Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Have you ever played guitar? If so, then you know that there are more hands in this picture that are.. well, normal.

You see, after graduation last summer, we were hanging out and someone thought itd be a good idea to put a guitar in Luke's hands so we could all sing. You know, your average weekend on the back porch kind of sing-a-long: John Denver, Indigo Girls, Guns N Roses. The only problem was that we decided we wanted to sing a song that needed a capo, and sadly, Tripp had misplaced his capo. Being a creative bunch, we improvised: This is the picture of my friend Les being a human capo, while my Luke plays Closer to Fine.

What's a capo, you say? I'm so glad you asked that. A capo is a little contraption that hooks onto the neck of the guitar. Sometimes they're fancy with levers and clips and stuff, othertimes, they're really plain - bars with rubber bands. Essentially, it changes the basic key of the instrument, so that you can play the same chords but in a range that people might be able to join into the music.

In my new job, on good days, I feel a bit like that: that I am serving as a human capo, transposing programs and ideas and generational differences so that everyone can sing the Gospel in a key they can reach. Its great work, fun and creative, but also a bit sloppy as I try to get organized, build up those callouses again. I'm getting to the point where I can start to imagine us actually making music though, and its exciting. I can't wait to hear the song.

PS: Les thinks being mentioned in blogs is kinda like writing his own. I want to remind him that it is not, and he should try writing one to see the difference:)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

To Remember

A song from the Vintage Winers (by Libana)

Theres a river of birds in migration
A nation of women with wings

Having a blast in DC, listening to music and preaching and women's voices and thoughts.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Three years ago, a few friends and I embarked on an accidental pilgrimage of sorts. Blowing off a week of seminary classes, we piled into Jane's big ol' vehicle (a necessity on curvy Pennsylvania turnpike roads during construction season in the dark), and drove to DC for the Festival of Homiletics. We had a blast - it was enough fun to get me out of bed and downstairs by 6:30. In. The. Morning. And trust me, thats saying a lot. Between the friendship, the worship, the preaching and the general freedom of taking schedules into our hands, it was the closest thing to a pilgrimage I've done so far.

While we were there, we heard a particular preacher. As she climbed into the pulpit I leaned over and whispered "Thats who I want to be when I grow up." I'd always grown up with great preachers in my congregation, but something about this woman's style spoke to me in a different way. This week, I get the chance to study with her, and 40-some other young clergy women. I've changed quite a bit since that conference three years ago, and I think its time for another pilgrimage.

DC, here I come again!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

On The Job Training

I missed yesterday's Friday Five. Well, plus the last month's worth of Friday Fives. Seriously though, who said this job transition this is easy? Because they need to attend Telling The Truth class 101. Yeesh.

One of the new parts of my job is commuting to a second office that is about an hour and a half from where I live. I only do that once or twice a week, but really, driving doesn't bother me anyway. I get to stay caught up on all my favorite podcasts, practice my voice exercises, and learn some Italian.

I also get to listen to my friend Missy on the radio in the morning. She is the local host for Morning Edition on a public station near here. Recently on her program, someone was interviewing Joe Biden about how he wants to be the President. Now, I know very little about Sen Biden (and most of what I know, I learned in this interview). But he said something that got under my skin: when asked why he should be President, he said "because this isn't the time for on-the-job training."

Perhaps I'm a little sensitive, being in the midst of job transition and all, but... Excuse me? Watching someone do a job (even, or especially, if they do it rather badly...) is simply not the same as knowing how to do the job yourself. Some things can only be learned by doing. Preparation is important, knowledge and theory and history all matter. But a job of that magnitude simply must include some on-the-job training. To think otherwise is to miss opportunities for growth, and maybe even for greatness.