Saturday, March 31, 2007

What I Am Reading Now

Getting on Message, Challenging the Christian Right from the Heart of the Gospel
Rev. Peter Laarman, Editor 2006.

St. C

Friday, March 30, 2007

From our local obituaries:

"Henry was a devoted and loving husband and caring father, a voracious reader, naturalist, consummate fisherman, gardener, and avid apiarist. His family and friends grieve his loss as do his plants and bees. Trout and redfish, however, rest easier."

It's good to live here.

St. Casserole

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hurricane Katrina blew through here one year, six months and 26 days ago.

We were fortunate that our home survived (and Hurricane Camille, too!) but we sustained roof damage when a neighbor's tall pine fell on the corner of our home.

A carpenter came yesterday to begin repairs before he discovered that the job is beyond his experience.

I want a repaired roof. So far, we don't have leaks but the corner of the roof is dented and the sofit/fascia needs repair.

We are better off than many, many people here.

But, I need a capenter. And, a plumber to discover the gas leak in the back yard.

The sod truck came today with 12 pallets of sod for for our yard. THIS is progress. C., the landscaper, is doing beautiful work for us.

Just tellin' you,

St. Casserole

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Shopping with Listing Straight

Listing (left) and St. Casserole go shopping at Carr Mill. We bought identical outfits. We believe this is very goofy but we each liked the linen top and trousers. I said "trousers" just to sound sophisticated.

Listing found several outfits whereas I found this one. When I got back to LS and LSiL's, my LSiL said she wanted the identical outfit, too.

Listing is way fun so I'm sorry she lives far away.

In fact, why do all of youse RGBP and others live so very far away?

I'm meeting Cheesehead at the Festival of Homies in Nashville in May. We hope to recall our glory days of rooming together at the General Assembly. Whoa! Mebbe she picked out a GOOD SAFE HOTEL this time....

Thinking of you all,

St. Casserole

P.S. I think my linen trousers are a white/black thread blend where LS's are blue.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spring is here! The azaleas are blooming along with the Bradford pear tree, gerber daisies and a few hibiscus plants.

I'm home. I miss LLS and LSiL along with those great sabbatical cats, Bea and Assumpta.

If you need me, call. I'll be doing catch-up laundry and re-arranging furniture. It's amazing how much time a gal has when she isn't writing a sermon.

St. C

Saturday, March 17, 2007

In trying to explain the current issues of my denomination to LLS and LSiL, both of whom belong to the UCC, I've struggled to understand the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. It's difficult for me to see the charm of their denominational stance in several areas.

The EPC doesn't view the ordination of women as an essential to the faith.

Gosh. How original. Let's move back to local option where if you want a clergy woman to answer her call to ordination in the ministry of the Word and Sacrament you may. If you don't, so what...

How do they baptize little girls in the EPC? How do they discern which ones to baptize? Does the session stare at the toothless baby girl and guess whether or not the infant will hear the call to preach?

If you don't want women preachers, don't baptize them and for their sake, don't raise them up in the church.

If the little baby grows up in the nurture of the church and hears lessons on obedience and faithfulness to God, what will she do if God calls her to preach?

I'm reformed and I see no impediment Biblically to the ordination of women.
Ordaining women as preachers and church officers is not "just another option" for congregations of believers.

You heard it here first,

St. C who takes her call very seriously as a gracious gift of God and as a demand on her soul.

*I'm still in NC with my people. I'll drive home tomorrow while you are preaching.

*I'm rested (still have a cold) and happy.

*I've enjoyed fabulous meals.

*My familar rich dreamscapes returned. I must be backed up with dreams because vivid dreams came back while here.

*LLS and I recalled the details of both grandmother's homes, room by room.

*Miss Fannie Lou Bingham and "Hattie Pots" references make me laugh.

*7 stuffies came to life here from two boiled wool jackets and an Irish sweater given to the "cause" from LLS. The Irish sweater"s provenance delights me because it was purchased in Ireland by a tiny 19 year old and was her first credit card purchase. These woolens jumped into my hands from the "give away"basket and after hot water/soap wash with heated drying became stuffie fabric.

*Books, books, books.

*Again, this loving home is the best place for rest, fun and reflection.

St. Casserole

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Having a great time. Wish you were here...

I'm relaxed, in a different visual context, rested and well fed.

Why did I get a cold?

I'm snooty and can't get the temperature to be warmer then colder.

Guess I'll spend the day in the den on the sofa with Assumpta, the traveling tuxedo kitty.
We'll finish Songs of the Gorilla Nation then work on the black boiled wool felted cat stuffie.

In an earlier post, I suggested that you get my comments up. I meant, get my visits up so I can pass 50K on my site meter. I'm doing my part to up my stats to a new round number.

I'm watching a TBS Bette Davis marathon.

What's up with you?


St. Casserole

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hey! I don't get many comments per post if I blog entry more than once each day.

Hep (as we say in the South) me out by shooting my blog stats to 50K.

It can be done.....

In other news:

Since I am doing nothing, I stay up late watching TV in the guest room/best clergywoman sabbatical suite. I saw a very odd woman with long curly hair preaching. She's thin with almost to the waist thin looking hair, pulled back from her face. She may be wearing a mullet, but couldn't tell. She wears a clerical tab collar, too large for her neck along with a long man's suit.
Very odd. She waved a Bible around as she spoke then took reading glasses on and off many times. It took me a bit to catch what she was saying because her outfit is so very odd. Manly but with untended long hair. Not only did she Bible wave, she waved her glasses around while flipping her hair. I doubt she took homiletics because someone would have pointed out these distractions to her.

I have no idea what she was saying but looked up her husband's website. She took over the television/church ministry when he died in '05. What's with this?

Shall I take over Mr.C's law practice if he joins the Church Invisible before I do?

I don't understand the tradition of inheriting churches although I know people do this. We mainline denomination people are suspicious of personality cult type relationships and do not pass congregations on to family members.

Her name is Pastor Scott if you want to check her out. I couldn't find a full length picture of her on the website so you may have to watch her show.

Women pastors aren't Jr. Men Pastors. Dressing like a man doesn't confer authority on us. God gives us the authority.

Otherwise, I'd dress like Attila the Hun for Presbytery.


A Few Things...

*being with my NC family is great!

*watching Spring without the heat.

*listening to great conversations

*Seeing clergywomen: Jill, Carol, Little S., Listing Straight, Susan, Sarah- oh, the riches!

*eating mango cayanne ice cream along with ginger ice cream at JuJuBe in Glen Lennox

*eating Eastern NC barbeque (vinegar based sauce) in Burlington

*scones from A Southern Season

*good, good thrift stores with the time to see everything

*Assumpta the Cat, now a grown-up lady kitty, snuggling with me

*books! books! books!

*shopping with Listing Straight (hey girl! wore my new outfit last night!)

*trees, glorious trees, all around

*watching Jon Stewart twice a day (we don't have Comedy Central in Backwater)

*eating LLS's cooking

*watching LSiL win a tennis match

St. Casserole

Monday, March 12, 2007

This sabbatical thing is good. I am having a very good time.

I met Listing Straight uppada market for coffee and cinnamon roll this morning.
This was my first meeting with her, so I almost passed out from holding in my stomach while trying to look dignified and dour.

We talked and laughed. I forgot to hold in my stomach. She expressed sadness that I wasn't wearing mom jeans but thought my red shoes were o.k. We talked about all of you and wished we were all together for a weekend rgbp party.

Then we went shopping. I didn't find much but Listing did very well with great things for now and Spring. I'll put up our picture when I a.) learn how to load my LLS's laptop or, b.) get home and use that cable thingie for my camera.

She's fun and I'm glad to add her to my "met in person list" and to my "must-see in N.C." list.

St. Casserole

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Today I saw three deer run across the road while coming home from LSiL's office.

Today I slept until 8 am.

Today I took a nap.

Today I listened to Mr. C. complain about being a Reagan National waiting for a flight home.
You can't get anywhere from where we live.

Today I worked on an odd stuffie out of green fair lisle felted wool.

Today I pulled weeds around the patio without being bitten by fire ants, seeing dollar grass or having gnats bother me. Is this heaven or what? Beautiful day.

Today I thought about all of you who prepare sermons and worship. I'll be in a pew tomorrow praying for you. Be bold! Be clear! Love them!

St.Casserole, on sabbatical

Friday, March 09, 2007

Oh, yeah. This sabbatical business is real tough. I'm getting into it now by staring out windows, eating good food and talking with my sistahs. I have time.

I have time to go to the thrift stores around heah.

Today, at Club Nova thrift store, I found a 1974 copy of the Newfoundland & Labrador
Women's Institute cookbook.

Here, for your approval, is a great recipe from the ladies:

Baked Flippers with Vegetables

2 flippers
3 slices of salt fat pork
2 onions
5 or 6 potatoes
1 turnip
1 parsnip

Remove all fat from flippers, wash and cut into serving pieces. Do not parboil.
Fry out salt pork; remove "scrunchions". Brown flippers in this fat. Then add water and simmer on the back of the stove until partly tender.
Add chopped onions and cut up vegetables except potatoes. Season and add one cup water. Cook another 30 minutes and add potatoes. Cook another 15 min, adding a little more water, if needed. Meanwhile, make this topping: 2 c. flour, 1/2tsp salt, 2 tsp. baking power, 1/2 c. shortening and enough water to make a stiff dough. Roll this pastry out to fit your bakepot when the flippers and vegetables are sufficiently cooked, top with the pastry and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned nicely.

St. Casserole

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Lovely drive up from disaster zone to quiet skies and Land of Many Trees! I'm stationed in the blue room at LLS and LSiL's home. Assumpta and Dibley are grown up kitties who love living with their Cud'n Bea.

When you go on your sabbatical, you should come here.

I'm doing fine and happy. Hope you are the same.

St. C.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Thought for the Day

"Compassion is the energy of the Kingdom" ---Wendy Miller at the Gray Center 7-12-05

P.S. Travel prayers for me today, please. I begin my pilgrimage to LLS's and LSiL's home uppda road.

P.S.S. note to self: wash my clothing first instead of catching up with laundry for family so I don't have to wait to leave while clothes dry.


St. C

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sabbatical Sermon #1

Mr. C said, "Isn't it time for you to take your shower to get ready for church?"

Then we started laughing. I'm on sabbatical, without responsiblities to lead worship today.

I may arrive at church three minutes before the service begins, grab a bulletin and a pew without care except to pray, sing and think with the Body of Christ.

I'm thinking about the Body of Christ these days.

My geographic cluster of churches within my mainline denomination doesn't respect the B of C anymore.

They've found a better way by rebelling against the authority which ordained them. They took ordination vows to be received into our "group" but no longer believe that vows matter.

In an odd way, these preachers are dating even though they are married. Married people don't date.

This dissonance between the rebellious and their "righteousness" bothers me.

I know about rebellion against authority. Not only did my generation (and the kids older than I) question authority but we rebelled if anyone told us what to do.

I have problems with authority. I've pushed limits all of my life. I question authority everyday.

But, I've learned that there is freedom within boundaries like kids who play in a fenced school yard use the entire play yard while those without fenced play yards clump together.

In better words, the boundaries give us freedom to move and be while no boundaries confine us.

Same way with our understanding of the B of C, especially our ordination vows, give us freedom within the confines of shared committment and so on.

I made my vows and I'm sticking to them. Not because I am such a great believer, hardly so, but because I need the spiritual discipline of the boundaries to serve God.

I don't understand the mind of God. I don't know how to separate myself from the vagaries of life in the dawn of the 21st century. I don't know how to call good "good" or evil "evil" with complete truth.

I depend on the Bible, my knowledge of church history and the constitution of my denomination
to help me lead my people, live my life and attempt to honor God with my life.

I will not set myself higher than those things so I can run away and invent my own church to suit my feelings.

Just won't,

St. Casserole, writing a "sermon" even when she doesn't need to because she is on sabbatical

Friday, March 02, 2007

Praying for the tornado damaged area east of here in Enterprise, Alabama.
Five high school students were killed yesterday when the school building fell during a tornado.
More deaths in other parts of Alabama.

Lord, Lord!

Are we having more violent weather incidents or am I storm-sensitive?

St. C., thinking of the parents of the students and the community there.
Here I am.

Sorry to be blog-quiet.

Three times a year church gathering disappoints me. We decide to do whatever we wish because we don't feel that anyone can tell us what to do. We are the ones with Truth, not you. Forget the Body of Christ, forget history, our decisions now are the only ones that matter.

Makes me want to run away but I can't.

In other news, I am on sabbatical. So far, I tidying up loose ends. This morning I'm meeting with the kind young preacher who'll take over my duties while I'm gone. I'm getting my car serviced for the happy drive to see LLS and LSiL, too.

Here's a shout-out to Charles Keating, the wonderful voiced reader of P.D. James' THE MURDER ROOM on audio. The combination of James' writing with his voice sends me into fits of happiness. I pull of the road to write down bits of her prose. He is my favorite voice for audio books. She is my favorite murder mystery writer.


St. Casserole