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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Looking Both Ways

Happy 2006 to all of you! I wish I had something more profound to say on this last day of 2005, but I'm distracted this morning with out-of-town guests and plans for attending one of the interminable string of Obscurity Bowls that dog us this time of year. This one's in Houston and features TCU, which is the alma mater of some of the family. So go Horned Frogs! Where's my purple shirt?

On this last day of 2005, we welcome new bloggers to the webring: The Episcobrarian, and Living Out Integrity and Ministry. Stop by their places and give them a big RevGalPals "howdy, we're glad you're here." That makes 119 blogs on our roll. Wow!

RevGals and Pals are looking backward as year 2005 expired and are looking forward to 2006. Some of you participated in Songbird's New Years Meme (see post below and check the comments to link to the players). Most of you aren't resolution-makers, I see.

More looking back over 2005: Steph asks what set that year apart for you and there's a Year End Pop Culture update over at Philosophy Over Coffee. And then looking forward: Lorna is engaging in a little New Year's Spiritual Spring Cleaning while Susan Rose gets acquainted with her saintly mentor for 2006--St. Theresa of Avila.

There are plenty of the posts about everyday things as well. St. Casserole's kittens are getting "fixed" and get sympathy from Emily's Houdini. Katherine doesn't scrapbook but must explain. There's a mixed review of the new Narnia movie from Juniper98. Preacher Mom has a touching story about visiting her beloved Mamma Flora. The impact of viewing a Mexican triptych of the Massacre of the Innocents still haunts Mary Beth. Caroline at Remembering the Alabaster Jar is showing off her new digital abilities And in the service of Ordinary Time, I just spent a day as Samuel Woman.

Of course none of us have ever had the problem of blogger's block (sarcastic face here), so you won't need to read Gavin's suggestions on what to do when you have nothing to say. If Gavin's list doesn't inspire you, then there are two games going around the ring that may be helpful. The Mayfly Project (seen at Will Smama ) is just the thing for the haiku writers in the ring. The Year in Review meme has you post the first sentence of the first post of each month of last year on your blog (seen at Emily's and Mary Beth's).

Lastly and most importantly, prayers are requested by Bad Alice, Gallycat and Rachel. Due to my schedule today I'm posting early so if I miss mentioning something important to you, please note it in the comments box.

Friday, December 30, 2005

RevGal Friday Five: Resolutions

1) Do you make New Year's Resolutions?

2) If so, are they generally successful?

3) Do you write them down, or make a mental list?

4) Even if you don't make resolutions, is there something you want to focus on in the New Year?

5) And do you have plans for New Year's Eve?

Let us know in the comments if you play!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Brief roundup

Gord writes a letter to toy package-designers.
Leslee sets a place for Elijah (we do it too!)
Friday Mom is traveling -- an end of the year experiment.
Kathryn blogs for the sake of the children.
Emily reveals some knitting.
Gavin blogs about the horrible theft of the nun bun.
I think Sue and I are related. Pajama and books -- yes!
Find out why Jo(e) wants to scream.
Jonah blogs poetry.
Tell me what you know, asks Susan Rose.
Whaddya think, asks Steph.
Phil over Coffee muses about the Pastor face. (So who wrote that book "Pastor"? Shoot! I can't remember!)
Pink Shoes blogs about Reports and Reviews.

And now I'm out of time. I'll be back if I can...

On the Fifth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me...

Five people in the Hospital!
One Back surgery
One Bladder Cancer
One Infant Hernia surgery
One Pacemaker
One LOL with dehydration
(at 4 differend hospitals!!)

I'll be back later for the round-up. Otherwise, tell us what you are doing today! I'm going to be driving a lot.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Merry Christmas! (still)

Howdy friends and a Merry Christmas to ya' for although there is VALENTINE'S DAY CANDY in a K-mart off of I-77/81 in Virginia... it is still Christmas season in the liturgical world.

My family of three is on a tour of the southeast currently hanging out just outside of Atlanta. Florida is next.

But enough about me - let's talk about you.... what do you think of me? HA! Just kidding, onto your blogs!!!

A Church for Starving Artists posts some truths of the season.

Go ahead and visits a raid on the inarticulate.

Poor Mad Peter posts a Lost Identities Series: An Unknown Relative or family friend.

Please lift up a prayer for bad Alice.

We get what I am going to call post-Christmas slice-of-life posts from:
beth quick
bride without spot
brother terry


Dylan has a fun combination of panda AND cat blogging.

Hey Jules encourages us to Inspire Awe.

Good in Parts gives a Narnia report.

Sue continues her letters of thanksgiving to her various body parts with her latest entry...
Let's just say the shirt reads nicely!

Jo(e) posts about her first winter camping experience. It will make you all warm inside and fortunately for her, outside.

Lutheran Chick has a lobster hanging from her tree.

Susan Rose is looking for unexpected blessings. St. Casserole laments on the year that was at a loss.

For a laugh be sure to check out Steph's ways to know you are living in 2005.

reverendmother checks in with birth stats and a story for the ages. Is anyone else impressed that with a young one at home and another one on her way rm included 'alert blog readers that I am in labor' on her to-do list. Nice.

Once again a baby needs care. I must go and this might be it for the night. If I don't make it back, I will see you next week and start again where I stopped this time.

I encourage you to look around though - there is a lot of good stuff out there. And if you did the meme let us know in the comments box.

Peace friends!

Next Batch of Unclaimed Dates for new Book

There have been several of you who have said "oh, just anywhere." And I've lost track of who you are -- so here is your opportunity! Here are the unclaimed dates for Aug and Sept and part of Oct. One more batch after this!

We have already gotten the first batch of submissions! Yeah!! And Thanks!!
Send an email to OR give a shout out in the comments. Thanks!

Friday 18-Aug Psalm 111 or 1 Kings 2:10-12;3:3-14
Saturday 19-Aug Psalm 111
Sunday 27-Aug Ephesians 6:10-20
Monday 28-Aug Ephesians 6:10-20
Saturday 2-Sep Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9
Thursday 14-Sep Proverbs 1:20-33
Saturday 16-Sep Psalm 19
Sunday 24-Sep James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a

Thursday 28-Sep Esth. 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22
Friday 29-Sep Esth. 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22 or Psalm 124
Saturday 30-Sep Psalm 124
Sunday 1-Oct James 5:13-20
Monday 2-Oct James 5:13-20
Tuesday 3-Oct Mark 9:38-50
Wednesday 4-Oct Mark 9:38-50
Thursday 5-Oct Job 1:1; 2:1-10

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

She's Here!

Go now unto Journalscape and hear the good news! (More in the comments box.)

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Day After Christmas

And all around the ring, few creatures are stirring...
I myself am a little overwhelmed with the magnitude of Christmas this year, so with thanksgiving for the wonderful folks who took time to do such thorough roundups over the weekend, here's a meme! I've got several blogs written in my mind, but trying to distill them into anything coherent seems beyond me for the moment.

1. What is the best gift you received this year? (Tangible gifts only, please!)

2. What is the best gift you gave this year?

3. When did you do most of your shopping/creating?

4. Did you go shopping the day after Thanksgiving (U.S.)? Today?

5. What stands out already about Christmas 2005?

Merry Christmas, dear Bloggers, Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

"For unto you is born this day

...a Savior, which is Christ the Lord!"

Blessed and merry Christmas to you all!

Still watching and waiting with ReverendMother.

As a Christmas blog-gift, we have four new ring members! Please say hi to: MissPK (a teenage preacher's kid, with whose questions and struggles I identify...), Searching Sage (Eric, a seminarian in Atlanta) and My Farcical Existence (Miranda, a seminiarian in the DFW area). Amy Butler (Talk with the Preacher) is pastor of a church in the DC area.

Big congratulations to Amy Avery, who has a new job! Say howdy to the new Associate Pastor of Pastoral Care at Worthington Presbyterian Church in Worthington, Ohio!

Jan at StarvingArtists is sharing home communion with her flock, and hearing stories of Christmases past. Steph has a great post about wishing happiness and joy to everyone, no matter what they believe or don't. Terri at Ps. 121 shares a powerful ministry experience.

In Christmas gift land, Katherine has a sweet new guitar; and I have a PUPPY! Gord put together all the presents and wrapped them; then they were unwrapped. Susan Rose has been given a gift she didn't know she wanted until she received it. Stacey was given a nice Christmas bonus, and photos of herself baptizing for the first time. Wonderful!

Clever Title has been in the little town of Bethlehem for Christmas. Can't wait to hear about it! Friday Mom went to Christmas Eve church with the residents of SFW's group home. Girl has been so, so excited. Jo(e)'s family has a wonderful ceremony of thankfulness. PreacherMom has had a busy Christmas and reflects on it, and Quotidian Grace and Twerpette have had a beautiful day in Houston.

Rambling is Good for the Soul has been...rambling.

Will Smama has some great photos and hilarious definitions of Christmas symbols.

Kathryn shares a lovely card, and Net and Jane Ellen, poems. Kirsten reminds me of a wonderful song, "God on His Birthday." Reverend Mommy has a hymn for us and Lorna, a photo. Tentmaker has been thinking about Thomas Merton.

Christmas sermons courtesy of Emily, Joe, and Rainbow Pastor.

Did you see Sue's letter to her feet? Love during Wartime has been sick - get better!

Wishing you all silent, holy, sweet and restful sleeps.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Advent-ures Around the Ring

As I was making my tour of your blogs preparing for this Christmas Eve post, I was struck by the blessings I have received from this group and others in my "blogging universe" this year. Last year I barely knew what a blog was. My blog began in March of this year and now I can't imagine a life without it.

Then I came across yesterday's post from Peripatetic Polar Bear, who had the same theme, but expressed it so much better: "Some days I think of blogs as the prayers of the people--unvarnished petitions and memories and hurts and pleas." Read it all here.

Songbird's Christmas Music Friday Five meme (see comments in the post below for the players) was quite popular. My impression from reading them is that most of you want to sing all verses of The First Noel (or Nowell in some of our hymnbooks). Your favorite verse of O Come All Ye Faithful is either the first or the third one, although Songbird, Gord and I want to sing it in Latin. And some of us are just Messiah-crazy.

Reverendbaby watch update: Nothing to report as of 8:15 am EST today (see comments on her last post), but yesterday was reverendmother's blog anniversary--so, reverendbaby, let that be a sign unto you!

Advent and Christmas--the joys, trials and tribulations of the season--continue to occupy most of the RevGals and Pals. Peter's colleagues at work share personal stories during an office Christmas gathering that give him renewed appreciation for them. brother terry rejoices in "an awesome Christmas gift". Check out Sacramentality's post on Advent "Where's the Light?" Welcome back, we haven't heard from y0u in a while!
There's an interesting essay at Hit the Back Button on what it takes to bring "peace on earth in today's day and age." Grandma Jean offers a solution to the holiday greeting controversy that is quite original and Steph asks if the phrase "Merry Christmas" is truly the biggest issue facing our celebration of this holiday in her post "Happy Stuffmas". Gord has a really cute Christmas story to share.

Lorna has a beautiful picture and description of worship at her school in Finland plus a lovely poem. Check out the original Christmas poem "Christus natus est" at Looking Backward, Looking Forward.

Anyone who ever tried to travel during the peak of the Christmas rush by any form of transportation will appreciate Girl's "Travel Advisory". Delightfully snarky! Sue posts a cute picture of her Christmas past while Scog Blog looks forward to seeing Christmas through the eyes of her 2 1/2 year old son. Cathy Knits supplies a link to a wonderful online art exhibition celebrating the season: Venite Adoremus. Jo(e) describes her family's tradition of making and giving homemade presents. "Ally McBeal Moments" follow Blanket in the Grove.

Listen up those of you south of the Mason/Dixon line: Reverendmommy has an important memo from Santa to share. Meanwhile we find St. Cassarole grits-deep in Christmas preparations AND compiling a list of the Worst Sermon Titles Ever. Love those red nails, Rev. Mibi!

If you need a break from all things Christmas, visit Philosophy Over Coffee for the Friday Pop Culture update or go to Rebel's place and give her some advice on what to do or not do when arriving in a congregation as their new pastor. Will Smama expresses thanks for the prayers and gives an encouraging report about the discord in her congregation.

Welcome to the tentmaker, a new addition to the blogring. We're glad you're here! As always, please leave a comment and let us know what I missed.

Now it's almost time in the Central Time Zone for the Lessons and Carols Service broadcast from King's College, Cambridge, so I must go. May God bless each service led by the RevGals and Pals and


Friday, December 23, 2005

RevGal Friday Five: Christmas Music

At the suggestion of St. Casserole a couple of weeks ago, a Christmas-music themed Friday Five (and with apologies to Rebel Without a Pew, who addressed these topics to great acclaim not long ago).

1) If you had to choose CDs as a soundtrack for the Christmas season, what would they be?

2) How do you feel about singing all the verses of "The First Noel?" (Six in our hymnal, but apparently there are nine.)

3) "O, Come All Ye Faithful" has a lot of verses, too. Which is your favorite?

4) What music do you play while opening presents?

5) Which carols do you consider to be Christmas Eve essentials?

and a Bonus Question:

6) What, if any, is your favorite secular Christmas song?

Do the Christmas Eve updater a favor and comment here if you play the Friday Five this week. I'll do my best to come and visit you! And whether or not you play, I wish you a Blessed and Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

A short Roundup

and then back to crosschecking the grid and the calendar and the emails. I'll post a notice when I'm finished...

But first:
A Short Roundup
Poor Mad Peter blogs of memories that shouldn't be.
Katherine posts her Christmas eve service.
Bad Alice tells us about DramaQueen and Firecracker.
Beth Quick asks who we would want a person of the year?
Jan tells of some of her Christmas cards.
Ciona posts a prayer for peace.
JWD tells why Advent has been a long, fierce lament.
Brother Terry wishes us all a Merry Christmas and takes a break.
Cathy has made a sock.
Chaplain Mom posts Night Visions.
Rev Mom Cheesehead blogs some light on the Solstice.

And now I'm out of time. I'll check different blogs next week -- and post my updated grid tomorrow. Have a blessed Thursday!

First, a scan of the grid for the new book

shows these open dates:
June 24, 25, 26, 29, 30
July 24
August 3, 4, 5
Aug 8, 9, 10
Aug 17, 18, 19
Aug 23

And I have to stop crosschecking right now b/c there are just too many things to do! Yikes! Where has the day gone??
If you can take any of these dates, please respond in the comments section.

I will post a crosschecked grid later this afternoon, but now I have to run like a crazy woman to the postofficedrugstoregrocerystorechurchdrycleaners.

We have longest night services tonight -- and I haven't written a prayer!! Eeek!

I made it to the postofficedrugstoregrocerystorechurchdrycleaners AND had a great service.

I've made some adjustments on the calendar and grid -- we have three changes in text b/c two people wanted the same date, so even it you don't appear on the correct date, you DO have the text you requested. Please check it out and give me corrections. Thanks so much for you patience!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Tell Us About Yourself

Folks, I take my responsibility of rounding up the ring very seriously. However, I am not sure I am going to be able to do it today as my motion to have Christmas Eve and Day moved to July... 2008... was denied.

Please, please tell us in the comments what your blog is up to and what posts we should definitely check out.

Thanks friends and if I do not emerge until afterwards...

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Have a Holly Jolly Webring

Christmas thoughts are on the minds of lots of bloggers at the moment. Check our Discerning Woman's suggestions for alternative giving, Pondering Perfection's thoughts on Homeland Security at Christmas, good Santa watching reflections at A church for starving artists, and more holiday cat blogging at Rev-to-be's place.

Reverend Mommy's commentors are discussing whether or not her favorite advent hymn is, in fact, and advent hymn and Mary shares thoughts on a carol many of us Yanks have not heard of.

In other news, Micahgirl posts the first of an anticipated series of blogs on paradigm shifts. Looking Backward wonders Who Would Jesus Torture? And Steph ponders the implications on letting more folks know of her secret blogging identity.

Pour another egg nog, log on and bliss out!

Beginning to think about the new book...

We have a lot of empty places on our calendar for each and every one of you to participate. So here is your opportunity! Please check out the calendar and grid on the sidebar for "Ordinary Time."

Now! In Lutheran Flavor a new member of the webring has some really nice things to say about the Advent Devotional book.

You can select one to five slots and end email to let us know which dates you want. To see the format we are looking for, go to A Light Blazes.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Lightly Skipping Around the Ring

Hello there! Here's a brief look at some of the Monday blogs; a word of warning -- this is not a comprehensive update... However, it is done with the best intentions! Cheers!

Ciona at A Thing with Feathers pleas and prays for war no more.

Brother Terry shares some thoughts on preaching for a funeral, something that I've actually never done in the nearly 3 years that I've had the opportunity.

Hey Jules has posted The Last Thoughtball for 2005. We'll see ya next year!

Net at Grace Happens expresses the "gotta. keep. going." mantra that perhaps many of us are chanting.

Carol (Smallest Angel) has had her Christmas made complete already!

Sue (Inner Dorothy) is beginning her New Year's transformation early.

Will Smama has a guest blogger -- check out the ribbon addict!

Quotidian Grace rejoices in the Return of a Son of the Church. Thanks be to God!

And, everyone should stop over to share a Christmas cookie recipe with Leslee (Fresh Cut Flowers)... our own virtual recipe swap! If only we could orchestrate an actual cookie swap... mmmmm. cookies.

Blessings to all this week -- may your days be filled with joy and your nights be filled with rest.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Lessons and Carols and Gingerbread, Oh My!

Happy Advent IV!

Yes, ReverendMother is still there...! and keeping us updated on what she is NOT missing while she is NOT having the baby, not just yet.

Mary's continuing her thoughts on the Annunciation and shares from Denise Levertov. Amy continues to wait.

Anna has the job! Great news! Tell us about it! And Canticles has graduated! Telling Truth's bishop said YES! and she appears to have been the hit of the retreat! :) Not surprised, here.

Jane Ellen's miracle baby has turned 18. Shield the Joyous is considering the future, having finished with the exams. Mark's done, too!

Please keep Chaplain Mom's A. in your prayers - he is having a hard time post-op and may have to head to the hospital tonight. Polar Bear's car was broken into. Not good at any time and really hard to take right now.

A perfectly beautiful pageant has happened at Cheesehead's church, with some perfectly miraculous young singers. And Contemplative Chaplain and her brother were in another - a very different type of event. Gord's church's pageant was written by two young parishioners, ages 9 & 11. All heck might have broken loose at Rebel's pageant...keep checking in to see.

Mibi's church had Lessons and Carols today, as did mine. We also had a lot of gingerbread. Lorna's church, on the other hand, did not refer to Advent this morning at all, which left her uneasy.

Look back a year, and what do you see for change? Hey Jules sees a heck of a change. The biggest one of all!

Hit the Back Button has been working at the Last Minute Toy Store (no, it's not Super Wal Mart). Songbird doesn't need last minute shopping; she is writing a poem. :)

I Will Sing shares some long-view perspective. LutheranChik is feeling better and fluffing the tree.

Concerned about over-commercialization of the holiday? Take a look at Santarchy, reported by Kinesis.

Planning ahead to Christmas, Steph would love to invite you to visit the Sisters of St. Benedict Monastery church service!

Grace is reading the funny papers; Heather had the opportunity to celebrate Eucharist at her home church. Rachel is looking at the door of her church and pondering whether to stay inside.

Blessings to you all, as you are blessings to me.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Dashing Through...Saturday!

While some of you are dashing through the snow with Advent and Christmas preparations, we're slurping through a cold rain down here. So on to the Saturday RGBP highlights!

Songbird's Friday Five Holiday Party edition meme attracted lots of players--and a few recipes. Check out the comments on her post below to link to them. I'm going to follow her advice and not try to create separate links to every player. Thanks, Songbird, for the suggestion.

Revbaby Watch Update: As of 5 am today, reverendmother was checking in with an inconclusive report. Stay tuned.

Advent is not surprisingly a favorite theme of recent posters. Is blue the new purple? asks Jan at the Church for Starving Artists. When did blue replace purple as the color of Advent? Mary at Raid on the Inarticulate is pondering the annunciation. Steph blends memories of hearing Breath of Heaven performed with reflections on her own journey to a religious vocation in this beautiful post.
The birth of a child is a huge life change for us--so what was that like for Mary and God, wonders Joe at Pondering Perfection.

Cheesehead solicits advice on sending Christmas cards to members of her congregation. When children ask to celebrate Hannukah as well as Christmas, should you "dreidel or not dreidel"? Join this conversation at Rebel Without a Pew. Knitters will relate to Mountain Muse Musing's celebration of the journey of Advent. Gord updates his Advent Challenge of giving at least 50 % of what he spent on presents to charity. And St. Cassarole celebrates the coming of street lights and other marvels of the season in her hurricane-blasted hometown.

Jo(e) walks the woods early on this snowy morning to soothe her soul before embarking on the busy-ness of the day, while Stacey finds herself at the business end of a snow shovel.

Clever Title Here relates some hair-raising tales of sexual harrassment in Cairo. If you ever thought you had a problem with whistles or suggestive comments you'll find your troubles pale in comparison. Sue at Inner Dorothy relates a touching Christmas-related scene in "The Best Socks Ever."

On the prayers-requested list: Chaplain Mom, whose son's surgery for adenoids was successful, but he is now recovering and NotShyChiRev's nominee for Person of the Year. Also remember Lutheran Chik who has a fierce sinus infection.

Philosophy Over Coffee
offers "Long-Winded Pop Culture Update" which touches on rewriting TULIP (yikes! You can't mean it, says your humble Presbyterian correspondent.), shopping with gift cards at the local Christian bookstore and current Christian music. Did you ever say to yourself, "I want to be a bureaucrat for God"? Susan Rose is contemplating that reality here. Welcome to Richard at Looking Backward , a new addition to the webring, who blogs about the conflict between the need for help with assessing stewardship in the broad sense and the cultural values of privacy and secrecy.

And thanks to our other new blogger, Hit the Back Button, who points us to the newest JibJab offering "The 2-0-5 year-end roundup". Very clever, as always, but be warned that because JibJab has become so popular you have to wait through a couple of commercials before the video plays.

Friday, December 16, 2005

RevGal Friday Five: Holiday Party Edition

It's that time of year, friends. The mistletoe is hanging, the punch bowls are brimming, the large pieces of meat are roasting and the Gingerbread Men await their beheadings. Prepare to bare your souls and share your stories. I promise, I won't tell a soul!

1) Have you ever gotten a really good kiss under the mistletoe? Tell the truth. Spare no details. Was the mistletoe real, because kisses under the fake stuff do. not. count.

2) Do you know anyone who makes real eggnog, not the stuff from the carton? And if so, do you actually like it?

3) What's your favorite Christmas party album/CD ever?

4) Does your office/workplace have a party? Do the people there ever behave the way people in movies behave at office parties, which is to say, badly?

5) If you have to bring something to a party, what is it likely to be? Do people like it?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

It's an icky icy day on the East Coast....

but it's looking a lot like Christmas!

UPDATE on the quiz at A Church for Starving Artists. It seems that 79 percent of the people who visit her blog are going to church on Christmas Day -- a RevGal blog .... lots of RevGals who visit ..... Women clergy going to church on Christmas Day.... Hmmmm.....

Mary reflects a little about her recent deafness.... and her return to normal. I'm glad it worked. As someone who has lost some hearing, I know how difficult it can be.
Katherine teases us with a blub about her worst hair day ever, but doesn't post pictures. Sheesh. Now I'm dying to know....
Beth Quick rings bells for Salvation Army.
At A Blanket in the Grove there is a posting about something called "The Full Plate." Intriguing. Also, there is some closure on her creche controversary.
Cathy's school was broken into.
Terri posts about cultural differences -- ie. being tired.
Dash post intuitively today about bearing a flame.
Gord thinks some thoughts about Christmas and starts smacking penguins. Not necessarily in that order.
Grandma Jean weighs in on the closing Church on Christmas thingy.
Jane Ellen gives us the low-down on her short blogging break and makes snowflakes.
Sophia does not have whooping cough (thank goodness!) and is helping to make All Sweets Cathedral out of Gingerbread.
The Ice Floe seems to be very cold.
Sue post some snow day pictures.
jo(e) spends a day with the daughter.
Sojourner is having a bad, sad spell. {{hugs}}
Richard misplaces his brain.
Lutheran Chik ponders cats and the hiddenness of God. And weighs in on the Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays thingy.
Jean does not pass on the Peace and Susan Rose thinks peace is the word.
Steph asks for prayers.
The Singing Owl reflects on Advent Joy.
Joe gets a GO!
Will Smama deliberately turns from the bitter bug and blogs on what she loves. {{hugs}}
Grace says that programming an iPod is not rocket science. And it isn't.
Gallycat rants. A little.
Caroline, Natty and Mary Beth blog a potpourri of small postings.
Lorna continues the conversation with a comment about emergent.
Songbird post pictures of her lovely Advent stole and tells the story of not having to cook on Christmas.
St. Casserole remembers the family of John B. Nixon in prayer, as well as the families of his victims.
Ann remembers those killed in Iraq this week.
Yoda Beth has a lengthy, rambling, discourse on piano fiddling.

Silly things going around
What Reindeer Are You?
What Christmas Carol are You?
Smack a Penguin
Santa Ski Jump
Slingshot Santa
Flash Nativity

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sleigh Ride 'Round the Ring - Advent IV - Mary's Song

Twas twelve days before Christmas
and all through the blog
People were writing
and drinking eggnog.

Well, I wish I had the time to do my sleigh ride around the ring in honor of that great poem - which was read to me by my grandfather at more than one Christmas. However, due to time constraints and my desire to be quite thorough I shall not post in prose (tear wiped from corner of eye).

First the MEMES:
There is a 5 random facts meme going around. Players include bad alice who's name is not really alice and also has a couple of prayer requests, hazelnut reflections who explains her blog name, and rev-to-be-mibi who once ran for political office. I am sure there are more that I didn't scroll down to and I know there will be one more (as soon as I finish this).

Which reindeer are you? is being played bybride without spot.

Which Christmas Carol are you is being played by grace and will smama. I know I saw it in other places too, but those are who have done it most recently.

Natty introduces what I think will be the NEXT BIG MEME: What Hit Song of 2005 Are You?

Will you be worshipping in a church on Christmas Day? This is what Jan asks in an official poll. So far %73 say yes.

Another Country shares how reading the Narnia series to his daughter changed his view of C.S. Lewis... somewhat.

JWD at blanket in the grove has some creche fallout - bringing up the everpresent challenge of respecting tradition while also keeping things fresh. Kudos for thinking outside of the box in the first place.

In our blogs we do memes and we do rants and we do what I call 'slice of life'. We share theological musings and job/family/community frustrations and joys. Every once in awhile someone posts a window that looks into their soul.
We all have those moments that define who we are - for good or for bad. When we open ourselves up - when we tell an intimate story - we are offering a window into who we are. Cheesehead in paradise shares such a soul story.

Christen blogs about the next movement in the fertility dance and the finding of the creche!

Hey Jules wants to write.

Gord posts the answers to the Christmas carol quiz.

Leslee at fresh cut flowers posts about preschool love.

Girl took a tumble and has the bruise to prove it!

Welcome Hit the Back Button to Move Forward. Being a part of our webring WOULD be the best thing to happen to him for awhile except that he just got engaged. Congrats!

According to jo(e)t is time to dance. She wears it well, but I gotta tell you if I were wearing that outfit it would be time to laugh.

Looking Back... Looking Forward is another new blog for me and he is doing some new things. I have the hardest time explaining postmodernism to my older congregants, let alone leading them in that direction.

James at Love During Wartime takes the Holiday vs. Christmas argument out for a spin.

Go say hello to mountain muse musings.

Susan Rose asks for our thoughts on penance, confession, reconciliation, etc...

Micah girl posts about the Jan Karon and the prayer that never fails.

If you want to laugh check outDoogie Howser, M.Div. AND Grace's First Annual Christmas Gift Suggestions .

Pink Shoes is neck-deep in controlled chaos.

Reverend Mother provides us with a "daily-ish" guide to what I would have missed if I'd gone into labor today.

Can anyone keep up with Lorna? I think she blogs on average three times a day. Discipline... or procrastination from her studies?

Sister Christer gives us a round-up of her week.

st. casserole is grateful.

The Ice Floe shares some Swedish Christmas memories.

Major congrats to Ann's brotherJohn.

Finally, Mary Beth asks us to please lift up Jordan's family and friends.

Well, folks I think that's it except for the at least five of you who I am guessing posted after I passed you on the list.

Have a good week!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Mistletoe and Holly

Amazing that so many folks are finding blogging time as the season really begins to kick into high gear.

Two Pastor Amys sharing insights: One here about New Pastor Syndrome and one here on which Virginia is unclear on the status of clergywomen. Two bloggers we have not heard from recently, Susie and Pastor Anonymous, have tiptoed back into the ring while we weren't looking.

Reverend Mommy shares a memory about a Christmas lurker. The Big Dunk includes a story about imperfect renditions of classics: Handel's Messiah and the combination plate at her favorite restaurant.

Lorna and her commenters are discussing the nature of heresy. St. Casserole and Playing Tag with God discuss the Williams execution.

And Mary Beth asks for prayers for the family of Jordan, fatally injured in an accident.

Happy St. Lucia's!

To everyone, but especially to Lorna in Finland!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Monday, only slightly manic

Greetings to all -- I'm excited to be doing the round-up and only slightly nervous! I never realized the magnitude of the task until I started deliberately reading through the ring! Hats off to all who have been keeping us so well-informed these months!

Faith or Fiction has a great link to a Spiritual Gifts inventory for Monday Night Thoughtball.

Mark at Stumbling Toward Divinity celebrates a friend's ordination and ponders his own future.

What Christmas Carol Are You? There are a few links to this quiz around, but I only jotted down two -- Revamy and monday morning letters -- my apologies to the at least one other posting!

And speaking of Christmas carols, Finding Avalon intersperses her blog with lines as a refrain.

Jo(e) shares what the students learned this semester -- and I'm thinking about keeping some index cards of my own to pull out on occasion, if only to remind myself that I keep learning!

Thinking about reading and writing? So are A Thing With Feathers and Another Country.

Reverend Mommy's random thoughts drift to physics, math and higher theologies

Have you seen Narnia? Brother Terry, Church for Starving Artists, Bethquick and Micahgirl share some of their thoughts.

And, last but not least, the blog that made me laugh out loud: any day a beautiful change.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Advent III

Alrighty, Pals, get cracking! Every single one of us has been tagged by Leslee.

Over at Poor Mad Peter's, Sheba is having a birthday and Peter has been Santa Claus. Surely a unique set of celebrations! Gord has some novel Christmas tunes. Twerpette has Christmas carol lyrics in Spanish ... just in case, for your bilingual pastoring needs. And Rebel's been exploring other cultures...still Lutherans, but other cultures, to be sure. And toasting a cat.

Did you hear about the fantastic gifts that Brother Terry and his church have received? Go see! Miracles & wonders! And Christmas is entirely new this year for Hey Jules! and for Gallycat.

Cheesehead has an interesting quandary. What DO they teach them in seminaries these days? Obviously, some seminaries teach jokes: see Philosophy over Coffee. Mibi didn't learn to hot-wire the car in seminary, but she now knows how, nonetheless.

Net has a lovely Celtic (?) prayer to share, and Emily has the COOLEST "Make Poverty History" graphic thingy. Songbird got a CD and some magnets in the mail!

It's the end of the semester for Kinesis and for Shield the Joyous, too. Shhhh! We aren't talking to you guys! Let us know when you come up for air.

Micahgirl is hosting a Narnia birthday party - can I come!? And it's Jennifer's birthday, but doesn't sound like it's been a very happy one so far - a sickie one, rather. Send her a good wish, won't you?

In other celebrations, Grace's Bible in 90 Days Group is celebrating their achievement! Go see the cake and the great lyrics!

Need something to read? Rainbow Pastor's been reading The Bone People - on my list~!

It's 100 days since Hurricane Katrina and St. Cass keeps on keeping on. Polar Bear considers holiday decorations and the faith traditions of her cats.

Ann's father is a hero. I had no idea - I get so stuck in the fights of my own denomination. A man of great, amazing love and courage. December 8th entry.

Love and music to you all.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

We're Snowed

Your humble correspondent has moved to Saturday update duty in a three way swap with PCIT and Will Smama. So away we go skating around a snow-obsessed bunch of RevGals and Pals.

Songbird's Snow Day Friday Five meme was so popular that it would be easier to note those of you who DIDN'T partipate that those of you who did. Okay, big breath--GallyCat, Pink Shoes, Reverendmother, Emily, Will Smama, Songbird, Rebel Without a Pew, Mary Beth, James,
Bad Alice, Dash, Singing Owl, Gord, Inner Dorothy, Sojourner of Life's Journey, Lutheran Chik, A Church for Starving Artists and Leslee all answered on their blogs. Sorry about jo(e) who guessed wrong about the subject of the Friday Five this week.

Other snow obsessed bloggers include Mark who reveals why he could have died and Steph (who also did the Snow Day meme) is doing the snow dance hoping for a snow day.
Musings on the season continue unabated. Preacher Mom has a love/hate relationship with Advent/Christmas. Susan Rose offers alternative gift ideas and NotShyChiRev posts an original Advent hymn. Favorite Christmas CD's are the subject of Rainbow Pastor's latest post, among other things. Kathryn describes the Advent Prayer Trail, complete with a lovely photo.

Others share their personal struggles. Cats is homesick as she stays in a hotel waiting for the genetic testing for her son to be concluded. Girl Gone Great is "all cried out." Lorna mourns the death of a beloved former pastor. Hey Jules shares the counsel of her pastor over a troubling theological issue. And don't miss Lutheran Chik's rant--she was having a "WTF kind of day."

Reverend Mommy has posted the first installment of a seminary paper on Christian Education and she would like your comments. Teri finds a startling contrast between the contrast of the cultural value of hospitality in the Middle East and the rude behavior she encounters in Cairo. A virtual conversation about the controversy over the ordination of a gay bishop in the Episcopal church is the subject of a post from James at Love During Wartime. Then stop over at Philosophy over Coffee for a pop culture update. If you are wondering how to increase your efficiency when baptising several infants at the same service, check out Church Lady's clever solution.

There's another bloggie game going the rounds--you post a comment with a "completely made up fictional memory" of you and the person whose blog you commented on. Got that? Well, it certainly brings you giga-comments--and very amusing ones at that. Current players include Cheesehead, Songbird, Gord, Inner Dorothy, and Will Smama.

Whistle and Fish write a review of The Chronicles of Narnia at St. Cassarole's. Here's a safe prediction: the next big blog quiz will be Which Character From Narnia Are You? First spotted at Smallest Angel.

Finally, Poor Mad Peter was struck dumb by this gift suggestion...and you will be, too!

Please feel free to give additional highlights of things missed in this round-up in the comments. For now, that's all from southeast Texas where there's no snow, there's no snow, there's no snow!

The Companion Blog

Has had a make-over -- go check it out and tell Crys thank you!
A Light Blazes.

Friday, December 09, 2005

RevGal Friday Five: Snow Day

In honor of the first good snow I’ve seen this year, a Snow Day edition of the Friday Five:

1) Snow: love it or hate it?

2) First snow memory

3) Best Snow Day ever (actual or imagined)

4) Best use of snow in a movie, song, book or poem

5) What you are planning to do today, with or without snow

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Thursday Update.

It's a slow Thursday around here, grey and chilly. Makes we want to eat until more than full, curl up in a cave somewhere and take a l-o-o-ong nap.

Young Punk Pastors feel the funny pace -- slowing down on one hand, ramping up to Christmas.

Yoda Beth is at the same sort of task that has been occupying my mind/living room recently -- catagorizing books. Maybe if there is Spring Cleaning, there is also an urge to Advent Librarianship?

Natty is twisted up about a question of yoga

Ann writes about her father's love. An important piece.

Amy is offical! Congratuations!

Stacey takes her own tour of the blogosphere.

SingingOwl posts a little prayer from Merton.

The Peripetetic Polar Bear has a touch of posting mania. Or so she says....

Rachel posts reflections on comfort found in the Rod and Staff passage and remembers an important person in her life.

Mary Beth is Cold.

Telling Truth shares a lifesaver.

Mark only posts three words -- "I could have died" (OK, that's four) -- and then nothing, the stinker.

St. Cassie is a Christmas tree (Oh Casserole, oh Casserole, how lovely are thy branches...)

Carol ponders the connection betweeen Thursdays and bad weather....

And it's time to go get the kid. I may be back later with more.... and I may not be. Life is always full of surprises!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


I just switched to doing the round-up on Wednesdays and wanted to make a good impression, but I think that you will all agree that Reverend Mother's post right below this is far more important right now. I will round-up later.

Please see the post below.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

come quickly, prince of peace

Tuesday is not normally my day to update the blog, but I wanted to urge all of us to pray fervently for the four members of the Christian Peacemaking Team who are being held by the "Swords of Truth Brigade" in Iraq. The captors have vowed to execute the men on Thursday unless all prisoners in Iraq and coalition custody are released.

One of the four men, Tom Fox, is a friend of a member of our congregation. There are prayer vigils being planned in this area. But may we also commit to pray, as an online community?

The irony is that it was a Christian Peacemaker Team that helped bring to light the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. And while we pray for peace, and for these four men and for their captors, a member of Tom's church reminds us that there are literally thousands of people who have been kidnapped in Iraq, and many more who wait and worry about their missing loved ones--they just don't make the news.

Even as I plead with God for a miracle, I give thanks for the witness of these men. "It seems easier somehow to confront anger within my heart than it is to confront fear," Tom Fox wrote on his blog in October 2004, during the spate of kidnappings of aid workers. "But if Jesus and Gandhi are right then I am not to give in to either. I am to stand firm against the kidnapper as I am to stand firm against the soldier. Does that mean I walk into a raging battle to confront the soldiers? Does that mean I walk the streets of Baghdad with a sign saying 'American for the Taking'? No to both counts. But if Jesus and Gandhi are right, then I am asked to risk my life and if I lose it to be as forgiving as they were when murdered by the forces of Satan. I struggle to stand firm but I'm willing to keep working at it."

The name of Fox's blog, incidentally, is Waiting in the Light.

Come, Lord Jesus.

A pinch of this, a pinch of that

Oh my. There certainly is a lot to debate this time of year, isn't there? At Narrow at the Outset and Philosophy Over Coffee we are discussing cancelling church when Christmas falls on a Sunday and Quotidian Grace blogs about Baby Jesus Wars. What are you arguing about at YOUR place??

On a lighter note, Fresh Cut Flowers encourages us to play a fun game involving fake memories.

Advent ideas and insights are on tap at Good In Parts, Hazelnut Reflections, and Rev. Amy's place.

Katherine clues us in to an opportunity that always makes my heart race with joy--CHEAP BOOKS!

Anna at All Manner of Thing is asking for our prayers. And lets hold Mary and Friday Mom in our hearts as well as they continue with major life transitions.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sunday Eve Read & Recap

Oh, LutheranChik says it all for me today: "Sometimes it takes a child, or someone with the mind of a child, to remind the thinky, anxious, preoccupied rest of us why we're celebrating a holiday in the first place. God is on the way -- HOORAY!"

In other holiday news, Bethquick has been to see The Nutcracker with a group of youngsters. What a joy! ContemplativeChaplain had a little one IN the Nutcracker, and while that ended in tears, the story didn't. From one stepmama to another, YOU GO, MOM!

Cheesehead can be sure she is a good mom and pastor, but that she would NOT be a good druggie!

Keeping CleverTitle in our prayers, and Cats and her family too. And SisterChrister, whose Mom is fighting cancer. And TellingTruth, who is waiting to talk with the Bishop and saying goodbye to a dear friend; and Rachel, who is in a dry place.

Oh goodie! A new toy! Gord has found us a "What Christmas Figure Are You?" quiz on Quizilla. Inner Dorothy is playing it, too. I am the same "Christmas Figure" they are. Not sure what that says about us, or how the item in question even IS a "Christmas Figure."

MicahGirl gives lovely advice to a son.

A peril of pastoring in the coldish places: Will Smama had to clear the church parking lot so the people could come. And then they did!

Rebel has been out for a job interview. You back yet? How'd it go? The call of the blog has been too much for Mark. Glad to see you back.

If you haven't seen the amazing poem at Reverend Mommy's, please give yourselves that gift! And don't miss the pictures a few entries down...the cutest family!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Another Saturday Night

I must admit there is the small matter of a sermon that is not quite complete, but here comes a round-up, nonetheless.

It was two days ago, but I want to point you to some posts about World AIDs day. I wear a red ribbon badge every day, made by one of the women of the Sisonke Beadwork Cooperative. When my son wore his to school on Dec. 1st, classmates had no idea what day it was or why he was wearing it. It worries me. Please don't forget those around the world who are grappling with AIDs. RGBPs blogging on this subject included Jan, Ciona, Brother Terry, Karen, Rainbow Pastor and Peripatetic Polar Bear.

Poor Mad Peter tells tales of Driving the Misses Daisy.

HeyJules writes movingly of the past ten months in her life, while cats gives thanks for the inclusive nature of the prayers being offered up for her family at this difficult time.

Leslee gives me html envy with her snowflakes and contemplates the impact of holiday stress on common courtesy.

Gallycat has added a Blogger companion to her livejournal at Go over and say hello! (Gallycat, I’ve added it to the Blogroll.)

Girl gave me a smile with her story of the Lysol Lady .

jo(e) shares a story from her past.

Sojourner muses on how different Saturday can be when you work in the church. Amen, sister!

Sister Steph wonders how writing truthfully about the ups and downs of a religious life may impact those considering one. I think this is a question many of us will have shared. This was a discussion I really wanted to join, but Blogger Comments is not working this evening.

On a lighter note, LutheranChik explores the wonders of making a Yahoo avatar.

Jeff at Philosophy Over Coffee did his weekly Pop Culture Roundup yesterday and pointed out some blogs of interest today.

Lorna blogs about boundaries and saying “no.”

Being Shielded shared some good news for one of our Ring Sisters, Sarah Dylan Breuer.

Susie Albert Miller posted about the petition for Darfur.

Natty loved the description of Quaker life and thought in M.E. Kerr’s Slap Your Sides.

wide-eyed and laughing grapples with the Kyoto protocols and takes on the Gospel Birthday meme.

And in the Advent/Christmas category:

If you haven’t seen will smama’s Christmas rant, you really owe it to yourself to go straight there. Quotidian Grace adds to the “holiday” fun.

Tammy Jo at 32 Flavors shares some thought about Advent hope.

Some of our Friday Fives dribbled over into Saturday. It was fun to read stories and see pictures of the different ways we decorate. For more holiday decorating amusement, visit Grace
and Gord and Emily and Susan Rose and MicahGirl and Singing Owl. James explains how cats play a part in his decorating scheme. Sister Christer adds a new perspective as she writes about decorating while living in community. I love her image of praying Christmas in with her sisters.

If you like your Friday Five with pictures, visit Sue and Rev. Dr. Mom.

Beth Quick shares memories of The Nutcracker.

Sophia at I Will Sing is under the weather. Will this be the third Christmas in a row? Head over and cheer her up!

And I am feeling a bit of the old Advent overwhelm, not at home, where we are all on the same page about the reason we’re celebrating not being a commercial or material one, but at church, where there is just too much to do.

I wish you all a blessed Second Sunday of Advent.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Round up from Finland

Round up from Finland

Anything to get out of doing Swedish revision (grin!)

I lit an advent candle today. You know the kind with the numbers 1 – 24 on the side. And as it burnt I started to look at what’s what over at Rev Gals.

My first stop was over to the baby blessingway - If you haven’t done so yet, do skip over to rejoice with reverendmother here. Reverend mother says her screen keeps getting blurry, and I must say I’m pretty excited about it myself and was in tears with some of the entries. Be warned and have a tissue (Kleenex) or two near by.

Next stop was back to A Light Blazes. and pink shoes at the pulpit’s entry – which ends with “We also can pray and hope for the ways that we want God to be present in the coming year–in the rebuilding of a relationship, in the anticipation of a move, in the discernment of a call. We can accept God's presence in our lives for the gift that it is–praising God with all of our being.”

That really hit home and I’m bound to blog on it later today over at Heavenly Train though my latest entry was about a mince pie!

I checked out one of our newest member Julie at musings, who has done the Friday Five. In an earlier entry she also wrote about discernment and about turning down a job as a pastor! That made me think too!

Rev to be Mibi is back from her trip to the middle east here and she and Mary Beth and Bad Alice also do the Friday Five meme, but a post or two back Alice wrote about curses which is well worth a look!

If you like kittens then Carolyn’s is a good place to visit. Do pray for her and her son too. It’s been pretty traumatic over there recently, and though she’s well aware he’s in God’s good hands, being a mum and letting go is NEVER easy! And hile you are in prayer mode, Caroline encourages us to pray for the missing Christian works out in Iraq. You can read more about that over Remembering the Alabastar Jar. That’s such a wonderful name for a blog don’t you think?

St Casserole and I share a blog birthday. She writes about hers here and submits her annual report.

I hereby award her – with no discussion whatsoever because none is needed an 'A' – what’s more I make the recommendation that Mr C starts a blog of his own at the double!

Rev Mommy (who asked me to do this round up) writes on Meet me at the Manger here with some great pics!

Smallest angel is getting into the spirit of Christmas over at Smallest Angel.

Her picture reminds me that I passed a milestone of sorts today. Fanfare please! I went into the local bookshop and came out without buying anything. I was sorely tempted by a lovely book on snowflakes, (in English) but it’s a bit pricy and will either be cheaper from Amazon OR half price after Christmas and for once common sense prevailed. Hubby will be pleased!

Talking of Christmas purchases. I wasn’t? Well now I am! Biscotti Brain is one of my favourite non Rev Gals blogs. In addition to her main blog (where’s she’s running a contest) she has a secondary blog called biscotti togs. Go take a peak, you’ll be so glad you did!

Oh and I love Songbird’s pink hat.
What a lovely result from having sat in on a long and probably boring meeting.

Talking of boring I’m back off to my Swedish revision.
Thanks Rev Mommy for giving me some time off for good behaviour!

Be blessed!


thank you

Thank you all for the lovely blessingway blog for the reverendbaby. It is so gorgeous and wonderful that I can only read it in stages; it's just almost painful how beautiful it is.

Thank you, dear friends.

RevGal Friday Five: Decorations

Soon it will be the second Sunday of Advent, the day we usually go out for our Christmas tree. That is the beginning of the decorating process at our house. All the boxes will come down from the attic. I will realize the mantle needs dusting before we begin to arrange the nativity scene upon it. We will scheme where to hide the baby Jesus until Christmas Eve, hoping we don't forget where we squirreled him away.

For this Friday morning, then, a few decorating questions:

1) Do you display a nativity scene, and if so, where?

2) Do you put a skirt under the Christmas tree? If so, what does it look like?

3) Do you hang lights on the house or put them in your windows?

4) White lights or colored lights on the tree? Big bulbs or the small, pretty ones? (I'm not biased...much.)

5) Do you have a tree topper? What sort? Who puts it on top of the tree?

I have to work on this supposed day off, but I will be back in the next 24 hours with a round-up of recent posts around the ring. Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

New Members

Reverend Mommy is out on a hospital call, so in place of an update here is an introduction of three new members we have added this past week.

Musings of MicahGirl is a poet! Go and see her latest work.

Julie at Musings has been blogging about Advent. Many of us share the frustration with the secular rush to Christmas and are looking for some Advent space in our lives.

Finally, pay a call on Christen at Contemplative Chaplain. Her wit and intelligence are apparent from the first post.

Check back tomorrow for the meme of the week!