Thursday, January 31, 2008

the ending of the beginning

The first class session of the last course for the Ph. D. meets on Saturday. So, that means the procrastination by blogging will probably increase. I'm taking Advanced Quantitative Research Methods. But really, I'm starting to put some thought toward the dissertation that comes after the comps.

When I started (Fall 2002), I knew exactly what I wanted to do. That has shifted. I'm now considering clergy and grief. I know that is not defined enough yet. However, I'm thinking that there are times when clergy are involved with church members in multiple relationships that cross boundaries, like the church member who is a 3rd grade teacher and has the preacher's kid in class while the preacher is also the room mother (or whatever they are called now) and a leader in PTA with the husband of the teacher who is also a Trustee at church. When that 3rd grade teacher dies from breast cancer, the grief cannot be contained in a neat little professional box. There are times when, for clergy, to adapt someone else's phrase, the professional is personal.

That is the kind of grief and clergy study I'd like to attempt. I have not found it addressed in any professional literature. (If you know of some please let me know!) What do you think? Would you consider participating (this is not a commitment, just a question)? I could use some conversation around this with other clergy. So comments or questions would really be helpful.

well, of course, I'm working on a Ph.D.

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Friday Five from RevGalBlogPals

Friday Five: Read any good books lately?

as posted by RevHRod

The website promoting this piece of art says, "For the first time, the worlds most influential religious texts are brought together and presented on the same level, their coexistence acknowledged and celebrated”. The shelf is made of reclaimed wood that contains seven religious books. The designers have put them – literally – on the same level.

Well, pish posh! I think that some books ARE better than others! How about you?

  1. What book have you read in the last six months that has really stayed with you? Why? In the last six months, it probably is WinterSong which has writings from Madeline L'Engle and Lucy Shaw.

  2. What is one of your favorite childhood books? I loved The Secret Garden because my dad read it aloud to me, complete with voices and accents for the characters. I loved his version of Colin.

  3. Do you have a favorite book of the Bible? Do tell! Either John or Philippians because those are the two books that I have worked on in Greek so I think I know something about them on a more intimate level. (I probably don't really so there are not any illusions of grandeur here.)

  4. What is one book you could read again and again? I don't read many books over and over but I could reread the Dragonriders of Pern and The Crosswicks Journals.

  5. Is there a book you would suggest for Lenten reading? What is it and why? Fortunately for me, but unfortunately for you, my Lenten reading will be focused on Advanced Quantitative Research Methods and the reading that goes with it. My last doctorate course before comps/dissertation! That small fact adds much more excitement than the actual content would warrant.

And because we all love bonus questions, if you were going to publish a book what would it be? Who would you want to write the jacket cover blurb expounding on your talent?

What are you looking for?

That's the question Jesus asks in the gospel lesson for tomorrow, the 2nd Sunday of Epiphany. I'm not preaching tomorrow because, at the last minute, I have a guest preacher.

However, if I were preaching tomorrow, I would connect that question with a small town in Texas and the UFO siting because that's how my sense of humor works.

I used to drive to that place on a daily basis because The Entertainer was in preschool there. It's a small college town that I like except for the ever present smell that reminds you that they produce a lot of milk around there.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

walk to emmaus

I am Spiritual Director for an upcoming Walk to Emmaus. I need 4 assistant SDs. I have 2. Any clergy with an Emmaus/Crusillo/Tres Dias experience want a "professional" reason to travel at the end of Feb?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

starting the New Year right

At the beginning of a New Year, many people make New Year's resolutions that might include starting diets or exercise programs. Many stores have containers on sale to help with getting organized. In some sense, each of these is a way to bring about a better quality of life.

John Wesley was continually encouraging others toward living a consistent Christian life – a better quality of life. Wesley developed a covenant prayer to help articulate that rededication and recommitment to a God centered life. Below is an updated version of Wesley's Covenant Prayer that can be used for a renewal of the commitment to a Christlike life for the coming year.

I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, place me with whom you will.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you,
praised for you or criticized for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and fully surrender all things to your hope and service.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
you are mine, and I am yours.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be made also in heaven.

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