Monday, September 29, 2008


If my wardrobe spoke it said for months blue
Now some days it speaks of red over top underneath yellow or orange


If I could change the world I would start with I
If I could give you everything I would start with myself


If I could get lost in the laughter of myself
Would it take me to the center of God

Thursday, September 25, 2008

There's things and there's things

My secular world is still stressful. The wife and I spoke with our children's principal - apparently there's a particular group of boys who single out one or two kids each school year to bully, and for whatever reason they've choosen our son. I don't really want to talk about it more then that, other then to say so far so good.

I've been sick, so I haven't put my extra hours in this week - but my body is thankful for the break.

My church world is flourishing. I have some "show myself off points" coming up - I give my first greeter training in a few weeks. Then towards the end of October I'll teach my first ever Sunday school class; the last part of a 3 part class. At least I hope these will be "show myself off points". Prayers that I'm not a complete idiot in front of my fellow congregants.

On a car pool ride to a training (2-ish hours away) I needed to take as did this person; I discovered that they too are discerning for ordained ministry so it was really nice to talk to someone who is within this same sort of space.

I know I passed initial unspoken, here's to one day each day many steps towards...the just maybe; and that my secular world will become safe and less turbulent.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Surly - The word of the day

Disclaimer: don't read if you don't want to hear about someone struggling with class prejudice.

I just signed up yesterday for Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day...and it's poetic that the first word I get describes my mood right now:

surly (adj): 1 : menacing or threatening in appearance. *2 : irritably sullen and churlish in mood or manner : crabbed.

I am feeling definition #2 - churlish, crabbed. I'm struggling with my feelings about my neighborhood, the children in this neighborhood (and hence within the school), the children's parents or lack thereof, and Burlington liberal bullshitters.

Burlington has a beautiful veneer that hides the rot underneath. Yesterday the kids were out front playing with their basketball, my son came in to get something and then went right back out. In that short span of time, two boys walk by and ask my daughter for her to give them the basketball. She told them no, and luckily they left her alone. And on top of that, a boy at after-school care punches my son, and he reacts - but do the people watching over them see the first incident - no, of course not - they see my son react. I walk up to hear some guy talking shittily to my son - and come to find out he's a teacher at the school. This guy did apologize to me - not to both me and my son though, it still has me pissed off.

We need to move - but we can't afford any of the other places, and the ones we can afford are just tiny crap boxes.

I keep thinking that perhaps God is challenging my own liberal beliefs. Can I walk my own talk, can I see beyond the stereotypes so beautifully choreographed in my daily living? Can I love these people? And I have to be honest - not yet. I just can't seem to like let alone love people, be they adults or kids, who fuck with my family.

I'm just not used to living in a space where people really don't care about one another, they don't look out for each other...I don't want to embrace this culture - I miss San Antonio. I never felt unsafe in SA, but the wife and I don't feel safe here.

And I think I'm most upset, because I'm worried about what affect this place will have on my kids (on me). My daughter already modeled some of my words spoken in anger about the people who stole their soccer ball right in front of them - those people are assholes. So the daughter used that same word on the two boys that tried to take her brother's basketball on them - and she even did so with smarts...she waited until they couldn't hear her. I'm worrying about my own modeling of my(re)actions.

So, I've had to remind my children (which isn't a bad thing - just makes me sad) what to do when someone is doing something they don't like; what to do if they're being hurt.

We've had to talk about the demographics of our neighborhood and what it means to live in a poor neighborhood where parents and kids don't respect other people and things. That just because we see these things and these types of behavior does not make it ok.

I wonder at what my kids think about all the talking they've been doing in school (weeks of this now) about being good citizens and community builders. Cause what's being talked about is not being modeled in most homes, nor apparently by the teachers who teach it.

I keep wondering why I seem to only get a small amount of time to live in the moments here that feel good. Like I'm not allowed to get comfortable, maybe there's something I'm being pushed towards that I wouldn't seek out otherwise.

And then I start asking myself if I can really do 2 years of this when it's only been 4 months. My God, what if somehow it extends out past 2 years? Is the price I'm asking them to pay, for me to pursue my calling not selfish? Is this fair? Is it worth it? I want to scream at these people - can't you just live in community together! Don't you understand what that means, what it can mean!

If you made it this far thanks for listening to me rant.

Friday, September 12, 2008

And the Season Begins

The last fews days have been spiritually filling and physically draining by the end of the day...but, I wouldn't trade them for anything.

The past weekend was Start Up Sunday and start up things have. This week: I went to Pastoral Care training (one more official training to go), I went to my first EFM class here, I had what I'll call a Greeter Lead meeting, and my first well we thought of you when this need came up. I may have to turn this one down because of the amount of time it may involve - but, I'll know more tonight; either way it felt so good to be asked for many, many reasons. The Greeter Lead meeting was great because I got to 'show me off a little bit'. Meaning I was just me, and I was relaxed, and we shared stories, and it was just really nice...and mentor priest said randomly that she was really happy that I was here.

Then we went to the children's open house last night, and we really do like our children's teachers, and knowing more about what's coming up in the next weeks and the overall objectives for the year made me feel better. Though the wife and I are still going to need to supplement the children's learning. Our old school district was really good, and we've discovered that because of this our kiddos are quite abit ahead, and we'd like them to stay ahead.

The wife and the kiddos are really enjoying their evenings together. The wife gets home most days at 4pm and with the kids going to bed a little later, they have more time together. Both kiddos are really enjoying soccer this year - it's a six week season - and we were quite suprised that Sonshine not only likes the game (which he used to not like at all) but is also excelling at. Princess still kicks soccer booty too. The wife really likes her job because as she says, "I'm so relaxed at work...people show up, are happy to be there, and I get to leave on time."

So life is good, and when I start to feel the roller coaster ride start to take that downward slump - I really need to hold onto these moments.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Bishop of Vermont's Views on Lambeth

I should have been reading his statements in "real time" but I just went over to the Diocese website and read what he posted nearly daily while at Lambeth. It's lengthy and if you want to read it in date order then start at the bottom:

The winning log for the General Convetion has been picked - I like it and the spirit the convetion would do good to embody - Ubuntu. You can see and read about it here:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Monday, September 01, 2008

Letting Go of Doubt and Holding on to Hope

Letting Go of Doubt and Holding on to Hope

I'm not at all certain this community will see in me what my last community saw. But then I ask myself, if this community can't see "it", then it was no call at all. And then I wonder if that is correct thinking.

Should not call transcend place? But these places/spaces are so very different; very different missions. In some ways they are the yin and yang of each other - one is so firmly spiritually and familial centered (it is a beautiful thing it behold), the other is outward focused social justice oriented without that sense of familial. There's loyalty and commitment - perhaps this sense will change come September when the usual flow of the church begins. If I could but meld the too - what a sight to behold.

I need to hold them both within - remember and honor both spaces...the comparing must stop.

I hold on to: I can only be me, I don't really know how to be anything else. But, that good old doubt - will it be enough, do I want this too that wrong...I admitted to (whom I will now try to reference as mentor priest) mentor priest that I was starting to wonder if I got it all wrong, did I get this wrong, then I sighed, smiled, and said perhaps I should give myself a break, give myself some credit [thank you alt - those words have stuck with me].

Without going into details - and this is my sense of things; I'm going to have to prove myself. I'm going to have to exude confidence and leadership. I'm going to have to exude priestly precence (this is totally my thinking). I've got to walk the walk, and talk the talk...oh my how silly this sounds...I can only be me - and will that be enough. I have leadership (the wife assures of that I have), but the way I lead may not be considered leadership. Confidence may sink is my achilles heel. I am confident when I am completely comfortable. It's when I'm not that will require working on...not letting anyone sense that I'm not feeling confident at the moment.

I had thought the roller coaster of emotions would stop once here...I think unfortunately (at least for me) this is a part of my process, a part of my journey. I am the rock and the doubter.