Monday, June 30, 2008

Getting Into the Boat

Yesterday doubt and fear was foremost in my mind as I considered what is ahead for the PC(USA.) Much of this fear is coming from a feeling of being very exposed. When I was still serving in a More Light congregation as an Associate, it was a lot easier to trust that when change was on the way there would be a strong support system in place as we navigated these changes together.

Now, I am serving as an interim in a rural congregation which, like many congregations, is divided theologically and politically. I had to throw out yesterday morning's lesson in my adult class because all they wanted to talk about was what happened at G.A.. This turned into a heated debate, which I had to moderate. I am sure that the same thing happened in church school classess all over the denomination.

I am also feeling exposed as the Moderator of our Presbytery's Committee on Preparation for Ministry. By and large, I do not have a friendly committee to LGBT folks. So, it will be interesting as we implement G.A.'s direction to not lift up G-6.106b as a "superstandard." Thankfully, G.A.'s actions give me a firm place on which to stand.

As I have been praying and thinking today, the words of our newly elected Stated Clerk, Gradye Parsons, have been ringing in my ears: "Get in the boat. Go across the lake. There will be a storm. You will not die."

So, I'm in the boat. Really, I am. The Spirit is blowing!

Thank you, Jesus.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Rambling Thoughts After General Assembly

I am filled with an equal measure of excitement and apprehension following the actions of the General Assembly of the PC(USA.) Things are moving and shaking much, much sooner than I had anticipated it would in regard to justice and equality in ordination standards and I believe that the one doing the moving and the shaking is none other than the Holy Spirit. Still, I am anxious as to what is ahead of us as a denomination and do not feel like it is time to celebrate.

Part of the blame for my hesitancy I place squarely on the Peace, Unity and Purity (PUP) Task Force, those scoundrels who taught me too well by their Godly example of how to be in community with both those who agree and those who disagree with me. Through their example and through their Spirit-filled report, my heart was changed toward those who disagree with me, particularly on questions of ordination. I was especially convicted in their discussion on allowing that those who disagree with me have come to their places of understanding in as earnest and faithful way as I have.

This is difficult for me, being one whose mind and heart has changed dramatically in the last twelve or so years. I catch myself at times being incredulous that everyone can't see what is so clear to me now. This is, of course, an arrogant and sinful attitude and exactly what the PUP report was asking the Church to work on together in order to move beyond our "positions" and see one another as sisters and brothers in Christ.

So, I am feeling torn between cautious optimism that we may soon rectify what I believe to be a grave injustice to our LGBT brothers and sisters and really and truly feeling the pain of those who believe that the church (small "c") is moving away from them.

Is it anathema to say that I wonder if this is the right time? Are we doing more harm than good right now? I know, it is easy for me to ask such questions because my ordination has never been called into question. I also know that I have a tendency to want to avoid pain and, man, I think we're in for a painful year in the PC(USA.)

I know what my vote is going to be when it is time for my Presbytery to vote on this issue: "Yes, yes, a million times, yes! Take that language out of our Book of Order!" But I don't know that my heart will be rejoicing when I do so.

May the Spirit lead us.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Woot! Woot!

I am one happy Presbyterian right now! Bruce Reyes-Chow, pastor of Mission Bay Community Church in San Francisco was elected tonight as Moderator of General Assembly!

Yes, I have been watching the live streaming of G.A. online. I'm officially a geek!

I am encouraged by this choice and pray for him in his ministry in this role for the next two years.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Word Association Friday Five

Singing Owl says: I am feeling like playing hooky, and I'm putting off sermon prep till tomorrow. It is a beautiful, sunny day at my place. So come on outside and let's play a summer Friday Five!This post is loosely based on previous "wordy" Friday Fives from Reverend Mother and Songbird. I liked the results, and so we are doing another word association . Theirs were based on words from a lectionary text. Mine comes from the Lovin' Spoonful song, "Summer in the City."Think summer......are you there?

Below you will find five words or phrases. Tell us the first thing you think of on reading each one. Your response might be simply another word, or it might be a sentence, a poem, a memory, a recipe, or a story. You get the idea:

My answers are kind of boring, but I wrote the first thing that came into my head!

1. rooftop: reindeer- I guess I'm ready for winter!

2. gritty: nitty gritty

3. hot town (yeah, I know, it's two words): "Summer in the City" Was there another answer?

4. night: Night life- of which I've had precious little of in recent years!

5. dance: my daughter- who dances around everywhere!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

This Song Does Not Reflect My Feelings For Any of You...

My husbanad and I went to see Aimee Mann in concert the other night, which was fantastic. She is such a wonderful alternative to the overproduced crap that is out there. We had a great time, especially considering we hadn't been out for a long time.

This guy, David Ford, was her opening act. He's a singer-songwriter from England who sings mostly angsty (is that a word?) and dark songs. We had to laugh when about four songs into his set he announced, "Now, I'm going to sing a sad song."

The attached video is the song he opened with and, well, I've never been told to "go to hell" so exquisitely.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I've Been Tagged

Singing Owl tagged me for this meme, so here goes...

Rules: The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions/statements about himself or herself. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Ten years ago:
In June 1998, I was living in a small town in Missouri working as an Associate Pastor in a church of another denomination. One does not need an MDiv in this particular denomination. I didn't yet know that I was a Presbyterian at heart, but I did know that I no longer belonged in that denomination, as I had decided not to seek ordination by that body. By this time, I had already submitted my resignation to the church and was looking ahead to my August wedding, moving to Denver and beginning seminary that Fall. From there everything changed. Thank God!

Five things on today's "to do" list:
sit and do nothing for at least 10 minutes!
sign grant applications on behalf of some inquirers and candidates
research c-pap masks- I am desperate for one that I will actually use!

Things I'd do if I was a billionaire:
pay off debt!
buy my Mom a house
set up an educational fund for my kids
pay-off my Presbytery's court costs (property issues from a large church leaving the denomination- ugh!)
do all I could to bring an end to human trafficking
support mission

Three bad habits:
chewing my hair
throwing clothes on the floor

Five places I've lived:
New Mexico
Budapest, Hungary

Five jobs I've had:
birthday party clown (not anywhere near as fun as it might sound)
English teacher
physical therapist's assistant

Let's see, I tag PK, grace-thing, RevKim, Lutheran Mom, and Mags

Friday, June 06, 2008

A Perfect Friday

We did not move from this swimming hole for over three hours- and we had the time of our lives!
It had been so long since I had last lost track of time.
What a beautiful day!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Primary Over! (Projected)

Obama said tonight, "What you won't hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon..."

Yes, we can? Oh, I hope and pray so.

Monday, June 02, 2008

On the eve of the final primaries...

I don't usually write about politics here, but I've got to tell ya, I am one weary Democrat. I know I'm not the only one. I was feeling quite hopeful and full of anticipation back in, say, February. Now, I just want it over already and pray, pray, pray that tomorrow will be the day when we can finally say that we have an official nominee.

I listen to a lot of NPR as I drive the 44 miles each way from my house to my church. Of course, today was full of talk about this past weekend with the rules committee and what tomorrow's primaries will hold. On the Diane Rehm show this morning, they spent quite a bit of time talking about the bitter disappointment of many Clinton supporters, especially "feminist" and "progressive" women, as it becomes more and more apparent that she will not be the nominee.

It's interesting to me how little attention has been paid to women who would also self-identify as "feminist" and "progressive" who are Obama supporters. It's also interesting to me how many RevGals I've noticed who are Obama supporters. I am one of them.

It seems to me that all we've seen in the media about female supporters of Obama is "Obama Girl." As much as I get a kick out of Obama Girl, I do not "have a crush on Obama." I actually think he's kind of dorky looking, but I believe that he's our best chance right now to have someone in the White House who in concerned about peacemaking and justice for all people.

*End of political commentary*