Friday, February 11, 2011

Love is in the Air for this Friday Five

SingingOwl says: "In two days my husband and I will have been married (ulp!) forty years. And, of course, Valentine's Day is coming soon so I'm thinking about love. For today's Friday Five, tell us about five people you love, people who will remain in your "heart" forever. This can be a friend, teacher, family member, mentor, pastor..."

Wow Singing Owl...Congratulations to both of you!
  • Well of course the first person who comes to my mind is the sweet husband...who proposed to me on Valentine's Day two years ago. Hard to believe it's "only" been two years, and hard to believe it's "already" been two years since that day...and the same thing with the nine months on Tuesday since we tied the knot.  In many ways it really feels like we have been together forever, so right and settled are we with each other, and yet there is still the "Seriously? I did not know that about you!" that still can happen to remind us that we have not really been all that long. It's actually kind of a nice mix. We are hoping that we can go for that forty year mark...though we might be getting quite old by that time.  Even so, we would probably still be teasing each other about something and finding something to laugh about, something to discover, something to love. 
  • Numbers two, three and four come in a group and are my Soul Sisters. C, S and A are the kind of women friends I had always hoped to have but never quite managed somehow in my life prior to arriving here on the prairie.  S was the first person I met here.  I had joined a book club (that's what the magazines tell you to do in a new place, right....join up, make friends! Well it sure worked in our case. She led me to the Bible study where I connected with A. I met C through my soul friend (and #5) the "other" C. She also knew the other two and the four of us joined forces in what was first a Bible study, then a force to be reckoned with of friendship, love and sisterhood. One of my best memories is of the four of us taking the "dress buying road trip" to look for the wedding finery. I'd had a lot of coffee before we hit the road and was apparently somewhat....hmmm....unsettled...over the whole adventure.  They give me grief to this day.
  • And number 5 is "the other C"...honorary chaplain to the Soul Sisters, soul friend to me, and soon to be roommate on the BE 4! She has seen me through......the tail end of formation, ordination, the start of my parish ministry,  a breakup, re-entering the dating world, falling in love, getting engaged,  planning a wedding, getting married....and all the every day ups and downs of life in between.
There are lots of other people who have loved me and whom I have loved along the way, I have been very blessed in the love department. Even for those "loved and lost" there were things gained and treasured, and I do hold them in my heart as part of creating me to be who I am.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Friday Five: Perks of Ministry Edition

Kathrynzj says: "Thanks to #snOMG this week has had a different rhythm to it for me. Fortunately, one of the perks of ministry is a fairly flexible schedule and quite often the ability to work from home. Another perk of ministry is that I will be part of a worship service that celebrates my friend's gifts in ministry and the ministry she will do with the church she has been Called to lead. These two things have me reflecting on the gifts and perks of ministry and what else I would put on that list. What about you? What are 5 perks/gifts of ministry for you?"

This week (and a bit of last ) have also had a different rhythm for me as well.  Not so much due to the weather, we have that ALL the time from November to April, but because of a couple sick days that laid me flat last week and two days of jury duty this week that got my week out of sync. 

As a non-stipendiary part-time priest with a full-time day job, my ministry life has a different rhythm to it than that of a full time pastor.  It feels sometimes like the two mesh well and run along smoothly together.  At other times it feels like my "official" ministry life gets tucked into the little crevices and spaces where there are bits of time and space, even though I have no doubt whatsoever that the "real" ministry never job or not, and that indeed it is the ministry whether we call it that or not.

But as for perks.....not in any particular order
  • People....the people I know that I would not were I not doing what I am doing....from folks in my congregation and the larger church denomination, to RevGals met in IRL and not (and those I'm going to SOON!) to my friend L, who stays in my prayers and in my heart even during long silences when I have no idea where he is or what he is up to, and even perhaps my sweet husband, whom I did meet after all for the first time when he was the godfather of the first baby I baptised.  Who knows...if not for the impression he made then, would we have connected later?
  • The opportunities to be part of something big and wonderful that makes a difference.  Yes, I'm talking mission and even though I wish we were able to do more, even our tiny little place has done something, has made and continues to make a difference and I get to be part of that, to preach to encourage, to educate and motivate.
  • Being invited into people's lives "simply because" of the trust given to one ordained.  This is to me this huge sacred trust and gift and I try to be ever so careful with it.
  • The chance to celebrate liturgy. As a liturgy geek for a very long time, the idea that I would be able to be up there doing that just about gave me the vapors back in my pre-ordination days! While I no longer feel the need of stand-by EMT's, there is no less a sense of complete awe and a wonder pretty much every time that I really do get to be here again...on this 100 year old altar saying these very ancient words and feeling gathered around me (literally sometimes) a communion of saints from down the ages, breathing and praying with me.
  • Preaching.  I like it more than I thought I ever would, and I find it a perk because I always always learn something new about the Gospel, Jesus or myself in the process! Yes I grouse sometimes when it's one of those weeks where there are not enough hours to find time to reflect and do solid exegesis and write a meaningful sermon that will touch my little church's hearts while working a forty hour day job, attend to other churchy stuff and trying to have a life as well.  But fortunately those are few.  I have found a rhythm that works for the most part. We have a schedule and we are on the lectionary, so I can "work ahead" and generally have at least a few weeks between sermons. I start the next one as soon as the last one is preached and it seems to be working so far.  I try to follow the criteria of one of my mentors....make it news and make it good!
So those are my perks, and this was a great F5. Kind of like a little gratitude journal, which is always a good thing. Thanks Kathryn!