Presbymeme II

Bruce Reyes-Chow, the very distinguished moderator of the PCUSA started this meme, and I have been tagged not only by Pappan but also by Neal.  So here goes:

The Rules

  • •In about 25 words each, answer the following five questions (I always break this one!).
  • •Tag five presbyterian bloggers and send them a note to let them know they were tagged.
  • •Be sure to link to this original post.
  • •Leave a comment or send a trackback to this post so others can find you.

1) What is your favorite faith-based hymn, song or chorus?

I think I am going to agree with Carol on Be Thou My Vision.  Something about that song breaks me on the inside.  I love to play it, sing it, strum to it, etc.  

2) What was the context, content and/or topic of the last sermon that truly touched, convicted, inspired, challenged, comforted and/or otherwise moved you?

Probably Bill’s sermon series on the Beatitudes.  It was all about how impossible they are if you really try to follow them, about what they mean in a context that isn’t homogenous, how we hear and respond the the kingdom they represent.

3) If you could have all Presbyterians read just one of your previous posts, what would it be and why?

Hmm… interesting question.  Maybe this one.  or This one…not sure to be honest!

4) What are three PC(USA) flavored blogs you read on a regular basis?

hmmm… i like the following:

Adam’s blog

The Pap-ster

Nealio

5) If the PC(USA) were a movie, what would it be and why?

Hmm… I find it disturbing that everyone seems to have picked creepy movies to relate to the PCUSA… So I will choose something light-hearted.  Let’s say, Hancock.  Cuz if we wanted to we could be bad-ass, you know?  We just need to get it together.

 

I don’t know who to pass this on to… i got in late, so perhaps I will let it be, unless I get hounded.

Advertisements

Ministries of Misery

So I finished my Ord exam today (whoopeee!) and am now back in that blissful state known as pure summer… which means that i finally have time to write a bit of substance.  So what has been on my mind?  Lots of things, actually.  Due to exegesis exam, for starters, my mind is focused quite a bit on questions of justice and fairness (which in turn makes me think of Rawl’s “Justice as Fairness,” a classic in modern philosophy which I practically inhaled in college).  Also due to the exegesis exam, I have been thinking a bit about hospitality.  I say this not because of the question offered in the theology exam on the christian practice of hospitality, but based upon an experience I had while turning in my exegesis exam to the Office of Ministry Studies at HDS.

The details aren’t necessarily important, but the gist of it was a question I found myself asking as I left the room-  how does one minister to others in the context of work?  Yes, it is indeed true that we all have bad days, or that it is difficult to come back into the bustle after a long and luxurious vacation, but the question remains: how?  My experience today informed my impressions about the Office of Ministry Studies in a way that made me feel unwelcomed and uncared about.  What about new people, or folks who don’t have the benefit of knowing a person well enough to see when they might be having a bad day or a rough transition back into work?

I know I was on the administration end of the same thing this summer, for it was often the case that I was tired out of my mind and conveyed precisely that message to others in my way of relating.  For me, the issue is therefore one in which I am aware of how I feel when others treat me less than hospitably, paired with a desire to not induce the same feeling in others.  I know that I am called to welcome others and to be a presence that reflects Christ, but it gets freakin’ hard when you are sick or exhausted or burnt out.  Those are the moments when I feel my most challenged (I know I am not alone!)  So how do I, as my friend Steve put it, resist the tendency to project a ministry of misery and instead maintain an air of hospitality in the face of my own demons?
It is a question I will struggle with, I am sure, my whole ministry.  Still, I put it out there… how do you (whomever you are) deal with your demons?

Observations from Ords

So ords are almost over and, as I have struggled to finish my exegesis exam, I have learned a few things and made a few observations about how they affect one’s personal life. Without further ado:

1) There is no better time to execute a complete facelift of one’s blog than while sitting in the basement of the Divinity School library thinking about a sermon outline for an ordination exam.

2) Of course now is a good time to move into a new apartment!

3) It is possible to spend TOO much time in the library… and yes, it does affect one’s tan.

4) Coffee tastes better when someone else makes it.

5) Never underestimate the procrastinating powers of a trip to the beach.

6) Ords inspire you not only to think exegetically and pastorally but to have long extensive catch-up phone calls with your family… that can’t be wrong, can it?

7) it is possible to lose all feeling in ones thumb for almost an entire week as a consequence of choosing to sit all four ords at once.

I am sure that more will follow… any other suggestions from people writing furiously out there?

When studying becomes a pleasure…

Who knew that reading Shirley Guthrie could be such a fulfilling experience?  I certainly didn’t expect studying for ords to be gratifying in most senses of the word, so it has certainly been a welcome surprise to find that the most universally recommended text for studying for ords happens to be one of the more engaging survey texts I have gotten my hands on in the past few years…. speaking of which, I find myself asking how is it possible that I have yet to come across this book after two years at Harvard Divinity School?  Do I even want to know the answer?

You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here

The youth are gone for the summer…. and yet I remain.  We are done next Tuesday at noon, which feels unreal, considering that this summer has been so full of experiences and of work.  It has been frustrating, exhilarating, eye-opening, challenging, exciting, and it isn’t over yet.  Now the fun begins–cleaning up the mess we made and processing the experience ( as though all we could feel about it will be clear in the next 3 days… I will be processing this for months!)

The worst I think is realizing that I have to go back to Boston soon.  Not that I dislike Boston, but I am not really mentally prepared to go for many reasons.  For all of the frustrations of the Youth Initiative as a staffer on its inagaural summer, I have really come to love this place and its people.  I have grown accustomed to being around Alex so comfortably over the past year (almost) and I am afraid to figure out what it will be like to live far away from him for 8 months.  I am worried because I know it will be hard to leave everything, because I don’t know if I am prepared to hunker down and write vociferously for 8 months while dreaming of those far from me.

So yea, thats whats on my mind (in addition to the war in georgia and ordination exams and all the other things swirling in the air).