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This Shared DreamAfter the BeginningTo Say Nothing of the DogThe Girl With the Dragon TattooA New Beginning for Pastors and Congregations: Building an Excellent Match Upon Your Shared StrengthsThree Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission To Promote Peace...One School At A Time

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5.31.2005

Proper 15, Year A

I have been invited to preach at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Park Ridge on Sunday, August 14th. The Propers are here.

"Maintain justice and do what is right" (from Isaiah 56:1, 6-7) struck me as an interesting juxtaposition (my apologies to the middlers at Seabury who loathe that word) to the gospel reading from Matthew in which the Canaanite woman dares to suggest Jesus may be wrong in turning her away because she is not part of the house of Israel: "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."

During our preaching classes this year, we've been strongly advised to preach on only one portion of one text on one Sunday (in other words, don't try to incorporate all the propers for a given Sunday and expect a suscinct sermon). Yet these two texts seem to be preaching to one another. Searchign the web, I discovered this sermon which also connects the two readings (and, as an added bonus, references "The Little Rascals").

As the 14th of August approaches, it will be exciting to discern what the Holy Spirit would have me say to St. Mary's - perhaps another portion of the propers will be calling out to be heard that day. Stay tuned. . .

5.30.2005

Dreams

"Here we are all, by day; by night, we're hurled
By dreams, each one into a several world."
- Robert Herrick (1591-1674)


Roller coasters, a broken VCR, cross-country skiing, watching cartoons, and cancer. . . I've been dreaming a lot lately. Correction: I have been remembering the details of my dreams a lot lately. Must be transition time. Let's see: graduation, end of the quarter. . . yup, transitions. Good, normal.

5.27.2005

Anglican Communion Sunday

I received an e-mail from the Anglican Communion News Service today inviting us to celebrate Anglican Communion Sunday on May 29th. I also received, from the same source, an invitation for children to color this picture of the compass rose as an Anglican Communion project to show that we truly are "a rainbow people." Interesting . . .

5.25.2005

Have you understood all this?

Jesus said to his disciples, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

"Have you understood all this?" They answered, "Yes." And he said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old." (Matthew 13:47-52)


This text is appointed both for the Feast of Alcuin (May 20, 2005) and for the Feast of The Venerable Bede (May 25, 2005). As a result, I have heard two sermons preached on the same text within a single week. But, here's the catch: I've had a difficult time hearing the sermons because as we near the end of the reading, Jesus asks the disciples, "Have you understood all this?" And, we are told, the disciples answered, "Yes." Jesus' response is "great. . . let's go on then, here's the rest of the message."

But I want to say, perhaps on behalf of the disciples (or at least those who were of a similar mental constitution), "WAIT! I don't get it! The fish in the net that are thrown out because they are "bad" - o.k., pretty straight forward; but, the fish in the net that are kept because they are "good" - um, don't they get eaten?!" Maybe the metaphor breaks down at this point and this is why, the Gospel writer uses anaphora to create a piling of images - in the hopes that by the third time, the disciples really DO get it. . . Here are the three verses which precede this pericope:

"‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.' ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.'"

So, the Kingdom of Heaven makes us want to sell everything we have in order to partake AND, at the same time, it's like a net full of fish - some good, some bad - which will be sorted out in the end. After which there will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth." This is no help: now I am to sell everything I have in the hope that I will not end up in the trash heap.

I suspected that the answer sat emerged in the final verse:

"Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old."

And yet, I can make neither heads nor tails of it (sorry about the switch in metaphor).

The explanation offerred by M. Eugene Boring in The New Interpreter's Bible, while it may be apt from a scholastic standpoint, does little to relieve my anxiety. Boring suggests that this last verse is actually an autobiographical parable - that is the Gospel writer is referring to himself as the scribe. That which is old includes such things as "Scripture, stock of traditional imagery, perspectives, and concerns" and the new is the manner in which the old has been appropriated by the Gospel writer in his storytelling (314-5). Great! Bottom line - the sorting is going to happen.

I wish Jesus had stopped the metaphor just after the net was cast into the sea, catching fish of every kind. This is a comfortable image of the Kingdom of God - everybody gets scooped up and included (we'll set aside that image of fish getting eaten at this point - very unhelpful!). But then, as Boring reminds us, in a paraphrase of Ulrich Luz, "On the sofa, the parables of the kingdom cannot be understood" (316). Perhaps my struggle with this text is intended to motivate me to leave the comforts of my metaphorical sofa, to leave this cozy place and seek the Kingdom of Heaven so that, upon discovering it, I too will be so moved as to sell all that I have in order to partake of that treasure. It sure is hard to imagine a place more comfortable than the sofa . . .on the other hand, how long was I really planning on just sitting here anyhow?

5.24.2005

That's not Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!

I just learned that at 91 years of age, Thurl Ravenscroft, known by many as the voice of Tony the Tiger, died on Sunday from prostate cancer.

I'd never heard his name before and yet he has been the voice of many of my favorite characters from Tony the Tiger, to the singer in Dr. Seus' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (incidentally, his name was left off the credits and so we've all been thinking that creator Boris Karloff did the singing as well - not so, at least according to this source), to Thing 1 in Seus' "The Cat in the Hat." More complete credits can be found here.

So much of our identity is linked to our names - having a loved one say your name can be quite powerful (and, as a very good friend of mine will attest, having a loved one forget your name can be quite painful - sorry!). I wonder what it is like to know that people love the voice of the characters you enliven and the sound of the songs you sing and, at the same time, to know that relatively few people know your name? Is it lonely?

Next time you hear a character voice you really like, take the time out to find out the name - and remember it. Don't love Jimminy Cricket, love the voice - Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards!

When Plans Change. . . and it is Good News

Last night, Andrea and I agreed we would read until 9pm when the season finale of CSI: Miami airs on CBS.

When I was supposed to be reading, I called my dad. He wanted to call me back - so, I said, "O.K., but it HAS to be before 9pm because we are watching the final episode of CSI: Miami and we don't want to miss it!" He called at 8:55 pm. Needless to say, I missed the beginning of the episode; but, when I got off the phone 10 minutes later, Andrea was able to fill me in.

About 10 minutes after that the phone rang. We agreed to let the answering machine pick it up; but, because we were waiting for a call from Rae, we were on the ready. The call, it turns out, was not Rae, but Cheri! The very friend who was in the hospital in New Mexico. We turned off the TV and called her back - she's home and she's fine; heading back to work on Wednesday.

I need to continue assessing my views on the effectiveness of prayer. . . And, Andrea and I need to see when CSI: Miami will be rerunning that final episode (which was well worth missing)!

5.22.2005

Phantom of the Opera

I (finally) saw Phantom of the Opera last night - the DVD version, not the broadway spectacular. The music, the costumes, the music. . . wow! how could I have missed this for so long?!

Today, planted flowers in the yard. The weather, the colors, the weather. . . wow! wouldn't have missed this for anything!

A good weekend.

5.20.2005

Moving Through Locked Doors

Sermon delivered to Preaching II class on Friday, 20 May 2005 (texts used were for Pentecost, Year A - Sunday, 15 May 2005). For those interested in thought processes, this link will take you to the post in which I originally began pondering this text and topic.

"When it was evening . . . and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you.’ . . . 'As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’” - from John 20:19-23

“The Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005” became Public Law on May 11th. As its title suggests the new law authorizes an additional $82 billion for U.S. military spending in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, the Palestinian Authority, and ongoing tsunami relief efforts in Asia. What its title does not mention is its incorporation of the Real ID Act of 2005 - an act which, when it stood alone, was largely opposed by Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike. Despite the opposition, when tucked into this “must pass” supplemental appropriations act, the Real ID Act was whisked through the system and signed into law. This is the latest piece of legislation that, in the interest of “homeland security,” is designed to tighten security around our nation’s borders and simultaneously to increase the challenges faced by those seeking asylum in the United States.

When the new law effectively prevents terrorists from using our asylum laws to gain entry into the United States, the Real ID Act will be heralded a success. When it prevents a terrorist from illegally crossing our borders, the Real ID Act will be heralded a success. When the new law turns away a family – no, even one individual – when the new law turns away even one person who is seeking asylum to escape the daily risk of torture and death, who will raise their voice and declare the Real ID Act a failure? Who will stand up when Irena Antipova, a Jewish Russian national, is denied asylum because the immigration judge “believed that Ms. Antipova put her faith on display in Russia and bore the blame for her persecution” by lighting a menorah candle at her apartment window?[1] Who will stand up when Mihail Daniel Ileana, a Romanian Baptist, is denied asylum because the immigration judge didn’t believe Mr. Ileana’s testimony that because of his beliefs, he and his family were kept under surveillance and suffered severe beatings by the Romanian security service?[2] Who will stand up and declare that the Real ID Act and “Homeland Security” are euphemisms for locking our doors against those whom we fear – those who are not like us?

The disciples were not so different. In today’s gospel we learn that the disciples had locked the door for fear of the Jews. And yet, despite this locked door, Jesus entered the room, stood with his disciples, and greeted them: “Peace be with you.” Though the disciples wanted to protect themselves - to close their doors against those outside - Jesus came in, passing through the locked door, breaking down the artificial boundary. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Just as Jesus demonstrated his willingness to break-through an artificial boundary – a locked door - so we are called to break through the artificial boundaries of our world – to move outside of our comfortable house, to stand up with those on the other side of the locked door.

Next month on June 20th World Refugee Day will celebrate its fourth anniversary. Chicago’s Interfaith Refugee & Immigration Ministries will be hosting events on June 18th and June 20th to celebrate this important day. I invite each of you to join me in this time of celebration and advocacy – either here in Chicago or with your home congregations. By our participation in World Refugee Day we will be demonstrating our commitment to unlocking the doors. But, let us not stop there. Let June 20th and World Refugee Day mark our renewed commitment to unlocking the doors, greeting our brothers and sisters with a sign of peace, and standing up with them in the name of the God who sent Jesus and who now sends us.

[1] Maria S. Constantinescu, “Faithful but Forsaken: REAL ID Act Harms Victims of Religious Persecution,” document endorsed by 34 non-governmental and faith-based organizations including Episcopal Migration Ministries, (Washington, CD: Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, February 1, 2005; Updated April 11, 2005), 17.

[2] Ibid, 16.

5.19.2005

Keeping It Simple

This morning I was listening to Bernice Johnson Reagon's song, "I Remember, I Believe" on Sweet Honey in the Rock's Sacred Ground.

My God calls my name on the morning dew.
The Power of the Universe knows my name.
He gave me a song to sing and sent me on my way.
I raise my voice for Justice. I believe!*

The first time I heard, "the Power of the Universe knows my name," I teared p. To be known - to have one's name known (and remembered) - by the Power of the Universe - wow! And look! It's all there - we are to respond!!!! God knows us, God calls us, and God sends us out (to use the gifts God gave us). . . Pretty simple message. Pretty profound effect.

*I am notorious for not hearing song lyrics correctly. So, here's the thing: I've written what I think I heard and because what I think I heard is what impacted me it is, for the purposes of this post, what I mean for it to say. Gentle Readers, if the words are not correct or if you know of another version of the same, I apologize for "getting them wrong" here.
"The writer must lie and the gentle reader rests happy to hear
the worthiest works misinterpreted, the clearest actions obscured, the
innocentest life traduced: and in such a licence of lying, a field so fruitful
of slanders, how can there be matter wanting to his laughter?" -
Ben
Jonson

5.18.2005

Friendly Update

Andrea spoke with our friend in Albuquerque tonight. This in and of itself is good news. We're glad to have her back with us. She and her partner have a visit to Chicago planned for July --- Wicked and Venetian Night are both in the cards! Thank you Rae!!!!

On a completely unrelated note:

We received our final theology paper assignment today. We are to write of an incident, conversation, or the like that has occurred since we've been in seminary which raised one or more theological questions for us. Then, in light of what we've learned, we should discuss those questions. Every incident that occurs to me has to do with the "problem of evil" and, as such, remains the biggest theological question never answered to anyone's satisfaction. Feels like a lot to bite off in the final moments of the term; but, alas, no one ever said it was going to be easy. I guess I shouldn't be surprised as this is what peaked my interest in theology in the first place back in 1986!

Also unrelated:

I am exhausted. After classes today, I hurried home to mow the lawn before the rain. Predictably, the weather prediction appears to have been inaccurate and, thus, no rain. But, the lawn is mowed --- and it could rain later.

Final Comment:

Lack of profundity = evidence of exhaustion. Good night.

5.17.2005

Powers, Principalities and Drivers Licenses

Mix the following ingredients:

  • The Word Before the Powers by Charles L. Campbell
  • The Propers for Pentecost
  • The Newspaper

Throw in some imagination and deliver a sermon which accomplishes the following: 1) names or reveals the work of the powers; (2) urges resistance to the powers' works; and (3) describes a community practice we might embrace to challenge the powers' works.

Here is my thinking thus far (feel free to provide feedback if you are so inspired - I have until May 20th):

TEXT: "When it was evening . . . and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you.' . . . 'As the Father has sent me, so I send you.'" (John 20:19-23)

Names/Reveals the Work of the Powers: Homeland Security (i.e., Anti-Immigration)

“The Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005” (a.k.a. H.R. 1268) became Public Law 109-13. This law which authorized an additional $82 billion in spending for the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan and ongoing tsunami relief efforts in Asia, also contains within it a section called the Real ID Act of 2005. This is the latest piece of legislation that, in the interest of “homeland security” increases the challenges faced by those seeking asylum in the U.S. and tightening border security.

Urges Resistance to the Powers' Work:

"When it was evening. . . and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’”

Though the disciples wanted to protect themselves, to close their doors against the perceived enemies outside, Jesus was able to enter the house. Jesus passed through the locked door and offered a greeting of peace. Jesus broke through the boundary and declared,

“As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

As Jesus’ demonstrated his willingness and ability to break-through an artificial boundary – a locked door; so we are called to break through the artificial boundaries of our world – to move outside of our comfortable house to be with those on the other side of the locked door.

Describes a Community Practice We Might Embrace to Challenge the Powers' Work:

June 20th as World Refugee Day

5.16.2005

Thoughts Thought in Theology

During a round of "stump the theologian" in Dr. Wondra's systematic theology class, we focused on the authority of Scripture and the concepts of predestination and salvation. In addition, I had the following two mind-wanderings:

FIRST
Heritage and heresy. . . is there an etymological connection between the words?

Heritage: Middle English, from Old French, from eritier, heir, from Medieval Latin hrditrius, from Latin, inherited. See hereditary.

Heresy: Middle English heresie, from Old French, from Late Latin haeresis, from Late Greek hairesis, from Greek, a choosing, faction, from haireisthai, to choose, middle voice of hairein, to take.

So. . . the answer is No; however, I still wonder, when does one's heritage become heresy?

SECOND
When the rubber hits the road, how do I pray (and, more importantly, how different is this from my explanation of prayer offered in essay form for a class assignment a few weeks ago)?

As I continue to pray for my friend in ICU , I realize I am a Self watching myself pray. That is, I pray for her to be made well and then I add, guiltily, "if it be your will, O God" as if (a) God would not will for someone to be made well and as if (b) I have ever purported that prayer works this way -- OR -- I pray that God's will be done for her and then add (still guiltily), but please make her well because we really, really like her --- and then, does this mean I don't like other people who are in ICU?

Oh, darn those theology classes that make you actually apply stuff to real life. When what works in theory, breaks down in practice, is it still a valid theory? --- oh, please don't tell me that being a priest is going to involve a whole lot more of this! It is, isn't it?

"Candidate"

Candidate (source):

  1. Campaigner: a politician who is running for public office; someone who is considered for something (for an office or prize or honor etc.)

  2. An individual who has met the eligibility qualifications for, but has not yet earned, a credential awarded through a certification program or a person that participates in a test, assessment or exam by answering questions; a person who is running for an office; an individual who has applied for specialty board certification.

  3. The person taking the exam – the test taker

  4. A job seeker who has submitted his or her information to a staffing agency in the hopes of attaining a position that is best suited to their specific skill set. A candidate may be seeking a permanent or a temporary position and often will work with a recruiter to determine those positions for which they are best qualified.

  5. The next step beyond Postulancy for a person who has been recommended by the Bishop and accepted by the Standing Committee as a Candidate for Holy Orders. See synonyms at Debra K. Bullock [official date of record May 10, 2005].

  6. A set of Assignments constituting an element of a Diagnosis. The Find Candidates operation returns a set of Candidate objects.

  7. Species that may become threatened or endangered.

  8. Salvationist who has applied for and is waiting to be accepted at the School for Officer training.

  9. One who is in the process of entering the Catholic Faith, but has been validly baptized a Christian.

Thank you all for perservering through my several months of angst and for graciously reminding me of my call whenever I began to doubt.

Soli Deo Gloria

5.15.2005

Sound Bytes

My grandfather shared a number of snippets from the Treasure Coast Newspaper this morning. A sample follows:

  • If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again - (submitted by a mother in memory of her "son and best friend" who died when he was 16 years old on September 1, 1996) [apparently you can purchase collectibles to accompany this sentiment here.]
  • The burning bush is extremely rare. The original burning bush is believed to be housed in a monastery [and yet, for $6.99 + shipping and handling you can buy one!]
  • The Sahara Desert is one of the most barren places in the world. Not only Moses, but Jesus, and early Christians sought refuge there [vacation anyone?!].
  • United Airlines victory in court may result in similar paths by Delta, American, and other corporations in other industries
These sound bytes were accompanied by a televised sermon (preacher unknown) who asked us to imagine what the world would be like today if Noah had jumped off the ark out of frustration; and, by Andrea's commentary, "imagine the mess if Noah's wife had decided to jump off!"

In fewer than 8 hours, we will be on a plane out of West Palm Beach returning to Chicago by way of Atlanta. Good-bye reading week.

5.09.2005

When All Else Fails. . .

I once again have Beth to blame for this (refer to "Aha" on May 8th) "detour and frolic" (a phrase which, when used in this manner, ought most appropriately be credited to Todd Young , adjunct professor of Canon Law at our illustrious seminary and Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago; however, I happily discovered today that it has, all along, been a double entendre - refer to page 17 of this linked site! [incidentally, this detour and frolic is decisevely not the fault of Beth]).



In any event, the point of all of this is simply to say, I have now procrastinated much of my evening away - (a) by taking said silly quiz and (b) by spending 25 minutes attempting to create clever links for this post!

So, when all else fails, blame Beth.

5.06.2005

Google AdSense (TM)

I recently added Google Ads to my website - predominantly out of capitalistic curiosity. To date, I have earned $0.43 based on clicks on these ads. Apparently the advertisements are based on blog content and so, this morning, the following ads appeared:

  • 2004 Blog Winners (blogs2004 dot com)
  • Clergy Apparel Directory (churchresourceguide dot com) x 2
  • Create Blog (ebay dot com)
  • Hoffman Brothers Robe Co. (hoffman robes dot com)
  • Free Blog Tools and Hosting (faces dot com)
  • Catholic Bookstore, Gifts (prospecthillco dot com)
  • Blogging Evolved (squarespace dot com)

Based on this list of content-related advertising, I discover a very interesting self-profile: Well-dressed, successful blogger who enjoys Catholic kitsch. Wow! Who knew?

Of course, having written that description has just about guaranteed more of the same advertising will appear. Maybe I need to start sounding more academic, more intellectual, more deconstructionist. Hmmm. . . if every post contained the word "deconstruction" what type of ads might appear?

5.05.2005

Direction

"I think I'll apply to PhD programs." Yes, these words came out of my mouth at dinner a week or so ago. A doctoral program has been in the works for me all along - it's just been a matter of timing. Given the cacophonous Episcopal Church and my place within it, the timing seems appropriate.

My summer reading list includes:

  • Langdon Gilkey's Through the Tempest AND/OR Nature, Reality, and the Sacred
  • Stanley Hauerwas' After Christendom? How the Church Is to Behave if Freedom, Justice and a Christian Nation Are Bad Ideas AND/OR In Good Company: The Church as Polis AND/OR Unleashing the Scripture
  • Martha C. Nussbaum's The Fragility of Goodness AND/OR Poetic Justice
  • Paul Ricoeur's The Symbolism of Evil AND/OR The Rule of Metaphor AND/OR Time and Narrative AND/OR Memory, History, Forgetting
  • William Stringfellow's An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land
  • Kathryn Tanner's The Economy of Grace AND/OR Jesus, Humanity, and the Trinity AND/OR Theories of Culture AND/OR The Politics of God
  • David Tracy's Analogical Imagination AND/OR Plurality and Ambiguity
  • J. Denny Weaver's The Nonviolent Atonement
  • Walter Wink's The Powers That Be

The list seems a bit much, but I will be working in the library 20 hours / week and I cannot imagine there are THAT many students in and out of here from June through August (there aren't that many students in and out of here now)!

Through some reading and discussions with folks like AKMA and Dr. Wondra, I figure I'll have some sense of where I ought to apply. For now I'm considering the University of Chicago Divinity School (Tanner, Tracy, and Nussbaum) and Duke (Hauerwas).

New Member of the Family

The car "crisis" is over. Last night Andrea bought a new Matrix XR (in "cosmic blue" -- who knew there was such a color?! Oh Joy!). Only two dealerships were involved. Sadly, at the first, though they were able to get us the car we wanted, they were "old school" in the sales department - pushy, condescending, and otherwise offensive. So, I got us out of there (I declared that we needed to discuss this important decision over dinner) and off we went to Bredemann Toyota of Park Ridge. Wow! What a difference! Suddenly, we were the experts and they were accomodating our requests.

We have not yet named the new car. The Double Yellow Beetle is "Hoover" ("Hoobs," for short). Other already-used names in the family include: Andrea, Debra, Wenzel, and Kirbie. We are happy to take suggestions for the new car's name.

5.03.2005

Restore to Wholeness Whatever is Broken: A Journey in Time

The price to pay (pardon the use of a consumer-centric metaphor) for a turn-the-world-upside-down sermon - or, more humbly, one that makes strides in that general direction - is that of offense. In fact, absent that, one might question whether the sermon required preaching at all.
What will I do if a parishioner walks out during my sermon (presumably out of provocation rather than boredom)? How will I retain my composure to continue proclaiming the gospel? What kind of mental exercise will I need to practice in order to give the appearance of not losing my train of thought, getting nervous, or having any other visible response to the one seeking to exit (I originally used the word "absconder," but it seems to have a sly connotation to it - am I correct?)? Perhaps some deep breathing or a silent and speedy recitation of The Little Engine that Could mantra. . . these thoughts used to occupy my time (because neurotic personalities must have something about which to obsess).

O Christ, the Word Incarnate, O Wisdom from on high,
O Truth, unchanged, unchanging, O Light of our dark sky;
we praise thee for the radiance that from the scripture's page,
a lantern to our footsteps, shines on from age to age.


Today, I consider: What is it like to be the parishioner who stays after a parishioner has walked out? When the peace is passed, the feelings of guilt surface as I recognize my own complicity (I laughed at the moment in the sermon which seems to have led you out). Communion is broken. (Click here for another viewpoint.)
And today, I wonder: what is it like to be the parishioner who walks out? This I cannot say. I have not been there.

The Church from our dear Master received the word divine,
and still that light is lifted o'er all the earth to shine.
It is the chart and compass that o'er life's surging sea,
mid mists and rocks and quicksands, still guides, O Christ, to thee.
Tomorrow's liturgy includes sacramental healing.

O make thy Church, dear Savior, a lamp of purest gold,
to bear before the nations thy true light as of old;
O teach thy wandering pilgrims by this their path to trace,
till, clouds and darkness ended, they see face to face.

- Hymn Text: William Walsham How (1823-1897), alt.

5.02.2005

An's Van: An Update

Ode to the Silver Van: A Poem
(once you read it you'll understand why I thought it necessary to clarify that my narrative intent was that of poetry; my narrative skill-level, on the other hand. . . well, you be the judge)

Good-bye, Mr. Van.
We will miss your large spaces.
But without brakes,
You can no longer take us places.

So the word is in: $500 + to "properly fix" the van vs. $200 to fix it "enough to make it sellable" (yes, we are talking about sales to an auto- dealer and not to an unsuspecting soul on the street in search of reliable transportation - thank you for the ethical push). As the van has been problematic (and that is putting it nicely), we have opted for the latter option and, as a result, will soon be shopping for a new car.

In the meanwhile, we may have some fun juggling our lives with one car (an interesting thought: this is an example of a "high class problem" --- a phrase I find problematic, but, particularly in this instance, quite useful) and/or taking up a friend's offer of the use of her car (thank you Twyla - we'll get back to you!).

Mourning Morning

This morning, I plunked down in front of the computer screen in the office / cat-room, still in my PJs, happily sipping a cup of freshly brewed Starbucks Christmas Blend (you have to buy a LOT at Christmastime in order to still be working through the last bag in May!). 7:43AM: the phone rings. Andrea is having car troubles.

  1. Get dressed
  2. Turn off washing machine
  3. Turn off computer screen
  4. Pack-up lap top
  5. Pack-up books for the day
  6. Kiss the kitties good-bye
  7. Drive to auto-shop
  8. Drive Andrea to work and discuss what to do about cars (hers has problems, mine has problems. . . two new cars (a Mazda3, a Toyota Matrix, something else?) while going to seminary full-time OR commuting that involves one of us adding an additional 45 minutes to an hour of drive-time to our commute each day, bemoaning the lack of adequate public transportation in suburbia, etc., etc., etc.)
  9. Drive self to school
Just not quite the morning I had in mind. On the flip side, I greatly enjoyed spending an extra hour with Andrea and I've managed to get those things done for which I had plunked down in front of my computer screen in the first place.