2.22.2007

The Body of God

Last week, the Women's Theology Book Group met again at Borders in Orland Park. We began our discussion of Sallie McFague's The Body of God. Our assessment of Chapters 1 and 2 left us wanting more -- because if that's all there is, it is a sad state indeed. So, for those who missed it - or for those who were there and want to say more - here's your chance. Just click on comments and type away!

If you don't have a copy of the book, I am happy to report that Borders in Orland Park has been able to obtain 10 more copies. If you have any trouble locating them, ask for Marie Whitney.

We will resume our conversation, focusing on chapters 3 and 4, next month on Thursday, March 15th at 7:30 p.m. For more information about the group and/or about Transfiguration, click here.

2.21.2007

Hacking Church: How to Attend Service 52 Weeks in a Row

Sometimes others really do say it best. . . I encourage you to begin your observance of Lent by (1) attending an Ash Wednesday service (Transfiguration's are scheduled for Noon and 7 pm - for directions and more information about events at the church, click here); and (2) by reading this post at Lifehack.org.

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

- Book of Common Prayer, p. 264

2.18.2007

Transitions

If the Holy Spirit is at work when we preach, then it is entirely possible to preach to ourselves because in listening even to our own voice we might just be hearing the wisdom of God. I'm not certain that the same can be said of blogging, but I am willing to give it a try:

I have yet to meet a person who says, “I LOVE transition!” [Having just typed that, I, of course, "had to" Google it and sure enough, others have said it! - but it remains that I do not know them!] To be sure, there are those who love the challenge of a transition, who thrive on the excitement, but a person who loves the transition itself – that state of not knowing where you will be, when you will be going, and struggling to live in the already and the not-yet simultaneously – that person, I have not met.

What can help to mitigate this stress? [For a discussion of the psychology of transition and a more scholary opinion, click here; all others, feel free to continue reading]. At the top of the list, for me, is support. Finding trustworthy and caring individuals with whom you can share your journey is imperative. This is true any time, but in times of transition, when many of us instinctually retreat, it is even more important to stay connected. For some, this takes the form of a spiritual director or a therapist, for others, a close friend or two will do the trick. As God’s self if relational, so too are we, created in God’s image, relational. Do not go it alone.

Another way to mitigate stress is to be kind to yourself. Cut yourself some slack. Is your temper a bit quicker than usual? Are you getting less done than is typical for you? Do you find yourself daydreaming or procrastinating more than you have in the past? Not to worry . . . all of this simply means you are human. Treat yourself to brief afternoon naps (a study released just last week says this can be prevent heart attacks). Indulge in a massage or a facial. Go for a long walk with no destination in mind – see where your feet take you. Enjoy a latte at a coffee shop and people-watch. I once saw a wonderful greeting card suggesting this as a way to relax: make yourself a cup of hot tea, put on a comfy pair of slippers, sit down in your favorite chair. . . and then, hurl the cup of tea at a wall!

This leads me to the last bit of advice I offer: keep a sense of humor! The only thing worse than transition is transition that is deadly serious. Find reasons to laugh each day. Watch a silly sitcom, search knock-knock jokes on line - or just click here - read the comic strips. . . anything, just laugh! Note, that I did not suggest that you just make light of the whole situation. No, be true to how you are feeling, share how you are feeling. In addition (not instead of), find time to laugh each day.

And remember, the very definition of transition precludes it from lasting forever – it is a temporary period of passage from one place to the next.

2.08.2007

Gabby


This is Gabby. She was born on 11-19-2006 and came to live in our home on 01-24-2007. Andrea picked her out at Kay's Animal Shelter in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Gabby is an Aussie/Chow mix (according to the kennel). . . So, she is likely to grow to anywhere between 40 and 75 pounds (I'm hoping for something in the 40 pound range).

Wenzel, our male cat, thinks Gabby is a bad idea. Kirbie, our female cat, thinks Gabby might just be a temporary problem. Unfortunately for Wenzel and Kirbie, Gabby is sticking around. Hopefully they will adjust accordingly.

2.07.2007

Think, Check, Barring, Counsel. . . Equal in New Jersey

Blue Jersey has a series of ad campaigns that are excellent on the difference between being married and being civil unionized! You can watch all four clips at this link. While civil unions, in states where they are legal!, offer many/most of the same rights as a marriage, they are frequently not recognized by "everyday people" and "everyday institutions" - like hospital employees, IRS documents, and CDO profiles. This is why Marriage Equality - not 'civil union commitment' - is the only option that truly affords the LGBT community equal rights under the law.

To learn more about this issue on a national level, click here.

In the state of Illinois, Equality Illinois is working hard to attain equal rights for the LGBT community.