summer solstice!


Friday, July 27, 2007

Floods and Droughts Friday 5

Read all about floods and droughts on todays' Rev Gals Friday 5!

According to Sally,
Here in the UK we are struggling with floods, other parts of the world have similar problems without the infrastructure to cope with it, still others are badly affected by drought.... My son Jon is in Melbourne Australia where apparently it has been snowing ( yes it is winter but still!).... With crazy weather in mind I bring you this week's Friday 5...
1. Have you experienced living through an extreme weather event- what was it and how did you cope?

Scene in CoolsAside from blizzards (including trying to drive in sudden scary whiteouts), my most extreme probably has been New England hurricanes, with shattered trees and days without electric power, though I don't remember the names of any of them. When you're in the thick they seem so memorable, but since for the most part we have resources to cover and reasonably truncate potential dire effects of such events, we were back to a semblance of normal before long.

The Cedar Fires in Southern California during fall 2003 made the skies on this mesa - a little south of the worst of the conflagration - look like the Day of the Lord, with darkness, deep gloom, ash, smoke and soot in the heavens and a pall over the sun, definitely qualifying as a Weather Event! Whatever the weather, Sally is so correct to observe too many parts of the world have no infrastructure that allows them remotely to deal with and to contain extreme Happenings of Weather and Nature, which partly relates to my response to 3.

2. How important is it that we wake up to issues such as global warming?

Very—given that I'm time-crunched this morning, please see my answer to 3.

3. The Christian message needs to include stewardship of the earth's resources agree/disagree?

Strongly agree: "Who is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" He is Lord of the winds, the waves, the sunshine, floods, droughts and storms, and part of our Imago Dei includes faithful, judicious and careful stewardship of creation.

And because it is summer- on a brighter note....
Shapes Scene4. What is your favourite season and why?

Summer, summer everywhere—at least in the northern hemisphere. In my imagination, summer equates with heat, hope, humidity, happy memories and high fun.

5. Describe your perfect vacation weather....

Clear skies without rain, little or no wind, and whatever the season, I want to be able to stay warm.

No bonus this week I've already asked a lot from you :-)

Thanks again, Sally!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

VBS x 2

Monday I started a pair of VBS experiences: Mornings with the kids of almost all ages at Old Condo Shadows Church, where I'm the Missions person and evenings at Left Right in the City Church, where I'm doing a 5-part version of my Theology of the Cross series with the English-speaking adults.

The VBS materials we're using from Group in Loveland, Colorado impress me so! Despite the Statement of Faith on Groups' website being (definitely more) conservative (than I am), the instructional materials and music are appropriate for any church I can imagine. We're using Avalanche Ranch, and today I bought my very own copy of the Sing & Play Stampede Music CD that includes all 10 AR songs—several are fabulous originals by Jay Stocker; here's the...

Song List:

1. Wild Ride!
2. The Great Adventure
3. This Is the Day (Psalm 118:24)
4. Forever
5. God Is Good (All the Time)
6. Worship You Forever
7. Praise the Lord (Psalm 150:6)
8. You Are My All in All
9. Awesome God
10. Were You There

And the text of my favorite so far, from listening to the CD, though the VBS kids haven't sung it yet:

Praise the Lord | Psalm 150:6

Let everything that moves
And everything that breathes
Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.

From the rising of the sun
’Til the time that it goes down,
Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.

Everybody, let’s prai-ai-ai-ai-aise the Lord!
Come on, let’s prai-ai-ai-ai-aise the Lord.
Let everything that lives
Sing praises to the Lord.
Praise the Lord!

Let everything that walks
And everything that runs
Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.

No matter where you are,
No matter where you’ve been,
Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.

Everybody, let’s prai-ai-ai-ai-aise the Lord!
Come on, let’s prai-ai-ai-ai-aise the Lord.
Let everything that lives
Sing praises to the Lord.
Praise the Lord!

Everybody, let’s prai-ai-ai-ai-aise the Lord!
Come on, let’s prai-ai-ai-ai-aise the Lord.
Let everything that lives
Sing praises to the Lord.
Praise the Lord!

Let everything that lives
Sing praises to the Lord.
Praise the Lord!

by Jay Stocker. © 2005 Group Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Left Right in the City's senior pastor told me he's happy not to be the "only theological bad guy!"—this evening we'll be talking about Paul and Mark.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Friday 5 - looking back, looking forward

Oh, Sally—thanks for another early one!

LBLF is Today's Friday 5 from Gal Blog Pals

Introducing this week's F5, Sally blogged,
When I began work here at Downham Market a wise friend told me that after one year I would see a few changes and sense God at work- years two and three would cause me to question and to wonder why I had chosen to accept the post here and in year four I might see the beginnings of something new.

And so with that in mind alongside yesterday's celebrations I bring you Friday 5 Looking back, looking forward...
Today I'm playing in the Green and Growing color of the Sundays in Ordinary Time, and Sally, this could not be more timely for me! Just this afternoon I told senior pastor at Left Right in the City Church, "I'm formally committed [=scheduled, that is] to staying here through July 29," and that's about the story of my now. Now to assess some of the past and dream of a future.

California Day1. Share a moment/ time of real encouragement in your journey of faith

There have been so many, but for the most part it's been the situations that affirm what someone told me long ago, that I needed to remain in the inner city. Don't want to get any more detailed than that right now, since I blog as myself. Oh, doesn't everyone? I needed to say, "I blog with my real name and actual location!"

2. Do you have a current vision / dream for your work/ family/ministry?

Ideal vision: please see #3.

I'll also reiterate my final 5 answers to my winning blog for April's 100 things on the 100th day contest: 96. to be a friend to many 97. to learn to be alone with myself 98. to salvage a life consonant with my education, skills and experiences. 99. to make a difference in the world and in the world of the Church 100. to be faithful to God's call for my life

3. Money is no object and so you will.....

I Need a SongHelp fund and write additional grant proposals (oh, hope that doesn't sound too bureaucratic?) for an inner-city arts-centered, inclusive, creative congregation and community that gathers together to socialize with great food and interesting conversation and worships together with countercultural, prophetic liturgies. We'd be affiliated with as many actual denominations or church bodies that were interested, but probably in a "friend" capacity rather than as a member congregation. We'd have an exciting panorama of on-site classes in many of the fine and applied arts. The building would be a rehab of a very old one or newly built, giving employment to skilled people who are un- or under-employed or have been marginalized somehow from the mainstream. More later on that dream.

4. How do you see your way through the disappointments? What keeps you going?

Part 1: I have a long history of automatically bouncing back and keepin' on keepin' on without giving enough thought to what caused the situation and what the outcome of continuing along the same path might be. Of course, many times this has been very effective, but sometimes it has not worked at all.

Part 2: What I'm trying to do this time, and ask 1) what happened? 2) where am I - good, bad, or indifferent? 3) where is God calling me now and next? 4) how do I get there and who can I ask to go with me?

5. How important are your roots?

Isaiah 43:1What are my roots? Check my answers to #2 and #3...I've previously mentioned that I grew up in the inner city; by high school I had plans to become a social worker, though likely not a case worker or therapist. Partly because of that background, I constantly dream of living in an environmentally thriving, ethnically, racially and culturally diverse urban area that practice justice and celebrates differences. So much of that dream comes from my earlier life and lives, and also evolves from my own too-many experiences of exclusion and marginalization. I still think of parish ministry as a form of social work, though most of what I've been doing for these recent years has been in teaching, preaching and music ministries, so go figure!

6. Bonus=what would you like to add ?

Thanks again, Sally!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Yellow Daylilies..

Yellow LiliesOn my Friday 5 for today, Diane from Faith in Community commented,"I'll just say, daylilies... are also wonderful," so this one's for Diane. Hope it qualifies!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Friday 5, option 2

Choose One Option Friday 5 today

Was ReverendMother ever early this week—and so were five other bloggers! I'd gone to RGBP's to look at the pic of the Big Meetup again and discovered F5 posted on Thursday evening, my time. I didn't even read the first option—for something Harry Potter; I'm never ever even cracked the cover or held a HP book in my hands, so I get to go with...

Option 2: Please Mommy, Anything But Those Blankety-Blank Books!

And we do mean anything:

1. Former U.S. First Lady "Lady Bird" Johnson died this week. In honor of her love of the land and the environment, share your favorite flower or wildflower.

Save me from having to choose just one! Ok, for now try this proud, confident, soaring group of daffodils (chosen because I could find the image fast in my photobucket account), or almost any yellow flower, for that matter.

2. A man flew almost 200 miles in a lawn chair, held aloft by helium balloons. Share something zany you'd like to try someday.

Despite loving the thrill of the chase and despite my almost endless willingness to take psychological risks because of my passion for reconciliation, I almost never take any semblance of a physical risk, so it wouldn't ever be chair-floating. I can't think of anything truly zany, but given the way I crave an audience, I'd like to put on a fantastic costume and stage makeup and dance and sing in public as someone other than myself! Right now I'm listening to "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from the The Lion King. How about it?

3. Do you have an iPhone? If not, would you want one?

Not yet, though as a graphically iMacDesigning person I might like one, if I knew I'd be able to read the text on the screen! But then again, I usually slip my candy-bar size cell into a pocket, where it takes very little space and I can feel it ring. But then yet again, maybe not, since I use both land line and cell phones mainly for essential communication and would far rather talk FTF and have a viewable-sized screen for emailing, etc. Awakening back to real life, right now I need to spend whatever $$$$ I can find on a copy of Adobe's CS3 Creative Suit software. Final answer: no, I do not want and would not want an iPhone! ...but have been known to change my mind more than once...

4. Speaking of which, Blendtec Blenders put an iPhone in one of their super-duper blenders as part of their "Will It Blend?" series. What would YOU like to see ground up, whizzed up or otherwise pulverized in a blender?

Do I need to avoid political commentary when I play Friday Five?

5. According to News of the Weird, a jury in Weld County, Colo., declined to hold Kathleen Ensz accountable for leaving a flier containing her dog's droppings on the doorstep of U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, apparently agreeing with Ensz that she was merely exercising free speech. What do you think? Is doggy doo-doo protected by the First Amendment?

I'll concede that the First Amendment probably covers Ms. Ensz's tasteless behavior, and though history has demonstrated how legislation can and does change people's hearts and livestyles, such trivial, vulgar, childishness was hardly worth whatever total costs were involved.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

About My Lattés:

Hey, I need to thank Hot Cup Lutheran for this, though she got it from Presbyterian Gal, who found's my result, with commentary.

What Your Latté Says About You

You are very decadent in all aspects of your life. You never scale back, and you always live large.
Living large? I thought I lived simply, though I love flavors, feelings, colors, lights, sounds to a decadent degree.
You are a very frivolous person. You don't take anything too seriously. Why should you?
I don't take anything too seriously? Does the person who invented this quiz know who I am?
Intense and energetic, you aren't completely happy unless you are bouncing off the walls.
This one is truly true: if I'm not bouncing off the walls, which happens - maybe - for a few minutes or so every ten years or so - I'm very unwell and, therefore, not completely happy.
You're addicted to caffeine. There's no denying it.
Coffee, black tea, an occasional energy drink...jonesing after my next hit more often than not...
You are a child at heart, and you don't ever miss the opportunity to do something playful.
I'd like to admit to this one, whether or not it's true.
You are dramatic and intense, but you are never moody.
Intense?! Oh, yes! This entire statement is most certainly true--both intensity (no real drama, though) and my affect is extremely even, often almost to the point of flat.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Isaiah 40:26

Ages ago I made a corduroy and velour quilt from this design; here's a slightly photoshopped version followed by a totally photoshopped outtake:

Look up in the skyLook up in the sky

Friday, July 06, 2007

Friday Five: Hasty Edition

Friday Five: Hasty Edition to play today

When I logged in at 7:52, I found only one person had played so far—maybe because of ReverendMother's being (happily, I hope) lost in time. RM blogged,
Whoops! I have been in a family-induced haze these few days, with the July 4 holiday and taking time off while relatives are visiting. So I literally lost track of what day it was!

So rather than make you guys wait even one minute longer for the five, I'll dig up an oldie:
This F5 suits me just fine, esp since I like to get my F5 done in time for at least a few people to read, but I'm out here on the left, so frequently end up #30 or #40 or so in the comments. I'll answer about my subject to change plans for this First Friday in and of July...and it's now past 9 here, so I need to post.

Today, what are you:

1. Wearing

stonewashed blue shortalls, long sleeved garden print 6-button henley shirt; green seersucker flip-flops

2. Reading

Continuing to enjoy going through a stack of hard copies of design and graphics magazines

3. Eating

breakfast: English muffin, butter and strawberry jam
lunch: hoping to get a 1/4 lemon chicken plate at the local Greek Place: dark chicken, pita slices, salad, tzadiki sauce, french fries
later: don't yet know

4. Doing

When I served FT in the church, Friday usually was my day off, and as a free-lancer I still try to make Friday a day of recreation and reflection, though the year of 5-days a week FT design school I finished last October got me out of an enjoyable habit I haven't yet returned to. So again I'll mention the mags for graphically designing "moi", a set of actual banner design possibilities for Psalm 96:1, plus more ideas for the juried local digital liturgical art competition I'll be entering in the fall.
There is a Place
5. Pondering

My place in the world and esp my place, my future in the Church and the future of mainline Christianity in this country. Really!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Gender Genie Results

Without a doubt the novelty of this amazing discovery will wear off--you gotta try it!

Magdalene6127's Musings where I found Gender Genie

The Gender Genie

GG requires you to specify fiction, non-fiction or blog; in reverse chronological order, here are the results from the six pieces of writing from the past two years I submitted. Along with a fun piece of theology rap, the pair of sermons (pasted into GG without bible texts) came out male. Another rap blog was female, as were the back cover text to my Pentecost Bulletin design and the Eucharistic Prayer I wrote for Maundy Thursday. Each result included, NOTE: The genie works best on texts of more than 500 words.

Post-blog: I just Gender-Genied 6 or 7 more sermons (again without scripture texts, of course), a short-ish theology blog and a poem; all came back male!

1. blog: Pentecost Bulletin Back Cover Text

Words: 262
Female Score: 372
Male Score: 331
The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: female!

2. blog Maundy Thursday Eucharistic Prayer

Words: 595
Female Score: 1230
Male Score: 558
The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: female!

3. non-fiction: Advent 3 proclamation: Holy In Our Midst

Words: 1465
Female Score: 1938
Male Score: 2006
The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!

4. blog: BEaCh HoUsE bLoG

Words: 333
Female Score: 365
Male Score: 221
The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: female!

5. blog: Theology Rap

Gender Genie Results:
Words: 184
Female Score: 107
Male Score: 203
The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!

6. nonfiction: T-Fig sermon: Until the Day Dawns

Words: 1346
Female Score: 1221
Male Score: 1589
The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!

Monday, July 02, 2007

5 Things about Jesus

On Walking Wet mamaS blogged this famous meme and didn't tag anyone since she imagined almost everyone had played; however, no one ever tagged me (sob, sigh), so in the interest of getting a little blog fodder while at the same time avoiding things I need to be doing, I present my 5 Things about Jesus:

1. Jesus loves and cares for me as an individual, but his passion for all creation confirms the authenticity and sustainability of his gracious love for me.

2. He "gets" rejection, betrayal, abandonment, outsiderness and alienation, making him the only human who doesn't minimize and discredit my own experiences of rejection, etc.

3. He so trusts in my abilities and gifts, he calls me to co-minister with him and doesn't care that I never finished the MDiv; in fact, until recently he'd never even heard of an MDiv!

4. He doesn't care if someone's formal theology is Lutheran, Reformed, Arminian, Wesleyan, LDS or formally Non-Existent--the only details he cares about are their willingness to trust and follow him! BTW, he doesn't care about your (or my) polity, either...

5. He's not so much into that religious stuff as he is into every aspect and concern and need of all creation.