Wednesday, September 23, 2009

some thoughts about week 1

  • I recently heard that if you're not exhausted by the end of the first week of classes in the campus ministry game, you're not doing it right. It's Wednesday and I've been exhausted for at least two days.

  • But it has been phenomenal! At The Edge House at UC, Sunday evening's Make-Your-Own Sundae drew about 70 students throughout the two hours and Monday's Mini-Masterpieces and pizza at least 80. Last night's Theology Throwdown (thanks DG for the name) drew about 15 or so and we had a feisty, quickly-moving conversation. It's amazing to finally be doing the thing I've been preparing for for months.

  • AND my boss, the lovely and vivacious Larry, told me that what I'm doing--house revamp, ministry reboot--is what he's been dreaming fondly about for years.

  • And what's maybe more amazing is my co-planners. Co-ministers? Let's go with friends. Jamie and Chris have been gifts to me in my stumbling around in the campus ministry dark. We're all new or relatively new to the party and are leaning on one another for many things. Absolutely no way I could have survived this week without them. And we're only half-way there.

  • I read Benson Hines' campus ministry blog and feel...lazy. Or amateur. He's got such great stories and ideas, most culled from ministries around the country, and I wonder if I'll ever be in a position to do what he writes about. But that's just the exhausted part of me. The other, energetic part says, "let's go!"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

today I am doing a new thing

I've figured out what's got me running so scared about campus ministry. I know, I put forth this air of utter competence and joyous energy--how could I possibly have doubts? Well, I do. Don't you?

It's not meeting people. It's not doing cool programs and/or worship. It's not interacting with faculty and administration. It's the students.

More specifically, it's empowering the students to be leaders. Everyone who's anyone at the campus ministry party says the key to successful (however you define that) ministry is a student-owned and -run operation. I'm all for it. It's all about the priesthood of all believers, about empowering the laity, about the priest/minister/grand poobah not being in charge but just another guy with a specific set of skills. It's about community sustainability. Again, I'm all for it. I'm just not sure I'm all about it.

Do I, extroverted and sometimes control-adjacent Alice, have the skills and gifts for giving the power to someone else? Looking back at five years in my previous parish, I wonder. I created an elected youth council to govern and vision for the youth group and many of the youth were active in planning and encouraging others. But they weren't where I had hoped. But process theology tells me that we never truly arrive--we're always on the way. It's less about hitting a particular, self-inflicted goal and more about how you exist and change in relationship.

Pray for me and for officemates Chris and Jamie that we stay semi-sane and feel the breath of God periodically.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

someone else's blog

In my continuing, in-depth series of posts of other people's blogs, check out officemate Chris Bean the Nazarene (say it out loud)'s recent post.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

excellent article

Wonderful opinion piece about whitewater and American willful ignorance.

Only you can prevent stupidity.