Saturday, November 3, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Needless to say, it is GOOD to be back in the rhythm of a weekly schedule and pastoring. Vacations don't agree with me. I didn't get nearly enough done during my time off from work and I find the rhythm of my weekly schedule more relaxing than the disruption of taking time away. Is this an addiction to work? I know my first entry in my blog is Confessions of a Workaholic. I'm just not sure...it will be something I will be pondering along with my tendency to be a klutz.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Well a few days ago, I had made a huge batch of Morning Glory Muffins to fulfill the muffins that a parishioner had bought at the annual Potato Bake and Auction fund raiser. I made a triple batch and have been sending muffins to school with my husband and to work with my husband and I took the bag of leftovers to meeting, thinking they’d go good with coffee. When I got to the meeting all to drink was water and iced tea. Passed the muffins around and they got eaten. One person commented that they looked healthy but I felt that I almost had to convince folks that they weren’t as healthy as they looked.
Why don’t people want to eat healthy muffins? Muffins are notorious for being high in fat and these had their fair share of oil in them, but what threw people were the carrots. These Morning Glory Muffins need a little cream cheese glaze or frosting and they would be better than carrot cake. I get a thrill out of sharing muffins with people, but I also want to feed people with good and nutritious food too. I think my Morning Glory Muffins are a good balance of nutrition and decadence. Yes, they have too much sugar, but they are full of fruit and veggies and I used part whole wheat white flour.
The planning meeting was good. Over the years I have noticed a parallel between evangelism discussions in mainline congregations and community organizations. Both groups lament that they can’t get younger members. Both groups lament that membership is dropping off and that if it doesn’t recover they will have to close. Both groups struggle with similar financial issues that relate back to organizational maintenance and mission. I was amazed to hear the phrase; “each one bring one.” I thought to myself, ‘I’ve heard that before,’ ‘easier said than done,’ and ‘gee that sounds like evangelism, wonder what model?’ Most regular folks aren’t good at spreading the word – regardless of what that word is – the mission of a community organization or the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Or is it that that regular folks do spread the word but the people being spread to aren’t open or interested? Not much we can do if the human heart isn’t receptive to a message.
The room we were meeting in was cold and if you can believe the wisdom of the public library, the temperature is controlled from the downtown administrative offices. I wasn’t the only person who went out to my car for a blanket. My aunt will love the story of how I actually got to use the circa 1940 car blanket (cars in the 1940s had terrible heaters). The blanket was a wonderful connection to my aunt and the other women that are important in my life – especially appropriate since my meeting was for a woman’s education organization.
And again the nurturing power of coffee was a part of my morning because when we took our break because it was so cold, one of the women went to buy coffee for those wanted it. It was wonderful to have coffee in such a setting and the warmth of the coffee was reflected in the kindness of the person who went to get it for us. It made my day.
Lunch was from one of my favorite places to have a catered lunch, the Classic Cookie Cafe. We all had so much fun that we took the ribbons from our boxes and wore them in various ways, some as head bands, some as bows in their hair, some as neckties. The ribbons of our lives bind us together.
So home I went after the planning retreat – to continue cleaning and reflect on connection.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Mostly what I've done today is think about the lectionary Gospel lessons from the past two Sundays. The stories in Luke 12: 32-40 and Luke 12: 49-56. Since I don't have to preach on Sunday, I don't have to write a sermon for Sunday, reflection on what I have shared with my congregation and how that applies to my life is the order of the day.
These have been very personal texts to me since my family has accumulated so much stuff in the past five years. I am almost embarrassed to say that we bought our house in order to fit furniture we inherited from family. My house is much too big for my family (a husband and two cats), and as scripture reminds us in very subtle and real ways, the more you have the more you are responsible for, for to whom much has been given, much is required. I'm beginning to see the wonders of simplicity, not just for the benefit of less to be responsible for but for the benefit of ones mental sanity.
Ultimately I realize that most of this stuff is that stuff. Now the really big questions, does it enrich my life? Does it help or hinder my relationship with God? So as I scrub and sort and toss these are primary questions.
Dealing with the stuff we have accumulated through life that stuff can choke out God in our lives if we let. And like an astute parishioner said to me leaving church, a parishioner that does not have the clutter or hoarding problem that is often found in many who survived the Great Depression, "I have stuff (in my heart) to deal with," and so do I - which I openly admit.
And so this pastor who is on vacation is so grateful so have been spending time thinking about the past two weeks as I've been dealing with all the material stuff that has accumulated in my house. Some of that stuff is also connected to the stuff in my heart that I have to deal with, but knowing that God has a solution...a deeper relationship and connection with the Holy makes this decluttering all the easier.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Of course I want to have time to sit on my porch and drink coffee and eat a few muffins. Muffins in my estimation are the greatest food ever created. I bake muffins about once a week and I may even post a recipe or two on this blog. If I wasn't a pastor and the coffee shop/food service/restaurant business wasn't so cut throat, I'd love to run a muffin shop that serves excellent coffee.
I've not blogged before and I'm not sure if I'm going to like blogging, but it just seemed like the thing to start doing as I begin my vacation.