Saturday, October 27

the interview

well, I think it went well. As a friend said, "if you showed them the best you, then that's all you can do." I think I did off the best me, that is. The call committee is a group of people that seem to enjoy each other and all love their church, so it was a good time. It was pretty low pressure, which was nice, and I ended the day by spending close to an hour with the senior pastor.

Oh, I could so see myself there. The things they are looking for in this pastor are where my skills and gifts are; the part of CA the city is in is just beautiful with lakes and a river and a new city to explore all right there; I got along well with the senior pastor (although he had Joel Osteen's new book on his shelf...I should have asked, but didn't). Here I repeat my mantra..."we'll see." I supply in a Bay Area congregation in three weeks, so some of the call committee may roadtrip to see me in action, so no pressure there :-) but it is much better than a tape or a video, that's for sure!

But, the downside is that they are considering another candidate and the interview with that person doesn't happen until after Thanksgiving. Sigh. So...more waiting. I've been invited to the regional mobility conference...I may do that. I should check flight prices and see if it is a possibility - it seems like a prudent thing to do, to increase my exposure and my opportunities, and it will help me feel like I'm doing something, which at this point is a good thing!...and a rare thing.

Saturday, October 20

the end may be nigh

Jesus may be returning soon...Kansas football is on top of the Big 12 North and they are the only undefeated Big 12 team at 7-0. I remember fondly the 7-0 start of the 1995 season and the energy and enthusiasm that surrounded the program (it almost made up for all of the crud we had to put up with). There are times when I miss athletic training and there is really nothing like being part of a program that is winning. Then, I remember the politics of athletics departments, the insane hours, the rather lowish pay, the years when the program isn't winning and everyone has to bear the brunt of the blame game. Yes, I miss it when things go well - but when I see a football coach go after a support staff person, I remember why I was happy to get away from it. I sometimes wonder if I'll ever get back to it. I have worked my butt off to keep my certification current with continuing education classes and home programs and journal quizzes and CPR courses, but will it be needed I keep wondering. I worked so hard to get the stupid thing in the first place I find that I'm unwilling to let it go.

Well, I'll enjoy the run from afar and remember the joy of '95, before the wheels fell off the train, and then I'll remember the challenge and pain of '96. I was blessed to work with great people and wonderful student athletic trainers and student athletes. They made it worthwhile, even when it seemed like hell on earth.

Friday, October 19

One of the blogs I regularly check in at is RevGalBlogPals - the link is on the left if you want to check it out yourself. One of the things they do is a "Friday Five" and I'm giving today's version my first shot at here goes.

If you were a food, what would you be?

Mac and Cheese (homemade)...comforting, dependable, and you know - cheesey.

What is one of the most memorable meals you ever had? And where?

Memorable meals for me actually have to do more with the people, than with the food, I guess, as all the meals that came to mind centered on who I ate with and then went to the food. Whether holiday meals with family, or those times friends gathered in my 400sq foot apartment, the people make the meals memorable.

What is your favorite comfort food from childhood?

Ham and noodle of those Cream of Mushroom soup based casseroles...served with orange jello. (I grew up in ND, remember!)

When going to a church potluck, what one recipe from your kitchen is sure to be a hit?
Cheesey potatoes.

What’s the strangest thing you ever willingly ate?
Raw Oysters...not so strange when I consider the realm of strange foods, but I'm a rather conservative eater when it comes to things like this. Also, the texture of oysters creeps me out, so I've only had them once.

Bonus question: What’s your favorite drink to order when looking forward to a great meal?
A nice glass of red wine.

Thursday, October 18

not quite so cranky

As previously mentioned, the bishop of my assignment synod was in town yesterday. I have been pretty angry about the apparent lack of concern expressed by the synod staff about how I am paying my bills, rent and insurance. When we spoke, his first question was, "How are you getting by?" Now, I know I was angry, and I know that I was hurt, but until he asked that question I didn't fully realize how much I needed to hear someone, "in power" ask me that question. So, we talked - I talked rather frankly with him, and with a churchwide staff person that I know, about how lately I feel like I'm in the back row a huge auditorium, standing up and waving at the mobility people on the stage, yelling "hello, here I am, hello!" I very much appreciate my relationship with this bishop - I have always been able to be honest with him and he has never made me feel like a whiner or like I'm expecting too much from him, or imposing too much on his time...when I am able to find him, that is. There are no "perfect" open calls in that synod right now, but we talked about what might be available in the not too distant future. I felt good about the conversation and will see him soon when he is back in town for another meeting.

I heard from the call committee chair of the relatively local congregation a few days ago. I am going to go "over" there on the 27th to meet with the call committee, have lunch and get shown around the area. As previously reported, I've done some preliminary scouting of the area and it's a nice part of Northern California. I'm now checking out the congregation via their references from their paperwork and people that I know in the church's conference. It still seems like a good match and I'm cautiously optimistic. Prayers for discernment are much appreciated.

Saturday, October 13

big weekend

It's an important weekend - in a weird way, I guess. For me, my name goes to a call committee today. Two other candidates are also being presented to the congregation. My skills and passions match well with what this congregation says (in their paperwork) they are looking for in an associate pastor; I would love, love, love to stay in this part of CA; but yet I'm strangely flat, emotionally speaking, about this. I hope it is because I am tired of the huge emotional ups and downs and not because I've stopped caring about all of this. I do hope that the call committee wants to begin a conversation with me - I think this is an interesting community that is asking good questions about their place in the community, and I am interested to see how I might fit in with what they are up to in their community and in the world.

It's a straight up important weekend for someone else. I have a good friend who is "on stage" this weekend at a congregation in her synod. She has interviewed and is now going to preach and show off her charming self to the congregation on a Sunday morning. Go SHM! I think, considering the location, that you should preach in your "big snake" voice.

On Wednesday, the annual bishop's visit happens at the seminary. The bishop from the synod I was assigned to will be here. I haven't heard a word from him in close to 3 months...and only once from the guy working mobility. Not once have I received contact asking if I have a job or a place to live or how I am dealing with the long wait. Maybe it is too much to ask...but I would hope not. Other friends in this situation have similar experiences - a lot of talk about being patient and what the synod needs/wants, but little effort is made to help those of us in limbo, or even to check in with us. It's very frustrating and disappointing and is what is really making me angry at this point. As a friend recently reminded me when I commented on how busy bishops and their assistants are, "but you're one of the things they are supposed to be busy with!"

Friday, October 5


I drove northeast today to visit the area of the congregation previously name goes in for an associate next Saturday. I didn't get a huge "hell no" feeling, so that was good. I didn't immediately fall in love with it either, but it's a typical outlying suburb of a big city, and the area around the church seems to be older and a little more run down, but less than a mile away there are some new developments under construction, so the congregation is in what seems to be an interesting area. The church itself is on a main thoroughfare (or what seems to be), so it's very visible from the road.

After being hugely disappointed by my last possibility, I am trying to be cautious, emotionally speaking. I have an email out to the assistant to the bishop asking about what the procedure is in this synod, so hopefully soon I'll have some idea about what to expect after he takes names to the congregation.

In my other world, I'm looking for strategies for thesis writing. I need to find a way to write while my life is a roller coaster, and I have quite a few people around me who have had to write in less than ideal circumstances, so they are helping me with suggestions and encouragement, and mostly understanding.