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Showing posts from July, 2014

Living the Call

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In the summer of 1974 I was seventeen years old and preparing to start college in the fall. My family had left the Mormon Church, the church of my ancestors and my childhood, when I was fifteen. I had no desire or intention of ever returning to an institutional church. Therefore I had no idea of what transpired in a church in Philadelphia on July 29th  when Bishops in the Episcopal Church ordained, out of order, eleven women to the priesthood. Although the church did not specifically deny women ordination, neither did it endorse women’s ordination to the priesthood. That endorsement came several years later at General Convention. Then I had never even heard of the Episcopal Church, let alone ever considered what it would take to be ordained in the church.

Twenty years later I was an active member of the Episcopal Church, having found my way back to the institution in 1989. My husband and I bought our first house in a little neighborhood on the Northwest side of Chicago. Nearby was a li…

Life is hard.

A reflection on the readings for Proper 12A: Genesis 29:15-28 and Romans 8:26-39

Jacob, grandson of Abraham, son of Isaac, brother of Esau, falls in love with a woman at a well, a typical place for love to begin in the Bible. The woman’s name is Rachel. Jacob wants to marry Rachel, but her father, Laban, insists that Jacob work for him for seven years and then he can marry Rachel. So Jacob does.

Life is hard.

After seven years Jacob prepares to marry Rachel, but Laban tricks Jacob and sends his older daughter, Leah, to the marriage bed. Rachel learns of the deceit, but rather than disgrace her older sister, she conspires with Leah to let this happen. Jacob decides to work seven more years for Rachel.

Life is hard.

Jacob works for Laban, and the years pass, but he finally gets to marry Rachel. Rachel has a difficult time with pregnancy and eventually dies in childbirth, but not before she gives birth to the child who becomes the ancestor of King David, and Jesus.

Life is so very hard.

Rachel …

Monday Morning Musings: Random thoughts

Yesterday was my first Sunday back in the pulpit, so to speak. We have three services in the summer (one being a popular out-door service that is short and lively). The services in the summer are all casual, I don't use the pulpit.

It was the first time in awhile that I have preached and presided at all three services, the Curate being on a much needed vacation. Fourteen years of doing this work, and still I was unbelievable tapped out Sunday afternoon. It amazes me to realize, from time to time, just how much energy is spent leading and preaching worship. Following the services I took the dogs for a walk and then went to two hours of yoga. One was a regular yoga class, the other was a "restorative" yoga class. I have done this many times in the past, but yesterday I was particularly struck by how hard it was to move. All I really wanted to do was go to sleep. So I went to bed early and slept for nine hours.

My seventeen year old cat seemed to be in distress last week. I c…

With a spirit of hope....

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A cup of coffee in one hand and my Kindle Fire in the other I sat at the kitchen table reading a novel.The sun was shining, the breeze was soft and warm. The novel, by one of my favorite authors, Amanda Eyre Ward, was engaging.

Suddenly, from the periphery of my eye I see a small branch, almost a twig, fall from the tree in the yard outside the sliding glass doors. Then, a second later, a squirrel falls to the ground. Apparently the small squirrel wandered out on a too small branch, small enough to break under the tiny weight of the squirrel, plunging both of them into a thirty foot drop. The squirrel landed with a loud thud on all four feet. It stood where it had landed for a couple of seconds. Then, as if testing its legs, it did that squirrel hop-run for about four steps, then stopped again. It stood still for a very long time.

I watched and waited, wondering if the squirrel was assessing the damage or catching its breath? I wondered if it would bound away or fall over. I could see i…

Friday Five: Organizing!

Jan, over at the RevGalBlogPals blog offers a Friday Five on "organizing."

1. How do you organize? Is there a difference with various objects? I have a variety of ways that I organize, usually based on usage. I like to be mostly clutter-free but I keep small piles of current projects on the corner of my desk. I file away everything else, but my filing system is pretty random. I sometime scoop up a too big pile from my desk and shove it into a cabinet and close the door - just so my office will look clean. At the end of every program year I have to clean out everything, reorganize, and file stuff away. It lasts all summer and then accumulates again as the year wears on....

I have fairly well organized kitchen drawers and cabinets and some that are chaos - like spices  overflowing in a corner cabinet and cooking utensils crammed into a drawer.

2. Do you have any cluttered spots in your office or home? Describe. see above

3. What do you organize well? And not? see above

4. What do y…

God help us

In the summer months, Jane Redmont, an Episcopal laywoman and educator, offers on-line retreats that she calls "Novena's" - nine day short reflections. She posts quotes from the author's written material along with reflections and questions of her own, to guide the retreat. I ' joined her for the recent William Stringfellow Novena, and learned a lot about this twentieth century author and leader in the Church.

Here is an excerpt from William Stringfellow “The Mythology of a Justified Nation” (1984) posted yesterday:
The problem of America as a nation, in biblical perspective, remains the elementary issue of repentance. The United States is, as all nations are, called in the Word of God to repentance. That, in truth, is what the church calls for, whether knowingly or not, every time the church prays “Thy Kingdom come.”

America needs to repent. Every episode in the common experience of America as a nation betells that need. If such be manifest in times of trauma and t…

Midsummer Monday Musings

A cup of coffee in one hand and my Kindle Fire in the other I sat at the kitchen table reading a novel. It's the last day of a two week vacation and I am soaking up every minute of having no schedule, no routine, and nothing I have to do. The sun is shining, the breeze is soft and warm. The novel, by one of my favorite authors, Amanda Eyre Ward, is engaging.

Suddenly, out of the periphery of my eye I see a small branch, almost a twig fall from the tree in the yard outside the kitchen sliding glass doors. Then, a second later, a squirrel falls to the ground. Apparently the small squirrel wandered out on a too small branch, small enough to break under the tiny weight of the squirrel, plunging both of them into a thirty foot drop. The squirrel landed with a loud thump on all four feet. It stood where it had landed for a couple of seconds. Then, as if testing it's legs, it did that squirrel hop-run for about four steps, then stopped again. It stood still for a very long time.

I watc…

Friday Five: Summer!

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RevKarla, over at RevGals, offers this Friday Five:

It’s Friday, and TBTG! Even when I work all weekend, I still love that “Friday feeling”, you know? PLUS~~it’s summer! So, for a summer Friday Five, here are a few thoughts to ponder upon:

1. What makes you happy in your happy hour? (kicking off shoes, reading a book, a cocktail, lemonade~~essentially, what do you do to relax at the end of your week…) My happy hour hits about 4pm. Shortly before, if my day has gone as planned, I will have spent thirty minutes meditating. This is followed by a glass of iced tea and a handful of almonds, a few dried apricots, and maybe some trail mix of nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate. I am working to reduce the amount of sugar I consume, satisfying my sugary needs with fruit. I like to drink and nibble while reading a book on my Kindle.

2. I have a pair of shorts that I jump into the minute I get home for the evening–every day in the summer. What’s your favorite summer “garment”? My latest favorite summe…