Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Trying to get inside myself.

I walked doggies in rain.

Stopped by pottery studio to check on crosses I glazed for an upcoming event. Not out of kiln yet, but got two lovely handbuilt funky chunky chalices out of the glaze kiln.

Did some phone pastoral care.

Spent two hours at the dentist. Not because there was anything wrong, but I am a new client and they were very thorough. New office for dentist. Very sweet person.

Realized that my teeth are middle aged now too. Great oral hygiene I have...but those fillings do wear out from child hood. Looking at some mild dental work.

Had staff meeting.

Ate 2/3 box of Thin Mints.

Didn't brush my teeth afterward.

Pondered Mary in the Garden.

Breathed deeply a few times.

Drank some lovely water.

Wrote a letter of recommendation.

Counted money.

Surfed Craig's List looking for cheap furniture for my CE Resource room.

Ready to go home.

Have a meeting. So can't go home.

Wonder who will get kicked off American Idol tonight.

Love the longer days, in spite of the sogginess of the earth right now.

Thinking about Jesus. Maundy Thursday. The Passion. Feels surreal to me.

Aren't I supposed to be walking with Jesus? Isn't that what pastors do?

I fear I am in the crowd right now. Just not in tune, or maybe I am but I am not comfortable with my tune.

I could drive myself crazy thinking like that.

Must create agenda for meeting.

Should finish communion liturgy for Sunday.

Maybe I will get inside myself later.

Off to agendasize.

And, oh, dear God. Thank you. Amen.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Can you help my youth (and me) get to Appalachia? (A Shameless Appeal)

Dear friends and family,
I have the incredible opportunity this spring to take 8 of my youth from Eliot Church on a mission trip to Appalachia to do home repair with the Appalachian Service Project. Boston and West Virginia are worlds apart, and I am excited that my congregation is supportive of this mission, and the opportunities our youth will have to not only serve God, but to be touched and transformed by the grace of God across economic boundaries and cultures.

We have been working hard to raise funding for this trip, and I have asked each of my youth to reach beyond our little congregation in asking for support for this trip, as an act of faith and courage. We still have $3000 to raise before April 17th. I feel strongly that I also need to do my part in reaching beyond , as well.

So, first, I am asking for your prayers and good energy for all going on this trip from April 17-25. Secondly, I am inviting you to share in this mission vicariously by purchasing stock in our trip! You can purchase stock shares in increments of $100, $50, $25 or any amount you choose!

When you purchase stock, you'll receive an official stock certificate signed by members of the Youth Group. And you will receive an official photograph of the youth at the Appalachian Service Project.

To purchase shares of stock, please complete the information
below and mail it with a check (payable to The Eliot Church of Newton; please write Mission Trip STOCK in memo line of check) to:
The Eliot Church of Newton 474 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02458
Attention: Elizabeth

If you would like to purchase stock as a gift to another person, just include their name and address.

OR, you can donate online with a credit/debit card, please click below. Note that this is a paypal account that is set up to receive donations. You do not need to be a member of paypal to donate-just follow the instructions on the left side of the page.


Mission Trip FAQ
Who is going on the trip?
Our entire confirmation class plus one more which makes 8 youth. We have two seminary students, a parent, and myself going as the chaperones.

Where are you going?
Lee County, Virginia to participate in the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) during spring vacation week, April 17-24, 2010.

What is ASP, anyway?
Appalachia Service Project (ASP) is a ministry founded by the Methodist church that fosters human development by addressing the housing needs of Central Appalachia. The goal is to improve housing for families in need, while offering transformational experiences for families, volunteers and staff. The repairs made range from the ground up to the roof -- ASP even provides first-time electricity and indoor plumbing for many families
It's a long way from Boston. What will our youth gain from this experience?
*The opportunity for meaningful service to others
*An encounter with a different culture and value system
*A chance to develop work skills
*An experience to enlighten us that our differences are only perceived-deep down we all want to be loved and belong, to create and own something worthwhile-regardless of where we live, our economic status, education, or ethnic identity

And most of all, to do the work of mission and justice as Christ calls us in Matthew 25!

Thank you so much!!! Love, Karla

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I can't believe how infrequently I have been posting these days. Things have gotten a little hectic, and I have been spending so much time at the computer doing administrivia at work, I am sick of it by the time I get home, or have a free moment.

I miss writing...and connecting to that inner space of thought. I will be back, though, collect my thoughts and get some of them out of me and onto the page.

So, even though this isn't really a post, it's a base-toucher.

And touching base is always grounding.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

stuff and stuff and more stuff

I've not been blogging lately. Mostly because I have been busy, and if I have spare time, I am more likely to run downstairs to work on pots, or walk dogs, or just meditate.

Or, maybe I have nothing to say. Oh, but I said that before, didn't I!

The next two weeks, my congregation will be discussing the outcomes of a dialogue process in regards to the financial future of the church. The dialogues were really quite successful--a lot of people attended the small groups, were able to articulate what they love about our church, and had an opportunity to ask lots of questions. There are still more questions that are unanswered--sort of "need more information before an informed comment can be made."

However, the next steps will be extremely difficult, because the next steps require some sort of action--an action to do nothing, and continue how we are for another year while more study is engaged; an action to cut staff and programs....or some permutation of these or yet to be revealed solutions.

We have a large endowment. We aren't going to run out of money tomorrow. But the congregation wants to be mindful, and responsible--as well as wants to be vital and vibrant. I respect all of that.

I know there is a possibility that my position might be cut--not totally, I don't think--probably reduce my position. If they want to cut it totally, they won't throw me to the curb. They are good people.

It's important for them to figure out how the church can live within its means. It's important, too, for them to ask, "What is it that God is calling us to do, to be?"

I won't be here on Sunday for the forum where people are invited to discuss possible outcomes. I won't be here Tuesday, when the coordinating council will draft recommendations/motions for the congregation to vote on the following Sunday. I'm going to Chicago with my beloved for a work thing--not me, I am going to play!

My colleague will be preaching, and it is likely he won't participate in the forum, as we know they will be talking about staffing, and people may feel uncomfortable speaking freely. He may or may not participate in the co-council meeting. (We are SO congregational!).

But we have been praying together, a lot, praying for the process, for God's wisdom and guidance to permeate discussions and decisions. We have been praying for our beloved church, who is bravely and thoughtfully stepping into this challenge early enough to really be care-ful about thinking sustainably about its now, and its future.

It's a lot. But I am so proud of the process...and I pray that in these next steps that people will continue in respectful dialogue with each other and about the church. There are opportunities for divisiveness. My prayer is that there isn't. There are opportunities to slice and dice at the parts of the church's work that is the most vibrant. My prayer is that doesn't happen.

I don't have a strong opinion on what they should do. I know, though, that God does. My prayer is that we all listen to our still speaking God.