Thursday, February 25, 2010

A distaste for professionals

Along with the other stuff going on in our country, our historic distrust for people with training continues. The NYTimes has a piece on well-meaning (?) but untrained Christians in Haiti
The piece goes on to excoriate missionaries in general, but begins with the Idaho woman who went to "save" Haitian orphans.

What is it in our psyche that makes us distrust those with education? Scientists can't be trusted, doctors can't be trusted, mainline, educated pastors can't be trusted. Yes, I research my illnesses on line, but I also find doctors I can trust. I'm skeptical of everything. But, the folks who seem not to trust professionals trust nonprofessionals who post wild ideas on the web and write strange books.

There is an anti-intellectual bias in our country. I would love to know where it comes from. Our founders revered education. Colleges and universities were founded early in our history. Now, we don't even want to educate children.

Well, off to work on my sermon.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ash Wednesday

Usually at the end of the imposition of ashes, I ask the last person to mark my forehead with ashes. Last night, as I was in the pantry finding napkins, a boy (I think he's five) rushed in and began to talk about getting ashes. Are we going to get crosses on our foreheads? Yes. Can I help. Of course. So, I had he and his brother come up and marked them first and then I knelt down and let them put ashes on my forehead. Words fail me.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Five

From Sally and RebGalBlogPals

Candlemass is past, and Christmas is well and truly over, here in the UK February looks set to be its usual grey and cold self. Signs of spring are yet to emerge; if like me you long for them perhaps you need ways to get through these long dark days. So lets share a few tips for a cold and rainy/ snowy day....

1. Exercise, what do you do if you can't face getting out into the cold and damp?
I have a bowflex and so I go upstairs and use it as a stationary rowing machine. Yesterday, I just punted. It was raining, cold and I was feeling tired and listless. Today, I'm putting off my run out of sheer procrastination. After this, I'm off.

2. Food; time to comfort eat, or time to prepare your body for the coming spring/summer?
I liked MaryBeth's answer (sorry, it's really hard for me to link on this blog host). Preparing for the rest of my life. I'm dieting right now. Started on Monday. I do feel better. I'm tired of being overweight. Losing a bit will help my running, too. I'm trying to concentrate on eating what is good for me and avoiding the bad. I'm struggling with how to approach the upcoming SuperBowl party I'm invited to. I've got some strategies planned.

3. Brainpower; do you like me need to stave off depression, if so how do you do it?
Ugh, depression. I try to get outside everyday that it is sunny and walk a bit. It's certainly easier in Memphis than in Cleveland. Lots more sun here, lot shorter winter. I'm journaling and meditating regularly and that helps, too.

4. How about a story that lifts your spirits, is there a book or film that you return to to stave off the gloom? Nope.

5. Looking forward, do you have a favourite spring flower/ is there something that says spring is here more than anything else? In Memphis, spring comes about two months earlier than in Cleveland. Forsythia and quince are really pre spring flowers. My camillas are blooming and I love it, but it's winter. The spring flowers I love are tulips, but by the time they bloom, it's been spring for a while. My daffodils are springing up. So, I'd have to say daffodils are the real signs of spring for me.

Bonus; post a poem/ piece of music that points to the coming spring......

I'm not much of a poem, music person.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


What I like about being a Presbyterian is the connectionalism. I love that there is support out there for us. I like that there is guidance and discipline. I like that there are boundaries. Most of all I like the connections. I'm an introvert and so having a structure for me to make friends in is good for me. And that's what I find missing in my presbytery. It is dysfunction. There are no committees beyond the required ones. I actually am on one of the required committees but the moderator manages not to notify me of meetings. (There is a different excuse each time. Mostly he can't seem to get my email address right, doesn't notice that the email gets bounced back and doesn't care. The fact that it's Bills and Overtures and I'm the only lefty on the committee may be a part of it.) Meetings are dreadful. Boring. In other presbyteries, there was always the carrot of seeing friends, of making new connections, of being involved in creative endeavors. Perhaps that one of the things I miss most: being part of a creative team.

What I like about the web is the connectionalism. I've met people blogging, reconnected with old friends, made new friends. But the web misses the human touch of sitting across the table from someone sharing a meal. It misses having coffee with someone. It misses the long wandering two way conversation. It's cold. Human touch is warm.