Thursday, February 14, 2013

Who Am I?

Ever since I was ordained, I have happily claimed my status as the Reverend Dr. Kate, a happily bivocational person, who, at least in a previous life balanced the two hats of priest and psychologist in some sort of equilibrium.  I had a church life and a day job life and the two intersected at times. Mostly that was good thing, at times it was challenging, but it was all part of a whole that made a life I realize in retrospect that I simply took for granted, and assumed would just always be part of my reality.

Well, life moves forward and times change, and the transitions and shifts of the last two years have shown me that my assumptions and "taken for gran teds" just ain't necessarily so When we first moved back I had "just assumed" that of course it would all work out.  Kind of like true love....there would be a church with a Kate-sized need and we would find each other and live happily ever after. And for a while it looked like that might be happening.  There was a short assisting gig that never quite got off the ground. And then there was another plan that sounded promising enough for a relocation to a town down the road. We "met and dated" for a while, but somehow I guess the spark was just not there. The little frission of interest fizzled, we stopped seeing one another. I moved on.

So today, my "professional" church life and my day job life are, for the most part, non-intersecting. Rev. Kate and Dr. Kate do not travel in the same circles at all. Sometimes that leaves me feeling a little dis-integrated, a little sad. Clergywise, I am doing some supply and some writing. I am seeing a spiritual director and trying to discern if there is something else I might/could/should do now in that realm. We are part of a lovely congregation where we are feeling more and more at home.  The rector is welcoming and inclusive and I know if I came up with something I thought I might want to do there, she would very likely be open and encouraging.

I am also trying to consciously vision my day job as ministry. To see this as my little altar in the world where the congregation comes and sits before me in the chairs in my office and I am given the chance to bring into their lives the compassion of God's healing love.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Remembering Who You Are

This is a blog post from Ash Wednesday 2008. As we come around once more to Lent, I am remembering again the power of that night....

I had the privilege of being the one to "impose" the ashes as the prayer book says. I had to go look the word impose up to see if there was something I was missing here, but all the definitions had the same sense of the word that I am familiar with, that of bringing something on someone with force or at the very least authority, pushing it at them. I did not feel that! I felt instead that I was giving them a splendid gift. The opportunity to remember by word and symbol the fragile and brief nature of this earthly life. How precious it and we are before God. And how God holds us in that life...and that we can indeed trust God to do that.

As I spoke each person's name and said those sacred, sacred words, "remember that you are dust and to dust you will return," I kept thinking about something that was said in our prayer workshop on Sunday, that essentially the "dust" that we are is the stuff of the universe, the same matter as supernovas and stars, glaciers and canyons, the very ground we stand on and air we breathe...the stuff, could it be....of God? "

Remember that you are of God, and to God you will return." It was all I could do to hold back the tears as I looked into each face in this wonderful quirky bunch and traced on their heads a cross of ash to carry with them into the night as a reminder of how very much they are loved.