Thursday, March 06, 2008

let it go

Wednesday's healing service celebrated the lives of John and Charles Wesley. Made famous, of course, for being the unintentional founders of Methodism and for writing piles of great hymns. The gospel lesson for the day was Jesus' sending out the Apostles to preach the good news and to heal.

Key to the passage is his admonition to "shake the dust off your feet" if they are not welcomed. It suggests that not even the dust of a town that is ambivalent will stay with the Apostles and with the message. They wash their hands of it. They dismiss them with a gesture. On the one hand, you could say it is harsh and contrary to Jesus' radical inclusiveness. On the other, it's a bit of practical psychological advice to Christians wandering through life--do what you can, offer what you have, be open to the lives and experiences of others, but don't sweat it when they don't do the same. Recognize, as Niebuhr's "Serenity Prayer" says, the difference between the things you can change and the things you can't, and be at peace.

Monday, March 03, 2008

internal monologue upon waking up


[suddenly panicks]

what have i forgotten? did i miss a meeting? no, that was yesterday and the other isn't until tomorrow. ok. breathe.

[breathes slowly]

the bed is so comfy. i don't need to get up for hours. laundry can wait. 's not so important to get thank you cards/spray paint/unripe fruit this morning. five more minutes.

[gets into more comfortable snoozing position]

wait. don't i have to...nah. that can wait. or can it. what time is it? what day is it?

[looks at phone]

plenty of time if i don't make art or meditate this morning.

[feels stab of guilt]

if i feel this tired, i must need to sleep more. i only got, what, 10 hours? sure, another few minutes won't hurt...

[realizes is already truly awake and kidding self]


[gets up]

youth ministry update

Friday night was the first Guys' Night In, an all-boy lock-in at Redeemer. Think about that for a moment--all teenage boys all the time. And guess who wasn't there? If you guessed PastorAlice, you win. Masterful Mike and his Marvelous Minions led the event to a spectacular finish. Oh, who am I kidding, I really was there, albeit behind the scenes. I just can't let go.

Confirmation is nearing the close of business. We have Michael Battle next week and then our final class on Palm Sunday. Times like this, I'm glad for it to be over but also worried that we didn't teach enough or encourage the class' participation more. I am so passionate about the message of the Gospels and such a church nerd. And I want our teenagers to feel it, too. Sometimes I feel like there should be a magic word or phrase that would grab their attentions and surprise them into deep faith. Of course, I know it doesn't work that way, but like a lot of parents, I want to spare them the aching doubt and the rough path ahead. Mostly, I just want them to react to something.

Sunday night was Girls' Night In--not another lock-in, cause I'm not insane--hang out with just the girls, watch Mean Girls, chat about self-image, etc. Hillie, one of my new lieutenants, is fantastic--she brought a clip from Pretty Woman and a kids' book called The Paper Bag Princess and her own growing up experience to the table. We had a good time, though only two teens showed up. Disappointing, but not surprising.

So, youth ministry scores:
guys playing laser tag and talking about God=5
PastorAlice's quest to have less stress about events=1
Girls' Night=2
confirmation and passion for faith=enh...
misery and woe=0