Sunday, October 26, 2008

There's no denying...

I thought it was a fluke - perhaps that my wife had a secret crush on the Republican VP candidate and therefore made comments... but now I know:

I bear a "remarkable" resemblance to Sarah Palin.

I say "remarkable", because people like to "remark" on the supposed similarity. 

No, it's not a true resemblance. It could be the glasses - or the square-shaped face. But really, it's my hair. In professional settings (i.e.: in church), I've worn my hair the same way for many, many years. Now that Sarah is in the limelight, I'm finally getting credit for my lovely 'do. 

I've been hearing "Oh my gosh! You look so much like..." for several weeks now. My favorite comment came today from a 73 year-old church member. She began with such loving hesitation, "I hope you don't take offense at this, but...". NO WAY! was my response. She was a BEAUTY QUEEN. But my favorite part of this conversation was, "Just because you look alike on the outside, Dear, please never change your differences on the inside". Awww. Again, NO WAY!

My second favorite comment from church this morning was: "Wow! I never realized how much you resemble Tina Fey - I mean - Sarah Palin" (totally unintential slippage). Ha! I love my church.


Friday, October 24, 2008


I truly believe in Sabbath - but as you may know for yourself, believing in and acting on something are two different things. 

Earlier this week I realized that I haven't taken near enough vacation days in '08 to maintain my sanity. So there she goes (bye-bye Sanity) taking her own vacation, slipping quietly onto a plane bound for the land of hysteria. 

In order to call her gently back to me, I contrived to take a day off ... but what does that mean? Do I (instead of reading texts in preparation for next week's sermon) attend to the housework that has piled up? Do I dive into the 3-months' worth of Christian Century magazines that have collected wrinkles in my backpack? How does one NOT feel guilty for refusing each of our "shoulds"?

My brain understood how much I needed time away, so rather than attempting any of the above, she shut down! I drove to a lake-side overlook in the sunshine ... and fell asleep. I came home via the public library, opened a book ... and fell asleep. Sometimes it is really nice to let the body's natural functioning take over.

All of this is to say: take some time to be. Yes, I'm speaking to me. But I hope you do it too! 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Healing Hands

Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits,
to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness...
[He said,] "Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. 
You received without payment; give without payment".
-Matthew 10:1, 8

This afternoon about 15 people participated in a "laying on of hands" for a member of our church who has lung cancer. While some Christians may find this no big deal, our congregation tends to be on the "heady" side... and therefore not prone to the more mystical possibilities of prayer. Yet each person was 100% present to this ministry. We all came at it from a different understanding, but all believed that something - some form of healing for mind-body-emotion-spirit - can occur through prayer. 

The actual process seems so natural to me in the context of faith - any faith. From the power of community to the largeness of the Divine, such an expression of love should be a part of our witness. 

But the truly phenomenal piece of today was how much each person received in the practice of sharing prayer with another. Everyone left that circle with something new and powerful. 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Soupy Saturday

Today is our first really overcast, cool, rainy, looking-through-gray-fog day of the season ... and yes, I love it. I love wearing jeans and boots and an oversize long sleeve shirt. 

And I love to eat soup.
Soup is one of those comfort foods that is always perfect. Sadly, I don't generally enjoy spending time in the kitchen. Period. 

But as our CSA veggies accumulated in the fridge, sending wiltingly disparaging glances my way, I knew I had to do something or be guilty of waste. And so it was soup!

*Curried Eggplant Soup
*Beet-Red Borscht
*Herbed Vegetable 

My mother would be so proud - my grandmother is probably rolling in her grave (I left out all sausage, beef or chicken).

Do you have any comfort foods? Let me know, and I'll dare to enter my kitchen again when you're feeling down (really ... but I can't guarantee it'll keep if it has to be UPS'd somewhere).

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday 5: St. Francis of Assisi

Sally over at RevGalBlogPals introduced today's Friday Five with a great description of his early life. Check it out on that site! So this Friday Five is dedicated to St Francis of Assisi.

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'slike 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....
They are SO VERY important to me. Many of them are still living or women who were a part of the church in which I was raised. Nancy, Vicki, Dot, Betty - others whose names have gone but whose words or actions remain vivid. Also, the works of Emily Dickinson and Emily Saliers both speak directly to my soul. Thanks so much for this question!

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


night.trains.tourist_train.jpgI'm sitting outside a coffee shop on a gorgeous Colorado fall day (blue sky, sun about to burn my forehead, leaves literally falling in my hair) when all of a sudden a painfully loud whistle blast makes me jump. But that's okay - it didn't last very long, and the bicyclist near the rails was made to pay attention.

Anywhere you go in this town, at any hour, you can hear a train. From bed before sunrise; in Sunday worship's Moment for Silent Prayer; at restaurants with the menu touting "$1 shots when the train rolls by". In the past 15 minutes I've heard their cautionary cries from every possible direction. The tracks criss-cross in more directions and locations than people - accustomed to driving over the embedded rails - often realize. 

We seem to have a love-hate relationship with our trains. We take dubious pride in the (semi) main street down which cars can drive parallel to the train, within feet of it - sometimes going with the traffic, sometimes against it. Yet we despise the "wasted time" and inconvenience of having to sit (sometimes for 20 minutes) waiting for flashing red lights to cease their warning and restraining bars to raise their ban. 

I wonder what the symbolic message might be for the living of life in such an environment? "Slow down!" is too simplistic. I kind of like "pay attention". But there's more to it. If you've thought about this, tell me your musings. I'll have to muse more myself.