Showing posts from June, 2008

God is Still Speaking!

I love my friend Jan and her blog, Yearning for God . She is amazing. She got into some trouble recently (persecution ?) for posting about some issues for which she is a passionate advocate, one of those issues being homosexuality and how the church should be a place where all are loved and celebrated. My own church recently voted to officially be Open and Affirming. I love the statement the church came up with: We, the congregation of __________________ , declare ourselves to be Open and Affirming. We strive to be a congregation that includes all persons, embracing differences of sexual orientation, gender and its expression, marital status, age, mental and physical health and ability, racial and cultural identity or background, and educational or socioeconomic status. We welcome all to share in the life, leadership, ministry, fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities, blessings and joys of our congregation's life in Christ. That statement not only says we welcome and cele

The Final Word on Jeremiah Wright

Please read this transcript. Especially the part I put in bold. It's soooo good, so on-target, I think: BILL MOYERS : Welcome to the Journal. I once asked a reporter back from Vietnam, "Who's telling the truth over there?" "Everyone," he said. "Everyone sees what's happening through the lens of their own experience." That's how people see Jeremiah Wright. In my conversation with him on this broadcast a week ago and in his dramatic public appearances since, he revealed himself to be far more complex than the sound bites that propelled him onto the public stage. Over 2000 of you have written me about him, and your opinions vary widely. Some sting: "Jeremiah Wright is nothing more than a race-hustling, American hating radical," one viewer wrote. A "nut case," said another. Others were far more were sympathetic to him. Many of you have asked for some rational explanation for Wright's transition from reasonable conversati

"No Longer I Who Live But Christ Who Lives Within Me"

This came from a friend of mine in California, Michael. It's a column by Jim Burklo who at one point was Michael's pastor. The column is about "The Bible and Eckart Tolle." Pretty interesting. Sadly, another friend of mine, Kathy at My Heart Leaps , tells me that Oprah has been the recipient of some nastiness by the Christian Right for helping spread the wisdom of Tolle's new book. Breaks my heart to hear of that. Anyway, here is the article by Jim Burklo: The Bible and Eckhart Tolle A few weeks ago a young friend of mine asked if we could talk, so we had lunch together. She knew that there had been a period in my life when I coped with the serious mental illness of one of my family members. She wanted to hear more about how I handled it. That set me off on a long story about that difficult period in my family's life. I got pretty animated about it - telling about it brought up a lot of feelings for me. Finally, I asked her how my story related to her own, and

Drumming Circle

D and I had a new experience last week. We went to a Drumming Circle. Total fun. There were about 12 of us, sitting on chairs in a circle. Lots of different types of drums were available for us to choose, and even other kinds of percussion instruments, and a native American flute. At the back of the room were some large pretty scarves and ribbons and a huge gong. (Oh, that gong was absolutely Amazing. The vibration went from the tip of my toes to the top of my head!) The guy who welcomed us was the leader (even though he said there was no leader), and he started us off by playing a huge drum--deep, low tones. Just random beats and we all followed suit with our own random beats that all seemed to echo the main beat, it seemed to me.... ...Several crescendos that arose on their own... ...then it would die down again... ...get chaotic... ....come into a new kind of syncopated rhythm... ....over and over again.... ....and finally everything just got quiet and that was the end of that "

Courage to move forward

I'm preaching on hospitality this Sunday--Abraham and the three visitors. But I'm using Psalm 85 (truth and mercy meeting, righteousness and peace kissing) as quoted by General Lowenheilm in Babette's Feast as my main example of the possibilities evoked through true Christian hospitality. It's difficult to be open and trusting of other people. We're so programmed to categorize and judge. I find myself doing that now with a couple of people in my life. As much as I want to allow and receive the unique gift each person may give me, there are many supposed "upsides" to knowing and certainty. Upsides to my false ego mostly. The results of cultural constructions foisted upon me without my awareness years ago. That's one awareness I've had lately. But lately, also, I've been feeling some unrest. This morning was suppose to be spent finishing the sermon, then tackling one of about a dozen other things on my Action Items list. Instead, alone i

Evening Prayer

I started an Evening Prayer service at my church last week. It's in the tradition of Taize. Just a 25 minute service. I set it up in the chapel, which has some beautiful stained glass windows, and put about 100 candles of all shapes and sizes. We sing three Taize songs, do intercessory prayer, silence, two Scripture readings using three different translations, and I decided to serve each person communion. As the service ended tonight, I just sat there for about 10 minutes all alone. I kept thinking, God is real. God is real. God is real. It's something about the beauty. God inhabits it and I can experience the divine so easily through it. Beauty.

Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica . Do you know it? Humans on the planet Caprica created a race of robot machines who evenually rebelled against them. War. Finally, a truce. For 40 years they the humans hear nothing from the Cylons. Out of nowhere, the Cylons attack, nearly wiping out the human race. The 41,000 human beings who survive find spaceships and take off into space, a remnent led by the only surviving battlestar: Galactica. Galactica's commander is William Adama. He has a son, Lee Adama (aka Apolla, a fighter pilot) Commander Adama's second in command is Saul Tigh . He has a drinking problem. The best pilot in the fleet is Kara Thrace , (aka Starbuck). She was engaged to Adama's other son, Zac, but he died. She and Lee (the still-alive son) have a thing for each other. OK, so after 40 years of truce, the Cylons come out of nowhere to attack, nearly wiping out the human race. The Cylons had been treated like slaves for millenia and they hated their human oppressors. W

campaigning for Obama

There was a knock on the door last night. D opened it, and I heard him say, "Well, you have the right buttons on!" He invited them in. Two Obama delegates to the state convention, here to visit Young Man with Integrity who is also an Obama delegate. All will be traveling to the convention later this week. Young Man with Integrity now has his own apartment, so they didn't get to talk to him, but we thoroughly enjoyed our conversation with them. Both were young and articulate and soooo excited about Obama's chances. Lovely Passionate Feminist joined the conversation and I heard her say, for the first time, that after she finishes college she plans to get heavily involved in Democratic politics. Yes!

Embodied Fun. Wow.

I went to an afternoon of Interplay yesterday. It's an amazing experience. The leader for the afternoon, Rebecca, explained that the whole idea of Interplay is play --to have some fun with movement, rhythm, voice and vocalizing....And it IS fun--I had a great time. As we move and let go, however, some deep emotions may come forth. People find themselves crying or angry or sullen for reasons they might be conscious of, or not. Our bodies carry unexpressed emotion. Our cells have their own kind of wisdom. I knew everyone there, except Rebecca the leader, [Jan, your dear friend JT was there] so I felt safe from the get-go. Interplay has four basic movements: swing, thrust, hang and...4th--oops, can't remember. Anyway, one of the most interesting moments came when we were doing hand movements with a partner. As the music played we were touching hand to hand, and moving, dancing--at some points I led, and at other times, my friend K led. Much of the time we had our eyes closed, but