Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Off To See The Wizard

I am sitting in the Anglobaptist's kitchen, drinking my coffee, before I head off to day 2 of my seminary alma mater's Alumni Conference. The keynote speaker this year is Diana Butler Bass (see her books here and here).

Before I got here, I had the song from The Wizard of Oz running through my head, and I couldn't quite figure out how it got there. Granted, coming back to the Northshore and meeting up with friends can feel a bit like going to Oz - and the going home part almost always feels as conflicted as poor Dorothy was at the end of her time in Oz. And then, there are Tripp's ridiculous cats that I'm sure were actually flying monkeys in a former life. And this time around, there is a chance for a blogger friend first-time real life meet-up! *Waves at Emily!!*

But no, its not any of those reasons. It turns out that my subconscious already knew what I know now: Diana Butler Bass is a genius. Not because she has fancy smoke-and-mirrors tricks to help you grow a congregation in 3 easy steps!!! - because she doesn't. No, listening to her talk is really truly like Dorothy's trip through the magical land of Oz - I am learning everything I already knew all over again and in a completely new way, and it is a wonderful gift.

Back on the home front, however, please let me request your prayers for a small girl named Caroline. She is having surgery this week for a brain tumr, and we are very worried about her - and her parents. Please keep this family in your prayers.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

By Any Other Name...

So, if I enter my given name:
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

But if I use what I go by:
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

And that, my friends, is the beauty of nicknames.

Thanks to Jane for the fun game

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Because I Occasionally Listen...

Tripp told me to post. He even tried to bait my competitive side to make me post.

And since I'm such a good listener, here is my random thought for the day:

I have my iPod going in my office when I'm doing work like making postcards and organizing folders. Current music? U2 - Wild Honey. On our mission trip this past summer, great youth minister guy commented that he thinks Wild Honey is Van Morrison tribute song. Which makes perfect sense, and explains why the song feels out of place on the album style-wise. But now, for some reason, the song gets on my nerves - and I like Van Morrison.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


The NY Times has an article this morning related to the horrific killings in Pennsylvania. To be honest, of course the NY Times actually has several articles related to this story. But this one caught my eye: Strong Faith and Community May Help Amish Cope With Loss. (Free registration is required to read articles.)

Yesterday morning, I attended a Clergy Education day sponsored by the pastoral care department at one of the major hospitals in the area. For the first session, a hospice social worker talked about the role of "companions in grief" - walking with those who are facing loss, helping them find sacred space to do the work of grief when they are ready, and before that point, just helping them get through the days.

The NY Times article concludes with this quote,"“For the families who lost children, there will be a tremendous community outpouring of love and support,” Ms. Schmidt said. “They will not suffer alone in their grief at all. People will bring in meals for weeks. As devastating as this is, there’s so much strength they can draw from their community.”

This morning, I'm glad that this will be true for these families, and still, I'm sad that it isn't true for so many more. I hope we in the church take these small reminders that our God promises to comfort all who mourn - and we are vessels of that grace. I look forward to the day when a supportive Christian community is newsworthy only in the sense of proclaiming the Good News.