Sunday, June 28, 2009

An elder stuck her head in the door about ten minutes after I got to the study for the congregational meeting (EP was moderating for lots of good reasons). Already? I said.
I walked with her back to the sanctuary. One of the little girls was standing in the doorway. But when I went in, most everyone had left. There were a couple of people standing around talking. One woman came up to me to tell me how glad she was I was staying. Another (our seminarian to be) came up to tell me that she would be leaving for seminary before I got back.

I used the refrain from the Carly Simon song, "you're so vain, you think this song is about you" in the sermon. What a strange reaction. I'm thinking what have I done to engender such a response. I've been here three years and everyone leaves. And so, I think, they have the strangest manners/customs.
Today the congregation votes whether to call me as installed pastor. There have been struggles around terms of call (do I get to carry over study leave money for three years--standard in my previous presbytery). Not much, but enough, to leave a hurtful feeling in my heart. One member of the PNC that called me as designated doesn't want me to stay. Leaves a hurtful feeling in my heart.

We open ourselves to the pain in our congregations. I know how to take care of my self: friends, prayer, journaling, exercising, eating right, spiritual direction. Leaves a hurtful feeling in my heart, though.

I am called to offer love, support, affection, care. I am called to refrain from gossip, useless criticism. It's not a two way street, though. Leaves a hurtful feeling in my heart.

On the other hand, tomorrow, I'm leaving on a jet plane. Do know when I'll be back again--July 31. Will be away from internet, email, tv, radios for much of the time. We're going to Tibet, far, far western China, on a cruise to see the longest eclipse of the century (over 6 minutes of totality), then to Japan--not sure where yet. Have three at sea days on the boat: plenty of time to exercise, read, relax, do nothing.

I have lots to do yet, mostly packing and a few odds and ends like telling the neighbors I'm going. I am so looking forward to this. This will be my last time away (except for study leave at the end of September: a week in the holy city in God's most perfect place: I'm talking the Bay area, not Jerusalem). I hope I can make it through the fall. Of course, if they don't call me, I don't have to worry about that!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It takes very little to make be happy (or how shallow can one person be)

I am walking back from my run, sweat pouring down my face, my body sausaged into my Richard Simmons style tank top and short running pants (in a more discrete aqua than his red, white and blue), when an woman perhaps my age (somewhere between 50 and 65 I'd guess) stopped me and asked if I'd been running all my life. I replied that no, I started running when I was 61. Well, how old are you now, she asks, saying I don't look 61. I told her 63. She kept saying over and over that I didn't look that old. She asked a bit about running and we chatted for a while. She wanted to know how far I run. I told her on Fridays I run 5K. She was impressed. So, I know that 5K is a short run for lots of runners. But, any way, not bad for an old broad.

It was 78 when I went out. Now, 78 should be a reasonable temperature. Thought I would die. I can't believe how humid it is here. I'm swimming. High today 98, with a heat index in the 107 range.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Five

From RevGalBlogPals. I don't know who posted this, but. . .
Jennifer recommended this book, which I got because I always value Jennifer's reading suggestions. The author of Life is a Verb, Patti Digh worked her book around these topics concerning life as a verb:

* Say yes.
* Be generous.
* Speak up.
* Love more.
* Trust yourself.
* Slow down.

As I read and pondered about living more intentionally, I also have wondered what this Friday Five should be. This book has been the jumping off point for this Friday.

1. What awakens you to the present moment?
I have to be really intentional about being present. It usually doesn't just happen for me. So, I try to take time to be present.

2. What are 5 things you see out your window right now?

Green! Green! Green! I see green ferns, the limbs and leaves of a crepe myrtle, I saw a bird when I frist looked out but it was going so fast I didn't see what it was, a holly bush, my back fence

3. Which verbs describe your experience of God?
Verbs, hmmmm. Calm, comfort, aweinspire, heal, gives wisdom
4. From the book on p. 197:
Who were you when you were 13? Where did that kid go?
I'm assuming the book asks us to recapture the person we were at 13. This is not my experience. At 13 I was hesitant, shy, scared, bookish, curious, unsure of myself, wishing I were popular, wishing I were skinny, wishing I didn't live on a farm. So, the hesitant, shy, scared person has mostly gone. The bookish, curious person has remained. I have discovered that I am beautiful, loving, wise, healthy, adventurous, skilled, worthy. I am much happier than when I was 13. I really like who I am at 62. I didn't like who I was at 13 (though she had a whole lot more going for her than she ever imagined)

5. From the book on p. 88:
If your work were the answer to a question, what would the question be?

Not sure. I have a lot of ambivalence about work right now.

Bonus idea for you here or on your own--from the book on p. 149:
"Go outside. Walk slowly forward. Open your hand and let something fall into it from the sky. It might be an idea, it might be an object. Name it. Set it aside. Walk forward. Open your hand and let something fall into it from the sky. Name it. Set it aside. Repeat. . . ."

Have to pick a friend up from the airport. Maybe later.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How did I wind up here?

OK, so the legislature overrode the governor's veto of legislation that would allow guns in bars. And the legislature is considering a law to permit guns in public parks. Of course, you can't buy wine in the grocery store; no, you have to go to the liquor store (which can sell only wine, high alcohol content beer and liquor and absolutely nothing else, not even a bottle opener).

Now, evidently a legislative staffer sent an email from an official email address which contained a keepsake photo collage of all the presidents. Unfortunately, the picture following George W. Bush is simply a pair of eyes staring out from a void of darkness (otherwise known as a spook, which is Southern-speak for you know what).

I don't know about the rest of the state, but Memphis has churches on every corner (together with the attached "Christian" school aka don't send your children to school with "those folks"). I have a feeling most of the rest of the state is the same.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

OK. Sometimes I am a bit odd

So, last night a session member asked me to tell session where I was going on vacation. There was some confusion about where I was last week. The session member thought I was in North Carolina and others told her I had been to England. I don't consider it any of their business where I go or what I do on vacation. Am I off base here?