Saturday, June 30, 2007


It is real.
It is true.
I am ....truly middle-aged.
This totally freaks me out in many ways.
I HAVE to wear glasses to read.
I can't lose weight, in spite of whole wheat fettucini and zero fat dressing and exercising 3X weekly.
I have wrinkles all over my face.
I don't qualify for the under 40 conferences for pastors and preaching women, even though I feel like I do.
I am too old to really entertain the thought of having a baby, even though some women at 44 successfully do.
It is real.
It is true.
I am...truly middle-aged.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Venus at Work

So, one day I had Venus at the office with was her first day at work with me. I had to leave for a few minutes, to go to another part of the building, but she was asleep on the floor. When I came back, she had settled down at my desk. I think she secretly wants to preach someday, and was consulting Textweek for helps on the lectionary!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

miss your happy pants tail waggin' smile.

The house is empty without you (in spite of the 3 other dogs and 7 cats living here.) Sigh.

restless waters

Got up early this a.m. because my mind won't turn off...yesterday was a busy day, and I suppose I am still processing it. I got up early yesterday to form goals and a work plan for the upcoming program year; which then left me wondering where in the world there would be room for spontaneous, creative, improvisational, imaginative ministry in the midst of budget plans for publicity, coalescing volunteers, and a capital campaign....
We then had a staff retreat which was lovely and good and very intrapersonal....and then there was preparation for my CE commission meeting which had no less than 11 agenda items, with a few extra thrown in at the end.
This particular ministry place I am in is textured, layered, and will have a tendency to fall into administrivia....
I am going to have to be clearly intentional about leaving space for the waters to flow, where I can wade in deeply with all of me, to leave room where I can sense and connect to the One who troubles the waters with surprise and love and edgy calling.
At my installation, my sisterpastor friend charged me with words from Catherine Henderson's new book, (can't remember the name) to wade in the water, and to be a "troublemaker" with God...which I took to mean to be engaged in ministry with my congregation that is challenging and real....not administrivia or the same old same old.
I am reaching for your Hand, Holy I wade in these waters.

Monday, June 18, 2007

this is the day

This is the day that God has made...
may we your life and service,dear Annie,
may we have the strength, to help you be released from your suffering....
it is hard to understand how you have so much life and grace and joy that can mask the great pain you are in,
but when you walk away from food in any form,
oh You Who Loves Apples and Sidewalk Crud and Dog Cookies and Kibble...
it is obvious that you are in deep physical anguish.
This is the day that God has made.
We love you, dear sister dog friend, buddha creature of service, amazing happy pants girl, we love you.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Marching in the Light of God

So today, I had the utter privilege and pull to go to the State House to join others for the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry rally and march to the State House to lobby for marriage equality. In short, the Mass legislature will vote today on a ballot initiative to change the constitution to define marriage as only between one man-one woman. This whole constitutional ban on marriage equality is the parting legacy of our former governor, Mitt Romney, who interestingly enough was pro-marriage equality early in his career as Massachusets governor. The whole situation, if I weren't so passionately tied to it, is so odd--because right now, Massachusetts has legal same-sex marriages. So if Mass bans marriage equality, what happens? How would that work? But I digress.

So, the interfaith service was early, 7:30 a.m., so I needed to leave the house absolutely no later than 6:45 in order to park my car, catch the T, and be relatively on-time. Waking up after 6:00 presented a tiny bit of a challenge to fulfill this feat, but I managed. I briefly considered not going, going later, etc. etc....but I couldn't stay away. I didn't have a whole body, mind, and soul was being called to this service and march of the day. In synchronicity, (if that is a word), one of the speakers talked about how many of us were compelled to be down there today--that it wasnt' an option. It is exactly how I I rode the T--I was tired, I was coffee-less, I didn't have my clerical collar or even a rainbow pin to show my solidarity...I wasn't prepared, but I was called.

So, the service/rally was great. The speakers, fabulous, the music wonderful. But the march...oh, my. The march...even for me, a seasoned advocate and marcher on many issues and occasions, I just was overwhelmed by a deep surge of pride and passion and rightness....I waved my United Church of Christ Celebrates Marriage Equality sign, and sang with my colleagues, "We are marching (singing, dancing, steadfast, joyous, voting) in the light of God" as we walked through Boston Common, and through the small throng of "Let the People Vote" group....I smiled at them, and as we crested to the sidewalk, a huge cheer went up from the State House steps, of the already gathered groups of advocates under the Mass Equality and my whole body absorbed the joy and solidarity of the felt like a deep fountain of God's spirit welling within me and I was unbelievably proud and humbled and blessed to be there, in that moment, in that space.

We continued to sing, on the State House steps. We sang patriotic songs, sacred songs and hippie songs. I went to the street to hold my United Church of Christ sign, so people driving by could see it. Three people came up to where I was standing, and said, "I am UCC, that is my church...Thank you!"
I am so proud of my church, that I can advocate in its name, in Jesus' name, that all people are loved and cherished by the One who made them.

When I got back to the office ( after a pastoral visit at 10:00 a.m.)I wanted to go back to the State House. But instead, I called my representative one last time to ask him to consider my rights as one of his constituents, and I called my Senator to thank her for her support. And I sat down to write, even though no hastily or carefully penned words can truly capture this experience I had this morning.

It is now 1:39 p.m., and the legislature was to convene for the vote at 1:00 p.m. Guess what? By a vote of 151-44 , our lawmakers did the right thing to protect all their citizens--they voted down the ballot initiative. This is Good News, indeed!

Thanks be to God. Alleluia! Amen.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

not much more time....

Annie mostly sleeps these days. Her time is shortened to weeks.... but still, she graciously wags her tail when you scratch her ears and pat her belly. She joins the rest of the pack in the barking frenzy that greets the head of the pack when she gets home from work everyday. Her bark is filled with so much joy and love and depth that she is literally lifted off her front feet with the force. A holy homecoming, indeed.
She still wants to go for a walk, even though all she can manage is halfway down the block....and, as always, she can't wait to snarf down her delicious kibble and water combo that I grind in my brand new snazzy red blender, twice a day.
I know we will know when to help her live into her death...but I can't imagine it.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


"Do you think God is too hard to believe in, or too good to believe in, we being strangers to goodness?"
-William Sloane Coffin,
Letters to a Young Doubter

Thursday, June 07, 2007


will be a wordless prayer.

Monday, June 04, 2007


Saturday evening I was waiting on our porch for my rev.pastor sister friend to drive in from NYC for my installation. She called when she was about 15 minutes away. It was a warm summer evening, and I was enjoying a nice iced coffee, my love nursing a nice cold beer in a chilled glass, the poodles were sitting with us on the porch, being busybodies as only toy poodles are, but generally relaxed. Our house is only two houses off a fairly busy two lane through street, and we saw a shitzu dog trotting down the sidewalk unattended. We recognized him from a few streets over, and it is NEVER on a leash, and ALWAYS in the middle of the road. However we never have seen it more than 30 feet from its front door. So, I decide to go and get the dog before it got hit by car...
and as I was approaching it, before it saw me, it saw a guy walking a HUGE dog across the street,
and it darted into traffic
and thud.
Screaming dog,
more SCREAMING me...I threw my hands up over my face and just let it rip, I couldn't look, I was so terrified...
and the dog,
who had been rolling,
got up,
and started running towards it's home,
it was dragging its whole hindquarters,
and then my poodles got excited and started chasing the poor thing, and before I knew it,
all three LITTLE dogs were back in traffic. I was yelling at them..and we finally corralled the poodles, and went running to the home of the injured dog.
We tried to communicate to the owners that the dog had been severely injured by a car, (there was a slight language barrier)
and finally one of the owners went running into the open door of her house where her pet had run into for safety.
She said she would take it to a vet; but I can't help but wonder if someone who let's their family pet run loose in the neighborhood without monitoring it actually HAS a vet, but that is my bias.
I was feeling like a shitty pet owner because my dogs, although contained in my yard, were not on restraint when the chaos began, and they could have been killed in traffic the same way.
It was horrible.
I lost most of my voice, and my throat aches from the screaming. I have stopped by the house of the injured dog, but no one has been home.
Poor baby dog.
It wasn't its fault...
and I cringe at the pain and trauma the dog experienced.

Aren't we supposed to be blessing the beasts?

Friday, June 01, 2007

my sweet annie

This is our Annie. She is 13 years old, and we adopted her six months ago when she retired from a long career as a guide dog. Riddled with arthritis, an artifical knee, and cancer surgery a year ago, she is one of the most amazing spirits I have been around. Sadly, she was diagnosed last week with terminal cancer--a giant tumour growing in her mouth. She looks at me, grabs her toy and barks and never stops wagging her tail. We blend her favorite dogfood into mush so she can still enjoy eating--which she does. We went for a long walk yesterday that in distance was only a block, but took 35 minutes because she relished in sniffing all the doggie postcards in the grass in every yard. Her doctor says it is just a matter of weeks...but she will always be a lifetime in my heart. We love you Annie...and we will take care of you. Don't worry, just be.