Showing posts from December, 2008

An Oratorio and I-Thou

The following passage from Auden's "Christmas Oratorio" reverberated with me considering my last posting: "Remembering the stable where for once in our lives
Everything became a You and nothing was an It." This, all too fleeting, moment of such clarity that we no longer objectify each other, that moment when we see as God calls us to see and we note that we are indeed beloved Christ bearers. Buber, my favorite theologian and author of I-Thou, writes that it in these moments of clarity that we can encounter the divine--when we stop seeing "it" and start seeing "Thou". The relationship between the self and the other in an I-Thou relationship is dynamic and mutual. It is a relationship in which we can truly live into our baptismal covenant to "seek and serve Christ in all persons". I think of this moment of clarity as being similar to those moments when we stop seeing the glass and start seeing the beauty of God (and our ability t…

Radical Hospitality and the Holy Family

I’ve been in the midst of an e-mail exchange with a woman whose family has been made most decidedly unwelcome at her church.This past Sunday, when I was preaching on radical hospitality in my parish (from John’s prologue—1:1-18), she was being subjected to a sermon onthe definition of family as limited to heterosexual, married, couples with children (in honor of the Holy Family).I wish I had been there to hold my hands over her toddler’s ears.As a member of my congregation recently stated—“it’s always helpful to remind people that Jesus was not the product of a heterosexual married couple.”Harrumph.As I discerned my own call to the priesthood it really didn’t occur to me that I would be limited in any way by my gender or sexual orientation (thanks to wonderful clergy, progressive/liberal schooling, and my own naiveté).And, in so many ways, I think that both my gender and sexual orientation have made me a better clergywoman.When I first came out in high school I desperately needed a pl…

sweet week of Advent 4

This is a chocolate interlude in the Christmas preparations.

6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate; 3/4 cup of heavy cream; 3 T of butter; 3 T of light corn syrup; a pinch of salt and dash of vanilla.

And, in light of my reference in yesterday's sermon to children's stories and the truth they often hold regarding life's hardship and beauty:

"She gazed and gazed through her tears, and so mounted the stairs sorrowfully back to her own chamber. On reaching it she felt herself oppressed with sleepiness, for she had passed the night without undressing, and, moreover, for a month past her sleep had been broken and haunted with terrors. So, having nothing better to do, she went to bed, and was nestling down in the perfumed sheets when her eyes fell on the little table by the bedside. Some one had set a cup of hot chocolate there, and half asleep, she reached out her hand for it and drank it; whereupon her eyes closed and she fell into a delicious slumber, such as she had not known …

Virgin Birth

An Icon

I like the knowing look both Jesus and Mary have in this image. I also feel like Mary looks a bit world weary--a given granted all that she has gone through as she holds the toddler messiah.

Sermon notes for Advent 4B, 08

some resources:
-good critical/historical analysis of the 2 Samuel reading
-Stendahl's article

And, I'm looking at the Magnificat as the option in place of the psalm
“My soul magnifies the Lord, 47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. 51He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. 52He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; 53he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. 54He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 55according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham …

Old castaway blog

Here is the link if you want to read postings I made at my old blogspot

A baptism

A Poem For M’s Baptism Day

Her head is bundled with gauze.
Her round eyes are unblinking in her mother’s arms.

New to the world, she and her twin
(a fat and happy little creature)
Are shepherded into the light.

Her heart beats,
Her ribs contract as she breathes.
Pressed to her mother’s cheek
She is silent.

I drip sterile water into a small shell,
My hands shake.

The surgeon is silent as she sews.

The smallest of droplets upon her cheek
The Trinity…we pray,
I anoint her with oil.

Welcome to the household of God,
May light perpetual shine upon you.

Fidelia's Sisters

This is the text of an article I originally published on the site called "Fidelia's Sisters"

You Are With Meby Joy Caires She laughs--the wide mouthed, toothless grin of a first smile. Her nostrils flare. A pink, elastic, bow encircles her bald head. Her thumb aims towards her mouth, finding her hands still a new trick. The day she died, they held a birthday party for the first birthday she’d never have. I ran about trying to find a small cake, candles, and the birthday poster her mother requested. Another picture, wispy blond hair brushes a smooth forehead, glitter bedecked lips part, she is looking up towards someone, mom perhaps, a favorite toy. The top of her princess dress frames her neck, and I know it spins around her legs in a dizzy dance. She was buried with a tiara. I’m in the next picture; a small boy and I grin at the camera. He is dressed in camouflage pajamas. His eyes are bright. A tube …

The trip got stranger

Okay, so the first and last time I updated this I was serving as a pediatric chaplain. About 5 months ago I realized (with the help of my beloved wife) that serving as the sole chaplain in a 244 bed children's hospital (handling at the very least one death a week without any support from other clergy or chaplains) was a slow way to die. So, two months ago (on October 30th to be exact) I left that call for another. The date was intentional--I used to joke that on Halloween I got to have two different conversations, "no, this is not a costume. I'm really a priest" and "no, I don't believe that Halloween is a tool of Satan". It was a very difficult decision to make and I struggled (and still do) with the feeling that I was abandoning these folk I had very much come to love. But, martyrdom is overrated and I came to realize that serving God can and should be a joyful task. So, I now serve as the half-time associate rector at a lovely church in Akron,…