this is no longer my blog

Monday, January 31, 2005

 

all i can say is "holy flaming crap balls"

Since I started this blog, I have become aware of some other blogs that are out there. Some I know reach theological heights that I can't, or at least don't, on a day-to-day basis. Others share non-obviously/blatantly theological insights about their day and their parenting skills (or lack thereof). And there are others that are nestled somewhere in between. I would like to think mine is one of those, sharing fun experiences that occur (like raccoon roadkill or furnace room crawlspaces) mixed with some random theological insights.
One in particular that I have gotten into the habit of checking daily (or sometimes more often, since I seem to have a shortage of a social life since beginning internship) is pomomusings, by a student at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Adam (that's his name, and since he doesn't feel the need to protect his identity on his website, I don't feel the need to protect it here, so there will be no name in quotation marks) posted a picture on his blog, with a hookah and some bottles of random types of alcohol. The title of the picture was "I Love Seminary." I think most seminarians that I know of would smile and chuckle at this picture, realizing that at least the drinking part is a reality of many peoples' seminary experience. Well, this poor guy received horrible comments, some questioning his character as a person or future minister because he was "glorifying" the use of alcohol and tobacco products. why not check it out yourself, and that way - if you didn't know - you can also figure out what a hookah (or as he calls it a sheeshah) is, too. click here. And I'm not a big commenter on other peoples' blogs, they could go for days and days and not have any idea that I was reading what they had to say. But I felt the need to comment, basically just saying give the poor guy a break. All these people come with their judgmental, holier-than-thou attitudes (and yes, i'm aware that i am guilty of it, as well... probably even in calling their attitudes judgmental and holier than thou... LEAVE ME ALONE!!!) saying comments like
i'm sorry, but that picture is just sad and is an example of how relativistic our future church leaders are becoming.
and
Perhaps this is where your readers are at... but you're in grad school, Adam, and seminary to boot. Maybe its time to reconsider how you conceptualize where you're at and what you are doing here.
And you just want to say something like... Well, go read my comment that I left and that's close to what I'd want to say.
So yeah, in solidarity with Adam, I am going to post a picture of booze on my blog, too. So take that!

lovely day for a guinness! Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 27, 2005

 

g-funk the raccoon slayer

Okay, so first G-Funk is my car. It is so named because it used to be my grandparents' car, but after my grandpa passed away they were going to sell it back to the dealer, because my grandma can't drive. But at that time I had a little white ford escort named Lewis, and a new car wouldn't have hurt. So I took over car payments of the car and named it G-Funk... which could be because it's a gold ford taurus (supposedly, more of a beige, really) so it could be Gold Funk... but really it stands for Grandpa Funk, because he was definitely a funky grandpa.
Anyway, I was bored and so I was driving G-Funk around last night and was on my way back from a drive to the podunk town from last night when all of the sudden a raccoon ambles out into the road. Now, I did NOT maliciously aim G-Funk at the enlarged rodent, in fact (you would have laughed if you were there, and those of you who have spent time with me can probably imagine me doing this) I swerved my car to the left, leaned over to the left in my seat, lifted my legs off of the ground and screamed two short bursts like this: "Aaaah! Aaaah!" and then WUBTHUMP!! G-Funk had made his kill.
Really, it was neither my fault nor G-Funk's fault. It was that stupid raccoon for thinking that was the right time for a jaunt across the road. And although there is some remorse at the thought of ending the life of a living thing, the darn raccoon asked for it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

 

podunk

I went to a nearby podunk town today, to shop at the mall. I had to drive to this neighboring podunk town, because the town I live in, although roughly the same size, is even more podunk in the fact that they don't have a mall. They don't even have a Wal-Mart, although one is coming... Now, I've only been further than the JC Penney in this mall once before, and even then I didn't walk all the way to the end. The only other stores I've been in are the Hallmark and the Waldenbooks. But today as I was walking I noticed a store I hadn't seen before. There were two words in the store name, and as I got closer I could definitely see the first word was "Urban." As I got closer I could make out a little more of the word below it. "Okay," I thought, "I see an O..." I got closer. "There's a U..." A little closer. "A T... OH MY GOSH DOES THIS DINKY LITTLE MALL IN A PODUNK TOWN HAVE AN URBAN OUTFITTERS?!?!?" I was in a state of disbelief. I am a fan of some of the things that one can buy from an Urban Outfitters. My pace quickened. There was a bounce in my step. I was extremely excited that there was an Urban Outfitters in this mall, regardless of the small voice of doubt still festering inside me. I got closer and finally I could figure out the second word: OUTLET. There was a store called Urban Outlet. And it was a stupid store for teeny bopper girls who think they're all cool and ghetto. HELLO! You live in small town Illinois!! You are by no means ghetto. Even if you shop at a store that claims to be URBAN, in a town of about 15,000 there is nothing urban about it. So there! They may have fooled me into getting excited at the prospect of an Urban Outfitters, but I SO totally put them in their place.
I was totally the winner in this instance.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

 

journey into the deep, dark, scary unknown

I have not had the best luck with some of my appliances (read appliance hell for more about that). Well, everything has been behaving appropriately for a while now, and so I guess I lulled into a sense of peacefulness. That was until I went shopping and bought some foods that need to be kept frozen. I opened my freezer door and went to sit the food on the bottom of the freezer, and it splashed. I thought "That was weird, the freezer isn't supposed to have water in it. What's up with that?" There was a bag of frozen chicken breasts on the bottom, and I thought perhaps that they had thawed out, but then there was ice in the tray, so then if the chicken thawed the ice would have melted... Wait a minute... When did my ice maker and tray become a waterfall? And wouldn't you know it, the tube that connects in the back to my icemaker and is responsible for putting the water in that later becomes ice, was continuously flowing, so the ice box/tray thing had filled up with water and was now overflowing and the bottom of the freezer had a layer of water. "That's not right," I said as I closed the door and went to the back of the fridge. I did the first thing I thought of, which was pull the tube out of the back of the fridge. Well, this resulted in water being spurted all over, so I grabbed a metal bowl and placed it on the floor and put the tube in it. Hmmmm....., I thought, that won't work. It's just going to fill with water in like a minute and then start overflowing. So I crimped the hose so that the water stopped, and then put a clothes pin on it so that it would stay that way. Then I followed the tube to see where it went, and it went down through the floor to, wouldn't you know it, the furnace room. The furnace room that makes such noises as to convince me that a strange man lives down there and hits and kicks things. So I boldly went down into the furnace room and looked around. There was a panel that could be taken out, so I did that, and there is a rather large crawlspace. Oh my, I thought. Maybe that's how the man gets in and out of my house. He just comes in through the crawl space to hit and kick things, and then leaves through the crawl space. But regardless of the purpose of the crawlspace, I did not want to go in there.
So I went back over to church and enlisted the help of my supervising pastor who seems to be much more savvy when it comes to this types of things. So he comes over with me and we start inspecting things and he gets on a little step stool with a flash light and says "Yep, unfortunately it goes into the crawlspace." (I had already told him about the crawlspace and my innate fear of this space. So we take the panel off of the crawlspace and it is a dark space, with random stuff strewn about it, such as pine cones and boxes. I say that it looks like some wild animal could live in there. Pastor says probably, but probably not right at this moment. So it is my duty to climb into the crawlspace and turn off the valve which we have found. So I start shining the flashlight around to make sure there are no angry opossums or raccoons (have I mentioned my hatred of raccoons? yes, i think i did so in trail of carnage revisited). So really I'm afraid that I'll climb halfway in and a raccoon will start mauling my face. As funny as that would be to watch happen to someone else, the prospect of having a rabid raccoon attached to my face by its teeth and claws is NOT on the top of any of my lists of priorities, and so I was very careful before I climbed in. There were no raccoons, just one of the largest pine cones I have ever seen and a random large yellow plastic duck. Don't ask, I have no idea. So I climb into this portal to the deep, dark, scary unknown, and shut off the water. So that solved that problem. We found out after we walked back up that it was a problem with the pump in the fridge that pumps water into the ice maker, so we unhooked that, too. I said it wasn't a big deal because I didn't use enough ice to necessitate an automatic ice maker. And although it was handy, it was not necessary by any means. So now I have to make my own ice, which means I should go get some ice trays. But that was my excitement today.

Monday, January 24, 2005

 

unfortunately...

this comic strip could be a direct commentary on the state of my life...

pearls before swine Posted by Hello

(and i apologize that i lack the technological know-how to make it bigger)

 

just so you know...

if you look into the back of your fridge, and find a tupperware that contains turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes from thanksgiving, and you take it out and open it up... it will stink and you will almost die from the stench.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

 

mish mash

So, several things worth mentioning today:

1. The church's annual meeting. I got myself ready for a knockdown, dragout fight. Ever since the church went out on a limb a couple of years ago, and took out a loan to buy some adjoining property and the daycare that was on that property, and became a large sum of money in debt, there has been a group of people within the church that have wanted to cut the budget like crazy so that we can get out of debt as quickly as possible. They've wanted to get rid of the youth director position, they've wanted to get rid of the intern pastor position, they've wanted to get rid of the daycare, anything to cut costs and get out of debt. And the daycare has been an issue of much discussion in council meetings and the issue of the church budget ALWAYS gets reactions from people. So, since the annual meeting was where the budget for this year would be voted on, I was expecting a big discussion. They were also voting whether or not to continue the internship program after I finish my year here. So everything was going smoothly, and then it came time to approve the added $14,700 it costs to fund an intern. One woman in the congregation raised her hand and asked if this was something we were going to continue, or if we should get rid of it because of financial issues. The council president, God bless her, says, "Well, we vote on it every year and it's been passed every year." And the woman says "I understand that, but I was just wondering whether or not we were going to continue." And then someone said, basically, that that was what this vote was about. To decide if we should continue, or not. So a man in the congregation raised his hand and said that as he understood it the budget for this year is in the black, even with the intern program figured in. And the president said yes, that was true. The man then asked that even if we approved the internship program for next year, the seminary might not pick us as a site. Then supervising pastor said that the seminary is in dire need of internship sites for next year. And our church has the reputation of being a good site. So I raised my hand and said "Can I add something?" and the pastor and president both said "Of course!" Then everyone in the congregation turned and looked at me (I was standing in the back). So I said that when I found out where I was going for my internship, I had two professors come up to me. One said I was getting one of the best supervisors, and the other said I was getting one of the best sites. And I thought it would be a shame to share neither of those with another intern next year. People clapped. Then they voted, and they're getting another intern next year. Talking with my pastor later, I said that I should have told them that they should agree to get an intern because no matter who they get next year, the person is guaranteed to be better than me. My pastor said I shouldn't set up such expectations that the person following me would have trouble meeting. I think it was a compliment. I'm not sure.... Anyway, back to the annual meeting, the church council treasurer did such a good job presenting the budget that there was no discussion. The big discussion point would have been the internship program, but since they passed that first, it was a non-issue when it came to the budget. And this is the first time in a long time that the budget for the year has been in the black. So who can argue with that?

2. The funeral. It went pretty well. It was basically just the family, and then a few others. Overall, like 18-20 people at the funeral, and 10 of those were family. I led the service and preached my sermon, and then we went out to the cemetery. I didn't think I did a stellar job, but I thought I did okay. A member from the congregation who happened to be a pall bearer told me I did a good job, but I think he knew it was my first funeral so he was being supportive. Well, fast forward to Sunday afternoon, I came home from church, changed clothes and ran to the store to get some things I needed. Come home and there is a message on my answering machine. It is supervising pastor and he's telling me I have another funeral this coming week. It's the husband of the woman whose funeral I just did... And the family has requested me to do the funeral. So I guess I must have done a pretty good job, if they're wanting me back...

3. I'm some sort of youth guru. After the annual meeting I had a couple parents come up to me, and they hand me this letter they got from the high school. It's a behavior report for their son, who seems to be disrespectful and disruptive in class. They wondered if I had any ideas. Okay, so I was a bit flabbergasted. Most often I am accused of acting like a high schooler, not being asked for advice on how to handle one...!!! I had no idea what to tell these parents, but they said that since I've been here they've seen a major turn around in their daughter, how she seems less depressed and not hanging out with the wrong crowd so much, and when she gets back from Sunday night Bible studies she just jabbers and jabbers, which is something she hasn't done for a while. So they want to see if I can help with their son now. Sort of honored, that people see me that way at church, really flabbergasted that people see me that way at church, and totally clueless as to what to do/tell the parents.


Saturday, January 22, 2005

 

i'm sick and tired...

literally.
My nose is stuffy. And I'm tired from lack of sleep last night.
AND I WAS TRICKED!!! I was told that the 6th grade retreat was this evening, and that supervising pastor and I were in charge of talking about Martin Luther and the Reformation and the Large and Small Catechisms and all that wonderful stuff. I was supposed to share a bit about the lesser known Katie Luther, and how she met Marty and how they got married and all that. I asked when I needed to be there to help and pastor said somewhere between 6 and 7, but closer to 6. So I come over at 6, and we didn't start our little presentation UNTIL 9:00. THREE HOURS LATER!
And then, we're sitting there after we did our presentation (and pastor took longer on his part and then let the kids go before I even did my part) and pastor tells me that the pastor and intern usually stick around until midnight.
And I have no idea what I'm doing still up. I goofed around with the kids and so now I kind of have that adrenaline energy, but my mind is telling me I'm tired. So I might go lay down. I need sleepy.

Friday, January 21, 2005

 

point of clarification

A visitor to my blog said:

At 7:49 AM, Anonymous said...
If I remember your pic, you are cute enough to flirt with. To bad you are celibate. And speaking of pics, when will we see YOU in your pastor clothes?


which deserves a bit of clarification.
First, thanks for the compliment.
Second, I am chaste NOT celibate. There is a difference. Although I covered this in a previous post, I will go over it again just for convenience's sake.

The definition of celibacy is: 1 : the state of not being married
2 a : abstention from sexual intercourse b : abstention by vow from marriage.
To be celibate means that marriage and sex are out of the picture. Period. There is no chance for engaging in either.

The definition of chastity is: 1 : innocent of unlawful sexual intercourse
2 : CELIBATE 3 : pure in thought and act : MODEST, CHASTE primarily implies a refraining from acts or even thoughts or desires that are not virginal or not sanctioned by marriage vows. So, with chaste, while it CAN mean the same thing as celibate, it implies that there is the option someday for marriage and then sex within those marriage vows.

So I am chaste. Not celibate. Certainly do hope to get married someday.

As for seeing me in my pastor clothes? Hmmmm.... we'll see.
Anyway, gotta run to church now to finish getting ready for the funeral...

 

What am I still doing up?

GOOD QUESTION!!!!!
So tomorrow is a first, for me.
One the THE firsts that I was not looking forward to in my internship.
My first funeral.
That I'm doing BY MYSELF!
Funerals were probably THE thing at the top of my list of "Things I am Definitely Not Looking Forward to Doing." I even talked with my supervising pastor about that, asking him that I get a chance to sit in with him as he meets with a family and goes about getting ready for a funeral. Just last week I asked him about that.
Then I go on the jr high youth event (you remember, the one with cheeseball girl) and I come home and go to contemporary worship leader practice and Supervising says "Are you ready?"
"For what?" I say.
"Friday."
"What's Friday?"
"The funeral."
"Oh, am I helping?"
"No, you're doing it."
WHATTHEHOWINTHEHOLYFLYINGPOOPBALLSWORLDAREYOUTALKINGABOUT?!?!
[i think that was my literal inner monologue at that moment. Word for word. I kid you not.]
So yeah, I had to call the son of the woman who passed away. Arrange a meeting with him and his two sisters who were flying in from Oregon and Hawaii for the funeral. So I did that, after much pacing around the office and some freaking out. Once I got that out of the way I began freaking out about meeting with them at the funeral home this evening and then the sermon I'm supposed to preach for tomorrow. Leading the service won't be too bad. It's all there written out for you in the wonderful Occasional Services book. But the sermons aren't. The sermons have to come from me. And I didn't know this woman. I'd never met her or any members of her family. The funeral home called and asked Supervising if he'd be willing to do it. I was out of town. He volunteered me.
So about 20 minutes ago I finally finished my sermon. After writing a little bit, then telling myself I needed to go to bed. Then rolling around in bed unable to stop worrying about my sermon. So I got up and wrote some more. Then I went back to bed. Then I rolled around some more, unable to stop worrying about my sermon. So then I got up and wrote some more. And now I think I'm done. So that relieves some of the pressure. There's still the whole going to the funeral home tomorrow, and then the service and, oh yeah, PREACHING THE SERMON. But I think it is a pretty okay sermon. The woman liked to garden, so I picked a part of the Gospel of John that talks about how a grain of wheat must first die and be buried in the earth before it will bear any fruit.
But now I can't breathe out of one nostril (yeah, that's right, throw into this mix that I'M GETTING SICK), so I took my last decongestant thingie a little bit ago. But I seem to be on one of my "HOLY COW I'M SO NERVOUS" kicks that I can't relax and go to bed.
What? You have a nervous problem? (I can hear you asking that) And yes, yes I do.
I'm the guy who, after moving to a new town and school the summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school psyched myself out so much that I got a nervous condition where I couldn't eat without puking it up immediately afterwards. My stomach was just so upset that I couldn't keep anything down. So we went to the doctor and he prescribed me a pill which I've since convinced myself that it was probably just a placebo, because my sickness was totally in my head. Which would then only make sense that the cure was in my head, as well.
Anyway, I'm going to go try to lay down and get some sleep. Please remember me at about 10:30 central time. I'll need your thoughts and prayers!
Oh, and in case you're wondering, the coverage of the 1000th visitor blog party is almost done. In case you couldn't tell, I've had OTHER THINGS on my mind...

Thursday, January 20, 2005

 

rough in the jewel

So there is a chain of grocery stores in these here parts called Jewel. And I had a craving for some mountain dew so i drove to my local Jewel to get some. Well, they were on sale - four six packs of 24 oz bottles for $10. Well, I'd like to think that I'm capable of some sort of restraint and realized that there was no way I needed 24 bottles of soda, so I only bought two six pack thingies.
As I walked up to the cash register, there was only one line open and a guy had just walked into that line before I got there. But there were two self-checkout lines open. So I decided to use the self checkout line. So I walk up, push the button that says I want it in English, and right then the light for a second line flips on and the customer in the other lane says "Look at him [meaning me]," he didn't even want to go through your line."
I look up, see the light on and say, "Oh, I didn't notice. I would have gone through your line..." Then I ring up one pack of my mt dew and sit it in the bagging area. It rang up correctly, but as soon as I sat it in the bagging area this loud computerized voice said "Unknown object in the bagging area. Please remove object from bagging area." So I pick it up and sit it elsewhere. Well, this employee comes storming over and says "Oh!!! You broke it!"
So I said, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to!"
"If you're going to break it," she says, "make sure you break it like that one over there." and she nods towards one that is apparently broken.
"I'll try better next time," I said. She waves her little employee name tag/bar code in the scanner and it fixes the problem and she leaves. So I scan my next mountain dew pack. I put it in the bagging area' "Unknown object in the bagging area. Please remove object from bagging area."
So my friend comes storming back over. "What'd you do THIS time?" she asks. "Oh," she says, looking at the screen "You didn't scan this one."
"But I did! It made the noise!"
"It didn't say a price, did it? I swear, it's a guy thing. Guys just can't use these machines." So she fixes it again, and I am able to pay. I look at the other employee who is just standing there waiting for another customer and she looks at me.
"If I had known it would be this much of a problem, I would have just gone through one of your lines!" I say.
She nods. "I think those things are slow."
In the midst of the whole brouhaha (that's a good word) I hadn't bagged anything, and so I was trying to put the bottles in a plastic bag just so they'd be easier to carry and i'd only have to expose one hand to the bitter cold on the way to the car. I had already paid and gotten my receipt, so I thought it would be okay to sit the bottles on the bagging area. Big mistake. "Unknown object in the bagging area. Please remove object from the bagging area." So I pick up the bottles now in a bag and the voice keeps talking. So the employee says "Is there a green button that says 'item removed.'"
"No."
Then the first employee comes storming over. "What are you doing to my machine?!?"
"I DON'T KNOW! I thought I followed the directions!"
"Did you get your receipt?"
"Yes,"says employee #2, "It already said your receipt will print under the pin pad device."
Employee #1 pushes some buttons and things seem alright. "Next time," I say "I'll save everyone the trouble and I'll just go through one of the regular lines."
"Sounds good," employee #1 says and I hear as I'm walking out the door, "Remember, I work nights."

Huh?!? Did I just get flirted with?

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

 

and a thank you...

To whoever posted this comment:

At 6:44 AM, Anonymous said...
If all ministers were like you, I would WANT to be a Christian.



I would like to take this opportunity to thank you. It means a lot to get this kind of affirmation, even from strangers!! God bless you!!!!

 

recommendations

Just got back, a little bit ago, from a meeting of interested people from area churches to discuss the ELCA's Taskforce on Sexuality's report and recommendations regarding same-sex unions, and the ordination/consecration/commissioning of gay/lesbian people in same gender relationships, and I figured now was about as good of a time as any to share my thoughts/feelings/concerns/etc.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about and would like to read more, or if you know what I'm talking about and just haven't had a chance to read the report, or if you know what I'm talking about and have read the report and just want to refresh your memory, you may click here.
So I've gone back and forth on this. For those of you who don't know, the ELCA has been ordaining homosexuals as long as they remain celibate. Hetereosexuals are allowed to be ordained as long as they are chaste. The difference? Glad you asked. Celibacy is abstention from the vow of marriage and sexual intercourse. Being chaste primarily implies a refraining from acts or even thoughts or desires that are not virginal or not sanctioned by marriage vows. So if one is celibate, then it removes any option of sexual intercourse or marriage. Catholic priests, therefore, are celibate. If someone is chaste, the option of marriage remains, and sex is allowed within the vows of marriage.
On the conservative side of the argument, you have the people who think homosexual sexual activity is an abomination. They quote many scripture verses that they say speak towards the condemnation of a homosexual lifestyle. They believe that there is no room for the blessing of these unions, or the ordination of these "unrepentant sinners."
On the liberal side, you have the people who believe that homosexuality is a natural occurence. They say that the scripture that is often quoted does not speak towards commited, loving, consensual same sex relationships. They believe that homosexual people deserve the same rights as heterosexual people, and this includes same-sex unions and ordination/consecration/commissioning within the church.
So the ELCA decided they needed to study the issue. And while the act of studying a group of people might seem hurtful, I think that it is better than some of the alternatives. Some churches say there is no room to even consider the homosexual lifestyle as an option in our church. They immediately close down any lines of communication about the issue. Then there's the church that ordained a homosexual bishop in a commited same-sex relationship, and there has been crazy fallout from that, especially concerning their relationships with the church in other countries.
So the ELCA has tried to avoid both of these. And they spent a number of years coming up with the report and recommendation. And basically what they've come up with is that they've decided to do nothing about the blessing of same-sex unions, and they have decided not to change the policy about the ordination of homosexuals in relationships. However, they have also left it up to local bishops and synods as to what sort of discipline there will be for these blessings and ordinations. So the bishop has the option of not disciplining these churches for their actions.
As of right now, I am trying to view these recommendations in the most positive light. Sure, they are not what some of us hoped for. It still tells the homosexuals that, ultimately, their lifestyle is questionable. But it keeps the conversation alive. It keeps the dialog going. It opens up the possibility for homosexuals to be ordained/consecrated/commissioned without them or the church being disciplined. It's a baby step in the right direction, but even a baby step is still movement.
But then you have to wonder, there will be bishops who are more accepting and bishops who are less accepting. Homosexuals and their allies will be more likely to gravitate to synods and areas with more liberal bishops. Those who disagree will be more likely to gravitate towards synods and areas with less liberal bishops. There is the option of extreme polarization, and perhaps even a ghetto effect.
Of course all of this is jumping the gun. These are just recommendations and won't be voted on until the Churchwide Assembly in August. So there's bound to be a lot more conversation between now and then. I'm interested to hear what will be said!
To read the conservative viewpoint, check out Word Alone.
To read the more liberal and accepting conversation check out the Lutheran Alliance for Full Participation.

 

get ready...

for the 1000th Visitor Blog Party!!!

It's coming soon!!!!

Monday, January 17, 2005

 

The Adventures of Pastor Intern Mark in the Land of the Junior Highers

So as I mentioned yesterday, I went on to a weekend Junior High event. I went this time because it was an expectation of my role as intern pastor and teacher of the 8th grade confirmation class. But I would have gone anyway, as I normally love jr high events, and jr high youth in general.
But, I must confess, I was hesitant to go on this trip. This 8th grade class has proven to be tougher than most jr highers I've known. They seem to possess a strong case of the "too cool blues," to borrow a term from my camp counselor days. They don't want to participate in anything that might compromise their carefully honed cool image. To a degree much higher than any I've experienced in most of my previous experience. And I know how jr highers can be, and it can be an easy thing for them to make life miserable for those around them if they are not enjoying themselves. And I was about to embark on an approximately 48 hour journey with eleven of them, with only one other adult.
I knew things would not be easy when, about two weeks before the event, some of the girls started bugging me about hotel room assignments. There were a couple who just knew that they needed to room together, and if they somehow had to room with this one certain other girl, that their weekend would be ruined. I kept telling them that we'd have to wait and see, there were no guarantees, and that room assignments were still up in the air.
I also gave several "pep talks" about how at these sort of events that you reap what you sow. If you get involved and participate and sing along and try to meet new people, then you'd have a great time. But if you just stand there, like a bump on a log, and complain about how the event was stupid and a waste of your time, then of course you wouldn't have fun.
So we begin the drive with 9 of the 11 kids (two were meeting us later, due to schedule conflicts), 2 adults, all of our luggage, and food, packed into a 15 passenger van. And surprisingly there were few conflicts on the way up there. We stopped at a gas station before we left town and I bought a Mt dew from the soda fountain in a cup that was about as big as my head (and my head is gimongous), because I knew that I would need the energy.
So we arrive at the Holiday Inn where the event was taking place, and I told the youth to stay put and that I would go in and finish paying and get our room assignments and then be back out. So I walk into the hotel and right inside is a young girl about 18 or 19 with pink streaked hair and a guy (who turned out to be 20 but I would have guessed older) with a shaved head and a goatee and they're bouncing around to '80's music being played over the hotel speaker. These have to be people for the event, I think to myself. So I ask them where registration is and they direct me there. So I stand in line behind ONE PERSON for about 10 minutes before it is finally my turn and it takes me like 30 seconds to get through the registration process. What was that woman's problem? I wonder. So I head back out to the van.
Our group was split up in this way, 1 adult female, 1 adult male, 8 jr high females, 3 jr high males. So the girls were split up into 2 hotel rooms and the males all shared one room. I decided to leave it up to the girls to figure out who was sleeping where, but as they had adjoined rooms I figured it wasn't a big deal.
The youth were pretty good from the start. There were two girls who, the first night, were over enthusiastic, to the point of being shushed by other groups. As one of the girls was the one I was the most worried about, I didn't want to discourage any amount of participation, even though I felt like a large part of her participation was making fun of the event. Most of the kids in the group, however, stood like bumps on logs while I jumped around like an idiot to the songs, and sang loudly and did exaggerated actions to the songs. I received several looks from the youth that seemed to say "You are the biggest moron I have ever met. Why is God punishing me by making me come to this event with YOU." But I was not deterred. I was determined to MAKE THEM HAVE FUN.
Anyway... things progressed nicely. Most of the time the kids seemed to enjoy things at least minutely. I had a great time. The kids liked several members from one of the musical groups that were there, and we invited a couple of them to join us at different meals.
Things seemed to break down, and go steadily downhill, Saturday evening. On the way to supper, which we ate at the mall food court (and much to the chagrin of several of the girls in our group, there would be NO TIME for shopping) one of the boys let loose with one of the nastiest farts I have ever smelled. Then, at the table in the food court he did it again. And again. The second one was enough to clear our whole table. Then, on the way back, he let loose with another one in the van. I needed to roll down my window and stick out my head for fresh air in order to suppress the urge to vomit. One girl yelled in a panicked voice from the back "I'm seriously going to puke! I need to get OUT!" I do not believe she really did, however. I think once she exited the van the fresh air was enough. He let loose with another in the hotel room, too, that lingered far too long.
It was about that same time that some personality conflicts between the girls started to come out. Accusations of eating disorders were thrown around, and cheeseball girl led the attack on one of the other girls. And none of the other kids seem to have the spine to take the side of an argument opposite of cheeseball girl, and so usually when she attacks someone, her close friends will help her gang up on them, and the others will sit silently by and watch. So a lot of my time was spent telling them to stop it, to just ignore things that happened that they didn't like, and to quit bad mouthing people.
Cheeseball girl spent a lot of her time trying to manipulate the other adult leader and I into doing what she wanted, and she tried it so much I began to think that she had a lot of successful practice at home. One night she thought she needed a soda, and we were in the midst of "family time" and it was already past curfew when none of the youth were allowed out of their rooms, and we were talking about things that happened that day and someone else was talking and she began to cough loudly... an obviously fake cough. I told her to stop, she said she needed a drink. I told her there was water. She asked where. I said it comes out of this thing called a tap. She said she needed a soda. I said too bad, she didn't need a soda. She whined. I asked her if she wanted us to stop what we were doing and let her be the center of attention. She said no. So we kept going.
She also thought we needed to go shopping sometime this weekend. I told her this weekend wasn't about shopping. It was about coming to a Christian youth event, talking about our faith, and meeting other Christian people. She didn't like that idea. Her mom sent a BIG WAD OF CASH along with her, in case we went to the mall. She whined and begged to go to the mall the whole weekend. Finally the other adult leader and I decided that, even though we had been planning on going to the mall at the end of the event, we would use it as leverage to get the kids to participate. We told them that if they participated in the last celebration sing-along, treated each other civilly, and were pretty much packed and ready to go before we went to the celebration, then we would go to the mall for a bit before we left town.
So they all did a pretty good job, and it only took a couple reminders to cheeseball girl and her friends during the celebration to get them to participate. Then at the end of the event, everyone else except cheesball girl and her one good friend went with the other adult leader to finish getting ready to go. For some reason I walked a little slower and noticed that cheeseball girl and her friend didn't leave with the group. I asked them what they were doing. They said they needed to talk to someone, I could go ahead with the group and they'd catch up. So that makes me decide that I need to stay there and watch. I remind them that every minute they spend here away from the group, that they are cutting into their shopping time. They say they don't care. So I waited about 10-15 minutes for them to flirt, and I quit paying attention long enough to turn back and hear one of them giving their number out to some boy before they go get their pictures taken with another boy. So then they decide it's finally time to go back to the group. As we walk into the room I say out loud "If anyone feels like they don't get enough time to shop at the mall be sure to thank [cheeseball girl] and [her friend] for wasting your time."
So then we are finally packed, and we're cleaning the room (getting rid of the evidence of a food fight from the night before) and can you guess the two who weren't helping? You guessed it. Cheeseball girl and her friend. They're standing in the hallway.
Finally the room is clean, and we begin our trek down to the van. Which is when farting boy drops his large bucket of cheeseballs. We begin cleaning them up. I ask several times for people to help. I remind them that the faster we clean this up, the faster we can get to the mall. This is when cheeseball girl stands there and says in perfect disgusted junior high girl fashion "This is cutting into my shopping time." And whether or not it was the right thing to do I turn to her and say "Well at least this was an accident and he wasn't wasting everyone's time by flirting. And do you know what's really cutting into YOUR shopping time? The fact that you're not helping clean it up!" To which she replied perfect snotty junior high girl fashion "Geez, you should have just asked." And this time several of the other kids yelled "HE DID!!" and I said "I DID!!! LIKE FIVE TIMES!!!" So she walks over, picks up three cheeseballs and turns to put them in the bucket. But someone is in her way because they're cleaning up many more cheeseballs, so she says in even more perfect snotty junior high girl fashion "*tsk ugh* excuuuuuse me..."
I have never, in my life, wanted to harm a junior high girl as much as i wanted to choke her right then. But I refrained, realizing my integrity as a minister is more important than the satisfaction I would receive from wringing her scrawny neck.
And I usually try to give jr highers the benefit of the doubt. I realize that jr high is a turbulent time filled with psychological, social, emotional, and physical upheaval. And that someday they will grow out of that awkward phase. And even jr highers have some redeemable qualities. But I failed to find any in this girl. At least for the time being. And maybe I'm still a bit upset about her behavior the entire weekend, and maybe she reminds me of so many of the crappy "popular" girls who made fun of me in jr high and it's my own issues surfacing in my dealings with her, but yeah... I'm at a loss for any redeemable quality. Okay, she seems to be a good leader... but I think that most kids follow her out of fear, and don't want her to turn on them.
So anyway, I think I'm getting carpal tunnel in my left arm. So I'm going to stop typing. Thanks for letting me vent.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

 

just so you know...

if you are a junior high girl, and whine the entire weekend about everything, and try to beg and manipulate me into letting you do what you want, and want to go to the mall to go shopping, and then finally when we let you know that we were planning on going to the mall before we left town to give all of the youth some time to shop and putz around, but then you waste 15 minutes of everyone elses' time because you want to flirt with and take pictures of the junior high boys from another church when everyone else is finishing packing and getting ready to go, and then when we're on our way out to the van and one of our boys drops the world's largest bucket of cheeseballs on the way down the stairs and it explodes on the way down leaving cheeseballs on EVERY SINGLE STEP and a large amount scattered at the bottom, and you just stand there and complain that the fact that we have to stop and clean it up is now cutting into YOUR shopping time... I will want to hurt you. Badly.

 

i am alive.... if this could be called living

yeah, so i'm alive after just having returned from a weekend junior high youth event with my 8th grade confirmation class. Kind of in a daze... from lack of sleep, possibly some overstimulation, and having to put up with junior high girls for an entire weekend... So forgive me for not posting more than this at this moment (although I will post a "just so you know..." after this, and feel wrong including it in the body of my larger post.) I need to go sit and not do anything for a while.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

 

Pastor Chic

Today's selection is none other than the clergy polo shirt. Now I know what you are thinking: Polos are stylish. Clergy shirts are stylish. Therefore it only makes sense that clergy polo shirts must be stylish.
So by that logic, if mustard is tasty, and chocolate is tasty, then mustard on chocolate must be tasty!
You see, that logic doesn't always hold up (it might for some of you, but if you like mustard and chocolate together, then you, my friend, are just plain nasty). They are two great tastes that just don't go great together.
And I'm afraid that is what we get with the clergy polo shirt, as seen below.

not entirely sure what they're thinking here Posted by Hello

I can understand why it may have seemed like a good idea at the time. Like I said, when I saw the little link to click on it to see what it looked like, I thought for a minute that it might be worth buying. But the minute I saw it, I knew that it was malformed. I knew it was an insult to creation. And really there'd be no shame if, after it was designed, the people decided that it shouldn't be offered to the general public. No shame at all. Just because you've designed something does not mean you need to put it out there. Sometimes, for the greater good of the community, you just need to take a look at something and say "Maybe not."
And the clergy polo shirt, my friends, was one of those times. This was indeed one of those times...

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

 

definitions

nar┬Ěthex n.
1. A portico or lobby of an early Christian or Byzantine church or basilica, originally separated from the nave by a railing or screen.
2. An entrance hall leading to the nave of a church.

nave n.
1. The central part of a church, extending from the narthex to the chancel and flanked by aisles

chan┬Ěcel n.
1. The space around the altar of a church for the clergy and sometimes the choir, often enclosed by a lattice or railing

Hope these help!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

 

help me to understand

Perhaps this will just be another story to show my ineptitude in the ways of retail (much like my confusion as to a four piece cookware set including two pans and two lids) or perhaps my indignance in this instance is indeed warranted. I suppose it is up to you, my faithful readers, to decide.
I went to JCPenneys today, to look at the sweaters. As I walked to where they normally are I was a bit confused and thought that maybe I took a wrong turn. But no. I was in the right place. But the sweaters had been replaced. WITH SHORTS! It is January. It has not even been winter for a full month yet. We still have several more months of potential winter, followed by spring which has not been unknown to bring more cold weather and snow. Summer is not imminent. Why are there shorts?
Maybe just one rack of shorts? NO! There was a rack of cargo shorts, a rack of board shorts, a rack of fake cut off khaki shorts... I think you get the idea. So yes, I stood there perplexed by the fact that they were selling shorts. I mean, I'm still in the market for sweaters and stocking caps and WARM CLOTHES. Warm clothes that HELP PREVENT ME FROM GETTING FROSTBITE IN THE FREEZING WEATHER! We still have several inches of snow on the ground! Who wants to wear shorts in that kind of weather? It's just beyond me.
The one good thing was that sweaters were then on clearance racks. So I bought a normally $40 sweater for only $15.99. I told myself that by buying that sweater, it wasn't like I spent $16, it was more like I saved $24.
Then I went home. With my new sweater. To my house WHICH STILL HAS THE HEAT ON.

 

weird dreams

So I had some weird dreams the other night. These weird dreams following my last random post will probably bring people to be concerned as to whether or not I am using drugs...

dream#1
So I was hanging out with the three witch sisters from the television show Charmed (after they got rid of Shannon Doherty and replaced her with that weird chick that used to date Marilyn Manson), and we were in some building, and these demons were trying to get me for some reason. So the three sisters were chanting this spell, but they needed the demons to be in the room for the spell to work. And the demons kept walking in through the wall, and the sisters would start their chanting, and the demons would leave. So the sisters would stop chanting. Then the demons would come back in. So the sisters would start over. Then the demons would leave. It kept going like this until someone suggested they chant the whole spell up to the last word and then when the demons would come in they'd say the last word, and see if that worked. So they did and the demons came back in and they said the word and the demons exploded. Then rapid explosions that sounded like popcorn could be heard coming from outside the building. So it sounded like we vanquished many demons. Well, then some demon started trying to get at me through the television. That's all I remember about that dream. I think I woke up.

dream#2 (same night, MUCH WEIRDER DREAM)
So I had apparently finished my internship here at church. And they were having some sort of celebration for all the interns who had just finished internship. But it was at the church i'm at now. So we were all standing in the lobby/narthex area, waiting to process in for the service. And I was wearing like a kangaroo costume, but without the mask. Others who were being honored that evening were also wearing animal-type costumes without masks. I was excited and couldn't stand still, and I was jumping around and pacing. But I got overheated in my kangaroo outfit and so I needed to lay down on one of the pews. And there was this small girl who was playing with cars or something on the pew I chose to lay down on. She got scared and ran away. That's really all of that dream that I remember. Really sort of wish I remembered more of that one. Seems fun.

Weird dreams. Weird, weird dreams. Sometimes i wonder what's going on in that subconcious of mine. I really do.

Monday, January 10, 2005

 

knitting

i seem to be linked to on a couple of websites involving knitting.
i once tried to learn how to knit at a church camp in colorado a couple of years ago. the woman, who was in her 70s, who was teaching the group to knit seemed to single me out as the ONE PERSON in her group who was the most knitting-deficient. i seemed to be somehow adding stitches or something to my poor attempt at knitting, because the width kept increasing as i went along.
but, for some reason, if any of those people involved in knitting who read my website would like to knit me a stocking cap, i wouldn't turn it down. it's cold outside and i need a new stocking cap to match my new pastor coat.
my grandma knitted me a hat once. it was baby blue and had ear flaps that tied under my chin. i wore it when i was a wee one. there is a great picture of me modeling it. but alas it is at my parents' house so i cannot share the picture with you all. i like that hat. my children will all wear it someday. that is if i ever have children. there are many, many, MANY things that must occur in my life before the on set of children.
that makes children sound like a disease... like how people talk about the "onset of diabetes" or something like that. children, while being very capable of SPREADING disease, are NOT in and of themselves a disease.
speaking of disease, i've been seeing the herpes medicine commercial on tv FAR TOO MUCH lately. and i don't want to have to see it because it doesn't apply to me. there are many, many, MANY things that must occur in my life before the onset of herpes.
and that makes herpes sound like a disease BECAUSE IT IS. AN ICKY DISEASE. AND ICKY INCURABLE DISEASE. AN ICKY INCURABLE McNASTY DISEASE.
anyway, it is time for me to go and get my fix for the evening of reality television. namely the real world/road rules battle of the sexes. i know, i know, there are much better ways that i could be spending my time, but then if i didn't watch these television shows i wouldn't be able to get all excited (AND write a blog entry about) when they put me in a booth next to two former real worlders at an old chicago now, would i? no, i wouldn't! and everyone knows how enjoyable that experience was, even if they only read about it. it was riveting. and anyone who tells me otherwise obviously didn't read it well enough.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

 

eeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaarrrrggh!

I didn't feel as if I could really let the events of this past weekend go unblogged. So, although I don't feel much like typing, to be faithful to my audience I thought that I would, anyway.
So Friday was basically spent running around getting the finishing touches done that I needed to do for the council retreat this weekend. Council retreat was from about 6ish on Friday to 4ish on Saturday. After that I needed run go like a bat out of hell to get back and get changed and get ready and get my sermon printed for the 5:30 service. Well, leave it to my printer to decide that exact time was when it wanted to screw around. So it started taking in multiple sheets and printing the top half of words on one page and the bottom half of words on the following page. So finally I get that straightened out and printed out and I have like 10 minutes to get robed and ready for service. Both my pastor and I were feeling out of it for being rushed to get ready and not really having the prep time that we normally to do be over and church and finish up what needs to be done in a somewhat more leisurely manner. So then we get ready and go in and start worshipping and I am GETTING EVERYTHING WRONG! Like nothing is clicking during worship the way it can and is supposed to. Then comes my sermon, which is my longest sermon thus far, and I'm preaching and no one is laughing in the appropriate places and I get done and say to myself "Just because it's longer doesn't mean it was good. That sermon must have been crap." Then I muddle through the rest of the service, and screw up once in the baptism that we had that evening, and finally walk out and PRAISE THE LORD that service is over. Although there were some comments that my sermon was good. Several people liked it. The father of the baptized baby thanks me for the good message that, although I probably had it done far in advance, was very appropriate to the day his son was baptized.... Weird....
So move to 7:30 this morning when I wake up. Look at my alarm clock and POOP MY PANTS because WORSHIP STARTS AT 8-FREAKING-O-CLOCK! So I jump out of bed and before my feet really touch the floor I have grabbed my clothes, put them on, put my contacts in and I'm out the door. This service went much better. People laughed at the appropriate places. Little Samantha, who's like a year and a half or so, who sits up close to the front even laughed at my jokes. And that made everyone laugh even more. Then, on the way out, someone said "That was your best sermon yet." MORE COMMENTS ABOUT HOW GOOD MY SERMON WAS THAN I HAVE EVER RECEIVED. EVER. AND BY EVER I MEAN FROM THE DAWN OF CREATION. IT WAS A LOT.
So then I led confirmation and we actually got through a Bible study without the kids blatantly ignoring me to talk about the social drama of the 8th grade too many times.
Then the 10:30 service and in the sermon I make the mistake of mentioning that at my baptism I was abnormally cute... So then I have to stop and say "Well, maybe the adjective 'abnormal' wasn't the best, because I know now that most of you people will make fun of me for looking abnormal. So maybe exceptionally cute baby. Yeah, we'll go with exceptionally cute." But still I was mocked for looking abnormal. I knew it was coming.
Then we had to undecorate the church. I DID NOT GET MY POST CHURCH NAP! I'm disgruntled.
Then we ate pizza which was good. Papa Murphy's take and bake pizza. Which was good. Pastor's wife did not order enough. That was bad.
Then we had the Youth/Adult planning meeting and we had a mediocre turnout. Not quite what I was hoping for. But the kids came up with some good ideas, and ideas that I hope to see implemented.
Then I got a break for a couple of hours.
Then I have senior high bible study which went really well. Although one girl started randomly crying afterwards. I didn't get a chance to talk with her, but one of the other girls took her out and they talked. So hopefully things got cleared up. She seemed better when they left.
OH WAIT I FORGOT SOMETHING! After the undecorating, one of the moms went outside to go home, but the turkeys were in the parking lot. And she apparently has a bird phobia and she was afraid to go to her car. So brave Pastor Intern Mark ran out into the parking lot and began chasing the turkeys in circles through the parking lot. Everyone laughed and I heard several people wishing they had cameras.
Then, after the youth meeting, two of the high school girls needed to go out to their cars, but the turkeys were in the parking lot again. So this guy named Paul and I ran outside and began chasing the turkeys. They ran in circles, and got separated. I ended up almost cornering the female by a car (which was not my intention) so she takes off into the air. The girls, who were all standing by the door with it propped open, see the turkey fly in their general direction so they start screaming. The turkeys retreated to the safety of my backyard. That's what they get for not eating my bread. Jerkface turkeys.
I'm done. Peace out.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

 

just so you know...

i have yet to begin work on ANY of my resolutions. But I still have a while...

 

the day is drawing closer

So as I was thinking about the entry I wrote last night, and talking with Supervising about some things, I came to the realization that in a week from today the ELCA task force concerning the issue of the ordination of gays and lesbians is supposed to come out with their recommendations (hee hee, I said 'come out').
On one hand I'm anxious. I want to know what they're going to recommend. I want to know what is going to happen, how people are going to react, where the ELCA is headed in this matter.
On the other hand, I wouldn't be upset if it disappeared into the woodwork. This is, unfortunately, a no-win situation. People will be upset, angry, hurt, devastated, no matter what the recommendation is.
I wish there was a way to resolve this issue and make everyone happy. But the sad truth is that there isn't. People will be hurt. And so we have to be ready to deal with this hurt, no matter which side it comes from.
But some people will be celebrating, too. And what if the people who are celebrating are on the side where I do not find myself? Then how do I engage with them? How do I put aside my feelings concerning the recommendation? Or do I need to? But then how do I keep my feelings from getting in the way of ministry to people on both sides of the issue (and everywhere in between)?
Well, on the brightside I have a whole week to figure that out.
On the darkside, I don't think I ever will.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

 

sometimes the church is hurtful

I was checking out the webpage for Central City Lutheran Mission in San Bernardino, California. Check it out yourself by clicking here.
A classmate of mine was supposed to go on internship there, through a program of the ELCA called Horizon Internships that helps churches, that normally wouldn't be able, support an intern. But some things went down: CCLM called a pastor who is in a lesbian relationship.
Now there are other instances of churches ordaining homosexual men and women in committed same-sex relationships. And the consequences have been different. But I was reading news releases on the CCLM webpage, and the consequences that this ministry received are outrageous!
Not only has the mission been removed as an official congregation in the ELCA, but Pastor David Kalke has, in essence, been fired from the ELCA. This is the harshest punishment set forth by a synod in about 10 years. The staff at the mission think that the homosexual pastor issue is only really part of the issue, however, and they believe that the driving factor behind the move was that the Pacifica Synod of the ELCA doesn't agree with their ministry to the poor, the homeless, the victims of HIV and AIDS, and all of the other disenfranchised people that they have been serving. And so they think that the synod used this as a means to give them the boot.
And that makes me sad. First, that a synod would want to get rid of this kind of ministry. And second, that the mission would have reason to believe that the synod disapproves of this kind of ministry.
Not even to mention the fact that as the BODY OF CHRIST we are to be about radical love and inclusion and forgiveness! That is the example that was set forth by Christ, and as CHRISTians we are to be about continuing the mission of Christ. But instead we get caught up in politics. We want a church that makes us feel comfortable. We want a church that we control. And that's not what the Church is about. It should be about moving out of our comfort zones and reaching out to others, because those are the instances when we will come close to God.
Why can't people see that sometimes when they try so hard to "follow God's Word" that what they're really doing is the exact opposite - and working their hardest to prevent others from following the call of God in their own lives.
Okay, so I think I'm done with that rant. But I'm still angry.

 

Pastor Chic

Today I wanted to highlight the "rabat." And, unlike the "biretta" I really like the rabat. I like the collar, how the white is raised above the black all the way around. I like the buttons on the front. I like that I could put it on overtop a more breathable shirt, then put a suit coat on and still look fine. It is definitely pretty cool.


definite pastor chic Posted by Hello

However, I'm not sure it's $89 worth of pretty cool... Which is what this particular rabat costs. I mean, it's not even a full shirt for crying out loud.
Oh well...

 

jerkface turkeys

So, as you may have known through my previous entries, we have three wild turkeys that hang around the church and parsonage. We have had some encounters with them, and at one point I thought they were going to attack me, so I ran home. Turns out that they just thought I was going to feed them. So today I came outside to go home for lunch and there they were again. So I jumped around like a spaz and got them to move away from me, so I could walk home. Well, two seconds later I look out the window and they had followed me home. So I thought, "Poor turkeys. It's freaking cold outside. Maybe I'll feed them." So I grabbed some old bread and broke it up and threw it out not five feet away from them. I thought that since other birds like breadcrumbs and such, they'd appreciate it.

So a little bit later I look out my window. They really haven't moved.

I looked outside again a little while later. I could see the tracks in the snow, they had walked right over the bread and not eaten it!!!

Jerkface turkeys.

We'll see if I do anything nice for them again!

Monday, January 03, 2005

 

just so you know...

one of the lesser known duties of a pastor is to chase the wild turkeys off the front porch of the church, so they don't scare the people trying to come in for a funeral.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

 

resolutions

So I thought that I might actually try to come up with some New Year's resolutions. I have not, in the past, because then I don't have the pressure of trying to fulfill these self-required obligations, as well as the crushing defeat when I don't. But I thought that I should actually be about bettering myself this year, rather than rejoicing in stagnance.
So here are some of my resolutions thus far:
1. Become more fiscally responsible
- I have not been the best at remaining on top of my finances and on-time bill paying, so I thought it might be good to try it this new year.

2. Get in better shape
- I'm not in terrible shape currently, but there is always room for improvement.

3. Learn to play the guitar
- This WILL be the year that I learn how to play that thing that has been taking up space in my various residences for the past 7 years

So that is what I've come up with as of 8:25pm, Sunday, January 2, 2005 (I almost typed 2004......). None of them are insurmountable, but none of them are as enjoyable as the resolution a friend told me she had come up with, which was to take more naps.


Now, in other news... I was flipping channels after church today and I came across a show on PBS about post-modern worship, which was kind of cool, although it was mostly centered around Baptist churches, I think. Then I took a nap on the couch and woke up to a show called The Congregation, which is about the struggles of an urban Philadelphia Methodist congregation. It was a pretty good documentary. So I thought I'd give you the link so that you could check it out and see if it airs in your area, and maybe even watch it. There was a line in it that made me laugh: The Church is like Noah's ark. It's smelly, but if you get out, you'll drown.
Here's the PBS link for the show.
Check it out!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

 

Pastor Chic

For my first installment of Pastor Chic, I thought that I would highlight the "biretta." As far as I know it is soley a Roman Catholic item, and for that I thank Martin Luther for his work in getting that ball called the Reformation rolling, so that I do not have to wear this:


biretta Posted by Hello

I'm not exactly sure what they are really for, other than to make the priest look silly. Nothing beats a worship service led by a man in a puffball beanie, as seen here:


priest modelling biretta Posted by Hello

So there you have it. The biretta. If anyone could give me any good reason why anybody should ever wear one of those, you will be my hero.

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