Friday, August 31, 2007

Please pray for our small broken community.

How long, O Lord?
Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I bear pain in my soul,
and have sorrow in my heart all day long?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
and my enemy will say, "I have prevailed"
my foes will rejoice because I am shaken

But I trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

~Psalm 13

Friday Five: Seasons Change

It's Labor Day weekend here in the United States, also known as Summer's Last Hurrah. So let's say goodbye to summer and hello to the autumn.

1. Share a highlight from this summer.
I love our little town fair. Actually I love any and all town fairs, street festivals and music gatherings where folks gather together, support local fundraisers, enjoy music and each other. In small towns we don't have neighborhood night outs, but we do have great little festivals.

2. Are you glad to see this summer end? Why or why not?
Yes and no. Summers are quite busy in the north land - all of your folk that leave the city take up temporary residence here, so we enjoy a vibrant congregation for these 3 months. And with that comes busier times, that just translate to different busy-ness the rest of the year.

3. Name one or two things you're looking forward to this fall.
or more... I love this season: Football games, long walks, warm sweaters and venison sausage.

4. Do you have any special preparations or activities to mark the transition from one season to another?
I know the summer is coming to a close after a visit to the state fair. The last great summer "get together." Filled with fried food and a lot of dairy products, we begin the autumn diet.

5. I'll know that fall is really here when:
Well, it's actually here already in the north country. It's been here for a few weeks now. I'll know that winter is here when I pull out the tubs of sweaters and pack away the tank tops and sundresses.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A little grace for Miss South Carolina

So perhaps, yes, I was a bit harsh in the last post. Based on a number of blogs and news shows (not to mention the judges who voted this candidate in 3rd place...) maybe I was quick to judge this young, uh, scholarship candidate.

But really, where did South Africa and maps come in? Someone please, explain this to me.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


It's great to know that beauty pageants have not defied the stereotype... yet...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

August Sabbath

The quiet has arrived

The sermon is finished
The wedding has been celebrated
The gatherings have happened
The sun has set
The sauna is hot
The meal is prepared

The sabbath begins...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday Five: Word Association, Redux

This one is patterned off an old Friday Fivewritten by Songbird, our Friday Five Creator Emerita:
Below you will find five words. Tell us the first thing you think of on reading each one. Your response might be simply another word, or it might be a sentence, a poem or a story.

1. vineyard
The economic system of the ancient near east. Whenever it is used in text, I like to think it is a model for the whole world. Wine was as important to trade then as oil is to us. It defines us, uses us, helps us and feeds us. Yup, I'm in academic social science mode today.

2. root
What I find myself talking to alot of parents about these days. Especially those who are sending children off to college for the first time. The importance of giving people roots and wings.

3. rescue
What I need when I'm drowning in administrative crap like people who complain to people who complain to people about staff members who overstep their job descriptions and need to be needed for their own self-worth. Yikes, it has been a full week.

4. perseverance
God's church will survive, and even thrive.

5. divided
It will be a good sermon this Sunday- tying in some of number 3 and the division within the congregation and those that threaten the larger church. All will be honored in the power of gathering together around a common table.

What comes to mind for you?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Holy Grounds

Three separate gatherings today
Three separate cups of coffee

holy grounds ~ planning a wedding service with a young couple

holy grounds ~ praying for healing in a hospital room

holy grounds ~ beginning plans for a memorial service for a woman with terminal cancer

Some days I am so overwhelmed by this work.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday afternoon musings

Rarely do I dare to post on Sunday afternoons... at the risk of draining an already low well of vocabulary and coherent thoughts. But today something happened, something rather extraordinary.

Now, I'm sure it's not the first time this has happened, but it was the first time I noticed it. And a few things had to happen in succession...

1. I gave a truly uninspiring sermon (due in some part to the very misplaced popular culture reference... know thy audience... it seemed like a great illustration)

2. the music was jumbled, too fast or too slow. The musicians only had time to practice just before the service.

3. The pastor (me) was tired- and that Sunday adrenaline rush never quite managed to kick in.


4. People still left filled, happy, commissioned, active and hopeful.

I'm so glad that this whole church thing is not about me.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

There are weeks when my sermon is written by Wednesday afternoon...

And sometimes those sermons must be rewritten:

"vanity of vanities... all is vanity"

~Ecclesiastes 1:2