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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Update on our St. Casserole

Mr. Casserole posted a family update this morning. All the Casseroles continue to be in our prayers, I am sure.

Around the Wednesday Webring

The RevGals and their Pals have been blogging about Hurricane Katrina. Check out posts from Lutheran Chik, Mary Beth, Hazelnut Reflections and Quotidian Grace for stories for reflections and prayers and stories from the storm.

Stacey of Thoughts of a First Year Minister questions the value of setting strict boundaries in your work and life. Inner Dorothy expands the discussion of "visioning" vs. "discernment" begun by Rebel Without A Pew.

Will Smama has lost a beloved congregant to controversies in the PCUSA. A beautiful meditation on Mothers and Daughters and adoption is the subject of Songbird's latest post.

Why can't clerical shirts for women be made with darts? wails Rev-to-be-Mibi. I'm sure Stacey and Clinton of What Not To Wear would agree.

Finally, everyone is doing it: the 100 Things About Me meme. Latest entries come from NotShyChiRev, Rebel Without A Pew, and Reverend Mother.

Let's all continue to lift St. Cassarole and family in prayer as they wait for a safe time to return home. St. Cass, I baked two of my Solidarity Texas Chocolate Cakes in your honor yesterday and took them to a dinner at church.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

St. Casserole

Word has it that St. Casserole and family are fine -- they have taken refuge in a neighboring state. Her town, though, may have taken a very bad hit from the hurricane and I am sure that there is damage. Please pray for St. Casserole, her family and her congregation as well as all those killed or displaced by this storm.

In Ga, we've have some damage -- the chainsaws came out in force this morning so I canimagine the damage and the devestation along the Gulf.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Monday around the blogring

It’s been a busy day here in Lake Wobegone…

Welcome to Natty of “Where to Now, God?”—our newest member… hop on over and say hi. Peripatetic Polar Bear is celebrating 10,000 hits with 100 facts.

We continue to pray for St. Casserole and everyone else weathering the storm. Quotidian Grace has some hurricane memories to share.

Terri shares some stories of recent loss over at over at Psalm 121.

ChicagoRev (our chromosomally-diverse blogpal) has some musings on recent weddings.

Calling all pastors and pals in the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition: Friday Mom is looking for a pastoral resource. Any help?

jo(e) is back from an amazing trip and has photos and reflections that will make you swoon.

Jen has lovely thoughts and dogpics at Ordinary Time.

Is she preaching, blogging, or procrastinating? You be the judge as Will Smama counts her blessings.

Reverend Mommy is having a Manic Monday. Go give her some hairpats—we’ve all been there. Or will be there as our kids get older.

And I am still cackling over the joy of witnessing sweet justice today.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Sunday Round-up

Watching the news, worrying about the hurricane, and praying for those in its path. I grew up on the Gulf Coast so I know a little bit of the horror of waiting...or leaving.

In the meantime, I'll be blogging. Lots of stories about where we are, how we got here, and where we are going next.

St. Casserole is on the way out as Hurricane Katrina heads in. Our blessings to you and yours as you seek sanctuary. Please know our prayers are with you.

Canticles shares a wonderful story about her school administration offering to help purchase the hearing aids she needs. What a blessing to work in a place where that spirit exists!

Hey Jules over at Faith or Fiction tells us about her truly terrible Friday/Saturday. I hope that today has been better so far!

Go see Jane Ellen's ordination invitation! Can we all come!?

Sue is back from vacation. She is rested and relaxed, and yet the worries of return to her day-to-day are looming. Isn't that always the way?

Happy Birthday Mibi! She's had a party thrown for her AND announced her journey toward priesthood! You go girl!

Songbird remembers a mystical moment and a turn in her path.

Friday, August 26, 2005


I want to welcome Jenee Woodard to our RevGalBlogPal ring -- for years now I have used her main website, The Text this Week (Textweek). She has provided this as a service for those of us who teach or preach the RCL and it is an excellent (actually I would say premier) resource. Y'all say hey to Jenee.

Also, HeyJules from Faith or Fiction is the first RevGalBlogPal to send me her devotional. There are 11 spots left open -- let me know if you can do one (or two) of them. I have posted the chart here. The last one I saved had a glitch. I do hope this one is better.

Friday WebRing Round-Up

Feeling grumpy? Visit St.Casserole for a free opportunity to engage in a rant! No questions asked; no judgments rendered.

Or overwhelmed? Pink Shoes shares some feelings that everyone in ministry feels at times.

Reverendmother shares some thoughts on rites of passage in women's lives, as well as commenting on a NY Times piece regarding men's response to childbirth, while Terri at Psalm 121 is My Friend expresses some frustration on a related note.

Jane Ellen celebrates the first day of school, while Peripatetic Polar Bear remembers a moving in for the first year of college.

And here's a post from someone not on the WebRing, but on a topic that will surely be interesting to all of us: The Green Knight addresses the question of Jesus, Truth or Fiction?

A blessed weekend to all of you!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Thursday Roundup

Jen at Ordinary Time blogs about the bittersweetness of being a graduate and not going to orientation.

Jen at A Faith in Progress blogs about her wonderful neighbor, Mr. Happy. Mr. Happy sounds like he needs some Happy Pills.

Canticles at Bring All the Walls Down and Lutheranchik blog about Pat Robertson. Lutheranchik also continues her tomato blogging.

Kathryn at Good in Parts gets ready for Greenbelt. Good grades and a check will help. I also really enjoyed her wedding rehearsal rehearsal.

PPB is joining us on her Ice Floe even though her face hurts from smiling too much.

That's all the time I have for now. Maybe more later...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Guidlines and bios

I have created bio pages and posted them here in Word format. The little pictures will be in black and white, so you have to use your imagination. Please, please, please send me additions or corrections.

As for Guidelines -- I'm open for any and all suggestions.
Here's my first thoughts:
How about this (following Reverendmother's form)

Similar to Guidposts or Upper Room
Start with your text or a snippet of your text.
Then a reflection -- not just exegesis, but if you want some exegesis that's ok, but more of a personal type story or practice would be easier for most people to relate to -- or what do you all think?
And then finish with short little prayer.

the one complaint I got last year with the booklet that I gave out was that the reflections were too short -- most ran 300 to 500 words and people wanted a little more. And personally, I think that some of them were a little short. Can we shoot for 600 to 1200 words? That's not terribly long. About 2 pages tops -- including the scripture and prayer.

I'm with Reverend Mother on the inclusive language thing -- yet I know some people don't know what inclusive language really is, so I wouldn't stress too much if you don't know what that is.

Editing -- I was going to very gently edit, but would appreciate some help with this -- I know we have at least 2 ex-English teachers or professors among us. Perhaps we could us their skills?

And a suggestion for a graphic element for each devotional would be nice....

I'm excited!

Advent Devotional

The idea of the Advent Devotional has been well received and I want to thank those of you who have emailed me or posted messages. We still have about 15 days left open -- please let me know ASAP if you can do one or not. I have put up the grid here.

Gordon Atkinson from Real Live Preacher said he would really like to write a foreword for us as well as put a review on his blog and a purchase button. I personally want to thank him for that -- the generosity of some of the persons I have found via the internet is overwhelming.

So think about it -- we are going to sign each devotional with our webname and have a listing in the back of the book with our addresses, to preserve people's anonymity. I will post those pages first, for your review and revision.

thanks! (and I am so excited!)

Wednesday Around the Ring

It's a Small World After All Department: one of the newest members of the ring, Becky of Monday Morning Letters, was formerly on staff at my church and directed our youth program when my daughters were in middle and high school. She is using her blog not only to enter personal postings, but also so post her sermons and a weekly report to her session. Howdy, Becky!

Also drop by and visit another new blogger to the group, Faith or Fiction, who has several interesting posts.

Nueva Cantora's brother John died suddenly Monday, so many of you will want to leave your condolences and prayers for the family.

Did you know we have two Rev Gal poets? Don't miss Reverend Mother's haikus and Cheesehead's lovely poem about an adoption hearing.

The challenges of everyday life are the subject for several thoughtful posts. Ordinary Time reflects on graduating from college, Musings of a Discerning Woman describes how her car was attacked by a "whomping willow", I Will Sing struggles with the resolve to exercise, and the Reverend Mommy is distressed by disorder in her life.

Looking for some challenging reading? Hazelnut Reflection is reading The Reformation by Diarmaid McCulloch.

Finally, for a good laugh (or at least chuckle) Tammy Jo at 32 Flavors links a story about a Nun Reprimanded for Wild Dancing at Catholic Youth Day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Advent Devotional

Many of you responded about the Advent Devotional. I have begun a listing here.

Please choose any one of the week's readings -- or just go off on your own, if you wish. I'm going to do Romans 8 for Dec 21 (Longest Night). Please email a Word document at Are there other people you would like to invite to write (like Apostle John maybe or RLP?) I would like the documents as soon as you can get them to me. I found out that Amazon needs as much as 5 weeks to put a picture on the website -- so by the end of September maybe -- so that that editing is finished by Oct 16.

I have a design for the cover, and my friend the Graphic Artist can help me fix it up -- we need a catchy name -- any suggestions?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Come Saturday Morning

I'm going to read all my friends...
Here are some highlights of recent posts around the WebRing!

Jane Ellen of "Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus" went to the gym for a free session of personal training, leading to this entry about "Self-Care." This is a common theme around the ring, I find, and for me as well.

Karen continues her stories of life in South Africa at Kinesis.

Preacher Mom shares some of the joys of milestones in family and church community.

Stacey continues to share the learnings of her first year of ministry, in this case a frustrating expereince preparing for a funeral.

Ann describes the tension between living in the Reformed tradition and reaching out to the Church-o-Phobic at What is Your Only Comfort?

And Jen, at Ordinary Time, talks about living in that liturgical season and naming her blog after it.

Would you like to do a WebRing round-up once a week? We are still looking for two more rounder-uppers, for Tuesdays and Saturdays. The responsibility involves reading around the Ring and pointing out some new posts at some point during that day. E-mail us if you might like to participate; the link is in the sidebar.

Advent Booklet

At staff meeting, we started talking about Advent devotional booklets. We provide them for the congregation every year and I was given the charge of selecting this year's. I'm looking, but I don't like what I see -- either I don't like them or we've used them already. And I thought "I wonder if the Webring could do a book..."

I was chatting about this on Real Live Preacher's chatroom and it struck me -- We *can* do this! We could create an Advent devotional booklet and a Lent Booklet based on our reflections on the Common Lectionary. Dylan, Terri C, Rev Stacey and I decided that we could do it three ways: first, a publish on demand book (I'm looking at Lulu Press) that would sell over Amazon for about $5 to $10. The profits would go to Heifer Project. (I need the hard copy because there are so many of my congregation that are not computer literate.) Secondly, we can offer the PDF for download and you can print it yourself. Thirdly, we can post the daily devotional here. For the last two options we can take donations for the Heifer Project.

If you are interested, respond in the comments and I will set up a grid of who can write what. One of the problems I have with the Advent Devotionals that I get is that they just aren't long enough. Most are one single page of text and not very deep. I would like us to aim toward 800 to 1500 words. The second problem I have is that they last only until Christmas Day. I want one that takes us through the entire Christmas season.

Year B is found here. Advent starts November 27. We have enough people to actually do it until Epiphany or January 8. That's 43 days. That's one day each if we (almost) all participate and 2 days if only half of us do. I want the document to be finalized by at least October 16th or 23rd -- and then two weeks to edit.

What do you think?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Who likes to proof read?

I am recruiting people to help me proof read a Bible Study -- And if you want, you can use it in your congregation for a test run. I'll even list you as a "contributing editor" if you contribute. What do you say??


It's Friday -- but I thought it was Thursday! Sorry! So here's the roundup:

see thru faith blogs about "why I am here." She's a pastor and student in Finland, going to school in Estonia. She makes a plea for books -- I know I have many books that I just don't need anymore. I'm packing up a box for her. Would you all join me? I take for granted the Cokesbury down the street -- books are a little harder to come by in Estonia.

Yesterday, we added to our ranks Terri C at Psalm 121 is my friend. We first bumped into each other in Real Live Preacher's chatroom. Another interesting place to go.

Jen is reading The Dark is Rising. It's a children's book, but it's a classic story of Good vs. Evil, light vs. dark. Thanks for the tip, Jen.

Revmom Cheesehead got caught exercising. Yikes!

Ann blogs about a disturbing incident. "That a pickup truck would run over crosses erected by anti-war protesters has taken my breath away." We fight about the war -- makes one think.

I also want to make sure you all drop by and meet Canticles at Bringing All the Walls Down and Rev Nawny at sacramentality and Telling Truth.

That's it for me today. I was also in prayer this morning for Brother Roger and the Taize community. I have been greatly influenced by his life and teachings and was saddened to hear of his death. I pray also the the young woman who stabbed him. This world need healing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Wednesday Ring Roundup

Happy mid-week to everyone. Here is some good Wednesday blog reading for you from around the ring:

NotShyChiRev and Auntie Em write about the tragic murder of ninety-year old Brother Roger, the founder of The Taize Community, by a disturbed woman. Finding Avalon related the scriptural admonition against the blind leading the blind to an incident in her life. The difficulty of writing prayers and praying was the subject of today's post by reverendmommy.

Presbyterians will be interested in reading St. Cassarole's reaction to her presbytery's meeting where the Theological Task Force on Peace, Unity and Purity was discussed. Many RevGals and their Pals will related to Stacey's post "The Battle I Don't Want to Fight."

Two blog members have returned from vacation: Good in Parts wants to buy a narrow boat and Reverendmother is recovering from Sesame Place.

Grace, peace and blessings to all!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Code Correction

Dear friends, one of our newest members, Rev Nawny, discovered a glitch in our Web Ring Code. If you click on the link that says "RevGalBlogPals," it will take you to reverend mommy's page instead. (Not that there's anything wrong with visiting reverend mommy!)

If you would like to update your code to fix this glitch, go to RingSurf and sign in; you'll find the new code there. Then cut-and-paste it to your blog template in the same place you had the old code.

And--if this seems like too much trouble, especially for those who had trouble getting the code on your sites in the first place, don't worry about it!

Tuesday in the land of the RevGalBlogPals

It's a quiet day around the WebRing, but here are a few highlights:

cats at FindingAvalon posted a sermon about the spiritual necessity of keeping our eyes open.

Emily at Hazelnut Reflections invites us to join a discussion about the comparative size of faith in two gospel stories.

Susan Rose finds comfort in knowing whining is not just a modern-day complaint!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Monday Ring Roundup

Howdy, y'all. I'm filling in today for Reverendmother, who is out of town today. My usual day for the "Roundup" will be Wednesdays, so I'll see you again then.

Wow, we have 45 members of the ring as I write and more to come. Here is a quick roundup of some highlights around the webring today:

Rebel without a pew posted again on the difficulties of the call process while Reverendmommy relates an experience that makes her question Romans 8:28. Rev2bmibi has two fascinating posts on icon writing here and here. A Vacation Bible School experience inspired smallestangel to write "Playing Jesus is a Challenge."

Cheesehead in Paradise found the unlikely source of a stink and Songbird used the song Momma Look Sharp (from the musical 1776) to prompt her reflections on her sons, the war in Iraq and Cindy Sheehan.

Two members of the webring are posting on travels abroad: Kinesis has a running journal on her current trip to South Africa and sistermaryalternative wrote about her week at the Order of the Paraclete in Whitby, England.

On the lighter side, don't miss St. Cassarole's Story of Cinderella and Rob, or my "Life Lessons from What Not to Wear" especially the comment thread.

A few webring members are vacationing or taking some time off from blogging now. I look forward to catching up with them when they return. See you Wednesday around the ring.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

More RevGal Tchotchkes at CafePress

Hey, reverendmother here, I'm your Monday moderator on the RevGalBlogPals site, but I thought I'd check in a few days early.

Be sure to check out our CafePress store for a few new shirt designs, mouse pads, tote bags and journals. Remember, $1 from each item purchased will be donated to Heifer International. Fun gift ideas for the RevGals in your life, or their BlogPals, or just for you!

And I'm always on the lookout for new design and logo ideas--phrases, quotes, etc. Also, Reverend Mommy found some fun graphics that I hope she'll post here for us to look at. I'm thinking we need to slap those on some stuff, with a fun caption or two in a funky retro font.

Readings from Around the Ring

Friday Mom has a post about a special church and the love of its people for her son.

Jane Ellen shares a sermon about Peter, one I would have loved to hear in person, delivered while visiting Rev. Ref+ (who is a RevGalBlogPal even if he isn't on the list!).

Karen at Kinesis shares stories of her trip to South Africa.

And at ReverendMother's, you may read about new merchandise at the RevGalBlogPal's CafePress store, as well as a reflection on boundaries in ministry. When is it really "our" time? It's a good question to ponder as my vacation winds down...

Images for the Tee-shirts

I use and pay for clipart -- here are some images that I think would be good for the tee-shirts. We are indeed allowed to use these images vis a vis the small print below the images: (the only problem is that they are all a heck of a lot taller and thinner that me. sigh.)

Feel free to use content in commercial or noncommercial projects to create Web pages, T-shirts, posters, book covers, art, advertising, newsletters, presentations, ... you name it provided that you follow the Usage Guidelines below!

Permitted Uses. You may, subject to paragraph 2(f) below:
Back up, and store, single Image(s) as necessary on a single server for archival purposes only. Any copy or archive you make must include copyright notice pursuant to paragraph 2(c)(ii).
Use the Image(s) in any electronic or print media, including advertising and editorial use, provided such use is not intended to allow the re-distribution or re-use of the Image(s).
Use the Image(s) in any items for personal use or resale, including book covers, calendars, consumer merchandise (T-shirts, posters, art, etc.), provided such use is not intended to allow the re-distribution or re-use of the Image(s).

Prohibited Uses: You may NOT:
Sublicense, distribute, transfer or assign the Image(s) or rights to the Image(s).
Reverse engineer, decompile, translate, or disassemble any part of the Image(s).
Copy or reproduce the Image(s), except as specifically provided for in paragraph 2(e).
Remove any copyright, trademark or watermark from any place where it appears on the Image(s).
Display the Image(s) in any digital format or for any digital use at a resolution greater than 72 dpi, except in editorial or preliminary design work. Doing so will be viewed as an attempt to distribute the Image(s) in violation of this Agreement.
Use the Image(s), or any part of the Image(s), as part of a trademark, service mark, or logo. JUPITERIMAGES retains the full rights to the Image(s), and therefore you cannot establish your own rights.
Use the Image(s) to compete with JUPITERIMAGES. JUPITERIMAGES is in the business of licensing images to its customers. It is the specific intent of this provision to prohibit you from using the Image(s) to enter, either directly or indirectly, a similar or competing business.
Use the Image(s) in a product or service whereby the Image(s) can be used apart from a product or service.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Saturday Morning Around the WebRing

Posting "on the fly," I wanted to share a few links from around the RevGalBlogPals WebRing.

First, Susie talks about Addictions, some of which are more "acceptable" among Christians than others. It has me thinking about our churches. I've seen churches in which the leadership were power addicts, and another in which the entire congregation has for many years been locked into the victim-persecutor-rescuer triangle--is that a drama addiction?

Lutheran Chik is a wonderful writer. If you haven't checked out her blog, read this piece about a conversation with Jesus.

I've read a couple of entries about funerals this week that I would commend to you, one from Ann in New York and the other from Kathryn in England.

Blessings to you all from this Songbird in flight!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

More Seen Around the Ring

I'm impressed by the Urine Ritual that reverend mother blogged about. I've actually been thinking about it for a couple of days. The book so facinated me that I've ordered it.

Love Dogs posted by Songbird.

NotShyChiRev blogs about The Outlaw Grandmother. Good sermon.

And because I am pressed for time only one more: Quotidian Grace asks a question here about Ladies that Lunch.

Is there anyone out there who would be willing to join this team and take one day to post a roundup -- 5 more RevGalBlogPals is all it would take.....

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

More Highlights from the Ring

Is there a Pastor in the House?

Last week's Harry Potter extravaganza in the blogging world made me wonder: Is there a particular Hogwarts house that would produce the best pastors? Here's what I'm thinking.

Ravenclaw: You delight in the intellectual aspects of ministry: the study of theology, the crafting of sermons, the assimilation of vast knowledge regarding church history, polity and tradition. Your study is your sanctuary--it is here that you feel the presence of God. Your keen mind penetrates to the heart of ethical and ecclessial dilemmas. However, the relational aspects of ministry can be hard for you. You have to drag yourself out of your study to connect to people on an emotional rather than intellectual level. You have a limited amount of social energy, so you have to focus it carefully and pace yourself. Alternate careers: Professor, author, librarian.

Hufflepuff: Hufflepuffs loooved their Practical Theology classes at seminary. Your greatest delight in ministry is the actual tasks of ministry: pastoral care, visitation, organizing programs, recruiting volunteers, managing the organization. You know where the church furnace is located and could fix it in a pinch. You are generally quite popular with your congregation for your hard work and availability. However, your focus on the practicalities of ministry sometimes keeps your from seeing a grander vision, a bigger picture. Your congregations will be solid and healthy, but will seldom make the news for taking daring stands or developing cutting edge ministries. Some folks will exploit your willingness to work hard, so you have to guard against early burnout. Alternate careers: Director of community center, chef.

Gryffindor: You are attracted to the ministry because it offers a context for your need to be involved in a heroic quest: Defending the Truth, Working for Justice, Spreading the Gospel; Building God's Kingdom. You are willing to take a stand, be part of an embattled minority, sacrifice everything for The Cause. Your ministry is inspiring. As a charismatic leader you can motivate your people to great undertakings. However, you are easily dillusioned with the petty realities that inevitably crop up in congregational and denominational life. The day-to-day routine of running a church can make you tired and frustrated. You have absolutely no patience with church politics or polity and can become enraged when you run smack into it while on your quest for Truth and Justice. Alternate careers: missionary, non-profit founder, social work

Sytherin: You have incredible entrepenuerial skills. You look at a swath of farmland on the edge of the suburbs and get that Megachurch gleam in your eye. You can size up a congregation or community and immediately identify who has resources and connections that can be tapped for the success of your latest project. You may scorn denominational structures and rules, but you know how to use them to promote your mission---or to take down your enemies. Members of your church are grateful for the growth and money you bring to your congregations, but deep down they may feel that you don't care about them personally. They may hesitate to approach you with problems, feeling that you only want to hear "success stories". Alternate careers: business owner, Archbishop.

Originally posted at Rebel Without a Pew. Follow the link for more!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Seen around the Web Ring

God said, "I will separate the work days from the days of goofing off. And the work days shall be called -- ummm, work. And the goofing off days shall be called -- sleeping, that's not it....hmmm, how about, that's not it. I know," said the Lord, "the goofing off days shall be called HOLY." And the Lord went off to admire the three-toed sloth. (RGSV -- RevGal Standard Version)

For more, visit Inner Dorothy.