Monday, June 12, 2006

I enjoyed church yesterday. Rather than singing in the choir, I sat with Mike. Only 4 of our 8 sopranos sang, but the sound was still balanced most of the time. There were a couple of times when I thought the soprano part should have been stronger. The choir started its summer schedule last week which means no Weds night rehearsals until September, only Sunday mornings. The music is usually familiar or downright easy, so I don't feel in over my head like I sometimes do. It will be good to sing with them again next Sunday.

Blogger has been up and down for the last few days, which is quite aggravating.

I've been reading several other blogs this morning on the conflict within our church as the 75th General Convention convenes this week. I generally get very turned off by church politics, but I am intrigued by our opportunity to progress and grow. I hope we move forward, rather than back.

God our Wisdom, who eternally makes all things new: encourage by your Holy Spirit those who prepare for General Convention to labor together for the building up of your world and your Church; counsel them when to act and when to wait; turn their hearts always toward those in greatest need, and away from their own preoccupations and fears; help them never forget that love and mercy are your greatest gifts given us all to offer one another as we see in them Jesus Christ who alone is our joy, our way, our truth, and our life.

God of light and life: As General Convention draws near,
Help me to continue to grow up in all ways into Christ.
Fill me with energy for the work before me; show me your surprising face in the people around me; delight me afresh with the variety of your creation; inspire me with a vision of your justice becoming concrete in the world; and above all, teach me to love you and my neighbor more fully, less grudgingly, and with more forbearance day by day, and give me the grace of good humor, the leaven of laughter, and the tonic of hope through it all, in Jesus' name. Amen.

These prayers were in our bulletin and I thought they were very appropriate for the times. Our rector will be at Camp Bratton-Green this week with the sixth graders, rather than in Columbus, Ohio. Is this a statement of his priorities? I am curious about his take on all that's been happening, but having absented myself as much as I have, I'm unsure where he stands. He seems to be a peace-loving man, one who avoids controversy as much as possible, accepting and affectionate toward all. Rather than the norm, that's called liberal by some, but I like him.

I'm not sure how the word liberal came to be a pejorative descriptor when originally, I think, it meant noble, generous, tolerant, charitable, etc. Benji once had a bumper sticker that said "Jesus was a liberal." Even though I agreed with the sentiment, I would have liked it better had it read "Jesus was liberal." Affixing labels to people as quickly as we do these days just interferes in getting to know and love them, and is that very Christ-like? Jesus didn't let labels like Samaritan, adulterer, or tax-collector get in his way of acknowledging and ministering to people different from himself, so why should we?

3 comments:

Zoilus said...

There's some type of small application you can download for free which will allow you to manage your blog offline (and then upload it when blogger is up). I'll look into that if you'd like for me to and get back to you.

We made it to Asheville without killing one another, but the nine+ hour drive was fairly stressful. Pip yelled almost the whole way, although he managed a one hour nap after Jackson, TN. We're staying in the crappiest apartment so far (in my opinion)--right on the students' hall, 2nd floor. At least we got a raise this year (trying to stay positive). And at least I should have fun with all the classes I'll be teaching.

C. J. Garrett said...

Thanks, Zoilus. How did you come up with that name? Actually, I have all the new applications I can cope with right now. I'm still trying to master MS Office. Glad you made it to Asheville safely. xoxox

Zoilus said...

How did I come up with Zoilus? Well, he's the classic "carping critic" of the ancients. What better moniker could I take?

I'm trying to take my name on a lower profile, though, because of all the privacy issues and work/personal time issues (have you heard about students and instructors or employees being fired b/c of something they wrote on their blog being not to the liking of some higher-up? Shocking behavior, really). Anyway, that's the story behind it.