Thursday, December 25, 2008


...but not Humbug.

It doesn't feel like Christmas. Maybe it's because I had to work yesterday and today. Maybe it's because the high today is supposed to be close to 80. Maybe it's the work crankiness. Who knows?

Church tonight was good. Our interim pastor has a real appreciation for liturgy and music. And, after seeing the high school students play their instruments at the Sunday School Christmas program a couple weeks ago (which happens every year on the 3rd Sunday of Advent and drives me crazy because of that every year), she asked them to play for Christmas as well. I'm so pleased by that. Our former pastor, who was wonderful - don't get me wrong, didn't believe in letting the high school students play like that at Sunday services.

I'm really glad that I never had a pastor who was...less than pure, if you know what I mean. I realized tonight that I am really, really bad at saying, "No, thank you" to clergy. I got to church tonight and the pastor greeted me and asked if I was spending the holiday with anyone. I said not, it's just me this year. She invited me to dinner at the home of one of our members (she had their permission ahead of time). I didn't really want to go. I don't mind being alone on holidays. I was going to make a really yummy sounding pasta dish I found on the internet this week. But she seemed so concerned about me being alone, and so excited that they would be having lutefisk, that I couldn't say no. I'm not eating any lutefisk, though. I don't know who thought putting whitefish in lye was a good idea, but whoever it was wasn't German.
So as I was driving home from church tonight, a weird thought popped into my head.
Could a female-to-male post operative transsexual be ordained a priest in the Roman Catholic Church?
I have no idea where that idea came from.
Well, Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it. I'm going to go watch some of the latest obsession I have thanks to iTunes - Top Chef.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I've been meaning to blog about Sunday...

...all week. Unfortunately, I've also been sick all week. Sigh.

So it will have to be a few more days that I leave you in suspense about the long, painful congregational meeting I mentioned on my Facebook page. And when I do, I plan to be fairly vague. While I need to process, I don't need to air our dirty laundry.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

One week ago, it snowed... it hit 80 degrees.

WTF, weather? WTF?

Even though changes in weather supposedly have nothing to do with getting sick, I currently blame my (not) illness on the stupid changes in the weather.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Let it Snow...

Seriously, if you want to see something really funny, watch a bunch of people who have lived in the deep south their entire lives (and haven't really traveled outside it, especially in winter) confronted with snow. It was the topic of conversation at work today. Nearly everyone came in really late today, because they were afraid to drive with the snow falling. The roads were only wet and slushy, not slippery at all (though the bridges and overpasses pretty much all iced).

Oh, and I got my hair cut in the dark. I got to the salon, and they had no power. They said I could reschedule for tomorrow (which I can't because I have an all day meeting) or next week (not an attractive option because the company Christmas party is tomorrow), she could wash my hair and cut it by the windows (it was pretty light out), or she could dry cut it by the windows. I opted for the last. It was the best cut she's ever given me. She actually paid attention to the length I wanted this time.

I'm at the laundromat now. I hope I have power when I get home. If I don't, I swear I'm going to go sleep in the office.

Anyone here watch Torchwood

Probably not, huh? Then this is pretty much meaningless to you. I always fancied myself more like Tosh, so this caught me by surprise.

Which Torchwood Character Are You?
Your Result: Ianto Jones

You most resemble the team's composed, sarcastic general support. Passionate but excellent at hiding it under a reserved exterior, you care deeply about people and have a hard time letting go. The downside of keeping such a tight leash on your external emotions is that sometimes you lose control and have to let it all out. Competent and hard-working, you like to be on top of things.

Toshiko Sato
Gwen Cooper
Owen Harper
Captain Jack Harkness
Which Torchwood Character Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

My Moment of Grand Stupidity

So, last night I was working late in the office, alone. I had my laptop playing Doctor Who episodes for company.

Around 11:45 p.m., I went to the ladies room. Keep in mind that I didn't have my shoes on - the bathrooms had been cleaned (they clean them very well every night), and I was pretty much the only person on the floor.

Well, I finished with what I went in there to do and realized...I had taken my car keys into the bathroom, but not my ID card, which is how you gain access to the suite. I was in the hall in my stocking feet, but my laptop, my purse, and everything else were still at my desk, and I couldn't get them.

I banged on every door that belongs to our company on every floor we occupy. I was the only one in the company still in the building. What could I do?

I could go to my car and drive home. In my stocking feet. In the rain. In 40 degree temperatures.

So, that is what I did. Ruined a pair of socks, and I couldn't feel my feet when I got into the apartment, but everything seems to be fine today.

Oh, and it is snowing in Baton Rouge. The heavy, wet snow that doesn't really make things slippery. You wouldn't know that, however, if you went by Baton Rouge drivers. Five miles an hour on the major roads. I'm not exaggerating. And they were merely wet, not even slick. Nobody who is usually in the office by now is here (although I found one person to let me in before she had to go pick up her kids from school. EBR schools, in their infinite wisdom, decided to cancel school after most of the middle school and high school kids had arrived. And did I mention that it is only about an inch of snow?).

I wonder if I'll still have my haircut appointment this afternoon...

Monday, December 08, 2008


that thing I said about ministry yesterday?

Never mind.

Something happened today to make me realize the hurts from my time at the CCC are still too close to the surface. I had forgotten how much my experience there wounded me, to my soul. I will never understand how churches who are supposed to be preaching the Good News can hurt people so badly.

And for the record, it's my issue, not my current congregation. My hurt is causing me to read stuff into a situation that isn't there. But if something relatively minor was enough to tear open something I though was a scar now, not merely a scab, well...then I still have more healing to do.

Meltdown partially averted...Here's the good stuff

Though the end of the day was a real letdown. I really wish work wouldn't intrude to harsh my mellow when I'm in a good mood.

First of all, the news on our first fundraiser - we made a little over $1300 today. That's incredible. People were so generous - having this fundraiser on the 50th anniversary really worked.

Now, the 50th was wonderful. The liturgy was absolutlely beautiful. LP, you would have been thrilled. It was pretty much as high church as I've ever seen our little congregation get. Although I have to say, it still takes me back to see a woman in a chasabule. Our pastors traditionally only use them on feast days, and the important feasts at that, so this was the first time I've seen our interim in one.

Anyway, the sermon was awesome. The preacher was a pastor who is one of the supply pastors in our area. Her "real job" is as CEO for the largest non-profit hospice in the area. She presided for us a lot this summer when we were completely pastorless, and everyone loves her - especially the kids. She has real gift for giving children's sermons. I think that, if she wanted to do it, we would call her in a heartbeat. But she has three little children, and a fourth on the way. I think she wants something more...regular than being a pastor right now, especially since her husband is a pastor (at the Disciples of Christ church down the street).

Anyway, she preached about Chronos and Kairos, and it was a message I needed to hear. I've let myself be dictated by Chronos for so long, that Kairos has been virtually absent from my life. There have been times in my life when I have felt so close to the Big Guy that He (and I use that generically) has been almost tangible. I haven't felt that much lately. Oh, we are conversing, unlike when I went through my "dark night of the soul" period after the St. Al's CCC debacle. But it hasn't been the intimate, soul-baring prayer I've had at times in the past. I need to find that part of me again.

What I really need is a spiritual director. Because beyond that, I think I have some discernment to do. I made just a quick announcement at church this morning, and I had a bunch more people, including two retired pastors, tell me I should be preaching. Now, how they made that determination from me taking just about a minute to remind people about the fundraiser today, I don't know. But over the course of the past two weeks, about a dozen people - three of them pastors - told me that I should be preaching. And, like I said last week I don't know what to do with that.

Honestly, a part of me always said that if I had it all to do over again, I would have majored in theology, gotten my advanced degrees in Scripture, and taught at the college level. But the idea of being a pastor, of getting to celebrate the Sacraments and preach the Word, was an avenue that was closed to me until very recently. And to be honest, I don't think I'm truly called in that direction. I think it would exhaust and drain me, and I don't know that I am capable of working with people who are sick and dying. The experience I had taking care of my parents at a young age had a profound affect on me in that regard, and not positively (but y'all don't need me to expound upon my guilt tonight, do you?).

At the same time though, I love reading, teaching about, and talking about Scripture, and I have a more Sacramental bent than many in my congregation, and probably in my denomination. But what do I do with that? I'm pretty sure St. Al's ruined me for professional ministry, but is there something I can do on the lay/volunteer level that will use the gifts I've been given? And what would that mean for the scabs that are still there from St. Al's?

Add to this something that happened to me in college that I've never shared with anyone and probably never will. It's incredibly private and intimate, but it crops up in my mind every now and again and makes me question the path I am following.

When you put all these things together, I really think spiritual direction is the path I need to take to work these things out, and to find some Kairos time in my life again. But the majority of the spiritual directors here are Catholic, and I don't want to go down that road for a lot of reasons. There are some who are Episcopal, but most of them have close associations with the CCC, and while I know intellectually that they would keep confidences, I have a hard time trusting anyone who has any associations with that place.

Oh, the rest of the 50th anniversary celebration was wonderful, too. The hymns sounded wonderful - as bad as a bunch of white folks with midwestern roots sound on gospel and spirituals, they sound that good on the old standard hymns. Plus, we sang a hymn composed by our interim pastor that was just wonderful. The whole thing gave me an insight into our little congregation, and the tremendous potential we have, if we just stop holding ourselves back and start trusting God to guide us through change that needs to happen if we are going to survive.

And in completely unrelated news, I left my coat at church this morning. It was in the low 30's when I left the house at 8 a.m., but by the time I left church at 3, it was in the high 70's. Ya gotta love December in Louisiana!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Remember how happy I was earlier?

Well, my mood had done a 180, thanks to work.

Just got back from church...

...and it was good. Really, really good. And not just because we raised about 1/3 of the money we needed to raise.

I will share later because now I have to leave my office to go to a meeting at someones house. It would have been spiffy if someone had called me and told me it had been moved, as I was right down the street from it when I was at church..


Saturday, December 06, 2008

So I think I mentioned that for our first fundraiser for the National Youth Gathering, we are doing a stock sale. This is the certificate I put together.

I printed it on a parchment-y card stock. They look really good, if I say so myself.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I have the urge...

…to write something on my body with sunscreen and go and lay down in a tanning bed.