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Monday, February 26, 2007

Immersion, Submersion

The Roman Catholics announced they'd be installing an immersion font; the report said the announcement had made some people nervous. The Powers That Be explained, "Oh, you're thinking of Baptists and Mormons--they baptize by submersion; this is going to be immersion."

Someone said something to me about acquiring a Theology of the Other; my distressed reply needs to be "Theology of the other is the very last thing I need! I have submerged myself in the other to the point of drowning, of losing myself completely, while Jesus calls us to immerse ourselves in the other, so an authentic I and a real thou emerge from that immersing."

Covenant! Baptismal paradigm? Probably!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Friday 5: Companions on the Way

For this first Friday in Lent 2007, Songbird lined out today's F5:
Dante had Virgil as a guide.Before he had younger siblings, my oldest child had an imaginary friend named Patrick. Betsy had Tacy. Laura Ingalls depended on her brindle bulldog, Jack. All of them were companions on the way.

As we take the beginning steps of our journey through Lent, who would we take as a companion? Name five people, real or imaginary, you might like to have with you as guide or guardian or simply good friend.
Here's how I began—close to crazy:
This one carries an overwhelming emotional charge for me! At first I wondered if I could play at all, but a couple weeks ago I started a 365 blog, sometimes posting something unique for each day and sometimes cross-posting from another blog and thought maybe this Friday 5 would be today's 365 blog (really soon I'll link to my 365 from my others). Here's my dramatic original:
For starters, I thought of "Love Has no Pride" with versions by Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt: I've had bad dreams too many times,
To think that they don't mean much any more.
Fine times have gone and left my sad home,
Friends who once cared just walked out my door.
In that distant in time and space but always with me past, I realized I might not always have (extensive list of desirable life attributes followed by their converse), but life did hold one guarantee: my friends always would be there for me (with long list of friendship's mutual benefits and obligations), but then life happened in ways I could've imagined. (Violins or thunderclaps?)
After typing the previous sentences, I reread the question and realized it was about right now, about Lent 2007—the way panic suddenly had overwhelmed me says a lot about my primary anxieties!!! So I'm playing Companions on the Way in the here and now and on my testimony blog, just as I've done most Fridays, and I know that risking more self-revelation in some selected places and spaces will be my primary and very scary Lenten Discipline. As it turns out, my play for today turned out to be probably more conventional than any I've done so far.
  1. Jesus of Nazareth, the Risen Christ: prayer, contemplation, meditation, reading scripture and studying the Word. Of course!
  2. Every Wednesday evening's literal com-panionship will be enjoying supper with both congregations in the bilingual ministry I'm involved with, followed by worship with the English-speaking congregation—I'll be playing the piano and we'll be watching a DVD series from Luther Seminary.
  3. More conversation, more meals and more time with three special, phenomenal women God surprisingly has brought into my life; these women can meet me on my own terms, such a gift I've needed for so long. I've felt so bereft (reference a couple paragraphs supra)... One of these women is a strong I, so I'll need to draw her out some, but I'm anticipating good times and good growth all around.
  4. More quality time with my four fantastic felines: Betsy (dilute calico girl); Pumpkin Marigold (orange tabby girl); Cruiser (tuxedo boy) and Alley Malibu (brown tabby boy).
  5. I'm praying for and hope I will recognize at least one new person God sends into my life for however long.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Alphabetical Catholic Meme

I found this over at Junia's Daughter and told Mother Laura I thought I could do it since I'm such a liturgical and theological type, but I needed to modify a few of the questions. However, I'm agreeing with Laura on some of them, yay!
[A is for apparitions - your favorite]:
Guadalupe - we agree on letter "A"

[B is for Bible - the one you read most often]:
Everett Fox's translation in the Schocken Pentateuch; Jerusalem Bible for the rest of the Hebrew Bible; NRSV and The Message for New Covenant Scriptures. I still frequently consult my well-marked RSV, the first Bible I ever owned

[C is for Charism - the one you would most like to have]:
bilocation.

[D is for Doctor of the Church - your favorite]:
Teresa of Avila

[E is for Essential Prayer - What’s yours?]:
Help!

[F is for Favorite Hymn]:
This is an unreal request! But I'll list a handful: Gather Us In; Rise, Shine You People; This Joyful Eastertide; Now the Silence; We Gather Together

[G is for Gospel - your favorite author?]:
Luke! Women, the Marginalized, the Spirit

[H is for Holy Communion - How would you describe it, using one word?]:
Belonging.

[I is for Inspiration - When do you feel most inspired by God?]:
In the desert

[J is for Jesus - When did you first meet Him?]:
in the activist American Baptist Church that was my first church home and probably my first real home, too

[K is for Kindness - Which saint or person has most inspired you by their kindness?]:
I'll default into Mother Teresa, though long ago I decided never to mention her in a sermon since everyone else does. Is that weird or not?

[L is for liturgical year - your favorite time in the liturgical cycle?]:
Laura answered Triduum--we're close on this one, but I'll extract Easter Vigil from the Triduum. Hmmm, Maundy Thursday used to be my favorite liturgy of the entire year, so why has that changed?

[M is for Mary, the Mother of God ("Theotokos" from my perspective) - Your favorite term of endearment for her]:
Rose of Sharon - close to Laura's

[N is for New Testament - Your favorite passage]:
Too hard! Maybe Galatians 3:28?! No, maybe John 20:1. Oh, never mind! I can't do this!

[O is for Old Testament - Your favorite Book here]:
2nd Isaiah--maybe, since this one also is too hard

[P is for Psalms - your favorite]:
this is an unfair question, too, but for now I'll pick Psalm 100, sung with organ and brass

[Q is for quote - saint quote]:
I couldn't think of my own, so I'll go with Laura's: St. Teresa of Avila: "If this is how you treat your friends, Lord, you shouldn't be surprised you have so few of them!"

[R is for rosary - your favorite mysteries]:
You've lost Protestant "moi" on this one, but I'll name one of the most amazing mysteries of faith: God's condescension

[S is for Saint - the one you turn to in time of need - not including the Blessed Virgin Mary]:
Actually, I don't pray to saints but am devoted to Francis of Assisi

[T is for Tradition - your favorite Catholic tradition]:
Centering Prayer

[U is for university - Which Catholic University have you attended or are currently attending?]:
None, but our Ecumenical Council's Faith, Order & Witness committee frequently meets at University of San Diego. Does that count?

[V is for Virtue - the one you wish you had]:
Patience with myself

[W is for Way of the Cross - Which station can you most relate to?]:
Simon helps carry Jesus' Cross

[X is for Xaverian Brothers - Do you know who they are?]:
Nope, but I've heard of them a lot

[Y is for Your favorite Catholic musician]:
Rich Mullins--can't think of any who still are in The Body

[Z is for Zeal for the faith]:
two for now: justice; recognizing the Divine in all creation

Friday, February 16, 2007

Friday 5 Tourist Edition

Over on the RevGals, Reverendmother blogged,
I am downtown on retreat this week. Most of the retreatants are from out of town, so I get to experience this place through the eyes of visitors,
and asked these extremely appealing five:

In the spirit of tourism:


1. What is one place you make sure to take out-of-town guests when they visit? (you can be vague to preserve your anonymity if you like)

If they're willing, Tijuana—I love visiting TJ! Then, the obligatory trinity: SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park.

2. When visiting another city or town, do you try to cram as much in as possible, or take it slow and easy?

In an actual city, it's crammin' time, but if I've been there before I'll revisit my favorites besides taking in a few unfamiliar ones. When I'm visiting a more rural or bucolic area such as beach, desert or mountains, I *try hard* to relax and be relatively slow and easy.

3. When traveling, where are we most likely to find you: strolling through a museum, checking out the local shopping, or _________________?

Always the museums, places where history happened and characteristic food; when I'll be there on a Sunday deciding where I'll worship is an important challenge, and given a choice, I try to find a church that has an outstanding organ and music program. I guess that means I stay stuck in the Protestant and Roman Catholic mainline?!!

4. Do you like organized tours and/or carefully planned itineraries, or would you rather strike out and just see what happens?

I enjoy planning my own semi-random, partly-intentional itinerary, though admittedly there have many a few times I've returned home and discovered that way I've omitted a few choice spots.

5. After an extended trip, what do you find yourself craving most about home?

Compulsively clean clothes, and an extensive choice thereof.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What Element Moves my Spirit?

Once again I'm doing something other than what I need to be doing! This one really was hard--I went back and took it again, changing the answers I'd had trouble choosing, but the results were similar both times:

What Element Moves Your Spirit?
Your Result: Spirit

Your Spirit is moved by the Element of Spirit. You feel a stronger connection to a Greater Spirit than to any particular aspect of it. Your head is often in the clouds, but you usually get a good view from up there.

Fire
Earth
Air
Water
What Element Moves Your Spirit?


take 2:

What Element Moves Your Spirit?
Your Result: Spirit

Your Spirit is moved by the Element of Spirit. You feel a stronger connection to a Greater Spirit than to any particular aspect of it. Your head is often in the clouds, but you usually get a good view from up there.

Earth
Air
Fire
Water
What Element Moves Your Spirit?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Changes Friday 5

From the RevGals, here's February's First Friday Five.
Many of the RevGals using Blogger are experiencing some chaos this week as they move from Old Blogger to New Blogger. (Is that anything like New Coke?) Change is a given in life, yet it's not easy for any of us. So strap on your seat belts and let's talk about it:
1. Share, if you wish, the biggest change you experienced this past year.

A change I haven't done and won't do until Blogger forces me, is moving to Notorious New, out-of-Beta Blogger.

I don't know about the biggest change from this past year, but amid continuing crazinesses, some happy changes to my immediate ambient environment include finally getting the guest bedroom painted by a friend and getting the rest of the painted furniture repainted by me. Some of the furniture is from my grandparents' house and some is from yard sales; the colors are many and altogether very pleasing to the the artist/designer in me.

2. Talk about a time you changed your mind about something, important or not.

Briefly, after a too-long string of times life happened, twice I asked myself if I wanted to finish the last MDiv year and both times decided not to. Right now I don't want to say more in this public setting, but despite everything, I'm convinced I made the correct decision.

3. Bishop John Shelby Spong wrote a controversial book called "Why Christianity Must Change or Die." Setting aside his ideas—what kind of changes would you like to see in the Church?

Almost four years ago when I was participating in an online book discussion of Kosuke Koyama's Water Buffalo Theology, I listed some challenges that might lead to changes in the church with Ten Theological Issues; without rethinking or even rereading that list, I'll say the increasing clericalization and professionalization of the Protestant Mainline dismays me, as does the way people let doctrinal differences and distinctions distract them from the Way of Jesus Christ. The church needs to learn different styles of being Christian and doing Church doing without conceding to entertainment worship or new-age preaching, to live in the Freedom of Resurrection rather than the chains of death.

4. Have you changed your hairstyle/hair color in the last five years? If so, how many times?

Slightly—trying to decide how to approach that natural change-of-color thing, I've tried highlights and all-over color and combinations of both. About style, I've always been happy my hair is naturally straight and I've again realized it needs to stay long enough to tie or clip up off my neck, esp during warm weather, so I generally get it trimmed no more than an inch each time.

5. What WERE they thinking with that New Coke thing?

Maybe the same thing some of us think when something we do or an aspect of our style has been working well, but we imagine we're stuck in a rut and will get more attention and better response if we change it to something else, maybe just to be different and more noticeable? I don't know, really I do not know about that old New Coke thing. I didn't affect me because I've always preferred diet drinks and probably couldn't have discerned any difference.