Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Lighter Load

Phew. This week is a blessing - after last week's marathon of sermon-writing, I have no written assignments due in any of my classes. Although, as I probably could've guessed, it turned out that preaching three sermons in a week was also an enormous blessing. I really do think sermon crafting is easier to do when one preaches with some regularity. Anyway, Sunday's sermon went well I thought. There was a bit of a mishap at the 8:00 service, and the lessons that were read were not the lessons that were either in the bulletin or in my sermon - although, since I read the Gospel, that one was correct. So, oops. I adapted as I went along,... I think it made for some jumbled sentences because I was only partly sticking to the text, but the basic points were communicated. At the later service, I decided to preach without notes at all because the text was just distracting me - and it went very very well! The topic - helping children know that they have a place at God's table - is near and dear to my heart, so I think that helped in the delivery. It was really a great experience, and exactly the kind of thing one can do in a field ed parish.

Today's classes were a lengthy exercise in death and dying. This morning, in preparation for AKMA's class, I read (most of) Lament for a Son, an emotionally raw and beautiful book on grief, death, and loss. In Litugical Practicum, we spent the time talking about the burial rites of the Episcopal Church, and the role of the presider at a funeral. Then in AKMA's above-mentioned class, we worked with a case study on theology around death - in this instance, the accidental death of a teenage girl and how her family has responded. It really is amazing how these conversations can just push all sorts of buttons. So, I did the sensible thing - called Tripp the hospital chaplain and complained. After he stopped laughing, he was very helpful. It reminded me of a song:

I'm trying to tell you something about my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
And the best thing you've ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously
Its only life, after all
-Closer to Fine, by the Indigo Girls

It was high time for some more Indigo Girls quotes around here anyway. Have a good night, y'all!

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