Showing posts from February, 2014

Who is that hussy behind the altar: the (not so) subtle art of Ungifting Our Gifts and the challenge of reclaiming them.

(The title is a quote overheard by a clergywoman about herself)One Sunday morning during coffee hour, as I was discussing the upcoming Lenten program with a parishioner, we were interrupted by a five year old girl who had something she just had to say to me. As usual she was articulate, brilliant, and a little bit hilarious. I mentioned to the parishioner that the girl was “pure leadership material in the making.” He commented on the challenges of being a woman in leadership and mentioned the difficulty his boss encounters because people say she is “bossy.” I said that it seems like people do not know how to respond to women in positions of authority and leadership. To which he said that when his son began to show leadership qualities he was moved into positions that would help form him in leadership through activities at school and in Boy Scouts. Girl’s, he said, are not provided with those same early childhood leadership formation opportunities.My parishioner’s comment lingered with…

Scars of gold

In the family of my childhood I am the oldest child and the only girl, I have three younger brothers. My brothers were mischievous, always getting into some kind of dilemma. One morning they decided to make peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Being only nine and six years old, they had to climb up on the counter to reach the cabinet and pull out the huge jar of honey. Somehow the jar tipped over and honey spilled all over the counter top. Although we cleaned it up there was a sticky residue for many days afterward.

On another occasion my brothers were playing outside. One brother threw a metal pipe, as if it were a javelin in the summer Olympics. Our younger brother ran straight into the path of the flying pipe, which hit him in the head. The gash was deep and required stitches. The scar remained his entire life.  My brother was remorseful for having thrown the pipe, but the one who was hit, just laughed it off. My brothers played hard and sometimes fought hard. But they love each othe…

A little salt, a lot of flavor

The other day I found myself in a conversation with some other women about cooking family meals. It reminded me of a story in a Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor book I read called Traveling with Pomegranates. Ann, a newlywed, describes the complexity of blending two independent lives into a single household and marriage. Cooking for example, and the different ingredients one might use preparing a meal. What kind of seasonings and spices are used that create satisfying meals for people who have grown up with different expectations? How to blend this into a common meal?

My family and I have dinner together almost every night. Usually I am the one who makes the meal, mostly from scratch. Over the last 28 years I tend to fall into cooking trends – we will eat a similar series of meals for a length of time until I grow bored with them and come up with something else. Lately we seem to eat a lot of fajitas and tacos. These are really simple to make and usually I make enough to freeze for a …

Saints in light and life

The other day I posed a question on three different Facebook pages using something called “Crowd-sourcing.” Essentially crowd-sourcing is a term that invites a large number of people, usually from an on-line community, into a discussion. In less than 24 hours I ended up with over 15 pages of notes from the responses I got .These responses have come from people I have never met, who worship in a wide array of Christian traditions, all offering their perspective on the question posed.

In addition to having great discussions, Facebook is also a place where I find and maintain friendships from people I have known throughout my life. More than just a social networking site, Facebook has become a place of connection, and even, dare I say, formation.

A few years ago I was pleased to reconnect with a high school friend after almost forty years of lost contact. We had much to catch up on. I still remember the conversation that ensued after she learned that I am an Episcopal priest. She wrote som…