Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sally posts:
Over the last few weeks I have been struggling with depression, I know that from reading other folks blogs that I am not alone in this, and from time to time if not suffering from depression that everyone feels down. With that in mind I wonder what lifts you? So I'd like you to share 5 things:

1. A Scripture- it might be a verse or a whole book!
Jeremiah 29:11-14 "For surely I know the plans I have for you, says
the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a
future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me,
I will hear you. when you search for me, you will find me; if you
seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord,
and I will restore youfortunes and gather you from all the nations
and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will
bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile."
This passage always gives me hope and assurance helping me to trust
in God.

2. A piece of music.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize - Marty Haugen & Dona Penna; We Come
Dancing. A powerful, upbeat song that inspires me.

3. A place.
Home with LH and my greyhound always comforts and supports me,
soothes me and uplifts me.

4. A person/ group of people
LH and my sister. They encourage and support me with their
wisdom, love, and insights.

5. Something you do...
Hmmm...some good Swiss chocolate and a glass of ice cold skim milk
always seems to help.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

as opposed to STAY CALM AND CARRY ON!
After a 3 hour worship and music meeting, we were all fried. I still working on the extra All Saints Sunday service and the Music Minister is asking me for a finished Christmas Eve service. Right! I am so not there yet, and I have to work on that in the next two weeks.
I am stessing and weary already over what is yet to come and knowing I am putting in way more hours than I am being compensated.
I still have to put together a children's chapel for the pre-school and finding CD's with songs they can learn, plus a Bible story and prayer.
They need at least 2/3 time to address and deal with and do what they need to deal with and do.
And into this craziness, I must stay firm, grounded in Christ and let the whirlwind swirl around me and try to be a non-anxious presence, honor their tradition and yet prod them into change.
I'm not thrilled with my Reformation Day Sermon, but we will all live through it. I'll pack my Gummi Worms, so the kids can have a treat in honor of good ol' Martin Luther and the Diet of Worms!!!
I think I'll go curl up for awhile while I contemplate Mid-week Advent Gatherings....

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Slowly I am getting to know what is wanted, needed at the church I am serving. Slowly, I am finished getting the beds ready for winter. If it would stop raining for a day or two, I could get it done! We've broken a record for the wettest year and it is only mid-October.
Slowly, LH an I are inching toward welcoming a new greyhound into our hearts and home. Jazz will have to get used to sharing again, but it will be good for him. We pray it will be a good match and slowly the anticipation of welcoming a new grey is rising up. How could we not give a second chance at life, at life with a home, with soft doggy beds, special treats, milkbones, good left-over tidbits in a meal, and lots of rubs, hugs, and scratches just where it itches and they can't quite reach, and love and tenderness to a hound who has never known such things but were mere whispers of something more beyond the track life with cold, steel, hard cages, mushy sometimes rancid food, handlers, trainers and owners who regard you as a commodity rather than a beloved pet, and always having to run faster and your best, to save your life? Yes, we are slowly getting excited to adopt a new grey even in the midst of what will be a very busy season in the life of the church and our lives as we serve them. But into this mess of busyness and holidays - we will make room to welcome a new grey and stretch the expanse of love we have and know.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Still trying to get into this new rhythm of being at the church one day a week and the two services on Sat evening and Sun. morning. Although, I will have to go in Monday evening for their church council meeting, and I am spending time at home, preparing and writing sermons. So, I am putting in more time than what is on paper. It's just that way, when part-time.
I spent some time in the garden cutting down some spent flowers and pulling grass where it ought not to be growing. In the back, I pulled the thyme (and lots of it), marjoram (not much) and my really spent tomato plants. I plucked a few tomatoes off and hope they ripen in a paper bag. I pulled weeds and planted my garlic buds. I have yet to cut down the oregano since the bumblebee was still on it.
I throw some fertilizer around, since I have to give back to the earth what it has yielded and given up in this growing season. I also put down a layer of Sweet Peet. What a beautiful thing Sweet Peet is! Dark, moist, organic and rich. It does the soil so much good. Every fall and spring, the back garden gets a layer of Sweet Peet and it has really helped. It felt good to give back after receiving so much - tomatoes, chamomile, parsley, sage, tarragon, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, hyssop, chives and garlic. I have made tomato sauce for lasagna this winter, pesto sauce - all frozen in cubes and ready to be used, and tarragon vinegar. I will have fresh and dried herbs to use at Thanksgiving and throughout the year. I feel truly blessed and know that the ground can rest in these next months. And spring will come and it will give and yield itself again.
LH and I are hoping also to welcome a new grey into our lives and home and provide Jazz with a buddy. Will see how that develops.
To Lutheran Chik, so sorry to hear of your health problems after a "routine" procedure. Prayers are with you. Don't know why your site won't let me leave a comment, so hopefully you will read this to know, prayers are with you.
I have been limping along with bursitis or tendonitis of the Achilles tendon and ankle joint. I guess the church is telling folks they have a "lame" interim pastor!!!!!!!!!
Slowly, it is getting better? with the pain traveling all around the ankle, but at least I can walk better now. Oh, the bane and blessing of middle-age.
I am feeling very blessed and graced in this season of harvest and thanksgiving. Eucharisteo arises from within and without. Thanks be to God!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

I am beginning this new interim. It doesn't help that they have a bad taste in their mouth from a not helpful last interim time 11 years ago. The fact that they have brought it up, shows it is still in their memory. I pray that my grounded, usually joyful, self and love will win them over. But, I remember that I am a woman clergy and that in itself will be a challenge, as well as their healing, moving forward, and preparing themselves for new leadership. I pray that I will bring some freshness and offer some healing for them in this time. I pray that they and I will renew our faith in God and God's goodness to us even in times of challenge and uncertainty. I pray that their anxiety will abate some and their fears will be transformed to hopefulness of God's endless possibilities.
As I prepared myself for this new challenge in serving and loving Christ's beloved that is this congregation of a different denomination, I thoroughly lost myself in Ruth Haley Barton's "Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership" which I would recommend to all clergy.
Ruth writes in such a loving, wise way using Moses as an example of leadership in ministry. Her practices at the end of each chapter are so helpful, prayerful and reflective. The prayers she has choosen for each
chapter are also so meaningful. This is not a book to read through quickly, but one that takes time for prayer, thought and reflection. She is very in tune with the isolation and loneliness of spiritual leadership. She points the way to the hopeful grace and freedom of being deeply grounded in faith and in an intimate relationship with God. I will probably re-read and reflect on this book often. And although, I know the process of discernment, especially with groups, she has a most wonderful, gentle and understanding way of explaining it and sharing it.
I would really enjoy a seminar with her - perhaps a RGBP's BIG EVENT! Although, I'm sure she would have a hefty fee.
So, I begin this new adventure to which God has called me, knowing it is a tender time in the life of this congregation, that I have much to learn about them and the way they do things, that I will be scrutinized, that I will need to stay very grounded, that I rely on God and God's grace for all I am and do and as I serve with wisdom, gentleness, peacefulness, joy and love. And in the wonderful mix of it all, God will be there for us all. Thanks be to God!