Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Language

I picked up a book, The Incredible Woman: Listening to Women's Silences in Pastoral Care and Counseling, to add to my CPE bibliography (that and our final is due on May 9) and get all the required number of pages read.  I've just read the first chapters which have a lot to do with language for God. The thing that kills me is that despite the book being published in 1996, this issue--language for God--is still a major issue in most churches.  I know it's huge in my churches--if I were to use Mother God, Holy Mother, or heaven forbid, Goddess, I'd probably get kicked out of my pulpit.  Seriously!
I try to use non-gendered language for God because I believe it is faithful to a bigger image of God, it is faithful to the reality of God.  In the first few months of being here I had a conversation with someone about this.  The person pleaded with me not to repeat his thought that perhaps, just perhaps, the Holy Spirit was feminine.  He was ashamed to even think such a thing!  I went on to ask him if he seriously thought it was important that God had a penis.  His response was yes!  I was blown away.  A bit later during a women's Bible study, I breached the subject of  God language again.  Once more I was surprised by the resistance.  Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised but I was. 

As I continued to read and my frustration mounted that this is still a tremendous issue I was also frustrated by myself.  In three years, I've broached the subject twice.  That's it.  No wonder the issue hasn't changed...if I'm not willing to risk educating the people in my churches, then how can I expect anyone else to do so in theirs? 

Our newsletter is due out tomorrow...so do I make God language the focus of my pastoral letter?   i wish I could just whole heartedly jump in and say yes.  But our little corner of the world is the most conservative place I've ever lived.  The newsletter is there in black and white.  I'm not sure it would be the best way to go about it.  There's no (or little) opportunity for  feedback and questions.  I do believe that this is best done when in a relational kind of class,study, conversation.  So there, I just talked myself out of the newsletter but I'm not letting myself off the hook.  Mother's Day is just around the corner and that is a perfect opportunity to bring it up.

What do you do in your setting?

PS...I'm thrilled to watch Christina Aquilera on The Voice!

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Life for the Blog

I've been reading "Life From Scratch" by Melissa Ford.  It's a great read and has rekindled my desire to blog. 

Last week I was considering completely taking down the blog.  I've been a bad blogger for a long time, nearly three years!  This was supposed to chronicle my journey from seminary to rural ministry but it's been hit and miss.  It's understandable, life is busy and I was burned pretty badly by the unnamed small town in Kansas' response to my seminary blog.  The scars from that incident serve as reminders to beware of what I post online.  In no way is this an anonymous blog and so I must be a bit guarded.

Life From Scratch has reminded me how powerful and wonderful it is to connect with others, to have a  place for your voice to be heard (no matter how small the "readership").  I miss the conversations and connections I've had with other bloggers...especially other Rev Gals

So, today, the day after celebrating the Resurrection and new life, I promise myself to renew my blog, to give new life to my voice. 

May 9th is the final day of Clinical Pastoral Education.  May 11th is the final day of our preaching group (although I do hope to renew that group this fall).  Life will get "freed up" just a bit and then I will be running off to the Festival of Homiletics--hooray!  I'm unrealistically hoping this will give me some extra time and freedom.  The reality though is that I simply need to make time for me to write--on and off the blog.

Monday, April 4, 2011

still a writer?

i've struggled to write for at least the past 2 years, probably longer.  for a while i was sure that i was a writer and that it was in my blood.  however, since i've been in full-time ministry it's become the most difficult thing i do. 

even the daily devos that i write and email to the congregation has moved from each email being written by myself to me "assembling them" with favorite quotes and the like.  i actually think that is a postive, as the emails offer a broader scope of theology and Christianity.

but i wonder what is going on?  what do i need to do to find that spark that ignites my creativity?  i wish i could say my creativity has simply found other outlets but that's not the case either.  i don't feel depressed.  is this simply a lack of discipline?

how about you?  thoughts?  suggestions?

Friday, April 1, 2011

RevGal Friday 5: Good Things Edition

Kathrynzj writes, "So for today I am asking for five quick picks of things that are good in your life. And as a bonus, 1 pick for a thing you could do without."

5 good things I'm thankful for are:
  1. My family--Joel, Merkin, Valerie, and Ainsley and I are crazy nerds that fight and fuss but together we can face whatever life throws at us.  They fill my life with joy and insanity and I couldn't be happier that they are mine!
  2. Fabulous friends--this past week I was blessed to spend time with some wonderful women with whom I attended seminary.   I realized how much I need these women and other equally fabulous women in my life to keep my grounded and reminded of who I am.
  3. Fridays--Fridays are supposed to be my day off, my Sabbath.  Often I find myself working on Fridays, especially ones that come right after being gone for a week!  Yet, even when I find myself working, it's on my schedule and I do so feeling relaxed and not stressed out (at least this Friday!).
  4. Zumba--it's a fun way to get some exercise and a step in the right direction for my health.
  5. Confirmation Class--I love my confirmation class.  It's full of excitement and great discussions.  I love the interactions of the youth and their mentors.  It's refreshing and reminds me of what fuels my faith.
1 thing I could do without is shame.  What would one day free from shame feel like?  Not feeling any shame, not shaming anyone else...shame is one thing I (and probably everyone else) could do without.