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Showing posts from November, 2006


I pulled into the local grocery store parking lot at 11pm tonight. It's my favorite time to shop - there's really only one grocery store in town (besides Wal-Mart) and it is always packed all day - 11pm is usually a safe time to go. Tonight, I was in desperate need of cat food. I pulled in and immediately saw the pastor of the other United Methodist Church in town and the captain of the Salvation Army, standing in the parking lot, chatting. A mini impromptu gathering of the clergy women of Oneida. Random!

Confronting the Controversy

Regular readers of my blog will know that I generally try to avoid offending when I can - at least I like to think I avoid offending. I usually feel I can say what I need to say without tearing down people who think differently than me. But recently, I've been moved to make a more bold, declaratory statement. Here goes.... White Christmas lights are boring. Multi-colored Christmas lights are fun. Possisble exception: if you have candles in your windows ONLY, then it is ok to use just white lights. Otherwise, people, go for the color! If you want an 'elegant' look, I've seen some very nice very pale multi-colored lights that are not too boring. Seriously. Sorry. But it had to be said.

Too Close for Comfort

Found this great cartoon via Lake Neuron, post aptly titled, "Too Close for Comfort." Indeed! (Cartoon by Dave Walker . Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons .)

Reflections: Exploration 2006

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of leading a group of young people from my annual conference to Exploration 2006, in Jacksonville, Florida. We had 6 youth/young adults from our AC, and two other young clergy lead with me. I had the opportunity twice to go to Exploration ('96 and '98) in high-school and college, and I remember being the only one from my annual conference, or at least the only one I was aware of at the time. So, I wanted to give a more organized experience to young people from NCNY this time around. One of the frustrating parts of the process for me in pursuing ordination was feeling disconnected. I knew I wanted to be a pastor, and communicated that to adults early on and consistently in my journey, but it wasn't until I was back inside the AC bounds serving a church as a probation that I felt really connected again. I've heard many young people express a sense of call, and I always wonder - is anyone following up with them? Is anyone keeping in t

Sites to Check Out

Just got home from Exploration (where I finally, if briefly, got to meet Natalie of Take My Hand - excellent!) and I'm not ready to recap yet, so in the meantime, here are a couple of sites I've been visiting a lot lately: - This site will email you a daily tip on something you can do ( "5 Minutes of Caring" ) to re-focus your life on others, the environment, justice, etc. I like the tips so far, like today's, which focuses on an ongoing theme of theirs, "Christmas is not your birthday." Another is which is a blog/site that highlights eco-friendly products/inventions/innovations, like this water-powered clock , and lots of cool eco-friendly off-the-grid type pre-fab homes (sorry, big-bro, can't find the one I wanted to show you.) Check 'em out.

Review: How (Not) to Speak of God by Peter Rollins

I finally finished reading (#19) How (Not) to Speak of God by Peter Rollins. I would describe this book as a theology of the emergent movement, a 'foundations' sort of book. Maybe Rollins wouldn't describe it that way, but I mean it as a compliment. The book describes an understanding of God - or a not-understanding of God - that is where I see a lot of people these days, where I see a lot of people who are looking for a spiritual life, a faith community. Rollins writes two parts - the first is the 'heavy' stuff - the theology, and the second is outlines and explanations of twelve worship services that represent what he's talked about in the first part. The services aren't meant to be copied, though they can be, but they're meant to give more tangible examples of what he's talking about. I had a hard time getting into the book at first, so I went and read the services, part two, first, and then went back and read the 'heavy' stuff, which I fo


Since I haven't been in the mood to write anything else, I thought I'd respond in a new post to John's question in the comments of my last post about All Saints Day : "So, who were your heroes?" Put the names out there into the blogosphere. He was referring to this part of my post: "And yet, I'm not sure we can help but make heroes of those we admire. When I was in junior-high, I regularly kept a 'hero-list'. I will confess to you that I a bit(?!) arrogantly consider myself hard to impress, so the list was pretty hard to get onto. But I can remember today almost everyone whose name graced the list, and I remember how and why they got there. A couple teachers, a classmate or two, some family members, people in the arts, even an inspirational speaker that came to speak to us. I like to think they gave me something to work for, a model to be like, to try to be like at least." Well, I admit I had to spend some time going through my old journals t

All Saints Day

Today is All Saints Day. I don't ever remember celebrating All Saints Sunday when I was growing up. (I apologize to my former pastor for forgetting if we did!) But in seminary, we always had an All Saints-themed worship in chapel, and the church I served as youth pastor also had a day to remember those in the congregation who died during the previous year. When I started serving St. Paul's, I introduced an All Saints Sunday celebration. My first and second years were filled, it seemed, with deaths of long-time faithful members, and I think as a congregation we were grieving for the collective loss, and I hoped an All Saints celebration would be a way to give voice to our community grief. This year, we have just a handful of folks who've passed away that are directly related to the congregation, though one loss is very recent and very difficult - a young mother, who died after a battle with ALS, which is just a horrific disease. But regardless of the numbers, I find it a mea