Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The day is at hand

Somewhere in the middle of this chaos called the first semester of seminary, I began to fit in. I think I might be at home here, and for anyone who knows me, this takes the form of being outrageously busy. Case in point, my day today:

7am: Advent Bible Study
8am: Youth Ministry class (make important comment about why we teach our boys different things then our girls)
9am: Shower
9:30am: I am exhausted. Nap.
10:40: Vagina Monologue Auditions (did I mention I'm co-directing the Vagina Monologues next semester?)
11:40: Church History
12:40: Power Nap
1:20: Lunch and meeting with Preceptor who thinks I'm smarter than C=M.Div.
2:00: 1 Page Exegetical Appetizer
2:25: Leave for Work
2:35: Dunkin' Donuts stop and 4th cup of coffee for the day
3-6pm: Work with kids answering questions like "What is volume?" and "What sound does 'ch' make?"
6:30pm: Group project planning.
7:30pm: More vagina monologue auditions
9pm: break to process w/Kelly about group project.
10pm: Prayer group.

So somewhere I became busy and my life started here. It's weird because it is so all of a sudden, in the way we are told Christ will come back to us. I've also been thinking about how Seminary is like 4 years of Advent instead of just 4 weeks. We all seem to be waiting for our lives to really start. Yet, I think my day today proves that mine has. My day was full of ministry and Christ's presence. No it wasn't perfect. I was frustrated, I didn't get some things done, I'm not fully prepared for tomorrow, but I think I lived out my calling today in a real and tangible way and I don't often feel like I can say that. It gives me hope. It makes me love others. It renews my faith.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Women in my Life

During this time of reflecting on things we are grateful and thankful for, I am thinking about the many women pastors in my life that are so important to me. There was a time growing up when I didn't know that women could be pastors because I didn't know any. Now, I am blessed to be surrounded by so many, in big ways and small. This week I want to highlight 3 who have been and continue to be influential in my ministry.

They are, in the order in which i met them:

The Rev. Can Crusher: This woman is who I list always as influential to my calling. She was able to see something in me that I could not see for myself, namely that there was a place for me in ministry. Through her I learned that "normal" people (in the best sense of the word, in the wine drinking, swearing, laughing too loud sense of the word) could be pastors. I continue to be inspired by her bold acts of social justice.

The Rev. Southern Belle: This one is not so easily covered up or disguised as the lady herself is never camouflaged, but is always 100% herself. Many of you will know who I'm talking about. So many important lessons were learned from this friend: Yard sales make the best therapy, any and every occasion requires lipstick, and we all need sweets to keep our strength up sometimes. More importantly, though, I learned (and continue to learn): how to carry a family, church, group of strangers, and whole community through a disaster, how to say what needs to be said, put my hands on my hips and say "So there.", and how to make each person you talk to seem like they are the only person in the world at that moment (I'm still working on this one.)

The Rev. Has All the Answers: Now, I'm sure this lady would emphatically say that she does not have all the answers, but luckily for me it seems like she does. From the moment I met this woman, she has been nothing but on my side. She cannot jump through my hoops (that are on fire by the way) for me, but she stands right next to them cheering me on. She also challenges me to actually feel things, not just think about them, which is hard, hard work for me but very rewarding. I look forward to seeing how this relationship develops.

I also want to mention all the women that will be Pastors in my life. I am continually amazed at all the gifts and talents the women here (and not- shout out, Linda!) have and will bring to future congregations. I know they will do amazing things for God and will be inspirations to so many.

The Divine Image
William Blake

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,
All pray in their distress:
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,
Is God, our father dear:
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,
Is Man, his child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity, a human face:
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew.
Where Mercy, Love, & Pity dwell,
There God is dwelling too.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


This phrase, "C=M.Div" is one I came into contact with early on at seminary. The idea is that one does not need straight A's (or B's) in order to graduate and become ordained. No one in your congregation will ever ask what you got on your systematic theology midterm. As long as you pass, it's all good.

This is troubling for those of us who have always gotten good or near perfect grades. I don't know how to turn my brain off so that I can destress a little and accept a B or C, and yet, I have to because there are classes where the professors very clearly say that an A is impossible.

All my education reason and rationale tells me that the learning should be enough, that a grade based on who wrote the Didache and when and were they wearing socks when they did is not important, but it is important that I get big concepts in our church history like early Trinity discussions.

So I'm working through this. The question is ultimately, "To stress or not to stress?". If my work is an offering to God, does God care if I get a C? Or does God care that I leave my room sometimes and have a glass of wine down the hall or go to the gym?

Also, because I'm starting to see how God likes to make fun of me, I'm sure wherever I go to church this Sunday, the preacher will mention the Didache.