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Showing posts from April, 2007

Oops... December I fell while I was running at the park. I hurt my ankle pretty badly, but, that night I was hosting the UMW Christmas party at my parsonage, and so I didn't go to the ER or anything. I just figured it would get better. A month later, the ankle was still causing a lot of pain, and every time I tried to run again, I would make it about 60 seconds before it hurt too much. I got X-rays. The X-ray showed some spurring on my ankle, but nothing serious. I visited an orthopedic surgeon. He sent me to physical therapy. I've been doing that twice a week, without seeing much change. My orthopedic surgeon sent me to have an MRI. I got the results finally today. I have, among other issues, a fracture, spurring in two places, a torn tendon, and lots of fluid buildup. Oops. Guess I should have gone to the ER that first day. Not sure yet what treatment will be now, but I have a bad feeling that some sort of surgery may be involved.

Bits and Pieces

I am in Washington, DC for the rest of the week at the spring meeting of the General Board of Church and Society , so pretty soon you'll get to hear my usual meeting reflections , lucky readers! For now, a few thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head with not enough to them for individual posts: Mini-review: I recently listened to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close , by Jonathan Safran Foer on audio CD. What a fantastic book! I highly recommend it. The main character is 9 year-old Oskar Schell, who is trying to cope with life after losing his father in the World Trade Center on 9/11. I found myself literally saying, "Oh!" out loud while listening, because there are so many simply deeply moving scenes. Mini-review: I also recently saw In the Land of Women with my mom. The movie stars Meg Ryan, Adam Brody, and Kristen Stewart, and focuses on Brody's character, Carter, who tries to get some direction for himself following a breakup. I wasn't expecting

Satisfied Clergy

My sister-in-law, who works at a newspaper, passed along this article to me recently, with the tagline, " If you want to be rich, get an MBA. If you want to be happy, go for an MDiv." The article talks about results of a study by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. The study found that clergy had the highest job satisfaction - a whopping 87% said they were satisfied with their jobs, followed by firefighters and physical therapists. The study also found that clergy topped the list as 'happiest', with 67% of clergy responding that they were "generally happy." In general, those most satisfied with their jobs were either in helping professions of professions with a great deal of creative expression, and those with the least satisfaction were those in low-skill jobs or with customer service positions. There were mixed reactions to the study - some were not surprised that clergy were so satisfied, since clergy enter the field "

Hilarious - Which Methoblogger are You?

John created this hilarious methoblogger quiz. I'm a little bummed that I wasn't one of the possible choices though.... And a laughing that after Lorna, John is in second place for me! You scored as Lorna Koskela . You are Lorna Koskela! You read, write, take walks, and no one knows the truth about what goes on in your basement! Lorna Koskela 92% John the Methodist 42% Jonathon Norman 42% Art Ruch 42% Allan Bevere 42% Gavin Richardson 33% Theresa Coleman 33% Keith McIlwain 33% Abi Carlisle-Wilke 33% Which Methoblogger Are You? created with

New Book Study and a Movie 'Study'

I mentioned a while back that St. Paul's was engaging in a book study of Brian McLaren's The Secret Message of Jesus . The live study went very well - I had about 8 in the class, and I think everyone enjoyed the book. I also tried an online version of the study through a blog , which was mostly unvisited, and, eventually, un-updated. Well, we've just started a new book study, and I'm going to try to blog through the study again - this time we've selected Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts , by John Dominic Crossan and Johnathan L. Reed. Unlike Secret Message , I haven't read this book in advance, and am reading it along with the class. So far I'm through the prologue, introduction, and most of chapter 1, and I already find it quite fascinating. The book takes a two-pronged approach to looking at Jesus in historical context - the written word and the 'words' from the archaeological record. So, check out the book blog for an online

New Music

I recently ordered some new CDs that came in the mail this week, and I'm very happy with my selections - U2's Achtung Baby (had on cassette once...) and The Best of 1980-1990 , The Best of Bonnie Raitt - I had her Luck of the Draw , but lost it (temporarily, I hope) and got this to fill my Bonnie Raitt void - excellent music - and then Tracy Chapman's newest, Where You Live . Tracy Chapman is by far my favorite singer. She first came to my attention in college when a dancer choreographed a piece to "Fast Car." I used "All that You Have Is Your Soul" as the title and focus of my first ever sermon . I like this newest album, and have been mulling over the first track, "Change": If you knew that you would die today If you saw the face of God and love Would you change? Would you change? If you knew that love can't break your heart When you're down so low you cannot fall Would you change would you change? How bad how good does it need t

Eco-Justice Notes

A few eco -justice related items of note: Did you read this article from CNN about the report of the Panel on Climate Change? The report highlights that of course, it is the world's poorest that will be most impacted by climate change. Most disturbing about the article though is that the document got to be edited by "government negotiators" who toned down anything that sounded too extreme. That sounds objective and accurate, right? Earth Day is in a couple of weeks, and in the United Methodist Calendar, that means Festival of God's Creation Sunday is also in a couple weeks. A worship resource (and many other resources) from the Eco-Justice Network of the National Council of Churches can be found here , and a page from GBOD about Festival of God's Creation is here . You can read the resolution that created this God' Creation Sunday here . If you are a Young Adult (22-40) interested in Eco-Justice, you can apply for the NCC's Eco-Justice Fellowship prog


It is hard to believe it is Easter Day already, and that all those Holy Week services are already done. I was particularly happy with the way everything went at St. Paul's this year. I think in part I was better about planning ahead, at least with the major pieces. I had a lot of lay people participating in the service in different ways, and they all stepped up to the plate. I also really love going deeper into some of the liturgical traditions of the church and exploring them, and my congregation seems to enjoy this too. In the past, we've had a Maundy Thursday service, and then an ecumenical noontime Good Friday service. But I've found that not many of our members do (or can) attend this service. Most people do not have Good Friday off from work anymore. The ecumenical service also features the "Seven Last Words of Jesus," with seven of us area clergy preaching mini-sermons, and frankly, I'm not sure how this appeals to people either. So...I decided to offer


Seen around the methoblogosphere... If you just don't know what to do to fill your time these next three days, you can take this "Which Church Father are You?" quiz. I'm apparently Origen. Huh. No "Which Church Mother are You?" is available, so no way to know if I'm a Hildegard or a Julian ... You’re Origen! You do nothing by half-measures. If you’re going to read the Bible, you want to read it in the original languages. If you’re going to teach, you’re going to reach as many souls as possible, through a proliferation of lectures and books. If you’re a guy and you’re going to fight for purity … well, you’d better hide the kitchen shears. Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers !

Campus Ministry

I'm on our conference's Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and this past weekend we led some workshops at a conference workshop day on being in ministry with college students. Tom Wolfe, who is the dean of the chapel at Syracuse University , put together a powerpoint presentation for our workshop. Here's some of what he shared: Emerging trends in college students - • Mainstreaming of pagan and naturalistic religions • Mainline Protestantism is in decline ( we all know this one, right?) • Evangelical/Fundamentalism is on the increase (This includes “non-denominational” Christian churches). • Greater interfaith awareness • "In academia, it is more acceptable to discuss Judaism and Islam inside of the classroom. These traditions are generally viewed as adding to the cultural diversity of the academic environment. The topic of Christianity tends to evoke the fear that there will be an imposition of faith in the classroom." Citing research from Cherry, DeBerg ,

New Methoblogger

My friend and colleague Aaron Bouwens has joined the blogging world at his new blog Lord If I Know . Aaron and I were ordained together. We come from pretty different theological perspectives ( Ok , very different), but when it comes to our thoughts about the direction of the church, emerging church, things like that, Aaron and I are usually on the same page (even though it sometimes throws us off to be on the same page!) I'm glad to actually have another NCNY er blogging!