“Catch-Up”: Monday

18 03 2010

Light. light through tiny holes, light through funky and fun decorations. These stars are from Margarita’s, a restaurant in Keene, NH, that we ate at on Monday evening.

Mon., March 15th

The women clergy retreat at Pilgrim Pines brought light into my life in countless ways– including reconnecting with old friends, meeting new friends, laughing a lot, eating together, hearing stories, etc. But on Tuesday, the next morning, the light of this group of friends truly shone for me. I woke up a headache. It started out as a manageable one. or so I thought. It quickly became vicious, despite my efforts to ward it off. It was one of those really really bad ones. The women were incredible! It was one of those mornings when you know that people around you know what a headache feels like… they got a cold wet towel for my eyes; gave me a long, deep head and neck massage; went out to buy me seltzer water and excedrin migraine; made Plans A, B, and C for how to get me and my rental car to my destination that day… And then they accompanied me to parts of CT, making sure that I was ok. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! Incredible.

so these lights in starts in a restaurant in Keene… make me think of the many lights shining through the actions of my many friends. Specifically these friends at the Retreat, but also all my friends. Thank you.





“Catch-Up” on Lent pix: Sunday..

18 03 2010

Isaiah 43:19: “… I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert…” Far from the original intention, I’m pretty sure…

Sun., March 14th

but I was tired, I was really really tired.. I was later than I wanted to be, on my way to Pilgrim Pines. The GPS was driving me nuts, and I was driving it nuts. I had to keep pulling over to turn on the light and look at my google map…. and then once I entered New Hampshire, I had to stop the car, turn the brights on, and read the signs, to make sure I was going the right direction. When I finally stopped at this signage, I thought I knew what it said, but just to make sure, I turned on the brights. Then took the picture. The way in the wilderness… the wilderness of a long day, a long drive, a long drive after a bad fibromyalgia flare-up that almost kept me home. And the welcome way in this wilderness, pointing me in the direction of Swanzey Lake, and Pilgrim Pines. Where I met up with my clergy women friends of the East Coast Conference.





the people

27 02 2010

I know–“What people?” you might ask, when looking at today’s photo.

My response?: “all the people.” The people who built this church literally… the people who built this church spiritually… the people who sit in these pews, including the balcony… the people who walk through those doors… the people who walk through other doors of this church… the people who don’t walk through these doors and sit in these pews and yet they might if there is something in their lives that makes them think about life and death and faith… the people who come alone…. the ones who feel lost… the ones who have lost…the people who built and designed that gorgeous stained glass window… the people who took the old glass from the original building and used it to make ornaments and candle holders for the people…the people who take minutes… the ones who shovel and plow…. the ones who make sure the heat is working…. the ones who stock the cupboards…

Saturday, Feb. 27th

The people who work behind the sound board up in the corner, and keep trying to make our microphones work effectively…the people who dust the pews and vacuum the carpets… the people who light the candles and turn the lights on and off…. the people who sit in the offices downstairs and upstairs…the people who offer encouragement to the struggling, and to the leaders–paid and unpaid… the people who trained the paid and the unpaid… the people who believed in the call of those who pastor… and the ones who modeled Christian faith by their examples… the person who fields all the phone calls, requests, manages the calendars, checks the mail, and does more stuff than we can even imagine… the person who teaches the children about music and lyrics and who helps the rest of us try and make good music…

the people who play instruments that provide worship music… the people who attend to the website and the technological details that the rest of can’t handle… the ones who sing.. the ones who can’t… the ones who can’t attend worship… the ones who teach –behind the scenes, and in front… the ones who help the pastors out at the last minute… the ones who remind us to head back to pray before the worship service begins…the people who buy the wine, grape juice, bread, coffee, napkins, etc… the people who do the dishes… the people who pour the coffee… the people who fold chairs and tables and tablecloths… the people who come and sit and think they offer nothing and yet they pray for the rest of the people… the ones who knit….. the people who babysit during worship… the people who do the odd jobs like check the roof leaks and paint offices and fix up the parsonage and put out signs…. the ones who guide visitors to where they need to be…the ones who greet newcomers… the ones who invite others… the ones who have never been through the door of this church, but will hopefully come someday…the ones who drive by and sometimes wonder what this place is like but have never come in… the people who patiently play with the very active two-and-a-half year old so her parents can focus on other people and events…. the people who provide rides and hospitality… the people who struggle with why they might show up for worship when their faith might hurt right now… the countless people I probably forgot, but want to include here–because everyone is included…  the ones who believe… believe in this church, believe in God, believe in the journey, as hard as it might be.. and the people who believe that together–and with God’s help– we can be the people God intended us to be. Not only believe in this, but work towards becoming the people.

So on this Saturday before the Second Sunday in Lent, I am thankful for the people represented in this photo… and their part in the Lenten journey.





Moving.

22 11 2009

Yes, it’s true- we’re moving. To Pennsylvania. We have accepted a call to Co-Pastor Christ Covenant Church in Harleysville, PA (which is about 40 minutes north of Philadelphia). It became official on November 8th, and life has been a whirlwind since then. Well, life was a whirlwind before then, but now things are moving forward at incredible speed.

It’s a tough time. And an exciting time. It’s the part of pastoral ministry that I struggle so much with–leaving one community I love for another community I love (what little I know of it at this point), because God calls us. God calls us out of one ministry…. and into another. And the roller coaster of emotions continues–the sadness at leaving, the joy at going someplace new… and the peace at knowing that God is leading.

Our house is on the market, a photographer for Century 21 came by the other day, (but the above photo is mine) and many of our waking, non-working moments are spent sorting, recycling, organizing, trashing, and packing stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. Lots of stuff that we don’t want to move. And some that we do.





Midwinter, and answered prayers

9 02 2009

dsc_0055Last week we were at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Chicago, for our annual “Midwinter Conference”. Those who are non-pastors think this conference sounds boring: 1000 (give or take) clergy, staff,e tc.. gathered in one hotel for several days of meetings, worship, workshops, and lots of hanging out with colleauges, new and old. Though I have become a bit more introverted in recent years, I still love this conference, and it is one of the highlights of my year. This year Kajsa was with us… dsc_0244Loads of fun. I’ll post more pix later, perhaps on flickr… It turns out Kajsa is probably more extroverted than even Jim and Cathy!In the first of these photos, Kajsa is helping Marge with registrations….  The second photo shows how Kajsa loves to get all her “gear” on when we’re heading out the door. And, by the way, to parents and other caregivers out there… hotels, especially this one, are a GREAT playground for toddlers to run and fall, on plush carpet, etc..

Besides Kajsa loving Midwinter, and her constant audiences to smile at her, take her pictures, play with her baseball cards (AND HOCKEY cards, Sue!!:) … it was an indescribable feeling for us, to be able to share this answer to prayer that is now part of our life: Kajsa. It’s been a long journey. The answer to prayer is wonderful. My heart still aches for those who are still waiting for answers to their prayers for children, spouses, etc. And certainly there are still some prayers in our lives that aren’t answered. But it had been so long since we had some good news to share with Midwinter colleagues in the Covenant.. Thank you, God. Thank you, all who prayed. Thank you, those of you who stuck with me in my constant angst and etc. Thank you to those who create the Midwinter Conference and participate in making it a place I look forward to each year.

I know each denomination has its challenges, and I am certainly not blindly looking past those for mine.. but I do love the Covenant.





for a recent photo of Kajsa,

29 10 2008

go to Steve’s blog.

I simply can’t keep up. I can’t keep up with all the photos I’m taking… or the thoughts I want to blog… or the stories about Kajsa I want to write about… or my emotions over Entropy moving back to Alaska after two years with us… or how great it was to be at Covenant Harbor for the Central Conference Ministers’ Retreat… or how fun it was to share Kajsa with colleagues at the Retreat… or how meaningful it was to have colleagues publicly thank God for the answer to prayer that Kajsa is… or did I mention how much we miss Entropy?… or the house… or how great the speakers were at Retreat… or organizing thoughts in my mind not to mention as they come out of my mouth, lately… or… anything else, quite frankly.

I don’t mean to complain, or say, “Woe is me… my life is so much busier than anybody else’s.” Not at all. I think much of the world feels overwhelmed and behind and tired and etc… I’m merely stating the obvious reality of my life right now.

So, thanks, Steve, for posting the photo, so I don’t have upload one right now!





Larry

3 04 2008

Today we drive down to Calumet Park, Illinois, (South of Chicago) for the funeral of a friend. Rev. Larry Griffin died last week at the too-young age of 55. Larry was a fun classmate, an active minister, and a huge supporter of women in ministry. Thank you, Larry. I cannot think of my first two years of seminary without thinking of Larry. He and his friend Ed were always together…. attending the same classes, lectures, etc. as others in that M.Div track (including Karen and me). Karen and I were frequently the recipients of Larry’s encouragement, laughter, stories, insight, and support. It’s so strange to think back to my first seminary years (1993, 1994…). I’d better not digress onto that topic now, but suffice it to say that so many people in my life have provided a realistic, servant-leadership model of faith in God. Larry is one of those.

I’m sorry to say that I have not known him as well in recent years, as I have only seen him at Midwinter and other clergy events. That often happens, doesn’t it? We don’t keep in as much contact with people we care about, until it’s too late. I am saddened by Larry’s death, and grateful that Jim and I are able to drive down to be at the funeral. And grateful that Karen will also be there, as I cannot think of my first two years of seminary without thinking of Karen, and Larry (and Ed). Clergy have been asked to wear their robes tonight, which Larry would like.
Peace be to Larry’s memory.