Sunday, May 20, 2007

I am back at church today. Back celebrating and preaching and feeling so content and blessed that it is so. I have been ordained eight months now, and I’m sure there are some who would say I am in some honeymoon period, and that my starry-eyed wonder over some of this will wear off with time. To them I would reply that I hope and pray not. Some days as we begin the procession up the aisle behind the crucifer, I have a wild moment of wondering where the priest is before I remember that it is I! Other Sundays, as I sit listening to the readings, or stand waiting for the gifts to be brought up, I have these moments of total holy wonder, having almost to pinch myself to assure myself that, yes, it is real, I am here, doing this incredible thing in this place. I am a priest at last and forever. I will admit, sometimes it has been a steep learning curve. In this eight months of “post-ordination formation” the Spirit has been leading me on a merry chase. There is so much to do, so much to learn, so much to love. So many “firsts” to remember. The whole mad whirl of each of the liturgical seasons and festivals, Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter. Celebrating the late Christmas service….such joy that was as it was always the highlight and mainstay of Christmas to go to midnight Mass. And now to have the privilege of being the celebrant at this very special and beautiful service was so amazing! And on Easter, baptizing my first baby. She was an angel and slept through the whole thing! Every day there is a new challenge. Every day there is a new grace realized. Functioning as part of a ministry team that has three priests and three lay ministers, with five of us, including the three clergy having full time jobs outside the church leads to some interesting times. It gets wild and crazy trying to keep the schedule going and the communication happening. Thanks be to God for e-mail! And a patient congregation who loves and accept us as we are! I am counting blessings and they number many!

Sunday, May 13, 2007


I took a kind of Sabbath today It was my first Sunday deliberately “off” as in not-priest, not-in-choir, not-at-the-service since ordination seven months ago, and it felt really strange. While we are a team and rotate responsibility for preaching and celebrating, even when it is not “my turn” I seem to always be finding things to do. Apparently I have some difficulty “just being” in church even when I am not the one responsible for the service! So my spiritual director and I decided that I needed to do this one Sunday a month, as there was some creeping fatigue that was worrisome to both of us. As I am bivocational, some weeks run to seven day-ers, and burn out does loom as an always present spectre. And it has been a real romp of late, as we had a diocesan meeting a week ago Saturday, with a quick trip home to celebrate and preach Sunday, followed by a clergy conference early in the week, topped off by a region meeting yesterday. Since I live at the far edge of the universe, each of these events involves some hefty windshield time as well. I really love doing all of this. Truth be told there is very little I do not love about being a priest. Or about my life in general. God has blessed me richly. My biggest issue, as with so many of us, is that there is an abundance of things to do and a scarcity of time in which to do them. And I want to do them ALL and am not always so good at sorting which (at least by my lights) need me the most, or which I can let go of. So I tend to say yes to everything. And want to do it all to the best of my ability, and give it the most time I can, and so it goes. So this Sunday, I sat in someone else’s pews. My SD was being honored with a prayer shawl woven by one of her deacons, so I went to her service and heard her preach, experienced a different tradition and had absolutely nothing to do but sit and let God sink into my busy brain. It was bliss. But, truth be told, I am having really hard time not “checking in” to see how things went over at my church. Not for one minute do I think that the world does not spin on its axis just fine without me. It’s more like longing, missing my loved ones, making sure all the tending is tended…..I’m seeing here the wisdom of the off-day more and more! And resisting the urge to check in as a spiritual discipline.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Good intentions

If I were still into shame in a big way, I'd be hanging my head as I look at the date of my first (and only) post! It was a well-intentioned burst of enthusiasm, and I, recall in a relatively slower moment. Then the pace picked up in the formation process and this got on the back burner. Those who know me well tell me I tend to take on too much. They have various theories about why. I tend to agree with them on the fact that I do so and on many of the motivations.....though I want to engage those that have to do with being "passionate about many things" much more than I do those who wonder what I might avoiding something by staying busy.

So why blog now? Life certainly has not slowed down. Quite the contrary! Perhaps it's still because there is in me thought seeking voice and voice seeking listeners, conversation and engagement. I read bloggers and love them for the freshness and challenge and humanity they bring. I guess I want to be in the circle in a more active way. So here goes. With intentionality for regularity of some decent sort!