December 30, 2007

A Preaching Image

I preached today at my home congregation. My grandparents attended the service. Upon greeting me prior to the service, my grandma asked me,
"Are you going to wear your toga today?"

English is my grandma's third language ... so she was pretty close. Definitely made me smile at the mental image.

December 28, 2007

Really ... ?

In talking to my mom about the call process and some churches I might be interested in, she says:
"Does Sunday really count as a work day? I mean, you don't work anywhere near 8 hours, so how do you get to 40 hours a week in five days?"
So many misconceptions in just two questions:
  • Sunday is the BIG work day.
  • A lot more energy and thought goes into it than just the hour in front of the congregation.
  • I'd like to meet a pastor who works 40 hours a week.
  • At my yearlong internship, I managed to keep it to approximately 50 hours a week.
And she has a daughter in seminary and has been a member of her church for 26 years. What does the average congregation member think?

December 21, 2007

Done. And done.

I'm finally done. I've made it to the end of the semester. And this time it feels like quite the accomplishment.

I've survived an extended unit of CPE and even learned some things along the way:

  • Nap early and often. You never know what will happen later on in your shift (just smooth out the pillowcase before laying down on it - it'll produce less sleep lines on your face that way).
  • Hot fudge sundaes really do heal all manner of things (3pm or 3am - for this I was thankful that there was a McDonald's in the hospital, even though it seems quite contradictory).
  • Laughter is excellent medicine (thank you to the Ellen show and funny kids' movies).
I've made it through another two classes - one that seemed pointless and one that was fun. By the way, writing a 20 page paper the week it's due is not necessarily smart, but it can be done.

I've even completed all of my paperwork for my last hoop before I start searching for a call. I really hope the committee reads all 42 pages of my packet, because it was a beast to put together during these past busy weeks.

And now I'm finally ready to be home (even though I've actually been in Michigan for the past five days).

I'm done and ready for the festivities and family, the food and fun.

December 12, 2007

(Not) Selling My Soul

I've been working on my PIF/resume as I look forward to the day when my preparation committee will approve that I can officially begin searching for a call. It was intimidating to begin the process. I was worried about selling my soul in order to just write things I know hiring committees will like.

However, I've finished the final draft of my PIF ... and it sounds like me. It's true to who I am and what I'm looking for in a church job.

Here's to the Holy Spirit working in the process so a church and I may find each other before graduation!

December 09, 2007

The Sermon Muse

There are some things I love about preaching:
  • interacting with the text
  • discussing the text with others
  • finding the good news for a specific group of people in a specific place at a specific time
There are some things that are annoying about preaching:
  • being inspired at midnight just as I am about to fall asleep
  • having another great thought come to me while in the shower
Why can't the sermon muse show up when I sit down at the computer and have blocked out time to work on the sermon?

It's not that I'm not grateful for the inspiration of the muse ... I'm just wondering if we could get on the same schedule ...

December 05, 2007

Breaking Bread Together

It's the second day of Hanukkah and I'm on-call at the hospital. At sundown, I "lit" the Menorah candles (or screwed in the right light bulbs) and visited the few Jewish patients to wish them a Happy Hanukkah.

A few hours later I received a phone call from a nurse requesting a menorah for a patient's room. This patient had not shown up on the Jewish census, so I hadn't seen her earlier. I explained to the nurse that we didn't have individual menorahs for patient rooms.

Then I stopped by the patient's room and met her and her two children and her husband. I also explained to them that we didn't have any individual menorahs, but that we did have Shabbat candles that could be put in patient rooms. They requested one. When I returned, they were so grateful for the candle. They offered me some of their food and I visited with them for a little bit.

Their hospitality and generosity were so beautiful and holy. I was deeply touched.