Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
I can't help it! Advent is my favorite season of the church year, and Mary's stories grab me like no other. So here is another of my favorite prayer/poems. This one is by Jan L. Richardson. Enjoy!
Not to one, but to many you have called:
On the dancing wind
From the deepest forest
From the highest places
From the distant lands
Come from the edge of darkness
From the depth of fear
The bearer of God.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
As I research my sermon for the 4th Sunday in Advent (also the winter Solstice, I'd like to note!), I came across this amazing poem about Mary ... who is the focus of this week's Gospel text. Just as Mary's Magnificat forever challenges the status quo, so this poem by Alla Renee Bozarth challenges our perceptions of Mary's relationship to her child.
Mary, Protopriest of the New Covenant
was his mother.
in the upper room,
breakfast in the barn.
Before the Passover Feast,
a feeding trough.
And here, the altar
of earth, fair linens
of hay and seed.
Before his cry,
Before his sweat
of blood, her bleeding
Before his offering, hers.
Before the breaking
of bread and death,
the breaking of her
body in birth.
Before the offering
of the cup,
the offering of her
Before his blood,
And by her body and blood
alone, his body and blood
and whole human being.
The wise ones knelt
to hear the woman's word
Holding up her sacred child,
her God in the form of a babe,
she said: "Receive and let
your hearts be healed
and your lives be filled
with Love, for
this is my body,
this is my blood."
--The Reverend Dr. Alla Renee Bozarth
--The Reverend Dr. Alla Renee Bozarth
Friday, December 12, 2008
1. What color are your beautiful eyes? Did you inherit them from or pass them on to anyone in your family?
Green with a tendency to go blue sometimes... my parents and brothers all have deep slate-blue eyes (hmmm).
2. What color eyes would you choose if you could change them?
I kinda like my eye-color ... perhaps I'd enjoy my dad's blue, or maybe the violet contact lenses that a teen in my church wears.
3. Do you wear glasses or contacts? What kind? Like 'em or hate 'em?
Thick coke bottle glasses (thank heaven for lighter, thinner lenses!). They're okay, in this wonderful future time we live in (oh how I hated those thick glasses as a kid - went to contacts in Jr. High and didn't go back until grad school - rough memories).
4. Ever had, or contemplated, laser surgery? Happy with the results?
No way! I have too much of a Mary Ingalls-inspired fear of blindness. I will happily live with my glasses.
5. Do you like to look people in the eye, or are you more eye-shy?
Bonus question: Share a poem, song, or prayer that relates to eyes and seeing.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
It seems so sad that we relegate thankfulness to one day - or if we're dedicated, perhaps one month - of the year. While we may experience gratitude often, we don't tend to make it a priority of spiritual practice. Here is my attempt to extend my remembrance of gratitude for more than a day.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Our church celebrated Totenfest (Festival of the Dead - in the same vein as All Saints') this past Sunday. We dedicated the ground for a new Memorial Garden, and we spoke the names of friends and family who'd died in this past year. It was an incredibly moving morning - I even cried in front of the entire congregation during my Homily (I blamed the choir for singing such a beautiful song).
As I searched out resources for the Memorial Garden dedication ceremony, I found this poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I didn't use it for anything except my own prayers and meditations beforehand. But I wanted to honor it's place in my musings this week.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I like that ancient Saxon phrase, which calls
The burial-ground God's-Acre! It is just;
It consecrates each grave within its walls,
And breathes a benison o'er the sleeping dust.
God's-Acre! Yes, that blessed name imparts
Comfort to those who in the grave have sown
The seed, that they had garnered in their hearts,
Their bread of life, alas! no more their own.
Into its furrows shall we all be cast,
In the sure faith that we shall rise again
At the great harvest, when the archangel's blast
Shall winnow, like a fan, the chaff and grain.
Then shall the good stand in immortal bloom,
In the fair gardens of that second birth;
And each bright blossom mingle its perfume
With that of flowers, which never bloomed on earth.
With thy rude ploughshare, Death, turn up the sod,
And spread the furrow for the seed we sow;
This is the field and Acre of our God,
This is the place where human harvests grow.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
1. Saint Francis experienced a life changing call, has anything in your journey so far challenged you to alter your lifestyle?
In my experience, the call to ministry is nothing BUT life changing. It's all that I am and all that I hope to be each day (but never quite succeed!). Every day I learn more about Christ's call to all people to follow his paths, and every day I have to re-consider where I am following well and where I may fall short. Ah, change.
2. Francis experienced mocking and persecution, quite often in the comfortable west this is far from our experience. If you have experienced something like this how do you deal with it, if not how does it challenge you to pray for those whose experience is daily persecution?
It's taken a while to find my voice to respond to periodic "mocking and persecution". As a Christian, many secular liberals - especially in the lesbian circles I encounter - mock (fear? resent?) an active faith life; as a lesbian/liberal, many other Christians deride and despise who I am as a Christian and as a person. To the one, I've learned to respond with a little self-effacing humor, helping non-churchy-type folks see I don't take myself too seriously (but that I do take my faith seriously). To the other, I try to speak with love for, but disagreement with them: "I am faithful, as are you". This is never a perfected art, and it always takes some humility (God help me!) to try over and over again.
3 .St Francis had female counterpart in St Clare, she was influenced by St Francis sermon and went on to found the Poor Clare's, like the Franciscans they depended on alms this was unheard of for women in that time, but she persisted and gained permission to found the order. How important are role models like St Clare to you? Do you have a particular female role model whose courage and dedication inspires you? If so share their story....
4. Francis loved nature and animals, how important is an expressed love of the created world to the Christian message today?
How can it not be? God created all, and we are a part of it - not above or beyond it.
5. On a lighter note; have you ever led a service of blessing for animals, or a pet service, was it a success, did you enjoy it, and would you do it again?
Our 2 cats and I have been a part of one - and it was beautiful. A big YES to doing it again.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
MOUNTAINTOP EXPERIENCE INDEED.
The mixture of spirit and passion and dedication to justice & peace issues is what has kept me drawn to Indigo Girls lyrics/music/service in the world. And Emily S, really is all that she seems through her work: humble, peace-full, fun and determined.
Through the past week, she has been articulate about how her spiritual core speaks to all that she does - or perhaps how music speaks the language of her spiritual core, as the "music of the spheres" speaks of God. And I have even more respect for her as a human being than I previously had for her music. The way that Emily, her father Don (with whom she led this past week's sessions), and her mother Jane interacted revealed true filia; and the way each of them engaged us as participants aided in the creation of agape, despite the sometimes startling presence of IG "fans" in the group.
One of my favorite memories will be when we climbed to Lake Louise. Emily chose to take the hike despite not having been prepared for such an endeavor (or the ruggedness of this place)... she wore tennis shoes and shared folks' water bottles and bug spray. Yet, regardless of lack of gear and not being acclimated to the elevation, she was at the front of our group of 12 most of the way up, and all the way down. There's just something about the energy of the earth here and the kindness of the people that makes it all doable and desirable.
This has been a true mountaintop experience for me - one I couldn't have ever imagined more beautifully or dreamed could be more sacred.... All of the significant aspects of my life - Spirit-Song-Space-Love - have come together in one place, one time.
This land was sacred to the Shoshone tribe's predecessors, an ancient people who experienced such holiness here that they carved petroglyphs throughout the valley. I can feel Spirit's tug at my body and soul - through the earth and through the communal singing of hymns (new and old) mixed with Indigo Girls songs. Each person now present, from 6 years old to 70-some, hears the call of Spirit in and among each other. And Jamie is here to share it. All I can say is thanks.
I'm sure I'll have more reflections - I just wanted to put these out there as I sit here on the porch of a log cabin, staring across one of the lakes toward the mountain that Jamie is currently climbing with Don Saliers. :)
...and it's not even over yet!