Showing posts from April, 2015

Let it Be a Dance

S erious, strange,or silly?  In the original 1984 movie Footloose we journeyed with a rebellious teen who moved to a small town where rock music and dancing were banned. The movie portrays the timeless struggle between innocent pleasure and rigid morality. I offer you this as a segue into one of the most interesting things I've heard during coffee hour since I arrived in the summer of 2013. YOUR MINISTER HAS BANNED DANCING IN OUR SERVICES!  Serious, strange, or silly?  Silly. Tis' silly but allows me to reiterate some things I'm quite serious about. I stated during a Teaching Thursday program weeks ago that I preferred, my personal preference, services where there is no dancing. It's a remnant of my Catholic upbringing. I congratulate service leaders who include such things in worship. I don't have the chutzpah! Why am I entertaining and acknowledging this silliness?  It is because I'm serious about not letting silly become something that divides us. It is b

Individuality or Greater Community?

I 'm sitting in my favorite spot in a tiny French restaurant. In front of me are two patrons speaking Parisian French. I understand a few words, very few, having a French Canadian grandmother. Beside me are two 50-something women who are obvious colleagues. I overhear religious language, so naturally my interest peaks. They were leaders of the local Catholic diocese responsible for a group of Catholic churches in the area. Between my cafe au lait and salade de la Constance, I was privy to venomous conversation. Worse than my eavesdropping was my discovery that parishes were being pitted against one another, receiving the news that they are not good enough because their Holy Thursday was not up to snuff, not as good as that of the church across town, personal attacks on leaders, all brought together with the ugly bow of insular thinking. Clearly it was a strategy based on competitiveness used to help the individual parish churches become bigger, better, and -- let's face it --

From the SAC Newsletter, April 2015

I'm deeply disturbed by the blinders that are put on to avoid the realities of social and environmental issues of our state and country. Poverty, lack of health care and emergency services, sea levels rising, Christian fundamentalism controlling taxpayer dollars, women's health put at risk, low wages, no work, the super wealthy getting fatter, and on and on. Surely our leaders don't really think that poor mothers simply need to pull their lives together, a child is better left in the system instead of being loved by same-gendered parents, to receive public benefits you need to sacrifice privacy, that the world's top scientists are simply stupid and histrionic, that poor communities create and perpetuate their circumstances, and religion and government are bedfellows. Surely stripped down to basic humanness they see and feel and mourn and weep. I wonder. I believe basic humanness, the fact that you are born into the world, gives us all worth. However, when we decide to b

April 2015

I have a dear friend who teaches in an elementary school by day and an adult education school by night. In both instances she is teaching English as a second language. We were recently in conversation about the practicalities of transcription in linguistics. That is, not studying the theory of, but actually doing the work of converting human speech into written text. Listening, writing what you are hearing, and listening even more.  I remembered that conversation and the wisdom of transcription after our most recent annual meeting. Though my spoken words weren't being transcribed, they were being reflected back to me verbally. Advice given for phonetic transcription is to listen to yourself out loud before deciding on pronunciation. Members of our Congregation were reflecting back some of my words amidst a hard conversation. When the words left my lips I was confident they were the words I wanted to use and the words that would be most helpful. That was until a member said them b