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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

poetry party 17

abbey of the arts party 17: inner compass

invitation to poetry icon

What serendipity! At this very time I'm trying to write a blog about Brent Bill's book, Sacred Compass, for this week's poetry party Christine posted a group of four marvelous weathervanes from the state of Maine! I chose just one because shake shingles, black whale and all, it reminds me exactly of the outbuilding on my grandmother's acreage, though she hailed from Michigan and literally boasted hints of Nebraska and a touch of North Carolina. So I'll talk about it some.

In a seafaring town on the Atlantic Ocean coast, clapboard dwellings painted white and silvering shake shingles equally prevail. Tides, sand, rocks and dune grass being common concerns, so is the weather. You need to know where the winds are blowing, whale vanecuz what you don't know you can't say "yes" to and you certainly cannot ever intentionally change anything you don't know nothing about. Discerning breezes, spirited winds and directions in general is where weathervanes can be very handy, in addition to symbolizing past glories of way bygone whaling times. But regarding change, when I commented to my grandmother how raw and unfinished freshly new shingles seem to be, standing out in a too conspicuous way like a person of any age whose manners haven't been put on quite right politely, Nana pointed out to me how quickly, how naturally with no effort on their part the shingles just happen to acquire a shimmering patina of silver. You might even call it graceful! In spite of that fact, still I'm wondering if I wouldn't rather be brazenly conspicuous and freshly spoken, because that's how I've naturally become as winds and rains have breezed through my life and world and days. That's how my manner has become, polite or not much so, and to learn where the wind of the Spirit currently blows, Bob Dylan has words for what's going to be happening soon; you can read it all on his site at When the Ship Comes In

Here's a sample:
Oh the time will come up
When the winds will stop
And the breeze will cease to be breathin'.
Like the stillness in the wind
'Fore the hurricane begins,
The hour when the ship comes in.

Oh the seas will split
And the ship will hit
And the sands on the shoreline will be shaking.
Then the tide will sound
And the wind will pound
And the morning will be breaking.

Oh the fishes will laugh
As they swim out of the path
And the seagulls they'll be smiling.
And the rocks on the sand
Will proudly stand,
The hour that the ship comes in.

And the words that are used
For to get the ship confused
Will not be understood as they're spoken.
For the chains of the sea
Will have busted in the night
And will be buried at the bottom of the ocean.
© 1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music

And the morning will be breaking!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

worship notes, etc.

Worship notes, etc. 26 April 2008

Since I'm playing once again at another church, which once again is without an organist, I won't be at Sunday's potluck and discussion, so I'd like to say a little more today. Thanks for all the thoughts and ideas, everyone; Pastor M, thanks for this opportunity!

Like previous posters, I enjoy the lively energy of the music at the 1st service, and I love singing those songs. I also love playing arrangements of them on the piano, too--during the year plus I played keyboards for the heritage service, I always and inevitably played a setting of a contemporary praise song for the offering.

I particularly resonate with the comments by PB and LAW, but in the interest of posting this and possibly even getting it read, I won't specifically say anything about their remarks, but will offer a few more of my own.

Before I continue talking about this subject I'm so very passionate about, I'll admit I don't know how many folks in this congregation besides LAW, PB and the Sunday adult Bible study group know much about my background. I won't go into the long Pauline-style list of credentials, etc. or even the extensive list of shipwrecks and related disasters, but I'll mention here that in fall 2000 I returned to SD after a long a church in North County before venturing back to the east coast to serve a term call there for an inner-city congregation, coupled with my finally entering the candidacy process for ordination to ministry of word and sacrament and concurrently to begin an MDiv program. In September 2000 it looked as if I might be in SD for only a year; there was about a 50/50 chance I had a PT position to return to in Boston starting the following September. Although the entire situation fell through, that possibility excited me because in addition to serving an inner-city church as worship specialist I'd have been developing new liturgical forms that still would focus on Word and Sacrament in a fully participatory manner, and in a highly multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-everything setting...

Although I didn't grow up even on the periphery of the Church, the texts, colors, music and symbols of the liturgical year gradually came to shape my entire understanding of God's gracious encounter with all creation and God's redeeming work in Jesus Christ, so by the time I started preaching and teaching on a seriously regular basis, I naturally drew upon those understandings. Of course, as a life-long artist I'm very visual about everything!

And again, the church's historical liturgy is deeply rooted, not only in the practice of the early church (when to be ecclesia still was far more political and cultural than it was religious or theological), but also in the worship of God's people we first knew as Israelites and later as Jews. One of the many strengths of retaining some aspects of historical forms is the way those words and actions connect us vertically with the people of God in every place and time and also horizontally connect us here at NPC to the contemporary Church and churches around the world. Of course, the way of Jesus is comprehensive, but retaining historical liturgical practices helps move us out from our own concerns as individuals to the demands of the gospel for political and social justice and advocacy, something I don't see or feel happening nearly enough (anywhere, actually).

A few words about the assurance of pardon: needless to say we all sin far too frequently, but the rite of confession, pardon, absolution isn't nearly as much about announcing the fact our lives again have fallen far short of God's demands along with our need for grace and forgiveness as it is an opportunity to reflect upon God's claims on our lives in this community and in the world. Possibly it better could be expressed as a proclamation or assurance of our reconciliation to God, one another and all creation in Jesus Christ.

By the way, our liturgy classes in seminary were team-taught, not only because I attended an ecumenical seminary but also because we can learn so much from other styles and traditions. Yes, I do understand all this is developing and evolving at NPC and everywhere else, but I'd be very happy to work together with Pastor M. and anyone else to write some orders of worship, prayers and responses reflecting our scriptural and confessional grounding and this congregation's history and experience as a people of God in Jesus Christ here on this mesa. LAW also has a great deal of knowledge and interest in worship and liturgy; given her involvements in church and elsewhere, I don't know to what extent she'd be interested in being part of this possible endeavor. I'm making this offer because of my concern for this congregation as my church community and because of my own need to use my gifts, education, experience and skills to a far greater degree than I've been able to for the past dozen or more years. Although I have no regrets about not continuing to serve in authorized, public ministry, believing that choice was consonant with God's call to me and would lead to better stewardship of my life, very few of the opportunities I'd anticipated have happened. And it could be résumé fodder for me, and might even form part of a book of worship resources I've imagined writing!

Prayers continue arising to heaven from here; be blessed!

Friday, April 25, 2008

old, modern, post, etc. 5

Originally in green, a color of life:

rev gals old, modern, post-modern, whatever friday 5

according to singing owl...
Yesterday I had two separate conversations in which people were musing about how much change is occurring...The WW II generation [and] MY generation and how much change occurred in the last half of the 20th century...and on and on.
As for the questions!

1. I absolutely positively could not live without the ability to digitize my graphic design and of course that means electricity, computers, etc. I also appreciate indoor plumbing, but in this climate...

2. Right now I can't think of a modern convenience/invention that never should (I always say 'should' advisedly) have seen the light of day but probably will think of one as soon as I post this.

3. Older than a CD player? no, because I finally ditched all my cassette tapes after replacing those I couldn't live without, but between my iPod and YouTube, it looks as if most of the CDs are on their way out, too—a few months ago I freecycled about 50 of them! I've kept a couple dozen LP albums for their amazing cover art, and I have one vinyl 'record' that's not out in CD, but nothing to play it on: the Te Deum by Ernst Pepping; I need to get someone to transfer it to CD. (editing this several years later: an online friend burned CDs of both for me!)

4. I love the way the world is changing at close to the speed of light, but it's consternating to realize how many people never have lived without a computer, don't really know what an LP is or (gasp!) are clueless about 45's...that must sort of be related to how young today's university students look to be to me!

5. Thinking especially of my grandmother, regarding what our forebears had and we maybe haven't lost quite completely but need to work hard to acquire [regain] and retain, an acute awareness of seasonal, natural rhythms of all kinds, including responsiveness to our own moods and the needs of body, mind and spirit. I won't do the bonus about starting that process, but I ponder the question lots.

Friday, April 18, 2008

24 hour 5

24 hours friday 5

RevHRod introduces this great topic by saying:
Yesterday I had the 24 hour flu. I had been told by the people who had it first that it really was a twenty-four hour bug. And so while I dealt with all the blech of the flu, I kept reminding myself that morning would come and I would feel a lot better.

This is certainly a strange way to start out a Friday Five but it made me think about what I might like to do if I knew it would only last for 24 hours. There are no reality boundaries to these imaginings. So here are the five things for you to consider...
1. my chosen appearance change isn't all that dramatic! I'll be about 3 inches taller, about the same weight (meaning I'd look thinner, of course), and about 20 years younger...dreaming on into eternity...

2. for 24 hours I'll live on almost any caribbean island, dressing the part, acting the part and especially feasting on the food in those parts.

3. for someone else's job I'll be head chef for a high-end (maybe the highest-end) restaurant in the above-mentioned isle of the caribbean.

4. my quick spending a day choices are either martin and katie luther or johann sebastian bach.

5. for a magical power I'd definitely choose bilocation, though I'm not sure if that's technically magical or spiritual. on 2nd thought, how does trilocation sound?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wherever You Go...

Wherever You Go



although the 60% gray background is literally cool and I like the rest of what I've done, I'm thinking something a little more light and airy, maybe almost casual, might fit the text better. I'm also going to trace and scan the original bulletin cover again—really soon, I hope.

Revelation 11:17

a trio of digital versions of my analog original; here's the magnificent Christus Pantocratur ascription from Revelation 11:17...

Revelation 11:17

revelation 11:17

revelation 11:17

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

poetry party 16

invitation to poetry icon

Abbey of the Arts illuminated from within—Christine provided the beautifully unusual photograph!

illuminated from within
illuminated daffodil

glowing subtly from inside to out
grief-laden cloud soaking my days, sorrowing my nights
almost imperceptibly transforms into
another resurrection dawn's
dew of morn reflecting
fresh hopes of
this new day

Friday, April 11, 2008

moving 5

moving is today's revgals' friday 5

from Mother Laura, this 5 so resonates with me:

1. According to my quick count, I've moved about 23 times so far, with the last time in September 2000.

2. I enjoy the necessity of sorting through, giving away, throwing away and organizing stuff and I love needing to acquiring a few new essentials and optionals when I get to my new place; for the most part I hate packing.

3. Locally I've always moved myself and/or with the help of friends, but from one section of the country to another I've hired actual professional movers.

4. For both surviving and thriving during a move, you gotta assume a sense of high adventure and enjoy the thrill of the unknown; on a practical level, eat as healthily as possible and try your best to get enough sleep on whatever bed, couch or floor near enough to crash on.

5. At this time I'm still praying and attempting to assume the spiritual and physical move of walking out onto the water and in faith hoping to land on the Rock Who is Christ; for a more visible outer move (again!) I'm considering returning to City of History before long.

Bonus: right now I can't recall a poem, song, book or film, so for what moving means to me I've chosen Genesis 12:1 - "Go...to the land that I will show you..." knowing all the promises of God are accomplished in Jesus Christ.

Friday, April 04, 2008

revelation 5

For today's rev gals' Revelation Friday 5, Sally begins:
With this Sunday's gospel reading in mind, that wonderful revelation of Christ to the companions on the Emmaus road. I wonder where you might have been surprised by God's revelation recently. So with no further waffle I offer you this weeks Friday 5:
How has God revealed him/herself to you in a:

1. Book - none in particular, at least recently.

2. Film - none, actually; I rarely watch films unless forced to do so, though I've almost decided to begin attending the monthly Theological Theatre film with discussion at a nearby church.

3. Song - the beauty, elegance and poignancy of Phil Collins' "Everyday"

4. Another person - more a group of people that includes myself: the Sunday bible study group I've often met with and frequently taught over these past few years has revealed where I am continues to be part of God's current call to me at the same time I've realized my extreme patience with a couple of people in the group I'd call plenary inspirationists has been paying off, as they're beginning to realize a critical reading of scripture threatens no one, least of all God.

5. Creation - the desert again! my recent trip to Tucson...

Today I'll pass on the bonus in the interest of getting this posted, but Sally's question, "share something encouraging/ amazing/ humbling that has happened to you recently!" would make a great separate blog for another time, maybe next week or so.