Sometimes the Roman Catholic requirement of celibacy for priests makes a lot of sense to me. It makes sense because celibacy is the only surefire way to avoid parenthood. And there are times when I feel like my role as a parent pulls me away from the work God calls me to do as a pastor.
Like those weeks when my carefully laid plans have gone awry and I find myself trying to write a sermon on Saturday. At our home. In between making breakfast, checking homework, and refereeing fights.
These Saturdays make me particularly testy because I do not do well writing in short spurts. I am a writer that needs to be in “the zone” to write a sermon. It might take me half an hour or so to get to “the zone,” but once I'm there, watch out keyboard because my fingers will start flying.
On Sunday June 27, 2010, members of The Young Clergy Women Project will gather for three days at the Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia for the Conference 2010: Leading as Ourselves: Discerning Models for Ministry. Together, we will learn from the wisdom of Rev. Melissa Clodfelter and Rev. Beth Kennett as well as build community as young clergy women. As the events unfold over these three days, you may be interested in what insights are being shared.
You might just wonder what in the world a bunch of young clergy women do when they get together. Well, we encourage you to follow our wonderings and wanderings through the various tools of social networking that you enjoy. We’ve asked a few women that will gather with us to blog, tweet and Facebook about their experiences and their insights; below the fold is more information.
Recently, I was planning a worship service that focused on the body of Christ--both the metaphor that Paul uses and the bread of communion. I could not find a hymn that tied these two things together, so I decided to write one. (This is the danger on weeks I do not preach--I find something besides a sermon to write.)
The words fit the same meter, 10 10 11 11, as "O Worship the King" (often sung to tune "Lyons"). I was aided in my efforts by a musician in the church. You are welcome to use this text is you wish. I would love to hear if there are other hymns that speak about the body of Christ.
"The Body of Christ" (based on I Corinthians 12)
The body of Christ alive in this place,
we are Christ's hands, his feet and his face.
Both women and men and the young and the old
each one is a part that we need for the whole.
June marks my last month as a contributing editor to Fidelia's Sisters. I wanted to commemorate the occasion by writing the last essay myself, a bookend to my first entry for "Called & Sent". The complicating factor is that I am in the middle of relocating from Southern California to suburban Chicago. Literally. As I type this (clumsily, with one finger on my iPod Touch), I'm in a jetplane somewhere over Utah. I can't make any promises that this will be the most eloquent column to ever grace the RSS feed of Fidelia's Sisters, but so long as I accomplish my one simple goal of gushing about the unmitigated wonderfulness that is The Young Clergy Women Project, my airsickness will not be for naught.
I’m having an argument with my red wiggler worms. They don’t seem to like their plastic compost bin home. When I check the bin each morning, I find escapees under various flower pots, and a game of “capture the worms” ensues, all before my morning tea. Sophie, my dog, enjoys the game. She’d like to help catch the worms, too, but she’d eat them. They should like their bin, filled with decaying fruit and vegetables, sloppy shredded newsprint, and some damp wood chips thrown in for good measure. A worm’s heaven, I think. Yet they crawl out.
Dave and I love exploring hole-in-the-wall restaurants, often finding that crumbly brick exteriors and ancient wood framings usually house chefs that can make ovens sing and griddles dance. Such a hole-in-the-wall opened a few months ago about a mile or so down from our street. “Marrakech” it’s called, a Middle Eastern café owned by a family from Morocco. The pastries quite literally melt in your mouth, the falafel is the best I’ve tasted, and Dave swears by their shawarma (one of his all-time favorite dishes since he tasted it from a street vendor in Jerusalem a few years ago). Opening the door is all it takes to overwhelm your nose with the smell of rich spices and fresh pita. Ordering simply requires walking up to the counter, letting the folks know what you want, and then having a seat while they fix it for you behind said counter.
A few weeks ago, I was alarmed by some Facebook activity I saw. A friend had “liked” a page titled “DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZIE. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARAH FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN.” While I recognize and respect that there are a variety of opinions on Facebook, I felt this group crossed a boundary of human decency. Its supporters say it is a joke and that it is not harming anyone. I feel that it is hateful to even joke about praying for someone’s death. The “joke” began with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as its target. It is hateful, regardless of the name inserted as the final favorite. What is further dismaying is to see the age range of the group’s supporters, including many who are not yet of voting age. What gives? Where is the civility? Where is the respect for the other?