Showing posts from December, 2011

RevGals Friday Five: Nearly New Year's Edition

Roxie, our 13 year old Lab-Red Heeler mix, on the deck, enjoying a wonderful early summer afternoon.

Sally, over at RevGals, offers this Friday Five Meme:

A simple Friday Five for a busy part of the year; indulge me by sharing two fives:

As you look back over 2011 share 5 blessings, they can be as grand or as simple as you like,if you year has been like mine they are probably a mixture!

As you look towards 2012 share 5 hopes- again, anything goes
Five blessings:

1. This new call. I feel very blessed to serve this community of very fine people, who are mindful of God's call to justice, compassion, and love.

2. Family stability. My family has had a rough time over the last couple of years. This year we each found stability. It's nice to enjoy my kids as young adults who are finding their way in the world.

3. Our dogs. Last spring our sweet dog, Roxie, at the age of 13 started to have seizure-like episodes, losing bodily function and the ability to walk. We took her to the vet who…

A Christmas Story

A reflection on the readings for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

A friend of mine is fond of telling a story about her life and then concluding with, “That’s my story and I’m sticking with it!”

The other night my husband, son, and I were watching the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, the version that came in 2000 with Jim Carry as the Grinch. Several times we remarked that they changed the story, a lot, in order to make a full length movie out of it. It is significantly different from the version I saw as a child. Then our son said, this is the only version of the story he remembers. Same story, two versions…

Tom Satre told the following story to the Sitka (Alaska) Gazette: he was out with a charter group on his 62 foot fishing vessel when four juvenile black-tailed deer swam directly toward his boat. “Once the deer reached the boat,’ he said, ‘ the four began to circle the boat, looking directly at us. We could tell right away that the young bucks were distressed.

I opened up my back gate a…

Monday Morning Musings

Sometimes I just have let go. Last week, as if I couldn't get any busier, I did. By Saturday afternoon, when I sat down to write my sermon for Sunday morning, I was completely drained. I managed to write down a skeleton of a sermon and then let it go. Over night the sermon percolated in my thoughts and by morning I realized that I was going to preach without the text, filling out some of the pieces, and only using my iPad for the quote and conclusion. It worked fairly well. Particularly my idea to have all of us sit in silence for a minute or so. People seemed to appreciate that.

Yesterday included two worship services, including one where we blessed items for worship that were acquired from Memorial Gifts. This was followed by the "greening" of the church, a short break, writing my newsletter article, reviewing worship for Christmas Eve/Day, and officiating at a Lessons and Carols performance, led by a chorus from a local community college. It was a performance, not te…

Tender Time

Goodness. Here we are, Advent Four, already!

I find that the season of Advent has flown by – from that first Sunday after Thanksgiving and the Sunday’s following when we celebrated the Rite 13 service and welcomed two young men into adulthood, and last Sunday with the flurry of celebration and activity that always accompanies a Bishop’s visit. Parish life has been full of celebration. It has also been a time of healing and tending to those who are ill. As it happens in life we have had a number of critically ill people this month, thankfully most of them are on the mend. We have E.P., who died yesterday after a long battle with leukemia and Alzheimer’s. All this busy-ness seems inevitable in Advent, a season in which we are called, paradoxically, to be still, to be quiet, to reflect on the various ways we come to know Christ in our lives.

Unexpectedly, I found myself, last night, sitting in silence. No television. No radio. No music playing. Sitting in the living room with the Christm…

Friday Five: The Making a List, edition

Jan, over at RevGals, offers this Friday Five meme:

Ever since I was little, I heard that Santa is making a list and checking it twice. I can see why he has to keep checking it, because there is so much to do before Christmas! Only nine days left, and I don't have church services to plan, but there is much left to be done. My daughter-in-law tells me that she feels behind, which is how I have been feeling.

No matter how organized you are, there must be some things you still need to do. For this Friday Five, tell us five things on your Christmas "To Do" List. Include anything you have decided to skip doing this year. As a bonus, give us something that helps you remember why this season even exists.
1. My shopping is almost complete. I have had a big list this year, although most of my gifts are little "Thank-You's" to people who have done so much for the church and our ministry. I am in the midst of baking, wrapping, and signing cards as part of the thanking …

Monday Morning Musings

I'm recovering today from a lively, wonderful, intensely busy weekend due to the Bishop's visit and the nine people we confirmed. In the Episcopal Church the primary confirmation event takes place at baptism when the priest or bishop dips their thumb in holy oil, makes the sign of the cross on the forehead, and pronounces the person "marked" as Christ's own forever. This action of baptism and confirmation in one ritual recreates the rite from the ancient church. Then, taking into consideration that confirmation has already happened, the church offers an rite for young people and adults, to make a profession of faith reaffirming the statements made on their behalf at baptism.

Although it is not required, I offered a "confirmation preparation" retreat. At this retreat I used a "journal" with questions intending to help us unpack the Baptismal Covenant. So, for example, we reflected on the nature of sin, evil, dignity, justice, and loving our nei…

RevGalBlogPals Friday Five: the Random edition....

RevKarla over at RevGals offers this Friday Five:

I don't know about you, but my life seems to have a lot of random surprises lately. Just little things, like the doggy who was rescued by a Good Samaritan from running into traffic, who then brought him to the police, who brought him to my neighbor's house. I took the doggy, now named Scout, to the vet on Monday, and the woman behind the desk said, "This dog looks so familiar. Were you here last week?" I told her no, that this particular dog is a stray, and she looked at me, and said (use your best Boston accent here), "Oh my GAWD! I rescued that dog on Satuhday! I took him to the police!" and then she proceeded to tell me the story. She was Scout's angel.

Random, right?

So, for our Friday Five, I invite you share five random things about you, or five random thoughts, or five random surprises in your life.

Just be random...
1. Lately I enjoy drinking the Yogi brand teas. I am fond of their …

Monday Morning Musings

It's a chilly, rainy morning here. I am sitting by a fire, Bach Adagio Christmas music is playing, the Christmas tree is lit, and the coffee is warm and delicious. I am grateful.

No doubt I am working hard. So much going on at the church! Every weekend brings some significant activity. This Sunday the Bishop will visit, and so we have a confirmation retreat planned for Friday night and Saturday day. I am working on collecting some movie clips to show examples of the baptismal covenant being lived out. We'll make communion bread, with each person bringing some of the ingredients. We have a journal to guide us, some of the work will be quiet, reflective writing, some will be group discussion. We'll share a couple of meals. The following week we are hosting a local choir for Lessons and Carols, and then it's Christmas.

We also three people in the hospital, all in serious condition. Actually they are in different hospitals about 30 minutes apart. I've been to the hosp…

Taking Comfort in Angry Birds and other things that call me to pay attention

One of my favorite games on my old cell phone was Bejeweled – a puzzle game played by matching three colored jewels in a row. I was sad to learn that there is not a version of Bejeweled that will play on my new cell phone, nor on my iPad. So I’ve been on the search for mind games, other than solitaire. Many people recommend the game, Angry Birds. I have resisted this game, mostly because I didn’t like the title – Angry Birds – not wanting to endorse violence, even cartoon violence. So, I refused to get this game. Refused that is until the other night when I found a free version of it, and became instantly hooked on the game – finding it endlessly amusing. Essentially the puzzle offers a tower built of various materials – glass, wood, concrete – and within the tower are pigs, often dressed like construction workers. To the side is a huge sling shot from which one propels birds into the tower. The sound effects include the birds squealing with delight as they fly through the air, a res…