Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

On the Way to Little Church

Driving to Little Church under clear blue skies, I saw:

-6 shiny brown chickens enjoying their escape from the yard

-a dead: opossum, raccoon and snake

-one very unusual motorcycle

-a herd of goats

-several pastures full of cattle

-the old man in overalls walking along the road

-green fields, burned fields, empty fields

-two garage sale signs

-a flock of buzzards

I organized my sermon again. I listened to "Speaking of Faith" on Public Radio. I felt content.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Our presbytery offers a lay pastor program for elders who wish to serve churches as lay preachers. We are building a faculty and seeking students to have a new class this year.

If you read the Book of Order, the description of ruling elders is clear. The ministry of teaching and ruling elders is similar reflecting the reformed tradition of priesthood of all believers and clerical/laity equity.

Part of me thinks it is unnecessary to designate some elders as certified lay pastors. All elders should be prepared to assume the duties of that office. In reality, I know not all elders receive the preparation needed. Elder training in congregations varies from not much, if any, to a year's worth of Saturday meetings for study.

The new student roster may include a person who is not an elder. I'm uncomfortable with the idea of providing CLP preparation to someone who has not been called to this work through the congregation and who has not been ordained. The person may decide not to participate, so my concern may be moot.

The new class of CLP's will study preaching, teaching, theology and pastoral care. Along with these classes, they will begin to form their pastoral identity where they see their faith being transformed into the role of pastor. This formation will help them realize the resources they have in one another and as a group.

Having a student participate who has not yet received the approbation of God's people as an elder will detract from the purpose of the group.

One of the weaknesses of this presbytery is the fluidity of rules. While this may allow grace to flow at times (cannot think of an example here), we never know what is going on. One pastor's reception into the presbytery happens with little "vetting" or comment; another pastor goes through the pit of hell on the floor of presbytery. One pastor is allowed to make decision contrary to the B of O and our presbytery manual. Another pastor is criticised for not following the guidelines. Makes no sense to me.

Presbytery should allow us to work together without chaos. Should, but doesn't.
Whoever has the biggest voice or assumes the most authority or has the largest congregation, greatest age or whatever determinant, gets to pick the rules.

My "fairness meter" beeps incessantly.

St.Casserole, call me an Old School Presbyter

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What I Saw Yesterday

*dead craw fish thrown out on the tarmac at the Quick Stop

*bumper stickers reflecting the driver's resistance to our new President

*temperature of 70 degrees in February

*two words I did not recognize in Whistle the Cat's subscription to The New Yorker in a review of Hedda Gabler with Mary-Louise Parker as Hedda: crepuscular and termagant. The reviewer, John Lahr, used both four words apart. Thanks, Mr. Lahr, I enjoy unfamiliar words.

*crepuscular means resembling twilight. For you Twilight fans, Hey! thanks for dropping by. crespuscular sounds like a medical condition gone awry.

*termagant refers to an overbearing, nagging woman. Great. What's the word for a flustered, incapable man?

*Our early blooming azaleas are. How about that for a sentence? Camellias are finished, tulip trees are beautiful.

*Five days of moderate temperatures bring out the carpenter bees.



Monday, February 09, 2009

New York Times has NEWS

Good grief! Here goes ecumenical relations

St.Casserole, speechless

Read The Associate

A friend said to me when I couldn't remember something, "well, you are busy upstairs". Is this why I couldn't recall which year I met Mr.C?

Last night, I wandered toward Mr.C. thinking about how fortunate we are. We've been married for almost 29 years. Our courtship was brief because when I met him, I waited only 6 weeks to ask him to marry me. But did we meet in February of '80 or '81? Somewhere in those days is an anniversary of our meeting.

Mr. C. says it was '80. I couldn't get my mind around that but I know I was the minister for his law school graduation. When was that I asked? December of '80?

This means I prayed over John Grisham's law school graduation ceremony. They were classmates.

I can remember the cute outfit I had on, some kind of Harris Tweed blazer which was right in style in 1980 and preppy enough to hurt your teeth.

As my conversation ended with Mr. C, I forgot about the 29th anniversary of our meeting and pondered why I hadn't put together that I prayed over John Grisham. I've read his books for years.

Which means, as I see it, another reason for all of us to read The Associate, Mr. Grisham's new book.

Yours, but I won't remember it,


Friday, February 06, 2009

How to Have a Happy Life

Stop the tyranny of Cat Parties! Put the cats and dog outside of the bedroom. Make sure the lock catches when shutting the door. Sleep well without: cat fights, dog snoring, dog jewelry jangling and cats wandering up to see if you are sleeping. Move legs freely without dislodging cats who complain.

Ignore meows, woofs and notes slipped under the door by cats who "just want to talk".

Relish sleep.

St.Casserole, rested and ready for the day

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

From the Local Newspaper

The Mississippi legislature is discussing a bill to allow the adoption of fresh or frozen embryos.

From an obituary: "This is a homecoming celebration, please dress appropriately."
(awkward suggestion, like asking for funeral expenses, but needed in an area where people wear shorts and flip-flops to funerals)

The day is brilliant blue and very cold for us at 29 degrees. Adventure Cat shortened his morning walkabout to 15 minutes.

St.Casserole, fascinated by the World

Monday, February 02, 2009

I Need Help Finding A Primer on Pastoral Care for Lay Adults

I'm teaching a lay ministry program in the Spring on pastoral care.
Can you suggest a basic primer on pastoral care for a varied group of adults? Many are educated, as many are high school graduates only. All are active in church.

Thanks, I need suggestions!


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Ministry Things

Do not forget to take up the offering. If a church member waves a check at you, consider that you may have forgotten.

Take all food offered to you. If you have a new or newish car, please do not bring home a crock pot of hot soup. Just don't.

If you forget where you are in your sermon, you are in trouble. Look down at your outline and begin praying.

Even if the Holy Spirit is watching your back, wearing your chasuble inside out will show.

Pick a few hymns the congregation knows. Just a few. No one is asking you to be perfect.