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Apr. 6th, 2010


easter sunday

The jumping off point for this sermon was a piece in an article about sermons (Celebrating the Incarnation, C. Morse) which asked the question: "To what extent is the sermon saying to the world what the world is already capable of saying to itself?"  And then it went in an odd direction.
Did anyone other than me think there were a lot of zombies on tv this weekend?Collapse )
um what?

Good Friday

Although I think it is customary to always read the passion narrative in John, I didn't have the energy to deal with his particular brand of anti-Semitism this year, and so read Mark instead: chapter 14, verse26 through to chapter 15, verse 47. Sections of the following reflection are direct quotes or paraphrases from Rebecca Parker/Rita Nakashima-Brock's fabulous book "Saving Paradise", pages 50-55.
memory/resistanceCollapse )

Maundy Thursday

At our Maundy Thurday service, we handed out a smallish piece of paper and coloured marker as well as the order of service. The scripture reading was selected verses from John 13, including verses 34, 35 "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I hve loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will  know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

Love one another...Collapse )


Jan. 18th, 2010

labyrinth hoop


When I was a very little girl, I had a pink gingham dress that I loved. I loved it so much that when I outgrew it that my mum turned it into a pillow. I couldn't say gingham, and somehow it became known as my prinkle dress and then prinkle pillow. I slept with it every night, wherever we went.

I've been cleaning out stuff from the house; and making a particular effort with a closet in my bedroom, that is largely useless for clothes, because it's spilling out with other things. And making enough progress that this past week, I'd considered a few times some of the things I knew were in there. Thought about the threadbare, stained, lumpen prinkle pillow.

I stood in my bedroom this morning, holding it. One of the pieces of advice for letting go of things is to take photos if they have a sentimental value. But... what would I do with a picture of a bedraggled pillow? I thought about why it was important. It reminds me of my mother; who I love, and is still alive and well. If I want to connect with her, surely picking up the phone is better than holding on to a pillow. And then I remembered the times as a child when I would cry and cry helplessly into the pillow; feeling friendless and miserable. Hardly feelings I want to hold onto.

And then I thought: when I feel like that now, I can call my friends. I'm not alone. I don't need this pillow, because I have far, far better support networks than a worn out child's dress stuffed with polyester.

And with gratitude, put it in the garbage bag, and out to the curb.

Jan. 5th, 2010



I've started watching the A&E show Hoarders on Monday nights. My daughter stood riveted in the room for about five minutes before going upstairs, agitated, because she couldn't stand it anymore. And then she came down twice with huge arm loads of paper clutter from her room - old school work and fashion magazines.

I think what set her off last night was that the homes on the episode weren't that bad. They weren't places where the crew uncovers long dead cats, for instance. And I think she could see that there was definitely a continuum from here to there...  that's it's not just messiness I struggle with, but hoarding behaviour.

The stories are a little too familiar; family histories with divorce, depression, alcoholism; emotional attachment to things because of grief, collecting things with potential, and then drowning in them. Accoutrements for hobbies that aren't used. And I hear some of my inner dialogue on the show "This could be useful" or "It belonged to my grandmother" or "I keep meaning to sort through that pile".


Jan. 3rd, 2010


One Thing Every Day

I've decided to try again this year to work at letting go of some of the stuff in my house. I appreciated the discpline and reflection space at unclutter_2009 , and so am doing unclutter_2010 .

The goal is to get rid of one thing every day, and an extra thing for each new one I bring into the house. I did it for the first few months of last year, and appreciated most of all the shift in my attitudes about acquiring new stuff.

Jan. 1st, 2010


Xmas Eve Sermon 2009

Jesus comes to us...Collapse )

New Year's Blessing

I wish you not a path devoid of clouds,
Nor a life on a bed of roses,
not that you might never need regret,
nor that you should never feel pain.
No, that is not my wish for you.
My wish for you is:
That you might be brave in times of trial,
when others lay crosses upon your shoulders.
When mountains must be climbed,
and chasms are to be crossed.
When hope can scarce shine through.
That your gift God gave you
Might grow along with you
and let you give the gift of joy
to all who care for you.
That you may always have a friend
who is worth that name.
Whom you can trust, and who helps
you in times of sadness.
Who will defy the storms
of daily life at your side.
One more wish I have for you
that in every hour of joy and pain
you may feel God close to you.
This is my wish for you,
and all who care for you.
This is my hope for you,
Now and forever.

- Carmina Gadelica

Dec. 29th, 2009

um what?


I was planning on going into my office this morning, turning up the heat and holing myself up to catch up on some reading. But once I actually looked at the bookshelf in the kitchen where I keep my church books, I realized I had enough catch-up reading at home to keep me busy for a few days. And this way I don't have to change out of my yoga pants or brush the snow off the car.

So I've been reading through 50 Ways to Pray, and when I got to the chapter on body prayers I had to take a break.

I realized that just the title of the chapter was pushing my buttons.

I was at a workshop this fall where I ended up in the body movement section, and I hated it.  I knew I would, and wasn't, actually, as bad as I thought it would be, and it was good to push into what I know is an uncomfortable area for me.

Partly, I'm a bit physically reserved. Partly, I have no reaction when the leader instructs the group to strike a pose expressing sadness. Anger. Joy.

I just....   have no response to that. Sure, I know what the appropriate response should be - I've been at enough of these to see everyone else throwing out their arms for joy, or skipping around, or curling up for sadness. And I do, actually, know what some of my physical tells are for emotions, but some of them are really, small - more like a tightening of shoulders, or a curled lip.

And then, inevitably these things seem to progress to "dancing" around the room - interacting with the others, and maybe waving scarves in the air. While listening to Loreena McKinnet or the like.

And I suppose therein lies one of my deepest irritants with the whole thing. If you want me to dance, play dance music. Maybe I'm the only one in the room who's been inside a club in the last 20 years, but I just hate the way these embodied prayer things cluster together cultural assumptions about music and movement and personal space.

I suppose, given that it is embodied, maybe it's not surprising that this is the one that pushes my buttons.

Anyway, back to reading. And a fresh pot of tea.

Oct. 6th, 2009


poem - by Wei Ying Wu

The moon is full, the autumn nights grow longer,
In the north forests startled crows cry out.
Still high overhead, the star river stretches,
The Dipper's handle set to southwest.
The cold cricket grieves deep in the chambers,
Of the notes of sweet birds, none remain.
The one evening gusts of autumn come,
One who sleeps alone thinks fondly on thick quilts.
Past loves are a thousand miles farther each day,
Blocked from my drifting and my sinking.
Man's life is not as the grass and trees;
Still the season's changes can stir the heart.

- Wei Ying Wu

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