Tuesday, April 30, 2013

writing my way through

in being gentle with myself,
I can err on the side of being lazy and non-reflective.
Well, maybe lazy, but the non-reflective isn't true.  I reflect, I muddle, I persiverate, I lose myself inside my unformed thoughts and forget to be present to my spouse, the moment, in my body...
you get it, right?

I am a big giant F on the Meyers Briggs (if you buy into that. I know that it has been debunked, kicked to the curb in some academic circles.)  The F seems to be pretty accurate for me, because I know that I simply feel, feel, feel before any words come to explain whatever the feeling is.

And in transition, I am a big giant F.  Feelings, no words.

It seems like a good idea to try to write a little, every day, even if I don't say anything.  Because, the feelings make me float.  The words, even if they don't make sense, ground me.  

I need the balance.


Honestly, I no idea in heaven or earth how I am being called.   I've been a pastor for the last 13 years, and a pretty good one.   I put my heart and soul into ministry, internally it feels right and good; and the external feedback is overwhelmingly positive.  

However...finding a call here has been confusing, to say the least.   It's sort of like a Goldilocks thing--I am too experienced, not enough experience, too old, too young, too gay, too creative...I don't know.
Enough about that--a rabbit hole I don't need to follow.

I need the balance.
Help me find Balance.  and Grace.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Losing the Love

I think I can process a little of my transition here, now, as I can tell my own story.

My congregation has been in transition the past two years--our SP resigned then.   In the scrambling of embracing the news, many people said, "Can't Karla just be our pastor?".   As flattering and affirming as that was,  I felt that it was important for me to support having an interim come in, as the SP had been with the congregation for 17 years.   I believe in intentional transition....although, in congregational polity, the congregation COULD do whatever it wanted.   Several congregations in my area have simply made the AP the SP, without the process, and the transitions have been fine.   However, for me, personally, I just felt that I needed to respect the work and possibility that emerges from interim ministry.  Especially the process of building a church profile.

There are myriad ways in which a search committee can choose to interview, when it is ready, an AP.  In some cases, it can use the Connecticut Conference model, which interviews the AP first, without receiving profiles of other candidates.  If the AP is not called, then, well, that person has already agreed to resign within six months (or before a new SP is called)--whatever is agreed upon.  This makes sense to me--it wouldn't be healthy to have an AP continue in an AP position when that person had been NOT selected to be SP.  Talk about possible opportunities for triangulation! undermining!--for ALL involved.

Another way to proceed is to open the search, and throw in the AP profiles in with all of the others.   This is what my congregation's search committee decided to do.   I wrestled a long time before I submitted my profile, because I had questions as to whether I could be a pastor and a candidate at the same time.  But, at the same time, I felt a call to this congregation.   So, with a bit of trepidation, I submitted my profile for consideration.   That was the first of October, 2012.  

I learned at the beginning of March, I was one of final three candidates.   On Wednesday, in Holy Week, I learned I was not the candidate of choice, and that the candidating weekend for the chosen candidate was the last weekend of April.   A month away--and yet the congregation wouldn't be notified until after Easter of the candidate.  So, three weeks.  

Immediately, with consult from colleagues, I crafted an exit plan, and wrote a letter of resignation.  Once I was a candidate for SP did I ever think I would stay as an AP, because of what I said earlier.  I wanted to make a way for the congregation to celebrate the new candidate.

So...it hasn't been easy, these past three weeks.  Some folk have expressed distress at my leaving, some have been surprised that I was NOT the SP candidate of choice, some folk truly bewildered that I would resign after learning that I wasn't the SP candidate.  Working out the details of leaving have been a little stressful, and disappointing.  I have moving with my own grief and sadness, along with wondering what the heck is next in ministry for me.  

It's been six years with this congregation.   I have loved them deeply.  We have done really great ministry.   I think what I am going to miss the most is the Love we have shared and built.   I know I won't lose love, but in a way, there is loss in leaving.   So it feels like it.

And so, I am sad.
I covet your prayers for this time of leaving.
Thank you.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday lazy

I had a slow start today...but then I realized, perhaps instead of thinking of it as a slow start, maybe I could think of it as a zen start.

As I listened to my beloved get up, feed the farmily, get ready for work, a parade of animals jumped on the bed for love. It was quite nice. First Lucy, then Eliot...and little snuggle with Cooper, and then Fenway needed some scritches behind the ears.

The eternal Nowness of the cats and dogs slowed and deepened my breathing. I rested in their funny sweet souls, and I was just content.

and ready for whatever will come my way.

I am grateful for these animal creatures who offer healing, and balm for my spirit.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Healing Space Friday Five

Over at RevGals, Deb shares the following Friday Five, for which I am grateful especially this morning as  my family and I are in lock-down because of the search for  Suspect #2 in the Boston Marathon bombings.  It's surreal...and so to focus on healing and comfort will be good. 

I am an enthusiastic newspaper reader. Lately, however, world events have made it hard to read and process the pain in the world around me. Perhaps you have struggled with this, too.

So, with the events of the violence and tragedy from the Boston Marathon fresh in our memories, I thought it would be good for us to focus on where as RevGalBlogPals, we find healing, peace and strengthening. As a chaplain, there are days where I never seem to catch my breath, and invariably, those are the days that I need it the most! So with all this in mind, share with us these healing things

1. A piece of music

2. A place
This would be Hawaii.

3. A favorite food (they call it "comfort food" for a reason)
Just kidding. But I am pretty sure an adult beverage will be comforting at the end of this day.  Right now, my comfort food is a lovely cup of coffee; and breakfast when my beloved gets finished with all of her conference calls (she is on the emergency management team at a Big University that never closes but it closed today).....

4. A recreational pastime (that you watch or participate in)
I love to hike.  This is a picture of the Fells, which is a huge wonderful green space really, really, really close to where we live. 

I also like to garden. In spite of not being hugely successful, I still enjoy harvesting a cucumber. Whoops. That's a zucchini.   There is a reason I might not be successful if I can't identify the vegetables I try to grow. 

5. A poem, Scripture passage or other literature that speaks to comfort you.
Also, Psalm 46. 
BONUS: People, animals, friends, family - share a picture of one or many of these who warm your heart.

I can get carried away here with the animal pictures. So I will stop now. 
Thanks for this Deb, again!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A prayer...

...this morning, I think, 
will be somewhat complicated,
and awkward.....
and I pray for grace.
Grace to open the way, 
grace to care for myself 
in the midst of this. 

sometimes I can 
accommodate to the point
where I might ignore myself
in order to 
to please others. 

balance, God, 
keep me in balance. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

wow. Friday Five Randomness!

Today, over at RevGals,  I wrote...
Can you believe it is April 12????  Have you finished your taxes?  Here in Boston, the city is abuzz with Boston Marathon anticipation.  We are finally hearing birds chirp in the morning, and even though it was in the low thirties last night, many of us are bravely sporting open-toed sandals.   None of this has anything to do Friday Five, except randomness.   So, in that spirit.......

1.  How are you doing?  What's going on in your life?
Well, the big thing is that I resigned from my position as associate pastor at a church I have served for the last six years.  I did this for a multiplicity of reasons, but I don't have a position to go to.  So, there is risk involved. 

2.  Have you ever resigned from a position?  What was the good-bye like?
Yes, all of them!  All of the good-byes, though, have been amazing, and deep and lasting.  And HARD. 

3. So, we are still resurrecting...still getting used to New Life!!  What is a source of new life for you?
I sound like a broken record, but the pottery studio on Fridays is like Sabbath to me. It renews my heart and soul and mind.  My hilarious animals.  
4.  My friend is running the marathon on Friday, because it is on her bucket list.  What is something on your bucket list? 
Truly, I want to live in Hawaii.  We have it on our life plan.  I love it there.  Other than that, I still haven't seen the  musicals Wicked or The Lion King. I was just thinking about that today. 

5.  Tell us the story of something precious you carry around with you, rests on your desk or altar. 
This could be a book.  But I will just name three.  First, I have my mother's High School ring.  I never wear it, but I love it.  Second, My stepfather's bowling team picture when they went to the American Bowling Congress Championships in St. Paul, MN in 1965!   Three, a tiny pinch pot that I made from clay from Jordan Lake in North Carolina, and fired in a wood firing in a metal trash can.  

On a final note, I am embarrassed I haven't blogged since December.   I think I have had a lot of unbloggable stuff that found its way into my journals.    I shall do better. I shall!