Friday, April 28, 2006

Culinary Conquest & Friday Five

I haven't played the Friday Five in a while, but before I get to that, a bit of procrastination in the form of shameless self-promotion.

I made meringue cookies! They're gorgeous, and nicely shaped, and lovely pale golden color. They're crisp and light, and not soggy on the inside. They are vanilla-flavored, with real vanilla bean seeds and everything. (Beth, I found a use for those left over vanilla beans!) I'd post a picture, but I can't find my camera. Still, this is a major accomplishment for me, and I'm just not sure the youth group kids will appreciate the milestone.

You see, I love love love meringue cookies. In college, I worked as a part-time church secretary, and someone there brought in these amazing cookies with chocolate chips in them. I'd only ever had meringue on pie (which, I also love). I asked for the recipe, as any good aspiring cook would, and gave it a shot. It didn't work out so well. Ever since, making good meringues has been a goal, but they always come out sort of soggy, or really flat, or they turn into powder if you look at them cross-eyed.

This time, I had my trusty Cooking Light with pictures and tips, and I followed the recipe patiently. It turns out that patience is a virtue, even for the kitchen. Now, if only I could be as patient and goal-oriented in the rest of my life and work...

So, on that note: Friday Five, Procrastination Version!
Of course, what I'm procrastinating has a huge effect on how I procrastinate. For example...

1. When I should be cooking dinner and just can't get up the energy... I watch Rachael Ray shows, or read an old Cooking Light. This has one of two very good effects. Either, I get excited about cooking something and I go do it, or I get soooo hungry looking at the food that I can't possibly cook and convince Luke to go out.

2. When I should be writing a sermon... read blogs. Its only sort of procrastinating! I'm sure to find inspiration somewhere in the stories of my friends.

3. When I should be doing just about anything at a computer... instant message. And yes, I realize that my IM is up most of the time. Who wants to wait around to start it up when its time to procrastinate??

4. When I should be going to the gym... naptime. Because, really, don't I deserve a rest before I walk a mile and a half?

5. When I should help clean up... TV. Or napping. Or any of the above activites. Or grocery shopping. Or going to the gym. Or, really, just about anything to avoid this one. I guess thats not so much "procrastinating" as "complete avoidance", but isn't that really just semantics?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Look! A Bandwagon!

And I'm jumping on it.

The ABC meme (copied from Beth)

Accent: on the first syllable

Booze: depends on when and where... with dinner? beer or red wine. Cocktail hour? gin and tonic. Football season? beer.

Chore I Hate: pretty much all of them. Have I mentioned today that I love my husband?

Dog or Cat: Mmm, neither. I've never had either one.

Essential Electronics: TV with the recording thingy, my cell phone, my computer. I love my iPod, but could probably live without it. My stove.

Favorite Cologne(s): Happy by Clinque

Gold or Silver: White Gold. So, which one is that?

Hometown: Ann Arbor

Insomnia: hardly

Job Title: Curate

Kids: Two. Someday.

Living arrangements: Condo. But its kinda like a house, just attached on one side.

Most admirable trait: Loyalty.

Number of sexual partners: How about "N" for "None of your business"

Overnight hospital stays: Never. Maybe when I was born I guess, but I don't remember later edit: Right. I was thinking as patient. Definitely a handful of times as chaplain.

Phobias: snakes

Quote: This week, I'm into the Thomas Merton prayer... "Lord, I have no idea where I am going..."

Religion: Episcopalian brand of Christian

Siblings: one of each

Time I wake up: 8:00. ish.

Unusual talent or skill: I recently confirmed how good I am at memorizing music... when the locally-composed musical setting for the Eucharistic prayer failed to make it to the altar on Sunday...

Vegetable I refuse to eat: Mushrooms.

Worst habit: Currently I'm annoyed at my habit of putting things down and walking away and then not being able to find them

X-rays: hand, chest, ankle

Yummy foods I make: Artichoke-Sundried Tomato Pasta

Zodiac sign: Libra

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sunday School Questions

Quotidian Grace (fellow RGBP-er) has a post about offering Sunday School. They aren't doing it this year, and are treating it as "sabbath" - a time for teachers to get a break and be refreshed for the coming year.Now, this is what I have always been accustomed to. I have always taught in churches where being a teacher meant missing at least part of the "upstairs" worship, most weeks. I always found teaching Sunday School to be the most rewarding activity in my spiritual life - but like most good spiritual work, it is exhausting. Sunday school teachers - just like us clergy types - end up working on Sunday. They need some down time too, just like us clergy types.

Recently though, a friend who teaches church school at my own church commented how much he hates the term "program year" in churches. So much so, in fact, that he counted how many times I used the phrase in a meeting we were at and told me afterwards. I can see his point - we live in a town on the edge of the "up north" territory in Michigan. Most people in our congregation have summer cottages, and spend a lot of their time there, and not so much here on Sunday mornings. Its not that we don't do anything in summer. We have a Vacation Bible School, that had 60 kids and 30 teen and adult volunteers last year. This year, we're taking the youth group on a mission trip. But - we really are a program-sized church and there is no doubt that programs essentially stop between June and September.

So I wonder... at what point does "sabbath rest" become "vacation from God" in the summertime?

Sunday, April 16, 2006


This is the feast of victory for our God!
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

A Happy and Blessed Easter to all of you!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

What I Will Say Tonight

Our Maundy Thursday gathering will be a shared meal, with a series of meditations. I am giving the first meditation, and this is what I will be saying.

Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” – John 13:34-35

I wonder, if it were up to us, how we would spend our last night on earth. What might you say and do with such limited time? Would you tell your family and friends that you would be leaving them soon?

We may well imagine that these are the questions running through the mind of Jesus on that Thursday night as he gathered with his friends and disciples in the Upper Room. What a heavy heart Jesus must have had that evening! He knew it would be their last gathering, their last meal, the last chance to help them understand all the events that were still to come – from the garden to the cross to the empty tomb. If only the disciples had known that this night would be the last – maybe they would have acted differently. Maybe Peter would not have protested the foot washing. Maybe Thomas would not have asked so many questions – or maybe the rest of them would have asked more. But, that is the hindsight of sudden loss. It leaves us wondering what we might have done differently, or what we might have said – the “if onlys” and “maybes” that we can never answer.

But Jesus knew. He knew it was their last meal, their last gathering before everything changed. And so he gave the disciples their final instructions: Love one another, as I have loved you. We call it a commandment, but it is more than that. It is a gift. Jesus gave these instructions as a final word to his disciples, so that they would have a way to survive the confusion and pain of the next days. Jesus spent his last time with his friends serving them, feeding them, and caring for them – and then telling them that they must always do the same. In the midst of pain, it was Jesus desire that the disciples love one another as deeply as Jesus loved them.

And it is still his desire. Jesus calls us to love one another through the hurts and struggles of this life, to serve, to encourage, and to strengthen. In the darkest hours of his life, Jesus demonstrated amazing love for his friends. Tonight, we reflect on his actions of love, and move together toward the cross and new life, and we remember that new life in Christ begins here, among friends, with the new commandment: Love one another.

Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ, you call us to love one another by following your example of service and sacrifice. Bless this gathering, the food we are about to receive, and those who prepared it for us. As we gather here in your Name, help us to see your face in each other and to remember that all we have and all that we truly are is rooted in your love. Amen.

Its A Small World After All

A meme from Tripp... a not-so-subtle way to make me blog :)

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

Its Holy Week... So, I tag anyone who is procrastinating their sermon-writing or bulletin -creating.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

If Only I'd Known!

Did you know you dont have to do those years of discernments, all traveling around to meet with COMs, and those endless questions? No! It turns out, you can just take this quiz "Are You An Anglican Priest?" (courtesy of Lizzie) and the "holy computers" will do your discernment for you!

Of course... I'm apparently too late. It thinks I'm destined to be laity. Ah well.