Monday, January 26, 2004


Today is the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, which has more meaning when I am taking my New Testament course on Pauline literature here at Seabury. Trevor blessed up with a great sermon about the virtues of obediance and submission among other things. Part of his illustration involved the fact that he carried a yellow notepad to the pulpit, rather than a typed and printed manuscript. It seems that poor Trevor had some computer problems, and had to write his sermon by hand. The technical difficulty didn't seem to affect his preaching- it was a gift.
In the mail today, Luke & I received a different, rare gift: a real, handwritten letter from a friend who lives far away. Actually, she doesn't even live that far away- although Ohio can seem like it, I suppose. Anyway, it was pretty simple: what they did for Christmas, how their jobs are in their new place, what they've been up to... but I can't think of the last time I wrote a letter like that without involving my email program, let alone without a computer!
So after all that- Why am I having so much trouble composing a sermon for class tomorrow without sitting at the computer and typing up a manuscript?! I'm trying to "preach without notes", which requires a different sort of preparation. Really, there is virtue in not being computer-dependent. Really. I'm sure I'll be able to think of what that is sometime tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

31 Flavors

I have been having bizarre dreams lately. The other night, in my dream, I was at a pop machine, and I really wanted a Cherry Coke. (That part isn't bizarre, I love Cherry Coke.) When I pressed the button though, I got a Maple Coke. It looked just like a Vanilla Coke bottle, except that it had a red maple leaf on it, like the Canadian flag. Ever since this dream, I have been tempted to pour some maple syrup into a Coke and see what happens. If anyone else gets the urge to try it, please do let me know how it turns out.
Then, this morning I thought I had another weird dream, until I realized I was awake. I was listening to NPR Morning Edition, and they were talking about a company that is going to start producing haggis in Chicago. Yes. Haggis. The Scottish stuff with all the sheep organs stuffed into a sheep stomach. The best part? Not only is this company going to produce haggis, they're going to make a vegetarian version.
I think I'll stick with Maple Coke.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Mustard Seeds

One of the things I do with my time is teach Sunday School- usually first grade, although I float around a bit. Today, I had my first graders. They are a rowdy group, but there were only six of them and me. Our lesson for the day (we do Catechesis of the Good Shepherd) was on the parable of the Mustard Seed, but that part wasn't really interesting. Before class really started, one of the little girls found a plastic frog sitting on the art supply table. I have no idea why it was there, its actually been there most of the year. So the three kids who were there took a vote, and named it George Washington- but decided to call him George. Within a few minutes, George had become the class pet. With all of their spare time for coloring and playing, the kids made stuff for George: valentines, pictures, a house, a playroom and a storage space. They made a candle in case he was afraid of the dark, and a blanket, in case the church turned the heat off during the week. They were so involved in making things for George that we actually delayed our snack, and I could barely get them to go home when their parents came. Even better- they were so invovled in making things for George that they shared the glue, didn't say mean things to each other, no one got frustrated, and they patiently waited their turn when they needed my help with a project. They said "please" and "thank you", and they all said good-bye to George when they left. For this group, that was a big deal.
When Saint Francis comissioned his disciples, he told them "Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words." Our Gospel lesson today was supposed to be about the Mustard Seed, and how something big and wonderful can come from something small and insignificant. I think they got the point.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Just Do It!

So, when you leave something that you should really be doing, and then keep leaving it, it gets harder and harder to pick up again. Has anyone else noticed that? So, here I am, blogging again because it seems like I may never start if I don't do it now. Classes are well underway here at Seabury. I'm taking Practice in Preaching this term, which is a blast. But it means I have a sermon to finish by Thursday! A woman in our class made the observation that, in the past, she has always had quite a bit of time to prepare sermons - and hasn't usually had too much else to balance at the same time. Amen, Sister! It is a new thing for me to write sermons with the pressure of other classes and other homework, and only a week or so to do it. Yeah, I know - better get used to it! I just really like sitting with a text for a month or so. The readings assigned are for 1 Epiphany, Year C, so we at least have the advantage of having already heard the lectionary in church last Sunday. Anyway, speaking of other classes, the Middlers (thats my group) are taking another class from Trevor, which of course means More Blogging. You can read a piece over at Jane's place each week, or, if you do not already have enough to do, you can go to our class page and connect to the class blogs from there, and find out what I have to say about class discussions and such. Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Happy New Year!

Midnight came around without too much fanfare for us this year- a simple gathering of good friends with really, really good food. It was absolutely wonderful and perfect. Here’s a tip for the New Year: If Jane ever invites you over for food, take her up on it. And arrive hungry. Where I grew up, its considered good luck to eat pork & sauerkraut on New Year’s. Jeff’s wife said greens and black-eyed peas are good luck. Regardless of what you eat, I think it is a good idea to start anything new with a good meal.
I’m still thinking about New Year’s resolutions. But for those of you who have major changes coming this year here are a couple fun sites for you:
Find My Spot: You can take a quiz, and find out your ideal places to live. My top three are Baltimore, Long Beach, CA and Vegas.
Ugly A funny collection of those ugly bridesmaids dresses we’ve all seen and hope never to wear.
Unfortunately, I don’t think the Michigan Wolverines are doing well with their resolution to go undefeated in 2004… its USC 21 – U of MI 7 with 5 minutes to go in the third…