Thursday, December 24, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
On a different yet similar note, this past Sunday was the beginning of Advent - a time when we prepare for the coming of Christ. The scripture texts spoke both of the first coming (as a child) and of what has been called the "second" coming. In preparing for my sermon, I stumbled again across William Butler Yeats' poem "The Second Coming" - which I found both disturbing and resonant and, yes, even hopeful. I offer it for yet another "fearsome beast" reflection.
THE SECOND COMING (1920) by William Butler Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Friday, November 20, 2009
Lying around all day
with some strange new deep blue
weekend funk, I'm not really asleep
when my sister calls
to say she's just hung up
from talking with Aunt Bertha
who is 89 and ill but managing
to take care of Uncle Frank
who is completely bed ridden.
Aunt Bert says
it's snowing there in Arkansas,
on Catfish Lane, and she hasn't been
able to walk out to their mailbox.
She's been suffering
from a bad case of the mulleygrubs.
The cure for the mulleygrubs,
she tells my sister,
is to get up and bake a cake.
If that doesn't do it, put on a red dress.
--Ginger Andrews (from Hurricane Sisters)
So this Friday before Thanksgiving, think about Aunt Bert and how she'll celebrate Thanksgiving! And how about YOU?
1. What is your cure for the "mulleygrubs"?
Love. Being around people who love me and whom I love. Friends, family, other loving people.
2. Where will you be for Thanksgiving?
We still haven't figured this out yet. Has anyone experienced some "alternative" options for the holiday that may be fun and meaningful? We're thinking of volunteering somewhere to serve food, but the local options are always swamped with volunteers. Other thoughts...?
3. What foods will be served? Which are traditional for your family?
All the familiar Thanksgivingy stuff are our traditions... but one year Jamie and I tried going to a Southern restaurant as an "alternative" :). It didn't work out so well for a holiday-feel.
4. How do you feel about Thanksgiving as a holiday?
Tough question! It is so many-layered and challenging. I tend to celebrate it as a secular U.S. holiday, a time for traditions and families and gratitude (to the Holy, of course, since that's my framework). I struggle with the historical conquest of native peoples, so if we celebrate publicly I try to honor that truth amidst giving thanks.
5. In this season of Thanksgiving, what are you grateful for?
Everything! I have been blessed with a wonderful spouse, a great job, a beautiful (rented) home and fun and loving cats. I have enough to eat, a warm bed and friends who care. I am healthy. My life is a veritable cornucopia of good things - what could I not be grateful for?!! (begone, mullygrubs!)
Monday, November 16, 2009
I think the photograph depicts quite clearly the nature of the visitation. One face is calling out for help; the other is expressing direct disdain for the whole situation. Neither one is accustomed to having the other around: Puck enjoys the quiet of living a more monk-like existence (Mom tends to be more boisterous), and Mom doesn't generally go in for cats sitting on her lap (or on the couch, or even the carpet, for that matter).
As for me, I think periodic changes and challenges to our familiar surroundings or ways of living are good for us. Not preferred, naturally, but growthful. Heaven help us all!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
On this Friday before Reformation Sunday, let's talk about music. Share with us five pieces of music that draw you closer to the Divine, that elevate your mood or take you to your happy place. They might be sung or instrumental, ancient or modern, sacred or popular...whatever touches you.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
- Resonant Leadership by Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee
- Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L'Engle
- The Art of Faith by Cathy Coffey
- Prayer and Our Bodies by Flora Slosson Wuellner
- The Equipping Church by Sue Mallory
- Hear and Be Wise: Becoming a Preacher and Teacher of Wisdom by Alyce M. McKenzie
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
I recently came across this writing exercise that made me appreciate some of the many people who directly influenced me getting to be where I am today (in particular, my job - which is the perfect job for me). It says, "I realized that behind each branching of the work I love lies a lineage of opportunity, six degrees of separation seen in retrospect .... Take something you do now that you love: Who helped you get there? And who connected you to that person?"
While most of you won't have a clue who these people are, I celebrate them here (and maybe one of them will google him/herself sometime and see their influence!). So here is my:
Lineage of Opportunity
Lineage of Opportunity
Associate Minister for Congregational Life & Care
United Church on the Green, UCC
Yale-New Haven Hospital
St. Joseph Hospital
Claremont School of Theology
Lebanon Valley College
Belvidere United Methodist Church
Mom & Dad
Many, many thanks to each and every one!