Friday, October 30, 2009


last night,
I got to go to a make your own pizza party at my dear friend's home with her hunky husband and gorgeous daughters.

The girls were hilarious because they were like little tiny Tiggers jumping up and down and down and up. Halloween is coming soon.

This is a home that is permeated with sheer joy. One of the girls sang while she decorated her pizza, The other  is amazingly creative, and is going to write a book about making halloween costumes and when you ask her how school is going, she says, "it's GREAT."  She is wise, and yet all of third grade. I am pretty sure the singing pizza decorator is a sage or buddha all wrapped up in her first grade self. You can see it in her eyes.

Praise and celebration abides in this home. Praise over play doh stars and pumpkins, celebration in the mixture of a chocolate candy gummy bear dessert "salad" and cheers at the end of washing hands, and at the end of saying grace.

Don't get me wrong, they aren't a Leave it to Beaver kind of family. They have their own sets of challenges and human-ness. But they are real, and in the moment...and really, isn't that the point?

A while ago, I made a ceramic platter that says, "Grace and Plenty." If I had to give a title to my friend and her family, it would be..."Grace and Plenty."

I was full of all that grace when I got into my car to drive home last night. It was "GREAT!!"

p.s. my make my own pizza was delish. I might have to do it all over tonight at home!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Today when I was walking the doggies, a woman followed by middle school aged boy called across the busy traffic, "is the middle school down this street?"
I affirmed that it was indeed a few blocks down the street, and they trudged on in the brisk morning air.

The boy was, well, looking miserable. You could tell he probably wasn't going to be joining the soccer team or football team, or be the class president. You could guess that he was dreading being the "new kid" in the class in the middle of the semester.

I imagine they were new in the neighborhood. They clearly didn't have a car, because trust me, if they had, they would have been driving. I wondered if they were living in the square, or beyond.

But mostly, I just kept thinking about this kid.
I know I am assuming a whole lot, by making up his story in my head.

But the look on his face was real.
And my heart has been panging for him all day. (yes panging. you know when your heart breaks a little for something or someone--my heart physically "pangs" against my skin. I don't know how to explain it.)

Prayers...for all middle school kids who have hormones jumping all around them and feel lonely and lost and unpopular and afraid.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

just a quick check in.....

Once again, I have no topic, except the moment.

Today I said goodbye to recently graduated graduate student who wanted to stay here in new england, but the opportunities for this student were not emerging as hoped. She has been coming to worship for the past two years, and we have enjoyed many coffees and conversation together. I will probably not see her again in this lifetime, which is true about many of the very fine people I have met through ministry through the years. I'm not sad, I am just..reflective on this.

Facebook has helped with some really interesting reconnections. For this I am grateful.

This week I spoke with a colleague who has been in her present ministry situtation to be confirming the babies she baptized back in the day. How wonderful is that?

I pray that will be my experience, too...someday.

It is dark and rainy. I have spent a lot of time in the car shlepping back and forth to the vet for a cat getting a dental and then back and forth to work. It is 6:00 pm, and I need to get on the road now to make it back over to church in time for 7:00 pm confirmation class.

Wish me luck--the traffic is terrible.

Sending out love and fondness from my heart to cyberspace...and to you!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

dream notebook

Just notes for now, will fill in later and ponder, but these are snippets of my dreams from last night.

1. At international airport. Can't find the place to check in, but am at the gate anyway. Am afraid I will not make the flight if I go to find the checkin place,but afraid if I don't, I will be arrested as a spy or something.

2. Big production happening on a stage. Orchestra, performers, etc. I am running around assisting my colleague, but I don't have a part. Someone promised me a walk-on, but I dont' know what it is or when it will happen. I end up in the kitchen looking for something, and Roberto the chef is telling me I have to tell him when the production is five minutes from being over so he can have the dinner ready.

3. I am riding in a mini with my son's fiance. (note: I have no son, therefore this is my dream son.) We are driving in very icy weather. She is slip sliding away, no clue how to drive, and all of a sudden we are sliding backwards. I ask her, "Are we sliding backwards?" "Oh," she says, "I don't know?" My mother says, "Yes, we are!" We just miss crashing with a bunch of cars and avoid rolling in the ditch. As she tries to turn the car around, two men run out of house carrying two men who appear to have been shot. There is blood spurting from one man's throat. It is silent, though. No one is speaking. I am thinking, I should tell that cop. By the time we get near the cop, he is gone. People on the street have seen this, too, but they don't tell the cop. Especially this one woman in a pink sweatsuit who is wheelchair bound. We drive back to my nephew's fiance house...or some house. I get out, and tell her I am not going with her anywhere again. She pouts and thinks I am a backseat driver. I tell her I feared for my life--she didn't even know she was going backwards. I told her she drove to fast for ice, and I was scared. She stomps off. Then, she comes back, and wants to go to lunch. I say another time.

That's it for now. Sigh. Busy mind, huh?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

another work post....

My colleague, of whom I am quite fond, is part of the old school of clergy where if you need to, you work all hours of the day. self care for my colleague, is a difficult task at times, although he is pretty good about his one day off a week, except the last few weeks. I have had other colleagues like that.

In any case, he doesn't expect me to work like him--or at least I don't experience him in that way. I work very hard, but I have to say I am pretty good at self care, as far as time goes. Sometimes that feels "lazy"...but I know I am not.

This I think is a good rule of thumb for clergy: Divide the day into three parts. Morning, Afternoon, Evening. Only work two of those parts. If you end up working all three parts, then delete a part from another day. Obviously this is just a way to frame the day--sometimes I end up doing half a part here, half a part there...but the intent is just an easy way to track how one is spending time. I have one day that is Sabbath (Mondays) ...and Saturdays can be, at times, light, which I welcome. If I have used too many parts during the week, I plug the parts I owe myself into Saturday!

What about you? What do you do?

thinking about work...

Last night, in the town where my congregation resides (not me, though) there was a Mayoral Candidate Accountability Night, organized by a group that helps congregations do faith based community organizing, the clergy association, and a couple of others.
The intent of the night was to ask the two candidates for mayor for their commitment on issues that local congregations feel are tantamount to community. The issues were/are:
Recycling/environmental sustainability
Senior transportation
Youth support in education
Fair banking practises
Affordable housing
Diversity in schools.

In each of these areas, there were specific issues that candidates were asked to support, e.g. restoring a voucher program that senior citizens had so they could get a ride to worship, to doctor's appointments outside the city limits, and visit friends and family. This is a program that had been cut, quite recently.

There were 600 people in attendance, which far exceeded any expectations, and my congregation represented well. I was very proud to be in the room...

and happy to see houses of worship, Jewish and Christian, come together to reclaim a moral voice in the city and in issues facing it.

this is how we need to be church in the world, I think. I want to get more involved in faith based organizing. It can be a very powerful voice in being "good news"

Friday, October 9, 2009

Not because I have anything to say...

...because I don't, really. Just thought I should make an entry so I remember how to do this bloggy thing. There is the veritable unbloggable which is taking up much of my thought space these days...and I covet your prayers, and your good energy.

Besides that, life is rich. I have been focusing on that "praying without ceasing" thing, which for me, means cultivating as much awareness of God's presence in the ordinary moments of my life. I am feeling connected to God, but in a very nonattachment-buddha kind of way. I like it.

The other practise I have taken on this fall is "giving myself enough time." It has become my mantra...'give yourself time, give yourself time'--I whisper this in my head in the mornings, and when I plan my days... and I am finding that the feeling of rushing from transition to transition is almost gone, and I am finding more intention and attention to whatever I am doing. The liminal space, the inbetween time is grace and mercy to me--space to breathe, to remember, to feel.

On another completely random note: What about Obama for the Nobel Peace Prize? I find it interesting. I don't have strong feelings, yet either way--although there seem to be some that do. We had a spirited conversation at the studio today about it.

Alrighty then. Enough for now.