Friday, March 30, 2007
Do I seem like a racist to you? A homophobe? A xenophobe? Have I given the impression that I dislike people of other cultures or genders? Do I seem gullible enough to think that story about a particular Big Box retailer is true? Friends, family, acquaintances... I love you all dearly -- however, I do not want to see forwarded emails about the above topics.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
You've known me to blog about my Good, Good Friend (GGF). Well, GGF needed a little cheering up yesterday, so I emailed her the following funny picture I found on the internet:
GGF wrote back and said: "Oh, my! Is that a Wacky Package??? You're much too young to remember wacky packages, but I loved 'em, back in the day. " Yes, GGF, I am too young to recognize a Wacky Package. (What a yucky name for a product!) But they seem to be making a comeback -- http://www.wackypackages.com/
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
- headline of the NY Times -- "Eisenhower Dead at 78"
- Pope Paul VI nominates new 33 Cardinals
- #1 song on the pop charts -- "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye
- Tina Louise is a guest on the Jackie Gleason show
- An Earthquake occurs in Ethiopia
- The Grateful Dead play a live concert at the Ice Palace in Las Vegas, NV
- Tokyo opens a new Metro station
- Rob Ridenhour writes a letter to Congress about the My Lai incident and its cover-up
- Diane Crump becomes first female jockey to win a stakes horse race
- Maoist New People's Army is formed in the Philippines
- Mariner 7 spacecraft travels towards Mars
- Gary & Liz are married at the First Presbyterian Church in Grand Forks, North Dakota
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
If you've enjoyed Anne Lamott's previous non-fiction works, you will LOVE this book. If you haven't read any Anne Lamott, hustle over to Amazon.com or your local public library and start reading. ("Traveling Mercies" is the first of three books in this series.)
Thursday, March 22, 2007
I have mentioned before that Little Church on the Desert is literally the southernmost place in the county before a vast expanse of the Gila River Indian Community. Past the church's parking lot is desert, desert and more desert.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
The Session of Little Church on the Desert voted to accept my resignation last evening. It was an emotional announcement to make. The overall tone was warm and gracious, though one member did burst into tears, ran from the room and did not return to the meeting. I will be at Little Church through the end of April. By that point, it will have been an 18-month Interim. I am so sad to leave. I will miss looking out of my office window and seeing the desert.
We have sold our house. We have bought a new house. By the beginning of May, we will be unpacking boxes in a new town in the Midwestern U.S. By the end of May, I will be serving as the associate pastor for a large, suburban congregation. I have not yet thought of my blog name for this new church -- I am open to suggestions.
I am experiencing so many conflicting feelings -- excitement/anxiety, fear/joy, elation/exhaustion. But I feel SO called to this new church. No ambivalence there. There have been so many examples of radical hospitality offered to me by this new congregation, it kind of makes me wonder if they are really Presbyterians. Don't they know about the "frozen chosen"?
I will keep you posted. Thanks for the prayers that you've been sending our way. We feel them!
Monday, March 19, 2007
My husband, Sheep Days, tagged me with this meme.
1. Go to wikipedia and type in your birthday, month and day only. (July 6)
2. List events that occurred on that day that interest you.
1415 - Jan Hus is burned at the stake.
Brett and I are working on our 7th year of marriage. I figured out this morning that we have lived in four places together since the year 2000 (2 apartments, one manse, one house) and will be moving to our 5th home soon. We have lived in three different states and have had two children and three cats. We have driven five different vehicles (old Toyota, new Toyota, two Dodge cars, one pickup truck) and I've had many different haircuts and hair colors (Brett's hair is the same... ha!) We are excellent (if often anxious) change-agents.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
I have passed the point of no return, it seems. When our daughter stayed at my folks' house for a couple of nights this week, she performed the amazing parlor trick of climbing out of the crib. For a 28-month-old who weighs less than 25 pounds, this is a feat of both strength and flexibility. So Brett and I had to face facts. She needed a Big Girl bed. So we moved her brother's bed into her room, bought new pink sheets and a fancy pink-striped bedspread for her "new" bed and bought our son... a bunk bed.Brett spent the afternoon assembling the bunk bed. When our son finally went upstairs to see the "surprise" Daddy had created, his responses included, "This is an amazing thing!", "It's lovely, Daddy!" and the ultimate seal of approval: "I'm a Big Boy now!" Our daughter spent some time of the night calling for "Mommeee!" -- at 8:00PM -- at 9:00PM -- at 1:30AM -- and at 2:30AM. But she stayed in the bed. She didn't fall out. Every Big Boy and Big Girl in this house is quite pleased this morning.
Friday, March 16, 2007
What you want may now be found, far from familiar common ground. A stagnant or stifling situation may soon be removed or re-arranged. You might do some deep thinking about things ...especially life and death. Any new romance at this time may involve someone you work with. Affection or attraction may depend too much on "take-home pay". Today you might feel more possessive of your property, or covet someone else's. If you resist a temptation to coerce or manipulate now, you might avoid a loss later.
I've been out of the blog world for almost a week now. We've been out of town & other exciting developments to be named later...
For these reasons, this is a very appropriate Friday 5. What am I planning on doing today? I am planning on:
1) Catching up on emails on my church computer.
2) Finishing my liturgy planning for Holy Week.
3) Contacting various service people for quotes on work at our house.
4) Reconciling the bank statement to our Quicken.
5) Trying to get over the sniffles/cold symptoms I acquired during my travels.
This coming weekend is crazy -- Presbytery, a youth director candidate flying in for an interview, solid meetings all day on Sunday, visiting (again) a church member who was unexpectedly hospitalized. Next week doesn't look any less busy. Wow -- this Friday 5 has just made me tired. I need another cup of coffee before I get started.
I hope everyone has a great day!
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Brett heard this on "The Writer's Almanac" radio program earlier this week.
"Prayer Requests at a Mennonite Church" by Todd Davis from Some Heaven.
Prayer Requests at a Mennonite Church
Pray for the Smucker family. Their son Nathaniel's coat and shirt were caught in the gears while grinding grain. Nothing would give, so now he is gone. We made his clothes too well. Perhaps this is our sin.
Pray for the Birky family. Their son Jacob fell to his death in the granary. He was covered in corn before they could stop the pouring—chest crushed by the weight, seed spilling from his mouth. We hope something will grow from this, besides our grief.
Pray for the Hartzler family. Their youngest has left the church and no longer believes that Christ died for her sins. She buys clothes at the mall. Tongue pierced, nose as well. Her shirt shows her belly where a ring of gold sprouts. We pray she will remember that her Lord's side was pierced, that His crown held no gold, only the dried blood of His brow.
Pray for the Miller family. Last week their daughter, who lives in Kalona, lost her baby at birth. Child only half-formed: head turned the wrong way; heart laid on the outside of her chest; one leg little more than an after thought. Lord, help them know that life may come again, that we are all made whole in heaven.
Pray for the Stutzman family. Their son fights in the war. We call him back to the Prince of Peace, to our Savior who knelt to gather the slave's ear, brushed the dirt away, lifted it to the side of his flushed face. May we leave no scars. May we ask no blessing for the killing done in His name.
Friday, March 09, 2007
It has been a crazy week and I haven't had the time or the energy to blog. Plus, I haven't had any creative ideas about what I should blog about. But I took a book down from a shelf this evening and my blog topic became obvious. "The Weird Things I Found Inside My Books".
The following list is of the items I found inside the books on one shelf of non-fiction books:
- Bookmarks from the following bookstores: alibris.com (an online bookseller), Second Thoughts Bookseller (Hastings, MN), Joseph-Beth Booksellers (Lexington, KY), Half Price Books (2) (Austin, TX), Half Price Books (Tempe, AZ), and Antigone Books (Tucson, AZ)
- Bookmarks with the following inscriptions: the PC(USA) Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study (this bookmark doubles as a 6-inch-long ruler), the Western National Parks Association, "Behold, I send an angel before you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place which I have prepared." Exodus 23:20 (this one is especially odd because the "angel" in the illustration is quite sexy)
- Three playing cards: one from Skip-Bo and two jokers from a deck called "Fun Travels on Route 66"
- the business card from Dave Pegram, the guy who once sold us a car at Oxmoor Toyota in Louisville, KY
- three pink slips of paper, which say "anomy", "secularizaion" and "alienation" in my handwriting
- a slip of paper that says"Please fill out, cut at the line indicated, and turn in at the Apr. 28 Meeting"
- a slip of paper that says "Church Secretary: Responsibilities"
- a diagram that says "Scales of Wise Maturity in Leadership" and has the name of the meanest family in the church we served as co-pastors written next to it in Brett's writing, along with a derisive comment
- various paper clips, blank pieces of paper, blank notecards and post-its
- the invoice for the Cuisenart I bought Brett for Christmas
- a letter from Louisville Seminary, postmarked Jan 08'03. The letter reminds me of my commitment to speak to the graduating seminarians on the importance of self-care from the perspective of a recently ordained minister. My notes are handwritten on the back: "+church, +bathtub, +--->Secrets, +Answering Machine, etc., +Sp. Retreats, +no guilt, +same interests. (Under this brilliant commentary is written the name of the bar where we were to meet some friends)
There you have it, folks. I live a wild and crazy life.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
It is not a good idea to allow scary movies, especially too close to bedtime. If these movies are particularly graphic, you will be getting up in the night, dealing with someone who can't sleep very well because the ideas from the film are rolling around in their mind.
I'm not talking about the kids. I'm talking about me. Brett and I almost never see movies in the theatre; it is almost as rare for us to watch them on DVD. But we have a gift card from Blockbuster that we needed to use. We've seen two scary movies in the last two nights.
On Sunday night we watched the terrifying documentary Jesus Camp. Seeing six-year-olds praying to a cardboard cut-out of George W and hoards of children being groomed as "Christian" warriors is a blood-chilling sight. Ted Haggard -- sporting his pre-outing personality and using the word "fabulous" in every other sentence -- is quite telling.
Last night we watched a slightly less scary film (only because of its fictional nature), Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning The Departed. Brett loves these kinds of movies, but I find myself hiding my eyes during 50% of the action. Poor Brett has to keep putting the DVD on pause to explain what I missed while I was cringing into my chair.
Next time we'll rent some jazzy musicals. Then it can be Brett's turn to cringe.
Monday, March 05, 2007
My head is hurting this morning. The weather is cloudy and overcast; I'm sure the barometric pressure is messing with my head. My secretary is in a major snit because the email is not working at church and she is loudly working with the tech support guy to fix the problem. I normally like having the office next to hers, but this morning I wouldn't mind being down the hall. I have a bottle of Excedrin that came with me to this church 15 months ago when I began as the Interim Pastor. My father has single-handedly kept Excedrin on the market over the years -- and I've started to think that the pain medicine combined with caffeine is probably a good idea. I just took two with a Diet Coke. Hopefully I will feel better in the next half-hour or so.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Okay, PC(USA) polity wonks -- I have a dumb blonde question for you. How is it possible to file charges against someone who is not in your Presbytery? How would you get the information required to file against this person? I am not making any comments on the merits of the charges; I am honestly confused as to how this would happen. Of the 14 accusers in this case, one is in the woman's own Presbytery. What's up with the other 13? I am obviously missing something here...
March 2, 2007
New complaint filed in Pittsburgh same-sex marriage
case 14 accusers say Janet Edwards willfully defied ordination vows, church law
by Evan Silverstein
LOUISVILLE - A new complaint has been filed against the Rev. Janet Edwards, the Presbyterian minister in Pittsburgh who last year was taken to church court for marrying a lesbian couple, only to have the charges dropped because the court found they were filed four days late.
The Rev. James C. Yearsley, a Presbyterian minister who is currently serving in Florida, filed a complaint against Edwards shortly after she performed the marriage in June 2005, only to see the charges against her dismissed on a technicality in November. Pittsburgh Presbytery's Permanent Judicial Commission ruled that a special investigating committee filed charges against Edwards after its deadline for doing so. But now a new case may be brought against Edwards, who has been an activist for the full participation of gay and lesbian people in the church. Yearsley announced last month that he has submitted a new grievance against Edwards that alleges she acted in "willful and deliberate defiance" of her ordination vows and of the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Seven other PC(USA) ministers and six elders from Texas, North Carolina, Illinois,
Pennsylvania and Washington state have signed on to the new complaint, joining Yearsley as "co-accusers." Yearsley, who filed the original 2005 complaint alone, said in a press release that he decided to re-file the accusation with Pittsburgh Presbytery in conjunction with others this time "because the church and Ms. Edwards never had their day in court."
The PC(USA)'s Book of Order defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and church courts have ruled that Presbyterian ministers may not utilize the denomination's marriage liturgy in same-sex ceremonies. Edwards was ordained by
Pittsburgh Presbytery in 1977 and served as its moderator in 1987. She currently is assigned as an "at large" minister working primarily as a parish associate through the Community of Reconciliation, an interracial and multi-denominational congregation that is open to persons of all sexual orientations. "I am sincerely and deeply disturbed by the renewal of accusations against me for presiding at the wedding," Edwards said. "Embracing the loving Holy Spirit, which so filled the wedding of Nancy (McConn) and Brenda (Cole), is what we desperately need now, not contending against it."
A Pittsburgh native, Yearsley, 55, has been pastor of Village Presbyterian Church in Tampa, FL, since February 2006. When he filed his original complaint against Edwards he was serving as pastor at Mt. Hope Community Church, a Presbyterian congregation in suburban Pittsburgh. Yearsley and the 13 other ministers and elders are being represented by Paul Rolf Jensen, a southern California attorney who has filed dozens of similar complaints against Presbyterian ministers and governing bodies throughout the United States. "What our denomination desperately needs right now are people contending for the faith," Jensen said. "To ignore Rev. Edwards' gross misconduct and heretical behavior would be to turn a blind eye to the cancer that inflicts our denomination."
In their complaint, a copy of which Jensen provided to the Presbyterian News Service, the church leaders accused Edwards of acting in "willful and deliberate violation of her ordination vows" as stated in the Book of Order by performing the same-sex wedding ceremony of Cole and McConn. Edwards, 56, said she does not believe she violated her ordination vows by marrying the lesbian partners, who live near Wheeling, WV. McConn is a lifelong Presbyterian and longtime member of Dallas Presbyterian Church in Dallas, WV. Cole was raised Methodist but now is a practicing Buddhist.
The 14 co-accusers also contend that Edwards performed a marriage ceremony that was "heretical and apostate" in that it was "contrary to the Word of God and the Book of Confessions by expressing Buddhist doctrine anathema to the Christian faith." They also claim that Edwards "assaulted the peace, unity and purity of the church" by repeatedly proclaiming in the secular media "defiance, apostasy and intent to continue such behavior."
Edwards, who is a direct descendant of legendary Puritan theologian Jonathan Edwards, could face a number of punishments, including removal from ordained ministry, if the case goes to trial and she's convicted. "As this renewed disciplinary process unfolds my focus will be upon reconciling prayer, trusting completely that God's love can bring healing and reconciliation to us all in the PC(USA) and that what will happen will help to spread the gospel," Edwards said.
Jensen responded that "the gospel of Jesus Christ is being distorted and perverted by Rev. Edwards and her supporters." The Rev. James E. Mead,
Pittsburgh Presbytery's executive, declined to comment on the case.
The seven ministers joining Yearsley in signing the complaint are: the Rev. L. Russ Howard of Washington Presbytery; the Rev. David Perry of Coastal Carolina Presbytery; the Rev. James Coone of Grace Presbytery; the Rev. Robert Kopp of Blackhawk Presbytery; the Rev. Jim Tilly of Blackhawk Presbytery; the Rev. Toby Brown of Mission Presbytery; and the Rev. Mark Hughey of Blackhawk Presbytery. The six elders signing the complaint are: Sarah Beard of Mountain View Presbyterian Church in Marysville, WA; Everett Worrell of First Presbyterian Church in Belvidere, IL; Mark Rouleau of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Rockford, IL; Robert Gagnon of Eastminster Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, PA; Pamela Easton of Bethany Presbyterian Church in Loves Park, IL; and Virginia Worrell of First Presbyterian Church in Belvidere, IL.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Austin Seminary's academic dean and prolific author, Dr. Michael Jinkins, wrote a great article in the March issue of Presbyterians Today. By the way, I like the term "yawnfest".
At first glance a Presbyterian understanding of the “connectional church” promises to be about as exciting as a brown paper bag — like the one I put my peanut butter sandwich in this morning. Other distinctively Presbyterian beliefs — like the doctrine of total depravity — pack some sizzle. Predestination: now that’s a doctrine you can sink your teeth into. But connectionalism? Yawn. In fact, however, the theological ideas underlying connectionalism are rich and wonderfully grounded in the Bible and in the life of the church stretching back over 20 centuries. Arguably more blood has been spilled and more hearts broken around this concept than any other in the church’s history. The words that fly when the church’s connectionalism is called into question — words like schism, heresy, orthodoxy, secession, dissenters, apostates — are among the most
inflammatory in the lexicon of faith. Far from being a yawnfest, the church’s understanding of connectionalism is a minefield. What is needed most here is light, not more heat.
A revolutionary message
The New Testament understands the church as a spiritually organic reality. The relationship between Jesus and his disciples is not just that between a charismatic leader and his followers or a gifted teacher and his students, but is (according to John’s Gospel) like that between a vine and its branches and (according to Paul) like that between a human body and its head.
To read the entire article:
order this article order this issue of Presbyterians Today