Friday, September 28, 2007


and word count for my sermon is ZERO.
I have to write it today.
I have done a ton of reading, I have a title, but no words.

Venus got a lovely walk, and now I think I might just need to exercise more to try and work it out of me.

I would like to have a healthy draft in two hours.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


How can it be Tuesday, and I am already tired...the week is just beginning! This makes no sense whatsoever to me. I slept last night, I exercised this morning, I planted trees today...well, it was hot, so maybe that is why I am feeling a little fatigued--too much time in the sun.
In any case,
I just don't have time right now to be tired.
Maybe I just need to hydrate some more.

Monday, September 17, 2007


last week, a 93 year old woman in my congregation taught me to knit. I am so excited...I have wanted to learn knitting for some time now, and I am thrilled-da-dilled. I know crocheting, which I love--I even learned how to crochet beaded bangle bracelets...and pottery is my love, although I feel like I have backslid somewhat in that area...

I just find that when I am doing something with my hands, creating with my hands, I am most happy. I need to find a way to integrate this into my current ministry setting, as I haven't found the place or way yet...I pray that it will emerge.

Ministry of art, of creating, is important to me..and it is definitely a part of my calling......

Friday, September 14, 2007

a meeting? meetings???

Today's Friday five is about meetings, which I certainly have STRONG feelings about...
1. What's your view of meetings? Choose one or more, or make up your own:
a) When they're good, they're good. I love the feeling of people working well together on a common goal.
b) I don't seek them out, but I recognize them as a necessary part of life.
c) The only good meeting is a canceled meeting.
d) Meetings have three requirements for me: chocolate, an agenda, and time limit. Chocolate is negotiable, but the other two are essential....

2. Do you like some amount of community building or conversation, or are you all business? I like community building, especially in church meetings. All of our commissions begin with a ritual that the chair is either prayer, a reflection, sharing...yesterday, at a Mass conference task force meeting, we sang a song. It reminds us of why we are doing the work we are doing....

3. How do you feel about leading meetings? Share any particular strengths or weaknesses you have in this area. Even though I don't LOVE meetings, I do like to lead them. HOW weird is that? I just think that people volunteer precious time in the church, so if I am responsible for convening and facilitating a meeting, it should be an experience, and not drudgery...and respectful of people's time and energy and gifts.

4. Have you ever participated in a virtual meeting? (conference call, IM, chat, etc.) What do you think of this format? Conference calls. When living in NC, I was on a board of a state-wide non-profit, so every meeting there were people that couldn't be there in person, so we always had the option of being present by phone. Last winter/spring I participated in the planning of the worship for Christian Peace Witness
at the National Cathedral in DC, and that whole event/march was planned on conference calls, because the leadership was gleaned from across the country. At first it was a little weird, b/c you have to keep identifying yourself, but work was efficient.

5. Share a story of a memorable meeting you attended. This week we had our first coordinating council meeting for the program year. My colleague led an amazing reflection which invited people to share where they experienced the holy this summer. People were amazingly sincere, vulnerable, and reflective. It was a spiritually moving experience in the midst of going over budgets, scheduling, etc. I found it very moving and energizing and bonding.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Rico's Bounty

Today I such a lovely encounter in the midst of the CRAZINESS of work right now. Note to self: In one's first fall in a new congregation in the midst of a construction project, do NOT, do not, do not do not PLAN a membership/community event on Friday night when Teacher orientation and opening of Sunday School is on Saturday and Sunday. Do not believe construction people on Monday who say everything will be fine, because inevitably, on Wednesday at noon, they will tell you half of your rooms will be inaccessible. This will take some time to Sort Out, and you don't have to be running around finding ice cream scoops and blowing up balloons for the community event, which will be fun and wondrous, when it finally happens....Do not, either, allow for scheduling a funeral on same Saturday at same time of Teacher Orientation (there are times that this cannot be helped, but....)where all (teachers, funeral goers will have to use the same entrance. This will cause more Shifting and Sorting on your part, thus leaving Precious Little Time to get at the meat of everything, e.g. content of curriculum, because you are wondering if the fridge that you counted on in the kitchen is even working, and you wonder how the heck you are going to keep that ice cream from melting while you are trying to learn the church database system to make your life more streamlined but instead complicates A Lot. But I digress.

My lovely encounter. In the midst of craziness, Buster, our wondercat, has taken up strange behaviour. The last couple of days he will rub up against us and beg to be scratched and then get all close, and then squat and pee exactly two drops...on your shoe; or this morning, on the bed (ylech). Clearly there is a message in this and upon calling the Vet, it appears it could be an emergency (crystals, urinary tract blockage, and all Horrors such as this.) So it fell to me to have to leave the office to take Bussy to the doctor. Well, Bussy, being a Kentucky horse farm barn cat rescue, prefers to be outside during the day, against our wishes. I was calling and calling for him (he has a hiding place) and the old Italian man, sitting on his stoop across the street yelled at me, "Who are you looking for"

So I walked across the street to talk to him to tell him I was looking for the black and white cat without a tail. He nodded and in his thick accent said he hadn't seen him, but he knew the cat. Then he said, "you want some cucumbers? I give you some tomatoes, too" And we walked over to his voluptuous garden and he gave me cukes, roma tomatoes, celery, basil...and we talked about his medical emergency the other night (This is our first conversation ever, although I do wave at him when we walk the dogs)...and he taught me "come here with me" in Italian. He asked my name, and said, "oh is beautiful name" and I asked him his, and he said "Rico" I tried to roll my r the way he did when I repeated it, and he said, "It is really Enrico, but they call me Rico" I asked, "is it o.k. if I call you Rico, too?" and he smiled and patted me on the back, and he said, "it would be a pleasure to me."

So, I hadn't found Bussy yet, so I took my booty home and arranged it on a plate just to look at it and smell the basil and tomatoes. I went back out, and a lost car driver was wandering down our dead end, so I gave him some directions, and as he sped off, Rico was yelling to me from across the way, "Kar-La , Kar-La" and pointing with his cane to my neighbor's yard. It was Bussy, hiding in the bushes. I went over, scooped his little tuxedo tail-less self up, and turned around and gave a thumbs up to Rico, who made a circle with his finger and thumb and gave me a nod and wink.

Awww. I made a friend today with my neighbor.
I went and bought a ball of fresh mozarella to make a nice fresh tomato basil salad tonight. Yum.
Life is rich with bounty and produce and neighbors like Rico.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

this is the gig....

I totally don't have time to write right now...
I totally don't have time to walk Venus right now....
I totally don't have time to exercise right now...

but I totally won't have time later, either...
and since this is the first day of the program year in my congregation, and next weekend is the big hurrah...
I am not going to let myself get swallowed by it.

It would be oh so easy (after I have already scrubbed the kitchen and done several work emails) just to jump in the shower, and rush off to the office and be there for 13 hours working, working, working.

But I know better. And I love myself better.

So, Venus, get your leash!
We are off to the park....TOTALLY.

How are you lovin' yourself this fall?

Dear Sweet Lord,
infuse Your breath of peace, Your fullness of presence, and Your heart of compassion within the work and love you call me to be and do today. Amen.