Saturday, November 1, 2014

November 1, 2014 Meeting Friends...

*I am participating in something called NaBloPoMo November 2014.  It is a challenge to write everyday during the month of November.  Saturday and Sunday are free writes, but Mary Beth over at RevGalBlogPals offered the following prompt:

RevGalBlogPals began around 2004/5 when a group of us somehow found each other on blogs. Today, write about how you met a friend/group of friends. Where? How? How has the relationship changed; how has it stayed the same?

It was my first day of third grade, and at a new school. 
Rickard Elementary.  My teacher was named Mrs. Russell, and to my 8 year old self she was old and not very warm.  Actually, in my mind, she looked like my Grandma Lee who died when I was very young.  So, I was a little scared.

Plus, we had only been living in "town" for about a year.  My mom had finally left my alcoholic father at the end of first grade--up until then, we had lived on our farm year round in Western North Dakota.   We spent second grade in a tiny rental house near the first town school I  had ever gone to.  Imagine, going from a two room school house, where the entire first grade was four children, to town school, where there were three sections of second grade, 25 kids in a class!  Not a great situation for a shy withdrawn 8 year old.  But I made it through, made some friends, and was fine, for the most part. 

But then, my mom remarried.  And with that marriage, we moved to a different neighborhood, and a different school and now there was Mrs. Russell.  And a room full of 8 year olds.  

I went home for lunch that first day, and my step-dad asked me if a certain girl was in my class.  Turned out, her sister was either married/dating my stepbrother (who I barely knew).  I can't remember the exact timing.   Indeed she was in my class, and went I went back to the playground to look for her. 

My memory is that she was playing marbles, but that could be fuzzy.  I know we met on the playground.   And we became fast friends.  Dear friends.  We were in the same class in 3, 4, 5 grade; and during junior high and senior high we continued to hang out. If it hadn't been for her,  I think I would have been so very lost.  I considered her my best friend.  My heart friend. Soul friend.  For years we kept a journal, that we passed back and forth, writing to each other intermittently and mailing it back and forth......we have stayed connected closely and loosely for the past 43 years.  Perhaps more loosely in the past years, but to this day, I know she would have my back if I needed her.    And I am grateful.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Summer Weekday, and a Prayer

I haven't written much for the past, oh, five months.
But, I haven't really taken the time...I have been writing in other places--sermons, prayers, Facebook, etc.

Today, though, it is very quiet in the office. I am now the only one here--the office is only open from 9-12, T-W-Th....and I have been taking my time today to do a few things I have wanted to do, but not gotten around to.  Except for the two big things I really need to get to, which is the church website, and vacation bible school.

Well, I did make 8 phone calls on advocating for the passing of a state bill regarding gun violence.  That's good ministry, right?

I find myself thinking back to a year ago.   What a sad internal space I was in, as I was in limbo professionally.  I am so grateful to have moved out of that space, and grateful to be in this interim place of ministry.  It's exactly where I needed to land, and thank God that God knew that.  I don't know if I was too sure, but I am glad that I said "yes!"

I am coming up on 14 years of ordained ministry.  Most of that ministry has been as an associate pastor, with lead pastoring during sabbaticals and medical leaves.   Somehow, I think this is viewed as a blight on my record--but I have to say it's been great to have colleagues.   I imagine my next move being to a solo or lead pastor; but it may not be.  I was thinking that I need to remember that 14 years is a whole lot of rich experience, and that there is pretty much nothing I haven't experienced, and yet everyday is different and new.  

....and so I continue reflecting....on a warm Thursday afternoon.  I met with my clergy community of practice, and what a beautiful, strong, smart group of colleagues.  I don't know how I got so lucky to land in this group, but it is a saving grace, monthly.

I am thinking about Matthew 13 today. About Words.  About parables.
About mustard seeds and leaven, treasures and pearls and fish.

With that, I am going to simmer and go for a walk.

Dear God,
For this moment, this holy ordinary moment,  I give you thanks.
As I yell at the puppy "no, LEAVE IT" and the birds sing outside my window,
As a cat mewls, and traffic swishes by,
I give you thanks.
As I remember sweet conversation with ministers,
and enjoy a salad with herbs from my garden and fresh roasted corn,
I give you thanks.

I pray for all the places in the world that are going to hell in a hand basket.
Child immigrants, war refugees, planes lost, planes gunned down,
Roiling weather,  a Holy land in fear and trembling and terror for all.
God have mercy.
God have mercy.
God have mercy.

Move my heart God,
to be more justice in my life,
to love more fiercely and courageously,
to walk with confidence and humbleness,
into how and who and what You have called me to be and do.

In the spirit of brother Jesus I pray,

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sunday Prayer, Epiphany 4A, February 2, 2014

Holy One, 
You who calls us before mountains and hills, asking us to remember, all of what you have done, we shout to you our praise and thanksgiving, so that all of the valleys and foundations of the earth might hear of your deeds. 
And when we forget to remember your presence, your working in our lives, we pray for forgiveness. We pray for your wisdom to move us to open our hearts and minds to you. 
We pray for our world, 
for places that are wrought with war and fear, where refugees are forgotten, where children and elders are hungry because of the foolishness and hardheartedness of too many. We pray for shards of your blessing to break through to those who mourn, who hunger, who are poor in spirit.  May they be comforted and filled and taste a bit of heaven somehow, some way.  Help us to remember those suffer, and to never forget. 
We pray for our leaders, our teachers, our mentors, and more--especially for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for our earth home and for those who are persecuted.  We pray for those who aren’t afraid to speak out, to appear foolish in the eyes of so many others, when they advocate for peace, for fair wages, for decent housing, for social services that work, for laws to protect children and elders; and ways to address climate change. 
We pray for those around us, in our hearts, and next to us in the pews, for your spirit to protect them, challenge them, move them closer to your love. 
Oh Holy One, you who calls us to testify before mountains and hills of your glory,  may we serve this world in which you have given us life, 
by doing your justice, by loving all kindness, and walking humbly with You in all of the moments of our lives.