30 March 2007

Friday Five: Holy, Holy Week, Batman!

This week's Friday Five is brought to us by the number 30 and the letter R, for Reverend Mother that is.

Well, the Clergy Superbowl is almost upon us, and so, I offer up this Friday Five (with apologies for the irreverent title): (Reverend Mother...there is no such thing as an irreverent title...but then again I have been called the irreverent Reverend.)

1. Will this Sunday be Palms only, Passion only, or hyphenated? Oh this Sunday is all about hyphen. It is Passion-Palm Sunday at the VA Medical Center in Saint Cloud, MN. There will be a procession with palms and a blessing of palms but we will be reading and reflecting on the Passion story. The only thing I'm really going to miss is giving palms to the kids and watching them hit each other with them. It always amuses me.

2. Maundy Thursday Footwashing: Discuss. Alas, there will be no footwashing. I actually enjoy this very much because it reminds me to be humble. It reminds me that I am here to serve God and others. I always think of footwashing as the Christian way of saying, "Namaste." It's how I say to others that I see God's presence in your life and how others say that to me. I know that some people think it's gross but it has a significant personal impact for me.

3. Share a particularly meaningful Good Friday worship experience. You mean they are not all particularly meaningful? Seriously though, one that holds a great deal of meaning for me happened when I was 22ish. I was still attending a Catholic Church in Saint Paul, this was before I became Protestant, and I has already began to discern my own call to ministry with the help of a few pastoral mentors. I was sitting in service and listening to reading and had this feeling. I'm sure that John Wesley would call it a "stirring of the heart" or something like that but I knew in that moment that going to grad school for anthropology was the wrong path and that I had to go to seminary. It made no sense, it was completely irrational but God was asking me to follow faith and I followed. I'm still following in hopes that someday I'll know where I'm going.

4. Easter Sunrise Services--choose one:a) "Resurrection tradition par excellence!"b) "Eh. As long as it's sunrise with coffee, I can live with it."c) "[Yawn] Can't Jesus stay in the tomb just five more minutes, Mom?!?" I choose D...all of the above. I enjoy Easter Sunrise Service but I have to have coffee present. I know that rising from the dead and all took a lot of energy and I should have enough to at least go and be apart of the service but lets be honest...if Jesus had Starbucks in his time he would have had a Venti Soy Two Splenda No Foam Latte before getting up too. :) OK...so on rainy and cold Easter Sunrise Services it's harder to enjoy them and to want to be apart of them but there is something about being up that early in the morning and seeing the sun come up that creates this sense of awe and wonder in me. God really is great!

5. Complete this sentence: It just isn't Easter without...Bonus: Any Easter Vigil aficionados out there? Please share. Confession. It's the raging Roman Catholic still in me. I still need to go to a service of confession before I can really enjoy Easter. I have this need to tell God all of the things that I forget to say. I know that I'm strange but I enjoy being that way.

19 March 2007

Wonderful Women

I went to a day long retreat recently called "Wonderful Women." It was hosted by Mizpah United Church of Christ and part of the reason that I went is that I'm in the process of leaving the United Methodist Church for the United Church of Christ. I wanted to get to know people and what better way then to spend a day with a bunch of active lay women like these....

So I went to this church event and something happened that I wasn't expecting. You see, I actually enjoyed myself, I learned something, I connected with other women and found out that I'm not a total freak. That there are others who think like I do and struggle with some of the same things that I struggle with. It was nice to not feel alone. To just make my day a bit better, I found that I made a few good friends who I will be very happy to see this summer at Annual Meeting. You know maybe I'll even send in that volunteer application and spend my summer over at...

02 March 2007

Friday Five...A Ministry of Creativity

Today's Friday Five is brought to us by the letter R...ReverandMother that is. She says:

During Lent here at Suburban Presbyterian Church, we are exploring the creative and liturgical arts, with classes and speakers dealing with storytelling, iconography, dance, visual art, writing, and so on. The theme is "A Beautiful Thing," inspired by the story of the woman anointing Jesus and his declaration that "She has done a beautiful thing for me." (Mark 14, NIV) We are working on the notion that everything we do can be considered a beautiful thing--a creative offering to God--whether it's gardening or scrapbooking or accounting or sorting clothes at the clothes closet or child-rearing. And so:

1. Would you call yourself "creative"? Why or why not? I would call myself creative but not "artsy." Like many people I had the third grade art teacher who told be I was hopeless at painting and drawing. I am creative in my use of words and ideas. I guess I'm verbally and intellectually creative. I am creative in how I structure and implement worship. I'm a very creative cook, sometimes too creative. Some of my cooking creations can border on frighting.

2. Share a creative or artistic pursuit you currently do that you'd like to develop further. I am currently working on using PowerPoint and other multimedia in worship formats, as well as in didactic presentations. I would love to become more adept and using PowerPoint, and other programs, in a more creative fashion. Like adding music tracks to them.

3. Share a creative or artistic pursuit you have never done but would like to try. Watercolor painting. I've never done it. I guess I felt so defeated by my third grade teacher that I never really took art. I took art history instead. I would love to learn how to paint using watercolors. The way artists can make the color very vibrant or more washed out is something that is very pleasing to my eye. I would also like to learn how to relax. The art of doing nothing. I'm very much a Martha and I guess I sort of envy Mary (not that Mary was doing nothing.)

4. Complete this sentence: "I am in awe of people who can _____________." Play the piano. I am also in awe of people who can knit and have a conversation at the same time.

5. Share about a person who has encouraged your creativity, who has "called you to your best self." (I'm pretty sure that's from the Gospel of Oprah.) Katherine. She always encourages my creative use of verbal expression but she also taught me how to put colors together in my wardrobe. She continues to encourage me to put colors together that I never thought would match but look great. She also brought out the creative expression of accessories. When in doubt find a scarf that ties it all together.