Monday, February 27, 2006

church hopping is like dating

i have been church hopping around Chicago since i got here a year and a half ago. i always GO, i just always go to different places, which sounds cool in the beginning, but when you get down to the nitty gritty, it's actually not that cool.

at the beginning of the year i told myself i was just going to stop and settle someplace, but whenever i would actually do that, i would think to myself "hey, wait, i don't want to be here" and then i would move on.

my "things i want in a church" list is slightly longer than my "things i want in a guy list," and goes a little something like this:
challenging, interesting, not-hard-to follow sermons
commitment to social justice/ awareness of social injustice
diverse congregation
use of gender inclusive language (not just from the pulpit, from the hymnals, Bible translation, etc.)

on Sunday, i went to Lasalle St. Church on the West Side of Chicago with some friends from seminary, and i kind of liked it. it for sure had the first 3 things going on, it was rocking with the last thing (even used non-gendered language for God -- things like Godself and God's instead of pronouns), and there was a woman pastor.

we left pretty quickly, so i didn't get a chance to see hospitality in action, and it seemed pretty white (but the woman we went with said that changes week to week), but on the whole, i think i'll go back.

i'm not going to talk about it anymore as there's a chance i could get all excited and then decide that the church sucks next week. but i feel like the tide may have turned.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

mail call

my parents are totally random in this completely awesome and generous way. today in the mail i got a pack of chocolate covered cherries and then seperately a letter with $20 in it from my dad. his letters are usually no more than a page, and he always always staples some money to it.
this letter started with "What's gnu?" and ended with "One parting thought, what would you call a country populated only by male deer?" then, written upside down at the bottom of the page, "stag-nation"

Friday, February 24, 2006

busy-ness should be illegal

now that i'm embodying my new role as extrovert, i'm finding balancing schoolwork and people really difficult. take wednesday for instance -- we didn't have a lost party like we usually do, because it was a rerun (darn you, lost!) -- but a bunch of peeps came over and there was ice cream and dance dance revolution, and what's a girl to do? go to the library instead? please.

this weekend, though, for reals, i'm cracking down, catching up on all the history reading i have neglected because history annoys me (sorry Binah!).

Monday, February 20, 2006

go here

i'm not explaining how or why i found this, but this story needs to be told.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

there is a girl inside

so for one of my classes we are reflecting on our adolescence.

i had a revelation this weekend that factors into this reflection process for me.

lucille clifton, my favorite poet, has a poem called "there is a girl inside"
this is it:

There is a girl inside.
She is randy as a wolf.
She will not walk away and leave these bones
to an old woman.

She is a green tree in a forest of kindling.
She is a green girl in a used poet.

She has waited patient as a nun
for the second coming,
when she can break through gray hairs
into blossom

and her lovers will harvest
honey and thyme
and the woods will be wild
with the damn wonder of it.

i got inspired by this in writing my reflection -- in my adolescence (and in some sense after as well), there was a girl inside. the girl i was at 2, and 6, and 9, wild and imaginative and smart and quoting anne of green gables and flying on spaceships got enclosed somewhere in the summer i turned 11. i shut her up except in safe places during high school, and every during college, because as soon as 6th grade came around there got to be consequences for letting her out. teasing, exclusion, funny looks. she's been creeping out, i think, inch by inch, as my world gets safer or i get braver.

i have always considered myself an introvert, but that was my weekend revelation, i don't think i am anymore. i think i was just inside.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

a long view...

the title that is. this prayer, by Archbishop Oscar Romero, has been my theme for my time in seminary, well, really, my whole life. i feel like whoever chooses to begin to work for social justice has to take the attitude in this prayer, or burn out and despair are inevitable.

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation
in realizing that. This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well. It may be incomplete,
but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference
between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

I'm a blatant copycat

...and a lemming who just follows people all over the internet. but this is the last place i'm going. don't come at me with facebook, or any other crazy new thing, THIS IS IT. (did that sound firm enough)?

and to all my friends? STOP MOVING AROUND!
(but i still love you)