Friday, December 28, 2007

I drove to the New Orleans airport to collect my passenger! She is here and we are happy!
Drinking coffee in her room this morning, all the cats and Sister joined us. If pets can adore humans, the room filled up with Songbird Adoration.

Today we revisit the hurricane sites Songbird saw in 2oo5 and 2006. She will see St. Peter's rebuilt, Mr. C.'s unbuilt office site and ride along the beach road toward a yarn shop. Yarn must be bought! Shopping must be done! Lunch must be eaten!

And we will talk. My soul will fill up with good ideas and her wisdom. What about this, Songbird? What shall I do about this?

Could you all come down here RIGHT NOW and join us?

I mean it.,

St. Casserole

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Today we celebrate! In two more days we celebrate AGAIN!


St. Casserole

Monday, December 24, 2007

To all of you who led or will lead worship tonight, bless you.

Merry Christmas,

St. Casserole

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What a wonderful Advent Retreat! Woo! Woo! Everybody relaxed, ate, read books and played. Laughed often, napped well and stared at the Caribbean water...

Now I focus again on the Fourth Sunday of Advent tomorrow. I changed from the Matthew text to Luke on the ship, then re-wrote my sermon. Sermon prep on a boat deck thrilled me although I had a difficult time hearing myself over the reggae and rock music from the band. Being dour Calvinist, I pushed away all offers of umbrella drinks for iced tea and kept writing.

No one asked me what I was doing. Being dour rather discourages questions.

I thought of you all while I was gone. Glad to be home again.

St. Casserole, Living a hard life...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

See you this weekend! I'm off to Retreat the Last Days of Advent.
Hold my purse for me, will you? I'll be right back.
St. Casserole

Friday, December 14, 2007

#1 What Not to Give for Christmas

Twitch, the Road Kill Teddy. from

Hat Tip and Warm Hug to Jane+

St. Casserole

The Invisible Woman

Hello. Hello? I'm not sure if you can see me. It appears that I am invisible to my family...
Tuesday I got a new haircut and a dark glaze for winter put on my hair. Not one person has noticed. No one.

If you would, help me out here by noticing my new haircut. I like it.

Comments are open,

St. Casserole, Invisible Woman

#2 What Not to Give for Christmas

This is the "Katrina Crown" from Maybe you should send one of these to Sherry, me and other Katrina Survivors. Ol' stumpsproms wasn't thinking about us when they named this tiara....or were they?

#3 What Not to Give for Christmas

Great name but don't buy this for your SweetiePie even if he or she does have the dreaded "monkey butt". From Read all about it.

#4 What Not to Give for Christmas

from T-shirt reads: I used to go skinny dipping, now I go chunky dunking According to their website it's almost too late to order for Christmas.
Just. As. Well.

#5 What Not to Give

3 Gun Vase. Ewwwwwwww at $49

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Gift of Time Second Week of Advent

Just for this week, put aside: any worry that you are not living up to your Call, any concern that you are not doing enough in your ministry, any fear that you are not competent for ministry or worthy. Just for this week, trust God to take care of these for you. At the end of the week, you may if you wish, take back your worries and fears.

Ministry seldom shows results quickly. Ministry takes time. It's not how you feel about yourself this week or what that church member said to you in anger yesterday. Time will show the fruit of your work in God's good measure.

You run to the drug store with baby spit-up, a child's nose bleed or whatever down the front of your shirt. You see a church member and feel embarrassed. Don't. You've just shown your member that you are human, live a real life and aren't perfect. Many of our members worry that we are perfect. They are wrong to do this but our culture encourages thinking of some people as perfect so we fall into this trap. You look like a mess? Great. You freed the member from the trap.

You forget a portion of the worship service. Fine. Read the above paragraph. Relax.

That kid in confirmation class who looks as if he hates being there each week? He's the one who enters the ministry years from now leaving behind an insurance career because he hungers for serving God's people. You are part of his call to ministry.

See that woman over there? The one who looks at you like you are symbol of what is wrong with the entire planet? She's lonely. She's unhappy. She can't get along with anyone who matters to her. She knows something is wrong but can't figure how to ask for help. If only someone would move in closer to her rather than allow her pushing away to keep her isolated. Who knows, you may be the one. Or, not. Regardless, her response to you isn't personal.

While you contemplate repentance and waiting for the Kingdom to arrive, forget about time.

Just for this week. It's not about you and your success or failure. It's about God and God's sense of time is holy, welcoming and right.

St. Casserole

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Right this minute, I live in the peaceable kingdom.

The Lion has lain down with the Lamb. Fish is happily snuggling with Dubby on the sofa in our bedroom. Previously, Fish didn't have anything but clawy paws for Dubs.

Sister, the best Dog Nanny in the Whirl, was handed a green Milkbone dog biscuit from my purse. I put the freebie dog cookie in my purse while at Petsmart. The dog cookie must smell weird to Sister who took the bone timidly then walked behind a bush to drop it. She has lovely manners.

LD returned from Church Christmas Program Play Practice to say the play was NOT going to get ANY better no matter how much the adults yelled at the cast.

Mr. C. is reading the ninth Horatio Hornblower book (carefully found at used bookstores and garage sales) and could not be happier.

I'm in my study and just ate two Dove Dark Chocolate pieces.


St. Casserole

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Fish Gets A Cookie

This is Fish. He walks around and gets a cat cookie.

Fish and Whistle look great in their Christmas collars. Fish's collar is red with candy canes. Whistle has blue snowflakes on his. Dubby picked a blue collar with polar bears.

Took this with my Flip video camera. You may need to go get one yourself.

St. Casserole

Monday, December 03, 2007

On the Way to Church Report

Left for Church: 20 minutes late
Saw as I left: Methodist putting up a tent in their church yard
Took as I left: Bible, sermon, alb, Advent stole, agenda, coffee
Road Conditions: clear, blue skies, dark clouds off in the distance
Animals Escaped: two goats by the side of the road
Birds Observed: 4 buzzards
Christmas Inflated Yard Decorations: lost count
Stops: one for cough medicine, one for coffee
Number of Hunters at Coffee Stop: 6 in parking lot
Thought About: sermon, beginning of Year A, Advent
Felt: full of cold
Emotional Status: happy

St. C, just reporting in

Saturday, December 01, 2007

#10 What Not to Give This Christmas

Please. Don't give this to your Sweetheart for Christmas, ok?


Duly noting the abhorrence RG's have for Christmas Yard Inflatables, I offer this Cake Inflatable in honor of my Third Blogiversary!

Three years ago today, I posted on this blog. Since then, I've met many of you. You've been my friend, counselor, made me laugh, made me cry, sent me to my knees in prayer for you, suggested great books, taught me how to cook the Festival of Meatloaf and Grace Solidarity Cake, kept my cats in Greenies and told me what perfume to use.

What would I do without you?

I don't wanna think...

Ministry is better in fellowship or "revgalblog-ship",


St. Casserole

Today is World AIDS Day. We celebrate the progress made in the past twenty-something years educating people about this public health issue. We remember those who died before we knew much about the disease and those who died because health care wasn't available to them. We remember friends, colleagues and family who died from a disease which was once considered to be "shameful".
Down here, when I began to hear about AIDS cases, I started reading about the disease. I found out that a friend at the newspaper resigned her reporting job to work with a tiny agency trying to help AIDS patients. When I went to see her, I was stunned by how much of her time was taken up with reassuring everyone and trying to protect the privacy of her clients.
If you want a "hot button" ministry, find out what no one wants to talk about, what scares people and where "nice" people will not go. I decided to be intentional support for her the other staff. I wouldn't be allowed to have contact with the clients because of privacy issues and the fear the clients felt towards religious people.
People who knew I did this were not happy. They accused me of putting my young children in jeopardy because I could bring the disease home. They wondered why I would associate with people with AIDS.
I wasn't being brave. Really, I just thought that if something happened in our community that clergy needed to be there. Most male clergy didn't want to have contact because of the stigma of being thought of as gay. We didn't have but a few women clergy and I don't know where they were because I didn't know them.
I led a support group for HIV people and their caregivers. I cooked dinner at home for the support group and carried it to the building where we met. The clients were hungry, lonely and paranoid about privacy. They were angry, afraid and bitter that the world around them spent more time condemning them for their disease than showing compassion about their illness.
Before the cocktail drugs, my clients wasted. I asked the board of the sponsor group for pillows for the clients to sit on so they could be comfortable. I brought candles, flowers and homey decorations for our meeting room.
I was asked to do funerals for client after client. Many didn't have pastors so I became their pastor, to the extent that they would allow me. Looking back, I wonder how we all stood the months and months of deaths.
I watched clients learn to monitor their illness and become drug and diet experts. I stand amazed at the bravery of all those I knew then.
Remember that this all took place with a wall of privacy around them. The disease was horrible but the public shaming made everything worse.
When the protease inhibitor drugs came, my clients began to hope. They stopped wasting and developed big stomachs. Women began to come to the agency in larger numbers. Couples, teens and startled "regular" guys poured in.
When I began my work (unpaid, unnamed and not sponsored by my religious group), testing for HIV took months. This meant that the disease grew wildly while people waited for test results. Now, you can be tested and get the results in one day.
Then, it was almost impossible to get African American pastors involved because they would not consider that anyone in their church might have the disease. The 'phobia was too much for them. Now, the local World AIDS Day service is held in a Black church. The African American pastors are knowledgeable, compassionate and helpful.
Everything is so much better now. Amazingly better. I can't believe the improvements. The crisis isn't solved because new cases of AIDS happen. There is never enough money for all the need. Ignorance exists still.
Being with a marginalized community as an observer, friend and learner changed my life. The ministry I had in those early years of the disease blessed me in ways I can't express.
Mr. C. says I don't talk about stuff I've done because I don't value it. He may be right. It seems self-serving to discuss this here but the post isn't about me but about how the world has changed. And, how grateful I am to have known people who stopped being afraid of church-preachers-God because they let me into their lives.
Now I'm not sure if I should publish this post. Let me click the button quickly before I change my mind.