Thursday, March 15, 2007
1. We are loving our new Mac computers! The latest hit in our house has been creating songs on Mac's Garageband--a program that comes already installed which allows you to compose songs using either original creations or by putting together a series of loops in fun and interesting ways. Monk has lately been composing a song a day--starting out with some moody, new-agey sounding songs, moving to the genre of Techno (calling his first creation in that genre "TechnoMonk"), then to world music with my current favorite of his "World Fusion" where he combines Congo beats, Nordic flutes, Indian tablas, orchestra strings, tambourines and more into a truly fun song. He's also written one song called "Stick It (to the Man)" which cracks me up, coming from our dear, almost-nine-year-old, boy. Yesterday we burned our first cd with all his creations and listened to them on our way to church. Now, how cool is that?
2. I preached on Sunday. I had gone into my weekend thinking it would be no problem to churn out a sermon given that I've been preparing weekly lectures for the class I'm teaching this semester. Well, I came to find out the Holy Spirit does not appreciate such arrogance when it comes to sermon preparation. Preparing last Sunday's sermon just kicked my butt! Eventually, the words and focus came, but not after hours and hours of struggle. My favorite part of Sunday's service was when we invited folks to come forward and receive figs! (One of the texts was from Luke 13, where a gardener manages to buy another year for an as yet unproductive fig tree to put forth its fruit.) We had both dried figs (couldn't find fresh ones at this time of year) and fig newtons. Four of the kids in our congregation stood up front and said, "Taste and see the goodness of the Lord" as people took one of the treats to eat. It was cool. A couple weeks ago we did something similar, with the people receiving apples and dipping them in honey. (That was the week we read about the promised land flowing with milk and honey.) I'm trying now to think of a way to end this week's service. Food again? The Prodigal Son story certainly ends on a big feast--though I'm not planning on roasting a calf for church this week!
3. Our son continues to want to be baptized this Easter. I'm so happy about this. But I'm also concerned that we do it "right"--whatever that means. How do we prepare him for the day in an adequate way? And I also feel very sad that he won't be baptized with his extended family there as well as his church being present. When he was dedicated as an infant, Monk filled two very long pews with friends and family members! I wish that could be the case for this big moment, too--the 'first fruits' of the catachesis he has received since he was dedicated at 8 months old.
4. Last night I led the second of a four-week class called "Beginning to Pray" in which I am introducing folks to the practice of contemplative prayer. I start folks out with a brief time of instruction, then we practice the prayer together. Last week's class focused on praying in silence. Last night I used a more guided method based on Ignatian spirituality-following the form of Sacred Space. As a result, I wasn't really able to participate in the prayer time as much as I had the previous week when we all kept silence together. The meeting time isn't ideal--as lots is going on at the church on Wednesday nights. That's when we have our weekly kids program, as well as a parents' group that meets off the sanctuary. So lots of sounds and distractions. I think I'll try the group again when things quiet down again on the church campus. It feels like such a privilege to lead this experience for folks. Contemplative prayer has a large role in where I am in my life today. It's a joy to see people opening themselves up to trying this out themselves.
5. I am grateful this week for the ways in which my discernment about my life and ministry are coming to great clarity. I hope that by this time next week I will be able to share publicly some very good news that will be an affirmation of all these years of stepping along a dark path-- where there has been no clear destination in view--only a sense that I was supposed to be on the path itself, wherever it was leading.
6. A couple days ago I received an invitation to a twentieth high school reunion! It shocked me to discover that this year I mark twenty years since I graduated high school! Funny thing was, though, that the invitation was from a high school I didn't, in fact, attend! This got D and I to thinking that we ought to attend it anyway. Now, wouldn't that be a hoot?!