Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rock-a-Bye Babies and Woddlers Ministry

I got a postcard describing this new curriculum for Sunday nursery by Cokesbury, with the above title.

What the heck is a Woddler? A cross between a weeble and a toddler? I don't think we have those at my church.

Jus' askin'

Friday, April 24, 2009

my own little preacher party

when I preach, I try to participate in the RevGalBlogPal's preacher party.
thing is,
my goal is to finish today, because tomorrow is a. supposed to be glorious, and b. we have great seats at the 4:00 Sox game, against the Yankees.
I love afternoon games.

However, I am only 233 words in...and want to finish, at least the first draft, by 5:00. It is now 3:30. I believe this is doable. If I would quit checking my email and facebook and stuff.

I am working with the lectionary text from Luke and then one verse on the Great Commission. It is What if Everybody Came Sunday--I am cracking up here, because I feel certain that we may have lower attendance than usual! I have had a lot of emails from folks saying, "we are so sorry, we can't come, we hate to miss it..."
I am also cracking myself up here because I don't really have anything special planned except I got a really yummy nummmy cake from a real bakery--not Costco!

My title is "Why does it Matter?" and basically I am asking all of us, myself included, "why does church matter? why does God matter to you? why does being a Christian matter?" I think it is important that we ask ourselves these questions...especially when we get too comfortable. so, basically, I am going to testify tomorrow....and see what happens.

off to get another diet coke from downstairs, and back at it.

what are you doing right now? procrastinating anything...or enjoying some glorious weather????

Thursday, April 23, 2009

dreams snippets...

from last night:

*cooking with my dogs in a great kitchen....

*taking care of a dog named Oscar who pooped in his sleep because he was nervous for his job interview today. I told him it was o.k.

*seeing my twin sister call me and tell me our oldest sister died.

*trying to change my flights but realizing I on a layover and I don't really know where exactly I am.

*riding in a Archie comics-style convertible jalopy, trying to find out what happened to my sister.

Real Life Thought Snippets
*Really want some new shoes. Not for any occasion. Just spring fever.

*So tired again today. WHY??? Maybe it's all that shredding.

*If I could choose my accent, it would definitely be Texan.

* Wish I didn't have a meeting tonight.

*Wondering if anyone will come to church on Sunday for our inaugural "What if Everybody Came Sunday"

*Can't wait for real warm weather.

*Wondering if I really need to drive home and back to let the cat in and close the back door that is open.

*Maybe I need to invest in hand weights for shredding.

*Thinking about wearing dresses and skirts again. For no specific reason, I stopped.

*Really got to find some focus. Maybe I will go visit my favorite 95 year old.

Thank God that God loves me even when I am scattered like this!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


after getting Sunday's bulletin together, and catching up on some email, and besides cleaning the kitchen and getting Shredded (thanks to another revgal who blogged about this--Cheesehead!) I have pretty much been useless today.
I spent the past hour (I kid you not, and if you are a member of my church and reading this, please know that I am usually OVER productive....) shopping for shoes on Amazon AFTER I looked for a few important resources that I learned about over the BE2 weekend. (I just put them in my cart, but didn't press "pay")

I do have plenty to do...
I guess re-entry is a little harder than I expected--especially since it is school vacation week and it is like an empty tomb around here. No one is here, 'cept me and Chester (not real name) the person who comes from the cleaning service. AT my office, not home. (sigh.)

The day is rainy and grey...and I miss the brilliance and warmth of the desert.

O.k.--I read this on a local blog in the community newspaper. She talked about how juicy npr reporter's name are--Sylvia Pojolli, Mandolita Barcos, Lakshmi Singh...and so she came up with a formula to make up your own.
First, take the first initial of your middle name and insert it anywhere in your first name.
For your last name, use the smallest city you have visited in a country besides your home country.

I figured the smallest cities I ever visited were in Scandanavia, but I couldn't remember which ones they were. In any case, I came up with
"Kjarla Lillesand"
Pretty good name, huh?

Oh, and a gratitude. This morning, my step-father had surgery this morning on his back to relieve sciatic pain that has rendered him virtually housebound since last fall. I am happy to report that the surgeon proclaimed the surgery a wonderful success and that my step-father would be all fixed up now! Thank you God!

Back to Sunday School attendance lists, three weeks late. oy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

beautiful feet

BE 2.
Beautiful feet,
Beautiful time,
Beautiful place,
Beautiful blessings

So, so , so grateful.

Monday, April 13, 2009

easter monday...

just checking in..
am definitely fighting something deep in my chest....but lots of tea and liquids and low key activities and pets from the furry friends should do the trick. please, please, please....

it is cold, windy, and studded with sunshine today.

I have so much to get done before Wednesday evening.

But then, Thursday...off to warm and sunshine to the BE2 in Arizona. Gotta find my plane reservations. hmmmm.

Mostly, today, I am thinking about Fiji, and the military coup there. I have seen nothing about this in our news...and to think an entire land is being held captive and censored--most Americans, I dare say, think of Fiji as this elegant place of dreamy beauty, heavenly beaches, and gorgeous paradise. Which I am sure it is. But my blog friend Wendy, reminds me that the world, while it is so small at times, is so unconnected because of power and wealth and what they deem important. She doesn't write that, I do. Please, visit her blog, and say prayers for Fiji. And while you are at it, visit her other blog where her artwork is posted. She does some marvelous images--some by scanning in actual rocks and branches and pebbles straight into her computer and then playing with color and texture.

may peace be within you today...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Blessings...

We had a lovely service today...
beautiful music, balloons, lilies and tulips and hyacinths (sp?)...
happy people, squirmy children, cooing babies...
even some humour....
and a wild story from my colleague about a statue named "Jesus Scourged" that made the rounds of pranks while he was a novitiate in a monastery.
At the end, everyone who wants joins the choir (EVERYONE, including 5 year olds) at the front to sing the Hallelujah Chorus. What fun. And, they even sounded great!
The coffee was fellowshipped, the eggs in the park hunted, prayers were offered....
and then on home.

We took the dogs to Revere Beach (pretty urban, not really pristine, but does lay claim to the oldest public beach in USA). It. Was. Butt. Freezing. Cold.

The poodles had a blast running around the waves, but of course, Venus and Fenway were surfing for beach snacks. Venus even decided to put a clump of ylechly soggy seaweed. Slimy.

We drove around a little...and then home for the Great Resurrection Nap. I slept over two hours...am a little concerned as my throat is scratchy, my body achy, chilly, and a cough developing. I have too much to get done before Thursday a.m...please please please please please please just let this be tired-ness.......

Am thinking about Easter Supper.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

holy saturday....

holy saturday just sort of feels like saturday.
it's the first saturday in a month that I haven't been busy with church stuff, and I can do family stuff all day.

last night, I was irreverently commenting to my colleague,
"poor Jesus...we laid him in the tomb last Sunday....dragged him back out to be crucified again on Thursday, and then again tonight (Good Friday) we hang him back there on the cross to die again. I bet he looks forward to Saturday when he can finally rest up for the big happening on Easter morning"

which is to say, I suppose,
I am ready for resurrection myself.

and...thank you Jesus, for being so patient with us.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday..or God's Friday....

or...Karla's Friday, today?

In spite of being a New England congregational-UCC church, we do observe Holy Week each evening of this week, but not as much as I was used to as a child. However, I know culture has changed, as well. In any case, last night we had a moving quasi-tenebrae service, which involved foot washing, communion, diminishing and extinguishing of all of the lights.
quite moving...

and this evening, we will have a reflective meditation service in our chapel, led by our seminary intern.

today, however, I pray to keep God in this holies of Fridays. I will go to class this morning, as usual...and pick up round the house, do errands, stuff easter eggs for the hunt on Sunday, begin working on my sermon and the service for the 26 of April...and...maybe plant some pansies in front of the church--early on Easter or tomorrow.

in all of this...
dear God...
help my heart keep watch with you..
help my thoughts and mind be open to how
I might be moved closer to you..
so I might better be your servant.

amen. amen. amen.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Monday, April 06, 2009

how can this be?

In Massachusetts,
if you are a gay or lesbian couple that are willing and able to be foster parents,
DSS has a whole set of extra questions beyond what they ask het couples.
Isn't that discrimination? Promulgation of the myth that even when we GLBT folk are in loving relationships, that somehow our sexual practices are still wrong, taboo, warped, whatever?
Somehow, that doesn't sound legal, does it?

I know this, because I have a friend in a same sex marriage who will be fostering her niece and nephew--DSS is involved because the parent of the child is charged with neglect. and emotional abuse.

Opening Day

Today is opening day here in Red Sox Nation.
Looks like it might rain, so not sure the game will happen. We will see.
Tonight is the final four championship. GO CAROLINA!

Hah! It sounds like I am this HUGE sports fan. I do love baseball...and like basketball, but I don't live and breathe sports. But, that's what is happening in my world today.

It is good that it is Monday. The weekend, as always, was busy. Much of Saturday was sermon writing, and errands. Sunday, was great, but long. Usually, whether I am preaching or not, I get up around 5:30 just to get in Sunday mode. I pray to be present to the morning of seeing people, engaging conversations, following up on details, etc. Usually, it all goes by too fast. I love Sunday mornings and the gathering of the congregation.

There were lots of visitors yesterday--some I was expecting, and some who were totally new. I preached on the Passion of Christ and the anointing woman, entitled "A Beautiful Thing". I wasn't sure how it would all come together, such a hard Sunday to preach--after hearing the whole passion narrative. It was more of a serious service, I think. The music was unbelievably gorgeous. Ahh!

During coffee hour, we celebrated a 95 birthday....I missed most of it, because I was busy talking to visitors. One couple I met, are here on sabbatical from Korea. He is teaching religion at BC, and is a professor at a Jesuit university in Seoul. I asked him (wild stab here) if he knew my dearest friend who is a professor at a another theological school in Seoul. He said, oh, yes~~I know her work! Guess she is doing pretty good over there--she is a prolific writer and theologian. Small world. And very cool. After swishing into to coffee hour, I talked to another congregant who was looking for simple children's prayers she could record so her child could listen to them at night before sleep. I showed her our resource room, and she was in heaven picking out prayer books (I have a pretty good library of children's books in our resource room. It is really nice.)Then there was a meeting to talk about the landscaping plan in front of the church--we are repairing crumbling columns and uneven sidewalk (replaced with brick)...and pulled out some really unruly yew bushes. It will make the front of the church a little more inviting. The whole plan emerged quite quickly, but it will look great, and take care of some much needed repairs.

Then, home...did a little work in the back yard, talked about 40 minutes to someone who needed to vent and be listened to...and got back to church for a youth karaoke party at 3:00. I got home after 7.

So...you see why I am happy it is Monday!

A little down time is good.
I am going to take the next hour and journal and pray...then do some mopping and kitchen cleaning...run out for an appointment....squeeze in some time to finish some little pottery boxes I am making, exercize...and be ready for a meeting at 7:00.

Dear God,
there is much in my heart...some of it is unbloggable, some of it I just don't have the energy to articulate...
I am grateful for this day...
Grateful for your presence.
I just need to rest in you today.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Donkey

The Donkey

When fishes flew and forests walked

And figs grew upon thorn,

Some moment when the moon was blood

Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry

And ears like errant wings,

The devil's walking parody

On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,

Of ancient crooked will;

Starve, scourge, deride me:
I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;

One far fierce hour and sweet:

There was a shout about my ears,

And palms before my feet.

G.K. Chesterton (1874–1936)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

a beautiful thing

you don't have a name...
you were part of a household...
where did the nard come from? you probably had some means...
your tears.
your tears.
your tears.
hmm. do you have tears in this text? no.
no tears.
who are you?

what moved you to do this beautiful thing...

you anointed Jesus as a king would be.

anointed him because you saw who he was...and you heard what he was saying...
and before your story, the priests and scribes were plotting...
and after your story...Judas is making a deal to betray...

and the twelve don't get it.

A beautiful thing, Jesus says, is what you have done.
or...the greek translated more commonly as a good thing, an ethical thing. like almsgiving. I like 'beautiful'

I dont' know.

I know you are speaking to me..
about taking what is precious and beautiful...and using it to touch others...to touch the suffering Christ in others...to....
speak to me, ancient sister.
speak to me..give me wisdom to hear your story, to share your story...to make it all make sense,

Thursday, April 02, 2009

a little more on prayer....

I mentioned before that I am in a group of colleagues praying daily during lent, and we check in once weekly.

How has this been transforming?

For me, I have experienced an abundance of love and compassion and joy and connection
with everything and everyone around me..and to Christ within.
It is like I want to embrace it all and say...
Oh, oh, oh!
You are loved!
You are wonderful!
You are...baptized, a child of God, and the Divine knows and cares.

I found myself walking with my youth in Times Square...and we stopped at a light, and I just was so crazy with delight for them, I leaned over and said,
"I know this is nutty, but I have to tell y'all, I just LOVE YOU!"
They grinned.
Then we walked into the M & M palace or world or whatever.

The same tenderness breezes through me as I sit at potluck dinners with four 90 plus year old women as we discuss the movie Chocolat and God....

or when I am walking in the park, marveling at the tenacity of Canadian Geese swimming in the freezing Mystic River.

Just thought I would share that.
No point. Just sharing.

p.s. to those asking about family in ND--all is well and all are holding up. My immediate family lives in the NW part of the state, and reports from other extended family is that everyone is holding their breath, but so far....so good. Thanks for asking!