Sunday, November 30

happy new year!

Yep - happy new year - liturgically speaking, that is. Today is the first Sunday of Advent, and therefore a new liturgical year begins. I love Advent! It is my favorite liturgical season. I love the incarnational emphasis; my favorite hymn is O Come, O Come, Emmanuel; I love blue; I love the anticipation; and I hate the waiting. Not just waiting for Christmas (although at 40 years old, I don't mind that so much), but the waiting for the return of Christ. Partly because I'm not sure what that's going to look like and I'm partly afraid that I'll miss it. I'm a bit worried that Jesus will return, not in a cloud of glory, but as a helpless baby again, and I'll not notice. I'll be so wrapped up in my own stuff, my own expectations that I'll miss it.

I know I miss it every day - every day I miss glimpses of the kingdom of God breaking into the world. I don't help as many others as I could/should, I don't accept help many times when it's offered, and I miss it. Or, I'm so caught up in my own stuff, that I don't notice when those things do happen, and I miss it. The final words of the gospel today are "Keep Awake!"...and I suspect I'm sleeping or clueless much of the time. So I continue to pray for eyes to see, hears to hear and a heart to respond.

Tuesday, November 25

not so much...

so, the sentencing didn't happen. Apparently over 20 people spoke to the perpetrator's character and that he had been punished "enough" with the things that had already happened to him. That took up the allotted two hours, so they convene again next Thursday afternoon and continue on. 

over 20 people - I'm not sure what to do with that. Did they all know what he admitted to on the stand? Did they all know that he admitted the 'relationship' to the bishop 15 months ago, and in fact he brought up the victim's name on his own? Did they know that some of the things he testified that he and the victim did were also felonies? Did they know? Maybe they did, maybe they didn't, but I think very few of those people knew him then and now. I know one family from the church is at odds because one of the kids was there today, and the other kid and the parents objected. But he did it anyway. So many people have been many families have been affected. I don't know what to say.

Yes, I believe in grace and reconciliation and forgiveness - but I also believe that needs to be preceded by repentance and remorse, and I have seen none of that from the perpetrator. What is "enough"? I don't know. But a young woman's life was changed forever - not just her relationship with others, with men affected, but also her relationship with God was forever changed and manipulated by this man. I don't know what to say. And so I pray and I wait. 

Monday, November 24


Tomorrow is the sentencing. I'm conflicted. I want justice to be served...but I also wonder if it hasn't been already. He'll never be a pastor in a main-line denomination. He'll be a registered sex offender. Will justice, will society, be served if he serves prison time? I don't know. He used to be a friend...a good friend (or so I thought)...and so I don't want him to be in prison. But should he serve prison time? I just don't know. I am glad that I don't have to decide. A few weeks ago, the victim asked me what I thought should happen - we had an honest discussion...but neither of us knew what the "right" thing would be.

So, today (and tomorrow) I pray as I have been for months - for justice, and for mercy. For peace and healing to infuse the victim, the perpetrator and all affected. And tomorrow - special prayers for the perpetrator, his wife and their families. No matter what, their lives will never be the same.

Friday, November 21

revgals friday five

1) Do you have a food processor? Can you recommend it? Which is to say, do you actually use it?
I have no food processor, and (perhaps strangely) don't really crave one

2) And if so, do you use the fancy things on it?
no processor to put fancy things on

3) Do you use a standing mixer? Or one of the hand-held varieties?
I DO have a standing mixer - but it's having an electrical issue at the moment, so I'm using the hand-held until I get the Kitchen Aid into the shop.

4) How about a blender? Do you have one? Use it much?
Have one - it mostly lives in the cupboard though.

5) Finally, what old-fashioned, non-electric kitchen tool do you enjoy using the most?
I have a jar opener that I use at least once a week. It's got a sliding grip on it so it can adjust from very small to very wide mouth jars. LOVE IT!

Bonus: Is there a kitchen appliance or utensil you ONLY use at Thanksgiving or some other holiday? If so, what is it?
Yes, several, and they all revolve around baking - the ricer and other lefse making things, spritz cookie press and sandbakkels tins.

Thursday, November 20

the plant that wouldn't die

This is the plant my brother had delivered for my first day of work at LSLC. I'm generally horrible when it comes to keeping plants alive - my black (rather than green) thumb runs all the way up to my elbow - I once managed to kill a bamboo plant, for pete's sake!

this thing won't die. I dump water in it a couple times a week, rotate it so it gets sun on different parts of it, and leave it alone other than that. It does wilt quite dramatically when it needs water, but a few hours after a good soaking it perks back up to it's original shape. I've had this thing for 8-1/2 months now - and it's not only still alive...but still blooming. It's also a wonderful connection to my older brother, and right now that's a nice thing!

Thank you to all who left encouraging comments on my last post. I appreciate each comment more than I can adequately express. As far as the brother - he talked to my cell phone voice mail yesterday...he's in Kuwait for 10 days of training before heading on to Iraq. Other than being exhausted from travel and a messed up sleep cycle he sounded well. Hopefully next time he calls, I'll be able to take the call.

As far as the case in Kansas - sentencing is next Tuesday. For those of you who are prone to do so, I'm asking for prayers for the perpetrator, his wife and their families. I can't imagine the stress they are all experiencing and I pray that God's peace is with them in this time. And peace to all of you this night as well.

Monday, November 17

i'm back

So, I haven't been here for a long while. There has been a lot going on, and I haven't always been sure how, or what, to share. I have now been at LSLC for 8-1/2 months. It mostly has been challenging - the system is a bit on the dysfunctional side and I'm still not certain that congregational ministry is my gig.

In addition, in October I was back in Kansas for a trial. A year ago, a young woman disclosed to me a sexual "relationship" with the youth director of the church I volunteered with in Kansas - the physical relationship began when she was 14 and he, 26. She disclosed to me, because he was soon to be ordained and she knew that I was required to report the offense. She also reported it to the police and the process culminated in his criminal trial in October. I flew back to be with the victim and support her, but ended up being subpoenaed to testify for the prosecution. As the perpetrator was a friend at one point in my life, it was a difficult thing to do. It was also incredibly hard to be there and to hear the other testimony. He was found guilty of a felony offense, and we wait for the sentencing, which is next week. My heart aches for the victim and her family as they continue to deal with this - but also for the perpetrator and his family. He is facing the possibility of prison time which must be devastating on him and his wife. I pray for them frequently, but I also am relatively certain that they wouldn't welcome my prayers and see me as part of their "downfall." The church is a small world, and many people know part of the story, and in several versions I don't come out looking so well. I know that it isn't about me and how I look to others, but it bothers me to know that some people think that I did the wrong thing...and that some of those people are pastors and leaders in the church.

Also, my brother is deploying to Iraq. As I write this, he is in the airport in Shannon, Ireland waiting to go to Kuwait for 10 days before reaching the final destination of Tallil in Iraq. He is part of a supply unit, and will not even be in convoys, but he'll be there nearly a year, and I will worry about him every day. I'm not sure how military families do this repeatedly and over years!

So, I'm back to the blog. I'm not sure if anyone is still checking in, but if you are let me know.