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Showing posts from November, 2014

Glimpses of hope and love

A reflection on Isaiah 64:1-9 and Mark 13:24-37 for Advent 1B
Recently my husband, son, and I watched (again) the first two movies of the Hunger Game’s series, in preparation for the release of the third movie. When I read the books a few years ago, I couldn’t put them down and consumed each of the three books, one after the other. I loved and hated them simultaneously. The storyline was so disturbing that it infiltrated my dreams in which I tried to rewrite the story so it was less upsetting. The setting is a post-apocalyptic era sometime in the future, in a country named Panem, which is divided into twelve districts that are ruled by an iron-clad government and where oppression and violence and poverty prevail. Ultimately it is a story of hope, justice and love. 
Apocalyptic texts in the Bible do not forecast the future. Instead they address a present time, a time when life feels hopeless. The apocalyptic tone of our readings this morning are paradoxical, describing a hopeless state…

Friday Five: Lists, lists, lists...

Deb over at RevGals offers this Friday Five: The season of lists is upon us! At least, that’s the way I cope with the many events, worship services, visits and potlucks that squeeze in during this holiday season. So let’s talk about how you cope (or don’t) with celebrating minus the stress. 1. Keeping your ducks in a row:Tell us how you manage the craziness. Lists? That faithful old-fashioned pocket calendar? Smart phone reminders? Wall calendar? Sometimes I make lists. Sometimes I write reminders on my iPhone. Often I keep it all in my head and work to calm my adrenalin driven heart until I get through the in-my-head-list. 2. Must-Do Events:What is one event on your list that you look forward to every year and NEVER miss? Not church services — something else that makes the season bright. Bonus points for a picture from a previous year’s event. Every year is a different year, I don't really have an annual "must-do" events. I do have a number of traditions we do every year…

Friday Five: Thanksgiving

Jan, over at the RevGals blog offers this Friday Five meme:
Since I am going out of town for the weekend, I am seeing Thanksgiving suddenly approaching in the USA six days away–order food or buy it to cook?? That will be decided next week if I’m not in a funk: The Cure
Lying around all day
with some strange new deep blue
weekend funk, I’m not really asleep
when my sister calls
to say she’s just hung up
from talking with Aunt Bertha
who is 89 and ill but managing
to take care of Uncle Frank
who is completely bed ridden.
Aunt Bert says
it’s snowing there in Arkansas,
on Catfish Lane, and she hasn’t been
able to walk out to their mailbox.
She’s been suffering
from a bad case of the mulleygrubs.
The cure for the mulleygrubs,
she tells my sister,
is to get up and bake a cake.
If that doesn’t do it, put on a red dress.–Ginger Andrews (from Hurricane Sisters) So this Friday before Thanksgiving, think about Aunt Bert and how she’ll celebrate Thanksgiving! And how about YOU?
1. What is your cure for the “mulleygru…

A Practice of "Staying Awake"....

A reflection on the Propers for 27A, Matthew 25:1-13 for Stewardship Sunday

Twenty years ago, when I was a seminary student, my mentor in the ordination process use to say “Keep awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Usually he would say this to diocesan staff or his clergy colleagues, and I always thought he was talking in some kind of code. I mean, I knew he was quoting scripture, but I had no real idea of the context in which he intended it when he said this to the Bishop’s secretary or the receptionist at the diocesan staff office. On the other hand, every time this piece of scripture comes up I think of that mentor and the time he journeyed with me. 
Keep awake, for you never know when Jesus is going to come, is a piece of Christian wisdom that takes on different meanings depending the context in which one considers it. 
We all grew up hearing proverbs and wise sayings from our parents or teachers. Some I remember are: “never eat yellow snow.” and, “No good deed goes …

Friday Five: Guilty Pleasures

3dogmom, over at the RevGals blog offers this Friday Five: It happened again this week. In a social setting, during a conversation with people that included some I had just met, I made a reference to the church I serve. “Oh!” one of the new acquaintances exclaimed, “I shouldn’t have said hell!” Sigh. This kind of projection can be so tiring, as can the general need to be mindful of how our words and actions are perceived as appropriate (or not). In light of that, I relish moments to myself when I can shed all such perceptions and projections and just be. Occasionally this involves what might be known as a guilty pleasure. For this week’s Friday Five, share with us five “perception be damned!” pleasures in which you indulge. We promise we won’t judge, or tell. What happens at RevGals stays at RevGals. My responses below are less about "guilty pleasures" and more about the reality of my life as an ordinary human being who is also an ordained person, an Episcopal priest. 1. In th…

Becoming One's Self

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A number of years ago I drove from Tucson, Arizona north to Escalante, Utah with my son and his dog. 



Actually, we were driving to Chicago, but we made a stop in Escalante to see my father. A few days later we drove the "loop" from Escalante along the top of the Rockies and then north to Salt Lake City. Our stay in Salt Lake included some time visiting a number of my family members. 


The most notable aspect of this trip was time spent with family - from my son to my father to my aunts and uncles. 
As a little girl I loved my family and have fond memories of spending time with them. That ended when I was nine and we moved away from Salt Lake. Then my time with family became rare, a mere handful of trips between the age of nine and this trip, as a grown woman of 53. I grew up learning how to be disconnected from family, on the one hand, and overly connected to my mother, on the other. It's a long story, this over-connection to my mother, but it defined me then and is at t…