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Showing posts from June, 2012

To Do Tada!

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(I found this list posted on Facebook, credited to Julian Lennon, but my efforts to create a link to his Facebook page fail. Anyway, I didn't create the list, but find it hilarious).

Slowly, methodically, I am moving through my "To-Do" list. The one that contains all the things I need to do before I leave for a week of vacation and a week of General Convention for the Episcopal Church. The list includes:

1.Organize the massive amount of paper in my office. During certain busy times this past year I would literally pick up a pile of papers sitting on my desk and put them inside a cabinet. My office looked clean, but the behind the scenes piles grew. And then the pile on my desk grew. A big part of the issue was lack of file cabinets. We solved the problem by purchasing some mesh file holder that fit inside the built in cabinets in my office - thus enabling me to more effective use this space. I am about half way through the mess. It's unlikely I will get it all done …

Sunday afternoon

What a week - three funerals. I officiated at three funerals this week, that makes four for the month of June. There is the potential for one more funeral, as yet another parishioner faces the end of life reality....

But, not only, what a week. What a month! It began with the Jazz Eucharist - a "regular" Sunday service but with all the music and musical settings lead by a Jazz quartet and to jazz rhythms. Oh, that was fun! A month of pot-lucks and church picnics, and dinner parties, of a week long interfaith seminar, Father's Day, summer worship services, preparing for General Convention, end of the year meetings with diocesan clergy groups....just simply a lot. A lot all compressed into one month.

Oh well, it's all good.

I have also taken on, with some regular diligence, an exercise routine. I try to alternate weights, aerobic, bike riding, and yoga, across the days and week. It feels good to exercise! But that has certainly added to my busyness.

Today, after churc…

RevGals Friday Five

Sally, over at RevGals offers this Friday Five:

Over the last year I have found that life has been tough for various reasons, in bits and pieces I might cope with them all, but one after another in a relentless overlapping procession has left me drained and in need of resources that bring life. Sometimes even those resources are hard to lay my hands on, but even then if I choose to be mindful the memory of them can be sustaining.
So I wonder,
1. What brings you light in the dark places? I am trying to move away from using "darkness" as a metaphor for negativity or challenges. I am trying to understand darkness as the source of life, where life itself begins in the dark womb. However, despair and bleakness are real emotions in my life which have profoundly impacted me. When I am in the depths of despair and hope is lost and life is bleak, I turn to exercise. Moving my body seems to really help. I also turn to prayer. And I read novels, fiction, or poetry (Mary Oliver).


2…

Look Out, Here Comes God!

A reflection on the readings for Proper 6B: I Samuel 15:34-16:13 and Mark 4:26-34

Our Old Testament reading today comes from the Biblical genre known as Judges and kings. These books of the Bible talk about the long history, about 410 years, of the Hebrew people which modulated between tribal leaders, known as judges, and the kings.This story was compiled and culminated in book form between the 9th and 8th centuries BCE. The primary effort during this time was the consolidation of settlements and tribes. Life centered around tribal relationships not cities.
The transition from tribal leader/judge to king was slow because the region had no means of unifying the diverse tribes into one cohesive unit for defense and leadership. After several centuries of leadership by tribal judges they were finally able to unify the tribes and claim a king – the kings are familiar to us : Saul, David (author of the Psalms) and Solomon.
The story in the book of Samuel tells the story of the transition from…

Balance

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This little cutey has taken to teasing and taunting my dogs. Ruby and Emmy wait for the chipmunk to scamper up on the deck, fully anticipating that they will be able to catch her.



But alas, the dogs are confined behind glass, or screen, and the chipmunk seems to know it. Oh sure, she runs off whenever the dogs bark at her (which is often...oh my, so very often....) but she also comes very close, dangerously close if it were not for the sliding glass door. She comes to help herself to the pitcher of bird seed that my husband stores on the deck - a partially full, two quart pitcher...and the chipmunk just plunks herself right down inside the pitcher and eats to her heart content. Until the dogs bark. And then she's gone, faster than lightening.

I know people who despise these little ones. People who tell stories of how they have  rid their yard of them with traps and cats and other cruel devices. We don't do that. I keep thinking of Terry Tempest William's book, "Find…

First Samuel, the last Judge

A reflection on I Samuel 8:4-11, 16-20, 11:14-15

The season after Pentecost, which lasts until the season of Advent – or the end of November, offers us expanded sets of readings – every Sunday we will have two options for the Old Testament reading.For the time being we have chosen to follow Track One, which follows an entire book of the OT. Last summer we heard readings from the Book of Genesis and talked about the creation of the people of God through the great stories of our ancient mothers and fathers of faith.
Genesis is the first book of the Pentateuch – five books also known as the Torah – the primary readings of the Hebrew people and modern day Jews. The Pentateuch lays out the law of God, how the people are to live according to what God desires. It begins with Abraham and then continues with Moses freeing the people from slavery in Egypt, forty years of wandering in the desert in the book of Exodus, two books of laws known as Numbers and Leviticus, and then in Deuteronomy, just…

Raw Material of the Spirit

The funeral, which was planned for this Saturday has been postponed until next Saturday. This is both a blessing in that if frees up this week, which otherwise would have been very intense, and it brings it's own complications of time and space and other commitments that need to be cancelled. Life is full.

So this morning I am back to my routine, my daily effort to begin each day with some time in prayer and reflection followed by exercise. Chapter nine of "Called to Question" focuses on the self, or rather the "Self." Chittister writes,

"Whatever the now-current science of personal development may theorize, the fact remains that the self is all we have. It is the raw material of the spiritual life."
Chittister is very careful to define the self as our most authentic core being which is deeply connected too and, or yearning for, God. It's not the self we might recognize when we look in the mirror.

"It is not the world with which we wrestle…

This Week, of funerals and sorrow

This week will be consumed with funerals and sorrow. One of our beloved saints of the parish, a woman 88 years old has died of a fast growing cancer. She made the decision to go in peace, exclaiming to me, and all who spoke to her, that she had lived a good life, and was ready. For a short time she thought she had six months, but it's only been one.
Also our parish administrator has left town for the week. She has two family funerals, her sister-in-law died Sunday, and then her nephew (son of the sister-in-law) died sudden, in his sleep, the next day.
I'll be extra busy. I always am when the parish admin is gone - she does so much for us! I hope her week is filled with grace, although it will also be a very difficult one.
A week of grief and loss, a week of sorrow. A week of celebrating the gift and the fragility of life. I'll get back to reading and reflecting on "Called to Question" sometime soon - but not today....
Love Sorrow Love sorrow. She is yours now, …

But, Seriously, Who Do You Think I Am?

a reflection on the Gospel of John 3:1-17 for Trinity Sunday

I recently renewed my subscription to the NY Times. I love to receive the Sunday edition and frequently spend Monday, my day off, reading it. One of my favorite articles in the NY Time Magazine used to be, “On Language,” written by the now deceased, William Safire. The column ran for 32 years, including two years after Safire died. The column explored the vagaries of the English language – what words mean and how they are used.For example, Saffire once wrote an entire article on the word “wackadoodle.

Here is part of what Safire said, ….the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. (pastor of the church President Obama use to attend in Chicago) was once called a wackadoodle by a journalist in the New York Times.

Safire goes on to write, “In 1995, The Philadelphia Inquirer quoted a state legislator, David Heckler, when he said that those wanting to repeal a firearms law were ‘ wackadoodles.’

In 2005, the Associated Press quoted a former pro…
I recently renewed my subscription to the NY Times. I love to receive the Sunday edition and frequently spend Monday, my day off, reading it. One of my favorite articles in the NY Time Magazine used to be, “On Language,” written by the now deceased, William Safire. The column ran for 32 years, including eighteen months after Saffire died. The column explored the vagaries of the English language – what words mean and how they are used.For example, Saffire once wrote an entire article on the word “wackadoodle.


Here is part of what Safire said, ….the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. (pastor of the church President Obama use to attend in Chicago) was once called a wackadoodle by a journalist in the New York Times.

Safire goes on to write, “In 1995, The Philadelphia Inquirer quoted a state legislator, David Heckler, when he said that those wanting to repeal a firearms law were ‘ wackadoodles.’

In 2005, the Associated Press quoted a former prosecutor of Michael Jackson, who said, ‘It may sound k…