Friday, September 26, 2008

I forgot to mention

Prime time soaps

Which I watch and wonder why

I saw Grey's Anatomy last night and thought maybe they jumped the shark. Christina was impaled by an icicle I thought - this is nuts! And it looks like there is going to be a flood or tidal wave next week. There was a scene last night where the nurses and the doctors were at the entrance of the emergency room waiting for patients to come. It was nuts - why am I watching this?

The 5 year jump in Desperate Housewives is intriguing. But Susan gets on my nerves in that show. We will see.

And then there is Brothers and Sisters - which I only watch because it is after Desperate Housewives. The people who I don't like on these shows include Sally Fields, Rob Low and Ally MaxBeal (I know that is not her name - but she acts like her) They all get on my nerves. But again, I wonder why I watch.

Somebody help me.

What am I watching?

I really enjoy reading what other people are watching - so why not share about my own shows?

First of all I start every day on MSNBC with Morning Joe and Meka. As a campaign junkie, I often like the discussion. But I must say, that I miss Tim Russert alot. My favorite people on there are Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell. I also like Chris Mathews on that show.

I am a not so secret soap person and if I come home for lunch I spend a little bit of time in Genoa City with Victor and Nikki and the gang. (The Young and the Restless) and sometimes stay and watch a little The Bold and the Beautiful.

Oprah continues to be one of my best friends and I often watch her if I am around and interested. The shows I HATE on Oprah, however, are the "My Favorite Things" shows where everyone is screaming and I am thinking that it is a bunch of priveleged women getting stuff that is free advertising for the companies. It just gets on my nerves.

If there is nothing on that I want to watch - I go to MSNBC for Hardball, Keith Olbermann and now Rachel Maddow.

However, there are some shows I want to watch:

Mad Men is very good - and I really enjoy it when I remember to watch it. I wish they showed it again during the week.

I am a Law and Order watcher - all of them but especially the original. Now that Marnie is living here I have someone to watch with me.

I watch a lot of Bravo - Project Runday, Top Chef, and Top Design are ones many people watch. But in a pinch I can get engrossed in the Real Housewives or New York or California and Tabitha's Salon MakeOver. I also love, love, love the Actor's Studio. The host is smarmy but a lot of times the creative process of actors is something I find fascinating.

I guess that is it. I also watch Scrubs in syndication. I have now watched every episode at least once - many several times. It is definitely an acquired taste - but I think it is so creative and funny!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Healing Ministry

I have good news. Good news for me!
Last week the power went off at church and at home on the 14th of September. The 15th was the deadline for submitting my sabbatical proposal to the Louisville Seminary. I wrote the sabbatical proposal two weeks before and was very very busy and figured that I would do the submission of it - via computer - on the 14th.

And of course, no power. The power came on at 10 pm. So, I ran downstairs and submitted everything I could - but I got the proposal summary through - but could not figure out how to do the description of the sabbatical itself. And I figured....oh well. At least I knew what I wanted to do.

Well, I got an email today from the seminary saying that the power had gone out there (!!!) and that they were reviewing proposals. I wrote back and explained about my problem and they said - go ahead and re submit!!! Great! It is highly unlikely that I would get the $10,000 - but wow it would be great!

I wrote my letter for the newsletter today and wrote about the healing ministries at our church. Last week we heard that Pat H. has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer (stage one, thank God) and we as a congregation prayed over a prayer blanket for her in worship. And I drove it to her home on Sunday. It is such a gift to be able to do that for people ....a tangible representation of our love and God's love. That is one of our ministries. It meant alot to me when I could have the church pray for Ellen's prayer blanket and I know for many people it has been wonderful. I am so glad we do it.

We also do healing worship services monthly that include intercessory prayers, laying on of hands and anointing. Again - very personal and tangible.
Finally, we do reiki. This month I wrote about it - our "healing hands ministry." I have done four reiki treatments in the last week - one for Lindsay who was getting married and need to de-stress, one for Nancy, who is having leg problems, one for Carrier and her mother who are grieving the loss of Carrie's dad. And for all of them, it just gives peace. And for some, I would not be surprised if there was real healing. I never understand, but I am blessed that I am part of doing it.

The Sabbatical is for me to go around the country and learn more about healing ministries in other churches and the way they do them. (July, August 2010) I hope, I hope, I hope, I hope I get to do it!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

2 weddings and 2 funerals

In the last ten days.

This is what makes my life always interesting. The two funerals were a study in contracts. One was for a saint of the church who had five children and countless friends and admirers. She died at 86 after a long illness. The church was full and while there were tears and more tears - there was a sense of joy. We were happy to have known her and the stories were just wonderful. I loved it all even though it felt like a great responsibility to do honor to her.

The second funeral was actually a committal service. I was contacted by the funeral home to do it and I said yes. The woman was about the same age and had passed away in a nursing home facility. There were exactly 6 people in attendance at the cemetary. It was the morning after the storm - and there were trees and branches strewn around the cemetary. Very different.

The two weddings were both wonderful in their own way. And different. I attended one and officiated at the other. The first one was at the church and the theme was the OSU Bucks. So the groom wore grey and the bride wore a beautiful white dress with a little scarlet at the bodice and in the train. I loved it. The wedding was very traditional and the reception was at the church. The food was prepared by friends of the mother and served by the women of the church. There was a wonderful cake that was a recreation of the OSU Stadium with a replica of the bride and groom in the middle. It was great. Lots of fun. I know that after the reception there was going to be an after party that was watching the game at a bar. (they lost)

The other wedding was Brett's sister's and I officiated. It was less traditional and more casual and yet elegant. It was in their back yard and every detail was attended to by them. The service itself had the bride and groom saying their vows in front of their pond. Beautiful. The reception was in a big tent in the yard with lots of dancing and drinking and stories. A picture perfect evening.

So, as I write this, I can only say that I feel blessed to be with people in the saddest and happiest times of their lives. I literally get a front row seat to so many experiences and I cherish it all.
I love the fact that brides and grooms these days have to much freedom to do their weddings in ways that suit who they are and that reflect their interests. I pray that both of these marriages thrive.

And funerals can be the most meaningful events in my life. It always makes me think about my legacy and what is really important in life.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Power Out

Sunday night we had the remnants of Hurrican Ike blow through Columbus. It meant that for about 4 hours we had 60 to 70 mile per hour winds. And it caused a lot of power outages.

When the storm started the electicity went out in many places. Like the church. I got to church at 4:30 Sunday afternoon and there was not power (electical that is!) I have to confess that my immediate response was that we should cancel church at 5:00 - the gospel praise service. Dawn told me that we should go ahead and do it. And, of course, she was right.

We had 25 in worship - which is a lot for that service and it was pretty interesting considering that our church is all windows and we could watch the trees in the storm throughout the service. it wasd like living out our reality - we gather to worship in the midst of the storms of life. Glad we did that - especially because Nicole joined church that Sunday.

I went home to no power at the house. And it was okay. We got our candles out, found some flashlights and it was really interesting. We spent a lot of time on the front porch watching the storm. And then went to bed and read by flashlight.

The next day we still had no power. I had to visit someone at the hospital early in the morning, so I was able to get my morning coffee there. I did a funeral service and rode with the funeral director to Dublin - a trip that took a long time because there was a tree blocking the main road and many, many lights out. At the church there was no electicity. So, I ended up making some phone calls with the cell phone and finally going home. We managed fine that day and spent time in different ways than we usually do - like talking to each other on the front porch. Something really good about that!

The lights came on at home at 10 PM and I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs to the computer. I was going to spend Monday putting together my sabbatical proposal which was due Monday. Unfortunately, I could not do it in that short of time and so, I will do a sabbatical but I will not be eleigible for the $10,000 from the Lilly Foundation. I figure this was still a gift to me because it enabled me to define what I really want to do. (study healing churches)

The church and many, many people still do not have electicity. As I write this on Wednesday morning, I prepare to go to churcha and check it out. We have a program tonight that will be cancelled if we don't. The Columbus Schools have been out now for three days. Very strange, all of it.

The positive part to this experience has been the sense of community that has come in the neighborhoods and everywhere else. On Monday our neighbors allowed us to tap into their generator so that our food in the refrigerator did not go bad. People are helping people with their yard work and just talking about this shared experience.

It is one of those weeks we will talk about for years to come.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tuesday night

I am home and too busy but very happy.
We just had a board meeting at church and found out that things are going okay at the church financially. That is always good news.
We are doing some new things which all make me excited in various ways.

We just started our afterschool program yesterday. We are working with the YMCA which is next store and middle school age kids come over after school for snacks and for tutoring. We supply the snacks and the Y provides the tutors. The tutors are really good and it is great to see them with the kids. And I love interacting with the kids. Today we had about a dozen kids and it was just fun for me to be there. I am sure that this is going to grow - what a great start for the church!

We are going to try something really new for a stewardship campaign this year. We will do a big lunch after church that is going to be catered and bring in a guest minister to work with the leadership team on the program. And Daryl's brother Herb is going to be the guest minster which is wonderful! It all feels to good to me. I am excited.

I presented to the board my idea for a sabbatical in 2 years - which would be to go around the county studying churches that are involved in healng ministries. I will be submitting this to the Louisville Seminary program this week to try to receive a grant of $10,000 for the program. It is hightly unlikely that I would get the money - but it has made me do some real thinking about wat is important to me and certainly it is in developing healing minstries.

Finally , I started my classes in spiritual diretection on th 22nd of August and I really really like the readings and the class time. Often, as a pastor, it feels like I am in sales - trying to sell people on the possibility of the spiritual life - let along getting to show them the ways that we all grow siritually. This classis a chance for me to be with people who are all really engaged in the journey itself. I am not in a leadership position - but learing. Learning so much.

Over and over I want to say.... God is good, all the time.

One more thing - our life has changed in a big way in that Manie and Reagan and Addie have moved in. Surprisingly, (I suppose it is surprising!?) we really enjoy having them. Chuck loves cooking for them and we both enjoy their company. The little girls are just a delight. Who knew how nice it would be for us?

We don't know what the future is going to bring, but for right now - it is all very nice. All of it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

from Toledo

Yes, we are not home again. We are in Toledo Ohio ataying with Lisa and Harve.
Lisa's aunt Margaret Jane passed away Sunday and the family asked me to do the funeral.
So here I am.

12 years ago I did Lisa's mom's funeral and a month after that I did the funeral for her sister. And now this is the third sister. The oldest, Leila, is the only one still living.

I always feel honored to do anyone's funeral. it is so interesting to do what I did today - to spend time with a family who is remembering the life of someone that they loved. Margaret Jane was, like all of her sisters and her mother - a teacher. In fact - amazingly, at one point all four sisters and their mother taught in the same school. They covered 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th grade. That amazes me.

It was a family that valued education and was very intellectual. Margaret Jane was 82 years old and passed away Sunday night as we all would like - in her sleep in her home. I hope and pray that tomorrow the service will be what she would like. Simple but honest about who she was.
And she was, like many women of her time, (and maybe like me) remembered the most for the family that she loved. But I am sure that she touched the lives of more people than she knew.
Certainly Lisa and Brian were among them.
Keep them in your prayers.
(and me, as I am procrastinating in writing the memorial address right now)