Thursday, April 7

Forever Young

Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with 80's music. I have been hearing this song randomly placed in some favorite movies and tv shows lately, so I listened. (yes the video is creepy, but that is one of the reasons I love the 80's )

Let's dance in style, lets dance for a while
Heaven can wait we're only watching the skies
Hoping for the best but expecting the worst
Are you going to drop the bomb or not?

Let us die young or let us live forever
We don't have the power but we never say never
Sitting in a sandpit, life is a short trip
The music's for the sad men

Can you imagine when this race is won
Turn our golden faces into the sun
Praising our leaders we're getting in tune
The music's played by the mad men

Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever
Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever? Forever young

Some are like water, some are like the heat
Some are a melody and some are the beat
Sooner or later they all will be gone
Why don't they stay young

It's so hard to get old without a cause
I don't want to perish like a fading horse
Youth's like diamonds in the sun
And diamonds are forever

So many adventures couldn't happen today
So many songs we forgot to play
So many dreams swinging out of the blue
We let them come true

Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever
Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever

Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Lyrics from Forever Young by Alphaville circa 1984

I like the line, "it's hard to get old without a cause." My birthday was yesterday and I am finding that this statement is so true. The older I get, the more important it is to me that I stand for something and that people know what that something is.

I have so many soapboxes these days, sometimes it is hard to know which ones are the important ones and which ones I just have carried with me. So here they are:
  • I don't understand why anyone that is young and passionate about the church needs to go to seminary.
  • I don't understand why people insist on showing their love by buying the 3rd most abundant resource in the world, especially when this resource is most likely acquired through violence.
  • Why can't we have discernment for the laity who want to stay part of the laity?
  • Why can't people just conserve resources? Do you really need the water to run while you brush your teeth? It DOES affect people in other countries whether you want to admit it or not! The wealthiest 16% of the people on earth (this is all of the US) consume 80% of the world's resources. This is pathetic.
  • Why do you need an iPod, iPhone, iMac, iPad, and a MacBook? It doesn't make you any cooler, in fact it kind of makes you look like a tool.
  • Priests are people. Love them enough to treat as nothing more than people. They are no more special than the rest of us. It is love not disrespect no matter what people say.
  • Do not complain unless you are willing to do something about it!!
What are your causes?

Thursday, March 31

Report from the House of Bishops Meeting at Kanuga

Click the title to link to the article from the Episcopal News Service.

Episcopal Bishop's are beginning to take notice, and grasp the seriousness, of the need for young adults in our church. The Episcopal News Service printed this report from the meeting:

The Episcopal Church's House of Bishops concluded its six-day retreat meeting at the Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, North Carolina, continuing the theme "selection, recruitment and formation of young leaders," preparing the church for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century.

"We talked about recruiting, forming and educating young leaders, and that has a great deal to do with inviting members of the church and leaders to get outside church buildings and structures to meet seekers," said Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori during a closing news conference on March 30. "That was a significant part of our conversation."

Other topics were also addressed, but the article said this about the topic:

Earlier in the meeting, the bishops were led in a discussion about ministry with and to young adults by Lisa Kimball from Virginia Theological Seminary, the Rev. Arrington Chambliss and Jason Long from the Diocese of Massachusetts.

(Retired Bishop Christopher) Epting wrote on his blog that "care was taken not to treat young adults as "a demographic" and to start with the fact that they are children of God and that we have an awful lot more in common than we have differences, even though they do inhabit a radically different environment than most of the bishops in this house grew up in."

"Many of us believe that the Episcopal Church is positioned to enrich, and be enriched by, the lives of many of these young people -- but it will take commitment, flexibility, risk-taking, and the willingness to fail -- as well as to succeed -- to make it happen."

I had the pleasure of meeting Arlington and Jason at General Convention in Anaheim and was very impressed with both of them. They run one of the Episcopal Service Corp sites in Boston that is working with community organizing and teaching young adults how to do ministry in the community instead of in churches. I trust that they gave a full and faithful telling to the House and I happy that this issue is being taken seriously.

My curiosity lies in what the Bishops were hoping to learn. I will be presenting to the Prov. IV Synod in June and was wondering what you would tell the wider church if you knew they were listening?

Friday, March 25

Does Love Win?

I have discovered that I am addicted to The Huffington Post religious section. I have the widget on my andriod phone and it is the only site that I look at once a day. I know that sounds strange since everyone I know is addicted to the computer, but I really don't like to be on the computer. I only get on when I need to work or research movies!!! :)

There have been a bunch of blog posts and articles in that section on the new Rob Bell book Love Wins. Apparently Bell is being called a universalist which is the evangelical equivalent to being a heretic. I have posted a number of things on Facebook asking for opinions and it seems like I am not alone in thinking this is another way that Christians are being run through the mud. Does universalism equal heresy?

The argument in the book (that I have not read by the way) is what is hell and who goes there? I happen to have a very strong opinion on this subject. I honestly believe that Earth is Hell. I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about this, but from what I know, Hell is the complete absence of God. While I agree that Earth does have many elements of God, I have never actually talked to or seen God. I have speculated as to things that I believe are God and of God's making, but I have never seen empirical proof of God's existence. I can't imagine a worse place to be sometimes. We are not nice to each other, we murder, rape, lie to, judge, and condemn each other all day, every day. We treat each other with such disrespect and it is so disheartening. People who agree with Bell seem to be the new targets.

I need to say that I must be this heretic that these Christians are screaming about. I guess I am a universalist. I have an atheist husband, an atheist brother, and may friends of all faiths. I can not trust in a God that will punish these people I love and deny me the joy and spending eternity with them. Most atheists I know are atheists because of religious abuse. They have been let down by those of us who claim to be spreading the "good news." Christianity dos not equal good and Atheist does not equal amoral. My brother is one of the best "Christians" I know, he just can't get past the abuse that was thrust upon him by society's Christianity.

People are up in arms about Bell's idea of a place where God's love reigns. I thought that is what Heaven was. I sure hope that is what heaven is, because I am not sure I can stand an eternity of life in this judgmental place.

Thursday, March 24

Reflection for Episcorific

I probably shouldn't be posting this early, but I just wrote this for Episcorific and I liked it. It is a lot like my previous post.

In the Shadow of a Perfect Example

Romans 8:1-11

I was born on my mother’s birthday which happens to be April 6th. If I were a follower of astrology, I would say this means we should be very similar. My mother is a very devout, sweet, perfect woman who I am nothing like on paper. She is a great example of a “good Christian,” although she understands the silliness of that statement. You have to dig a bit deeper to see those qualities in me.

I am not a model of the traditional southern female gender role. I have opinions, a loud mouth, an adult sense of humor, and a vocabulary that could rival any sailor. I am an extrovert who loves to be the center of attention and most people think that I like the sound of my own voice. These are all things that some people think make me unfit to take an active role in church leadership. I, however, think these are the gifts God has given me for ministry. These are the things that make me approachable and an “everyman.”

My priest once told me that I am just one example of God’s vast imagination. Romans tells me that “I am alive because God has accepted me.” God doesn’t make mistakes and I am included in that. I can say it, but this season is for learning to believe it. We are all examples of God’s imagination and we owe it to each other to start celebrating our uniqueness. None of us are model Christians and I am never going to be like my mother. That is what makes us so beautiful and is why Jesus allowed himself to die for us all. He laid out his arms on the cross to die for our uniqueness and we should be celebrating that gift.

Wednesday, March 23

Meetings About Meetings

I had the greatest experience this past weekend. I was recently asked to be on the board for an online publication called Episcorific. It is described on the website as:

Episcorific is a web ‘zine created for and by the Young Adults of the Episcopal Church as a forum for conversation about the place of faith in our modern society and our individual lives. It is designed as a site for the building of relationships, the challenging of ideas and the formulation of new ways of being and thinking “Episcopalian.” It is open to participation by all.

I have always been a supporter of this effort and have even written for it a few times, but it wasn't really "my thing." What it said it was and what it turned out to be never seemed to match up exactly.

When I was asked to join I got nervous because I wasn't a big reader of the magazine, but I love to support young adult ministries and so I said yes. I AM SO GLAD I DID!!!! I was very impressed with the attitudes of all the people at this retreat for the board, but especially the Sierra brothers (the founders of the magazine.) Normally meetings in the church suck because everyone comes in with an attitude about the way things should be and rarely budge, but this meeting was just the opposite. Everyone came ready to brainstorm, learn, and listen. And after a full day of using a really critical eye when looking at the group and the product, we decided to essentially start over.

I am so excited with where we are headed. The publication will turn into a website with new content appearing at least once a day and a bi-yearly publication. It will have regular columns peppered with original peices from the community. There will be content for undergrads, graduate students, singles, married, married with kids, gay, straight, conservative, and liberal views. I think it is going to be so fun and I think people are going to want to read and comment on anything that goes up on it.

I love having a sense of renewal!!! I love when I remember why I am in this ministry and I love when I see a group of young people who leave each others company feeling like they can take over the world. That is exactly how I feel right now. This is what church should be about.

What do you find renewing???

Thursday, March 17


I am Yours

Quietly waiting
Patiently seeking
It's dark and I can't see

I know he is there
I feel his presence
He's closing in on me

He's closer...closer
I can feel his warmth
I see the shadow

His arms!
They are surrounding me
They grasp me!

I feel the warmth
Panic sets in

I feel a heartbeat
What is going on?
I am calmed
I am comforted?
The panic is lifting.

I feel him sobbing
His tears run down the back of my neck.
He is whispering, but what is he saying?

I feel myself rising
I feel energy and sorrow
I hear the words

You are mine!
I have known you since the start of time.
You are my beloved.

There is light,
It is getting brighter.You are mine, and always have been.

My child, I love you.
I am yours.


Thursday, March 3

The Other Jesus

I have taken to reading different articles from the Religion section of the Huffington Post lately. I am sure that most of my posts here will originate with something I read there and now need to work out on my own. I often post them to Facebook to try and get some commentary from the masses, but this is not one of those cases.

I just read a post by Greg Garrett called Seeking the Other Jesus. This article stood out to me for a number of reasons, but I think it reminded me most of a talk a I heard at the Vocare I just attended in Georgia. Vocare is a retreat weekend centered around God's call and it consists of a number of talks given by young adults in the community. The topics range from What is a Christian to Empowerment and are built on helping each person build on their own christian identity.

My favorite talk has always been the Spiritual Journey talk. From the first time I heard the talk and was told of the experience of stranger rape on a college campus and how that impacted a young woman's relationship with God, the talk has been a serious look at how to overcome the hardships that are sometimes set in the path of our spiritual journey's. The talk has always been the first time on the weekend where someone has really laid it all out there and opened up the weekend to some pretty difficult questions. The topics have ranged from rape to suicide, death of a loved one to mental illness. You never know where the talk giver will take you, but it is always somewhere dark and sinister. There is always a longing for the talk giver to get help from the community in understanding what you do when it seems as if "God" has put some major kink in the system. It never fails to open up a place for people in the community to share their kinks and it always ends with the sharing of the emotional burden that is our spiritual journey.

This year's talk was no different. I missed the beginning because of my weekend job, but was happy to get settled in time for the meat of the story. I had heard previously that the speaker had something to say on the pressures of fundamentalist Christianity and was anxious to see how finding an Episcopal home had helped (or hurt) that. It was cool to hear someone talk about the weight that we put on ourselves to be "good Christians." I had never thought of the debilitating nature of Christianity. I had always thought of Christianity as a freeing and liberating thing and it was the first time that someone had spoken of the depressive nature of being Christian. I think it was the first time that I ever noticed how much pressure we all carry when we label ourselves as Christian.

God created each of us, ON PURPOSE. There are people in this world that will never warm to the type of person that I am. They will never understand my vulgar language, perverted sense of humor, biting quick wit, or brick wall that keeps them from ever knowing me. They will always think I am someone that deep inside I am not. They will always try to shut me up or "calm" me down. They can never understand the effects of the things I have been through, and I am thankful for that. But the message of Jesus was of loving humanity. Not just humanity as a whole, but of the humanity in each of us.

You may never know the reasons behind my actions, but you don't need to. You need only to love me and understand that God does not make mistakes. And no amount of pressure you put on me will ever compare to the amount of pressure I put on myself to be more "normal."

Christianity is about love and acceptance, not pressure and depression. I encourage us all to think of that every time we look at one another and judge. Thank you Jason for opening my eyes to this idea.