Thursday, April 23, 2009

This and that

I have been in Austin for the CLP conference. One of the leaders asked for blog addresses, noting that she had heard that some were posting really great stuff. It reminded me that when I started this blog, I had intended for it to be full of deep, theological reflections and comments on the PCUSA. It has turned into a whining forum, as I whine about my congregation and the state of the church and my personal life (or lack thereof). I suppose it just shows that I am at heart a whiner. 

In other whines, the conference was so boring. It was about Sabbath and we had sessions, which were entirely lecture, for two solid days. Today, which I am missing is a morning wrap up session. There were two evening sessions which were fun things in Austin. But, what a subliminal message the structure of the conference sends. There is no Sabbath here. It is full of work and learning. So that we can learn about Sabbath, so that we can go home and practice what we learned. And what was the underlying message: There is no Sabbath for you. Work, work, learn, learn. Have fun? Relax? Only after you've already put in a full day of work, work. 

I have never seen Marva Dawn in person before and boy was she a disappointment. I've already whined about her yesterday. She began by complaining about people making noise in the hallways and could we please remember that some folks need rest. (She may not have been aware that there were other folks staying there, too.). She then complained about people not physically participating in a movement to "And also with you." Before we even did it. She was rude to a group of women. She was antagonistic. I realize she has health problems (I could now describe them to you in very intimate detail), but perhaps if one is in so much pain or discomfort, one should not fill one's life with gigs. I assume she makes enough from her books to live on. 

On the other hand, it was great to see my friends again. We get together twice a year and have a lot of fun together. I also ran into a seminary classmate that I hadn't really known before and it was good to get to know her. After I made a strident call for a living wage for hotel employees (after Marva encouraged us to leave tips so that the employees would make enough money), several people came up to talk to me. Listening to other folks was fun too. I wish we had had more time to interact with each other and get to know each other better. 

And, now, back to the grind. I am writing a sermon on Psalm 4 today. I think I know where I'm going, but sometimes the sermon veers off in a different direction.

On one of my escapes from the conference, I went to Book People, an independent bookstore in Austin. I found the newest No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency book. Yes! So, I have it to read on the plane. 

I suppose I should get to work on my sermon.