blueberry or raspberry or peach! In the fall apple or pumpkin, or my latest favorite - apple, pear, cranberry pie! (I've made this for the last couple of years and it is a fabulous blend of sweet and tart, and oh so colorful!
2) Men prefer pie; women prefer cake. Discuss. Nope. Not in my household. We all love both.

3) Cherries--do they belong in a pie? Sure. I'm not terribly fond of cherry pie - but that is mostly becaus…

For Thanks-giving

I gave,
to a friend that I care for deeply,
something that I loved.
It was only a small

extremely shapely bone
that came from the ear
of a whale.
It hurt a little

to give it away.
The next morning
I went out, as usual.
at sunrise,

and there, in the harbor,
was a swan.
I don't know
what he or she was doing there,

but the beauty of it
was gift.
Do you see what I mean?
You give, and you are given.

- Mary Oliver, "Evidence," Beacon Press: 2009.

For the simple gifts - kindness, a listening ear, a hug, a meal, a note or email, a prayer, family, and friends - for these I gave thanks. For you I give thanks.

Sunday Prayer: Christ the King Sunday!

On this day we pray, to the God of many names
A righteous branch through whom we grow, roots to trees, in faith
A Shepherd who calls, leads, pushes, finds us -
The Lord God of Israel, who names us –
made in Your image!
God, prophet of the Most High.
God, Lord of Hosts!
God of Jacob!
God, invisible God,
Head of the body,
Christ the King,
The Church,
The beginning.
The firstborn from the dead.
God, of many names, to you we pray.

We will not fear,
God!
Our refuge and our strength,
we are never lost.
Jesus!
Who, arms stretched wide
abandoned all illusions
of security, the cross.

Mother God, Father God,
Brother, sister, friend,
Savior, Merciful One
Holy One,
God of many names.

God
Our helper.
Bless us, all –
With mercy
Love and grace.
Fill us, all –
With mercy
Love and grace.
Prepare us,
Startle us
You.
God.
Jesus.
Amen.

Crossposted on RevGalBlogPals and A Place for Prayer

The Time Is Here....almost

A few months ago I thought it would be a good idea to offer a couple of workshops at Diocesan Convention. One workshop would be a repeat of one I did a year ago and one would be the first teaching opportunity of a consultation I helped lead last summer.

Over the last couple of weeks I have reworked both of those. Written presentation narratives. Read several books on the theology and ethics of environmental stewardship. Added more slides to the powerpoint. (I think the powerpoint is beautiful, lots of slides with photos I took in Arizona and Utah...you've seen a number of them if you've been following this blog)...Added music to the both presentations. Added a video clip to one. Reworked the presentations. Rehearsed both presentations, narrative with powerpoint and music. Until I think I have them ready to go.The timing seems to work, although they are a little short in terms of how much time we have and how long the presentation is, but I suspect some of that extra time will…

Last Days

Things are
changing; things are starting to
spin, snap, fly off into
the blue sleeve of the long
afternoon. Oh and ooh
come whistling out of the perished mouth
of the grass, as things
turn soft, boil back
into substance and hue. As everything,
forgetting its own enchantment, whispers:
I too love oblivion why not it is full
of second chances. Now,
hiss the bright curls of the leaves. Now!
booms the muscle of the wind.

(Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems, Volume One, Beacon Press, 1992)

I've had this feeling that there is change in the air. Maybe it's an intuition? Maybe it's hope? Maybe it's a last ditch effort to fend off despair, to hold oblivion at bay?

WordsMatter Introduction for Friday and a link to a short video trailer

Here is the introduction I am preparing for the workshop I will lead on Friday for the WordsMatter workshop at the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago convention....and then a link to a cool video clip

Good Morning and welcome to this WordsMatter workshop. This workshop is one way the Episcopal Church is participating in the National Council of Churches Expansive Language project. We have been part of this project for decades. For us the conversation on language found authority in the General Convention of 1985 with resolution AO95 which authorized the creation of inclusive language materials for Sunday and daily worship. These materials are known as Enriching Our Worship.

This particular conversation began in earnest last winter with the reconstruction of the Expansive Language Committee of the NCC’s Women for Justice Working Group. Our vision was to bring a diverse group of Christians together for a conversation on the language we use to talk about and describe ourselves, God, and others.…

Sunday Prayer 28C

Blessed God, who caused all holy scripture to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life. Signs of heaven, sighs of hope.

Let us pray.
Fill us O God, with Your words and wisdom.

Blessed God, we ask your care for those who are victims of of wars and insurrections, may they not be terrified; for Nations rising against nations, let Your love, steadfast and faithful, be a great sign from heaven, may Your peace bend our will to your will, like trees in a strong wind. Signs of heaven, sighs of hope.

Let us pray.
Fill us O God, with Your words and wisdom.

Blessed God, grant your healing grace to the victims of great earthquakes, famines and plagues; let Your love, steadfast and faithful, be a great sign from heaven, may Your peace bend our will to your will, like trees in a strong wind. Signs of heaven, sighs of hope.

Let us pray.
Fill us O God, with Your words…

Stretch

I'm walking slowly this morning. On Tuesday I took a barbell class. I love this class - I love the energy of strength building. Granted the most weight I use is only 25 pounds, but the lowest weight I use is 15 pounds, an improvement over a few months ago. On Tuesday I spent 12 minutes on the elliptical and then rushed to class. It takes awhile to set up the equipment, I use a lot of different bars and bells. Then I rushed off to the ladies room. Returning to class which was already warming up, I quickly picked up my 20 pound bar, threw it over my shoulders and began the squat warm up.

And that's when I felt the twang and pull in my lower back.

The rest of the class I moved gingerly, taking care to not strain the lower back. Following class I used the foam roller to work out some of the tight places along my back, glutes, and hamstrings.

But by Tuesday night I was really struggling to move and not have my back spasm. Then Wed. my husband and I had to help move some things o…

Sacramental

Here is some of what I am thinking about as I prepare the workshop for our diocesan convention next week. The theme of the convention is being Stewards of Creation (or something like that). And this workshop is a reflection on "green" worship....

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Word was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Word, and without Word not one thing came into being. What has come into being in Word was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1)

Scripture reminds us that we worship through an Incarnational theology that believes that the creative energy of God is and has beenpresent since before creation. This energy of God manifests as breath, as Word, as Jesus, and resonates in and through all creation.

As Christians we understand God’s presence in the world primarily through the Incarnation – God is embodi…

Monday Musings

So....in a short while I will lead two workshops. One will be on the module I helped create for WordsMatter and one will be on "Green Worship." (you know, ways we can be, and become, more mindful in worship about the created world and our place in it).

So, here's the question - and I would really appreciate some thoughts - what do you look for - or hope for - in an hour long workshop? And if you attended one of these workshops, what would you expect to take away from it?

Sunday Prayer: All Saints' Day and Proper 27C

Loving God, who takes pleasure in all creation
We give you thanks and sing your praise
Our melody of joy, with tambourine and lyre,
May all we do exult Your glory,
Rejoice one and all!

Blessed are those
who love as God loves,
May we be the
hands and heart and voice
of Christ.

Gentle God, extend your loving care on those
Who suffer from the various losses of life;
Fear, pain, sorrow, struggle, for well being
Who yearn for relief from suffering
Who long for hope.

Blessed are those
who show God ‘s love,
neighbors, strangers,
hands and heart and voice
of Christ.

Caring God, who is near to all, call out!
Whose justice extends to those in need
Whose mercy brings hope - for
The Spirit of God abides within
When we set our hope on Christ.

Blessed are those
Who live God’s love
Saints of yesterday and today
The hands and heart and voice
Of Christ.

Merciful God, remind us to always
Do to others as we would have done
To us. Steadfast love - the work
Of Christ. Set our hope, give
Thank…

RevGals Five Five Meme: Is It Well With Your Soul...

Kathrynjz over at RevGals is pondering the various ways her life is blessed and some of the signs of those blessings. For her these include reognzing the blessings of our priviledged life like having computers and internet, and a morning cup of coffee. She asks us to reflect on the blessings of our lives, that which helps everything feel "right with the world the moment I am enjoying them."

Those who know me are aware that over the last few years I have faced some profound challenges. There's no need to go into the details, but suffice it to say that I have struggled deeply with the question of God, life, faith, "happiness," and what it is that enables my soul to be at peace even when EVERYTHING is challenged..... In fact I wonder, even now, if I can "play" this game.

So, here's my attempt at five "perks" I give thanks for, even if they don't exactly make everything right with the world:

1. Exercise. Or, at the moment more specifical…

The Love of God Is....

I'm preparing to present a workshop at diocesan convention in a couple of weeks on "Green Worship." I did this same workshop last year with two other folks in another diocese. This year I am doing it on my own. As I prepare I am reading a number of books on "environmental theology." This theology is really a combination of a number of theologies about justice, economy, who we are, who Jesus is, and who God is. I came across this quote from chapter 6 on worship in the book, "A New Climate for Theology," by Sallie Mcfague:

"When we pondered the translatability or substitutability of these two terms, “God” and “love,” and we asked which is a translation of which, we were looking in the wrong place for a translation. In the translatability of the love of God it is we who are to be translated, transformed, and carried over into action, carried off by the movements of love, carried away by the transcendence that this name names and commands. The transl…

Not In Our Pews

Last week I attended a workshop called Not In Our Pews intended to train clergy and social service providers on the issue of Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence. Here is a review of that workshop which will be printed later this month in the newsletter for the Episcopal Women's Caucus. The EWC along with two other Episcopal groups are teaming up to sponsor 16 Days of Prayer for Activism Against Domestic Violence, which will take place in Advent.

Not In Our Pews
by The Rev. Terri C. Pilarski, licensed Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Chicago

The first congregation I served as Rector struggled with the reality that a prominent couple in the parish was going through a divorce, the wife a victim of years of domestic abuse. With the pending divorce the abuse escalated, and threatened to spill into the church itself. A few years later my friend and colleague at another church experienced a tragic domestic violence episode in her congregation. Throughout this time I learned tha…