Showing posts from August, 2008

'Courage to Lead' in Congregations

I've just returned from a two-day retreat for 'Courage to Lead' for Congregations. We are taking the 15-month series of Courage retreats (for clergy) that I participated in 2006-2007 into our congregations. Pretty amazing stuff. We each invited 3 or 4 lay members of our churches, ending up with 26 people in the Circle of Trust. (See Parker Palmer's Hidden Wholeness. ) I've written before about how I realized that the series of Courage retreats were about practicing what church should be like . I'm very excited about the prospect of actually seeing church cultures slowly change. The change can come about, I think, as people learn to EMBODY the Courage To Lead touchstones . Here are a few of my favorites: Speak your truth in ways that respect other people's truth. Our views of reality may differ, but speaking one's truth in a circle of trust does not mean interpreting, correcting or debating what others say. Speak from your center to the center of the circ

"Honey, it's Joe Biden"

Saturday morning. 7 a.m. The familiar voice of Scott Simons' Weekend Edition wakes us up. "JOE BIDEN." I'm brushing my teeth when I hear it. David is still in bed. I come out and before I can say it, he does: "Honey, it's Joe Biden." Both of us had been pulling for a surprise announcement of Hillary Clinton as his running mate, so we're both initially a bit disappointed. How EXCITING a Hillary VP nomination would have been! Wow! But Joe Biden? He's been around so long, part of the Washingon establishment. I thought Obama was trying to change Washington. Guess he thinks he needs a long-time insider to do that. Knowing she'll still be asleep in her dorm room, I text Lovely Passionate Feminist, who left me a message last night to let her know when we heard something. Two word text message: J-o-e B-i-d-e-n Two hours later she texts me back: W-h-y-? Apparently she shares our initial ho-hum response. But as the day has gone on and we've heard m

A hope and a prayer in this liminal time

Something's different in my life. It's requiring a little adjustment. For the first time in my married life (all four years of it), we have no children at home. The house is just home to me and David. It feels sad, kind of empty. When David and I married, Young Man with Integrity (YMI) was 19 and a sophomore in college. Several people told me that would be a problem for our marriage--okay, not a problem automatically, but they warned me that it could cause extra stress at a time when you're learning to live together as a couple. But, no, it didn't cause a problem or extra stress. YMI is quiet and easy to get along with. I appreciated the chance to get to know him, and he was a HUGE help to me last year when I got so sick just as David had a bunch of important traveling scheduled. YMI moved out in May, just as Lovely Passionate Feminist (LPF) moved in for the summer. She's back in her dorm at college now, and it was extremely sad to see her go. She had eased the adju

A Sunday Evening Psalm Prayer

From Thomas Merton's A Book of Hours: Psalm Prayer I entered into the everlasting movement of that gravitation which is the very life and spirit of God: God's own gravitation towards the depth of God's own infinite nature, God's goodness without end. And God, that center who is everywhere, and whose circumference is nowhere, finding me, through incorporation with Christ, incorporated into this immense and tremendous gravitational movement which is love, which is the Holy Spirit, loved me. And God called out to me from God's own immense depths. Silence

Coming Home and Something New on my Blog

I'm home! We drove straight through. Twelve hours from Pensacola. The girls slept a good portion of the way in the back seat. I relieved D as driver for about an hour, but then found my eyelids closing of their own accord. The rest of the time I played FreeCell on my computer. Over 80 games I played. Yup. That was Saturday. Sunday I drove into church, thinking how eager I was to be there. After church it was back home to meet a couple of friends. The three of us drove to San Antonio where we stayed until Wednesday this week -- Yes, I've had my share of being in the car for a while! Vacation was a dream--I'll post some pictures below. And so was San Antonio, where I participated in the reunion of my Courage to Lead group. "Oasis in the Desert through a Circle of Trust" was the theme. Think about it: How often to we get to be part of a group of people who are all there in order to provide a safe place for the soul to show up? Parker Palmer likens the soul to a wild

Reflections while vacationing

I've been reading John O'Donohue this morning. Anam Cara , which is his book about soul friends. I read his profound words, words drenched in beauty, and I can feel my soul open. What wonder that evokes in me. We live our lives so busy, so goal-oriented that we--No. Let me put this in the first person--I am so busy, so oriented toward getting things done, that I have spent my long-anticipated vacation actually working on a paper due soon for an interview about dual standing in the UCC. Finally, last night, I realized what I was doing, and today has been a completely different experience. Reading O'Donohue, I am transported to a different, and I think more real, reality. Zen taught me that "This is it." This moment. This place. This body. When I am awake, aware, conscious of my being in time and space, then I am alive. This aliveness this morning, reading O'Donohue and stopping frequently to reflect, brought an opening of my soul. Through this opening came ...