Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Times, They Are A-Changing

Our church's pastoral group met at our house yesterday as it usually does so, once a month. Our number was down one-third due to illness in several members. But our discussion was lively and, I found, enlivening.

We talked about the strategic planning process and what the church may look like in the coming years. I feel strongly called to the strategic planning process, and I am hopeful about the upcoming years in my beloved parish. Most importantly, I find that I want to become more active again. The past three or four years have been consumed by the Texan's health issues, but they seem to have stabilized the past 6 months or so.

I am excited about attending the upcoming conference, "Everything Must Change." This is very odd, since I am someone who hates changes. But my life is changing as I can see the end of full-time employment coming up in the next 4 years; our far-sighted Rector says he is only staying for the next 5 years; both the Texan and I have had to deal with significant health issues this year which have made it clear that we are entering into another stage of life, both together and seperately. I am beginning to feel guided into a direction instead of feeling like I am in limbo or just struggling to stay afloat. Maybe changes can actually be good, she said hopefully.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Family Ties

I had a thrill this morning when I opened a box which I had ordered. In it I found eight perfect cups and saucers to match my father's grandmother's china pattern. I am named for her, and I am the one who inherited her relatively rare Haviland Star white-on-white china. For nearly all of my childhood the china sat in boxes in my parents' closet. (My mother had no place to display it, and I had rough and tumble little brothers.) She gave it to me before she died. I use it occasionally now for special dinners. I am the first person who has added to the collection as my mother died before the advent of internet shopping. I found myself feeling very connected to my great-grandmother this morning and feeling very greatful for the gifts which were passed on to me. I know that these are only "things" but they represent continuity with people who passed on experiences and values which have shaped me into who I am. Thank you, Anna Patten, Edith Patten Jessup, and Mickie Jessup.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ten Reasons for Not Ordaining Men

Ten reasons for Not Ordaining Men:
10. A man's place is in the army.
9. Men with children might be distracted by their parental responsibilities.
8. Ministry is unnatural for men since their physical build suits them better for chopping wood.
7. Man, having been created before woman, is an experiment, not the crowning achievement of creation.
6. Men are too emotional; see how they respond at sporting events.
5. Handsome men will distract female worshippers.
4. Pastoring is a nurturing role; historically, women have been the nurturers.
3. Men are too prone to violence and would be dangerously unstable in conflict situations.
2. Men can still be involved in church work without having to become pastors.
1. Jesus was betrayed by a man, whose lack of faith and subsequent punishment symbolizes the subordinate position all men should assume.

I lifted this from the Episcopal Princess. Kudos to whoever first wrote it, and kudos to those who can use humor during dark days.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Bless Them All

I have had so much rest over the holidays that I found myself eager to go back to work. It's been nice to get caught up on the pile of paperwork that I had let slide during the Recovery time. I still have one report to write, and a syllabus to modify, then I will be ready for the new semester which starts on the 14th. Hooray!

Elastigirl is finishing her Ordination Exams today so I have a bottle of champagne on ice for her. I can't imagine doing days and days of written you suppose that Jesus had to take exams before God let him preach? At any rate, E will be an outstanding, compassionate, organized priest assuming that the Powers That Be see fit to ordain another woman in this diocese. As frustratingly conservative as our Bishop is, at least he is not careening off the tracks as is our neighboring diocese to the west.

All this schism stuff makes me sad and mad. I cannot believe the massive egos and self-rightousness that comes out of the schismatics. As if any of us have the right to turn away from each other and say the equivalent of "God loves me best and I know what God wants and you don't!" I only know that God is bigger and grander than all of us squabbling Christians put together and that Jesus said "love one another as I have loved you." I love that song that says, "Bless them all, the long, the short, and the tall...." That seems like a good motto for 2008, "Bless them all..." But maybe it should be, "Bless Us All..."