Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
The registration fee of $100 will be due on September 25, a payment of $200 will be due on October 21, and the balance will be due on December 15, 2010. Particulars are in the brochure, available by emailing Martha Hoverson.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
About that same time I left the church in which I had been raised and we began to attend a little Assemblies of God church down the street.
In those days, Pentecostals had a rather rich tradition of "campmeeting" style songs. This was new to me, but after some adjustment I found I liked the songs. Sadly, we don't hear them much anymore, but this morning we sang "We Shall See the King." I was going to post something more sedate on the blog, but this was my daughter's favorite church song growing up, so I just had to share it in her honor.
I wish I could have found a nice congregational version, but this one does at least give you the "southern" flavor.
What did you sing this morning? Share, if you like, in the comments.
You are a God of hospitality; there is none like you that invites all to come to you.
You have invited all to your home, to your table, and to your arms.
Lord, would that all would hear and receive this good news.
Lord, help us to remember that no one is better than anyone else in your Kingdom.
Help us to then treat each other the way you treat people.
Because you treat us with your tender love,
We take time to pray for our friends, family members and others who need you more than ever.
Pour out your healing on all who need it.
Be generous with your transforming love for those who needs it in their lives.
Bring forth your reconciliation in families, and in places where it is needed.
You give us the gifts of the spirit to use to further your Kingdom
and to be the Body of Christ in the world.
We take time to remember the people devastated by Hurricane Katrina
and to thank you for the restoration that has already taken place.
Empower us to continue to be your hands and feet
to continue the work that needs to be done there and in so many other places.
There is none like you God in your love, your generosity, your gifting and your hospitality.
And we thank you that you are in our lives, working in us and through us to let people know your kingdom is open to all.
In the name of your son, who opened the doors for all and broke down barriers that kept people from you, amen.
crossposted at revgalprayerpals and abi's long and winding road
Saturday, August 28, 2010
|Apple, pear, cranberry pie....would you like a slice? (photo and pie by mompriest)|
So, where are your thoughts leading you for your sermon? Are you going with Jeremiah or Sirach? The Psalms or Proverbs? Or maybe The Letter to the Hebrews (did Paul write it?)...Maybe though you are drawn to Luke or some combination of these?
As of this writing I am not sure where I am going or even which scripture I may use. Thankfully I have three choices and can make up my mind at the last minute....although I really hope it doesn't take me that long. Still, there are some excellent late night partyers to keep me company should it come to that for me or you!
Regardless here we are, Saturday and a party to keep us sustained and entertained. I have fresh blueberry pancakes, coffee, and nectarines - and of course, pie..... Grab a mug and pull up a chair, would you like coffee or tea?
Friday, August 27, 2010
Mindful that many others are heading off to further schooling or delivering their loved ones to the institutions that provide it, here are five questions about dorm life.
1) What was the hardest thing to leave behind when you went away to school for the first time?
2) We live in the era of helicopter parents. How much fuss did your parents make when you first left home?
3) Share a favorite memory of living with schoolmates, whether in a dorm or other shared housing.
4) What absolute necessity of college life in your day would seem hilariously out-of-date now?
5) What innovation of today do you wish had been part of your life in college?
Bonus question for those whose college days feel like a long time ago: Share a rule or regulation that will seem funny now. Did you really follow it then?
If you play the Friday Five at your blog and would like visitors, be sure to share a link here, using the following formulation:
<a href="the url of your blog post goes here">what you want the link to say goes here</a> For a complete how-to, click here.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
So...your editor forgot to announce that we had no questions in the queue...so this week, we have some questions for all of you...
Mompriest, blogging at Seeking Authentic Voice has a good question:
It would be a good idea to talk about the program year ahead. Share with us what your congregation has scheduled for the program year in terms of adult, youth, and children’s formation. Do you have a program in place for year-long stewardship and if so, how do you teach and get folks to live it? Do you offer special programs for Advent and Lent and if so what’s on the schedule for this year? Let’s share our ideas and resources.
Jennifer, who blogs at An Orientation of Heart, has lots of great ideas cooking at her place:
This is just about the busiest time of the year for our congregation, administratively. We’re putting the finishing touches on the kick-off to a new program year, complete with educational opportunities for children, youth and adults (Sunday morning and Sunday evening for teachers and other leaders), a great program that we’ve adapted from Faith Inkubators called Faith Stepping Stones, which ties life landmarks in the lives of children and youth and their families with spiritual practices, and all of the usual groups that you’d expect to find in a mainline church (women’s organization, youth groups, etc.)
We do some fun stuff with year-round stewardship, dividing the year into quarters and thinking about time and talents in the first quarter of the calendar year (Jan.-March), our commitment to the environment in the second quarter, a focus on sabbath in the third quarter, and an emphasis on our financial stewardship in the fourth quarter. This is our second full year of thinking together this way. We’ve got miles to go…
I’m out of time and gas to summarize Advent and Lent. The church I serve is blessed with lots of creative folks, but even so, the caveat I’d offer is to avoid over-programming. People of all sorts seem to be overbooked and overscheduled. It’s hard to be counter-cultural and offer time for church leaders and participants in the creative programming of the church to rest and be renewed. That’s our greatest growing edge.
What are you planning at your place? What is your faith community's greatest growing edge?
Muthuh+ also has a very good question awaiting your response:
As a newly retired pastor/priest, I am not sure what I can do in parishes. For the past 30 years I have been the sole pastor or senior pastor. I am still vital but not willing to be in charge any longer. What would clergy like for a pastor to do or NOT do if I joined your congregation?
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Sally shares a post this week titled "No Apologies":
I have a Manse inspection tomorrow (Circuit Administrator and Circuit Steward), and although I know that this is partly to make sure that all is well, and that the roof is not caving in on us, and that the windows aren't falling out, it brings with it all sorts of pressures. I look around the house, it is filled with the assorted bits and pieces from three twenty year olds who have just graduated from University, we have in effect stuffed three households worth of stuff into one house...and it is messy...
Add to that the assorted washing from various holidays, and the fact that it is impossible to dry because it keeps raining, and that an eco-minded decision a couple of years ago means that we do not have (and do not want) a tumble drier...
Add to that the large number of shoes (Jon's shoes are a size 13!) and coats that are cluttering the hallway, the fact that there are cups and mugs in strange places, the Wii and PS3 games and remotes and handsets strewn around, the phone chargers, lap-tops and notebooks that make us look a bit like an electronics jumble sale...
And then of course it being summer there is the sailing gear, wet suits and boots, life jackets and bags of towels...
Moving on to the garden (whose produce is filling the kitchen waiting for me to find a couple of hours to dedicate to freezing etc.), where the hedge needs trimming and the grass needs cutting but it keeps raining...the side passageway where our old fridge sits waiting forlornly for a Free-cycler to claim it...
And I am tempted to begin to offer apologies...
But then I look at things another way, could this be a picture of life in all its fullness, of life that celebrates, of life that glories in the fruitfulness of the earth, and does not have time to be constantly tidying stuff away, life that celebrates through reading and playing, through interacting and having fun...
Our home is not dirty, or damaged, it is simply filled with people and filled with life...and we cannot control the weather!
As for my study, I know where everything is- and the piles of books, papers etc, I maintain that they are the sign of a creative mind at work....
So bring on the Manse inspection. I make no apologies for living!
Edited to add; just perfect, the cat has brought in a "present"!
Your editor is tempted to think that Sally has chosen the better part. But that may just be me...What are you thinking, writing, praying about this week? Share in the comments, and if you'd like to link to a blog post, use this little string of text to help: <a href="the url of your blog post goes here">what you want the link to say goes here</a>
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Special Pre-Publication Price: $11.90 + shipping – valid until August 29th.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Hear our prayers as we come before you.
Hear the ones who are crying with pain in their heart.
Hear the ones who are weeping with grief long into the night.
Hear the ones who are sobbing in their loneliness.
Heal their pain.
Restore their lives
Mend their broken hearts.
Lead us through the dark valleys.
Lead us through troublesome times.
Lead us to our home with you.
Teach us to listen to your voice,
That we may hear the cry of the needy and respond.
Teach us to love that
We may offer care that brings others to you for healing.
Teach us to lead,
With your vision so that we not lead others blindly through life.
Through your son who taught us to pray:
cross posted at revgalprayerpals and rev abi's long and winding road
Saturday, August 21, 2010
I'm possibly unnaturally excited to be back with you all in the Preacher Party after a few months away. My new baby girl turned 3 months yesterday, and this is my first Sunday back in the pulpit. I started back in the office on Monday.
Three months without preaching has been interesting - - glorious on the one hand (no deadline, no pressure), but in a way it sort of left me feeling a little aimless, too. I guess it's one way I know this is a call and not just a thing to do. Maybe that's one reason Jeremiah is speaking to me this week.
But enough about me (likely too much about me). We have a task at hand! What Word is the Spirit whispering or shouting in our ears that needs to be shared with others. What Scriptures are speaking to you? On Tuesday it seemed that themes of vocation, healing, and Sabbath were cropping up. I also remember somone talking about bullying. That got me thinking about "Back to School" types of themes. Is there anyone taking their cue from that part of the secular calendar (where it fits)?
Another question somewhat related - - Does anyone have any "Backpack Blessing" resources or traditions they are willing to share? Even if this isn't the week for it, it is likely coming up soon for many of us. I threw one together in the last minute last year and would like to be more intentional this time.
Join the party in the comments! Usually I have husband-made blueberry pancakes to share in the morning, but we have a houseguest with dairy and egg allergies so I doubt they are on the menu in the morning. Probably just boring old instant oatmeal. What yummy things do the rest of you have to share???
Friday, August 20, 2010
1. What things do you like to hang on to?
2. What is hard to let go of?
3. What is easy to give away?
4. Is there any kind of stumbling block connected with cleaning out?
5. What do you like to collect, hoard, or admire?
Bonus: Tell us about recycling or whatever you can think of that goes along with this muttering about cluttering.
Remember to leave a link to your blog in the comments section. I'm the one who can't figure out how to show the proper linkage, so go here to find out how!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I think it's not just a witness to the experience of the way back that I'm writing. I think it's a witness to the reality that there is a way back. It seems important to chronicle, because so many of us never find it. In my own family, as I've said recently, the general theological stance is: Too Much Suffering = No God. Everyone pretty much gave up. I am surrounded in my daily life by people for whom God is not of great interest or importance, or who have concluded that God does not find them to be of interest or importance. When I attend suicide survivors' groups, God almost never comes up. (Except for sometimes when people say to me, increduously, "You stayed in seminary?" God seems like a far-off and unreal concept after the suicide of a loved one.)
And what I think is that most of these folks can't or won't engage with God in their suffering. Knowing that the response is likely to be silence, they either shrug their shoulders and move on, or resort to the kinds of platitudes that stir thoughts of murder in my own particular heart. Or maybe they don't know how to start, or have no one with whom to talk honestly, or discover that the answers are even harder than the questions ~ which is not exactly motivating.
So, for what it's worth, a post. I might have some more to say about where I am now, maybe in a few days.
My daughter is driving from North Carolina to Ohio as I write this. I have spent the past 26 years waging a battle against terror whenever any of my children are out of my sight. Having lost a mother, brother, stepmother, and aunt all to sudden deaths at young ages, I have no particular sense of assurance about human safety or well-being. Actually, I have none at all. But I did pretty well for 24 years, and managed to conceal most of my fears and not convey them to my children. And then one night something I wasn't even afraid of came true.
After about a year, I had reached the point at which I could at least acknowledge the promise Jesus makes in Matthew 28:20: "Lo, I am with you always." And hope that it might be true.
And then it was completely ruined for me by a sermon preached at seminary. It happens that that verse is preceded by one in which Jesus says "Go and make disciples of all people." The sermon was an energetic call to mission, and an argument that making disciples of all people is a predicatory requirement for Jesus' continued presence with us. "No 'Lo' without the 'Go!' " exclaimed the pastor.
And I have slowly and tentatively reached the point at which I can barely grasp the hope that the Jesus who is always present to people at their lowest and most helpless was surely with my child; that the Jesus who always extends healing and wholeness to the sick and broken did the same for him.
I am able to say that largely out of my own experience, out of my gradual waking to the recognition that Jesus has been present to me in so many ways through other people since Josh died. And I am not nearly as broken as Josh was. So my only conclusion can be that Jesus is even more interested in him.
I know that some folks are wondering why I am writing this. I sometimes wonder myself. Shouldn't I, as a spiritual director and almost-pastor, be offering emphatic assurance in the hope of the Resurrected Christ?
I think it's important, even if only in this little-read blog, to witness to the genuine experience of the most horrific kinds of loss. The path to a renewed and confident faith is a steep and rocky one, with many slides backward over rough gravel and gnarly roots. Pretending otherwise is of no help to anyone.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
"And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He's actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won't quit until it's all cleansed. God himself is Fire!"
Monday, August 16, 2010
kathrynzj's great post from earlier today.
In the comments, share with us something you had to learn the hard way and/or some moment of grace in which a lesson came surprisingly easily.
If you write a post at your own blog, be sure to share a link here, using the following formulation:
<a href="the url of your blog post goes here">what you want the link to say goes here</a> For a complete how-to, click here.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Thank you for the rain here in the South where it has been so needed.
Thank you for the sunshine where it has been needed.
Thank you for the rain of grace in our lives where we have needed it.
Thank you for the sunshine of your Son where we have needed him.
We continue to pray for those in Russia where the fires and high temperatures have caused a higher number of deaths.
We cry for the lives lost in the flooding in China and Pakistan.
We pray for Mexico with escalated drug wars.
We pray for our own country’s continued recession with continued job losses.
We pray for faith to live our lives as faithful as the Israelites when they passed through the Red Sea.
We pray for faith to be as courageous as Rahab was.
We pray for faith to finish the race as all those who were before us did, who now stand cheering for us.
We pray for faith to keep our eyes on Jesus who started this race and leads us to the very end.
cross posted at revgalprayerpals and rev abi's long and winding road
|Read more about the painting here.|
You bring us unacceptable wild grapes and word like a fire and a hammer that breaks things to pieces and that's all before we turn to the back of the book and hear our Lord and Savior GO OFF.
So I suggest we fortify ourselves. Stick together. Support one another.
The only way out is through, right?
I'm making Fair Trade coffee, and there's homemade banana bread. You can even spread Nutella on it, if my nineteen-year-old didn't finish it all last night. Join us, bring your treats, your questions and your ideas and share them in the comments.
And if you feel the need to bang your head on something while contemplating these texts, why not dance to this instead?
Friday, August 13, 2010
I love summer, and wait anxiously for it every year. So how is it that we have arrived at the hot and humid "Dog Days" of August, and I have not done nearly enough of what I planned to do? I want to pack in as much as I can before snow flies once again.
How about you? And what is happening for those of you who are in a different hemisphere than I, and it may be cold?
1. What is the weather like where you live?
2. Share one thing you love about this time of year.
3. Share one thing you do NOT love about this time of year.
4. How will you spend the remaining days leading up to Autumn?
5. Share a good summer memory.
Bonus: What food says SUMMER to you?
As always, let us know in comments if you play. Post a direct link to your blog entry in your comment using the following formulation in the comment box: <a href="the url of your blog post goes here">what you want the link to say goes here</a> For a complete how-to ,click here.