Trouble Getting Focused

You know that feeling when you’ve got 18 things that need to be done – and you’re not quite sure where to start?

That’s how I’m feeling at the moment.

I’m sitting with the computer in my lap, realizing that there are personal, congregational and denominational responsibilities to which I really need to respond… and I can’t seem to get the energy to do more than… well… sit here, with the computer in my lap.

Hmmm… that might be a good starting place. If I flip open my handy-dandy Evolution, and ch3ck my to-do list, I might find something that I could be working on.

Ok. Something that I had better get working on.

Or maybe I’ll get up and move the laundry over to the dryer.

Yeah.

That would be a good idea.

Maybe I’ll do some house cleaning.

That would be a great idea.

It won’t get anything done off the list… but it’ll make my beloved happy.

I can deal with the list later.

(*phew* Its getting harder and harder to rationalize my procrastination! At some point I’m actually going to have to get the work done…

when all I really want to do is sit here and stare at a computer screen.)

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Not Much to Say Today

At least, not here. *grin* (I’m really glad that Bene doesn’t mind long comments!)
Post-election day is always interesting for me. Mostely because I love to listen to people rationalize what happened and what the next term will bring.

I did find myself quoting Rick Mercer’s closing line from last night’s rant over and over. And its true. If we, the people, don’t like what the Conservative government does, then, come the next election, they’ll get voted out… and the then PM will knock on the Governor General’s door and let her know that his government is stepping down and the new government will be ready to take oath on such-and-such a day.

No shots fired.

No civil war.

People disagreeing. Sometimes passionately. Sometimes fervently. But all of us realizing that we are a grouping of people who are very… very… fortunate.

Am I worried about some of the changes? Yes.

Am I wondering if this minority government will be able to govern through cooperation… or if it will get mired down in partisanship – like the last one? Sure.

Tonight, I sat down and wrote a letter to each of the leaders of the political parties asking them to find a way to work together for the good of Canada – its people and the land. I asked Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition to be exactly that… loyal opposition – finding the places where the government’s words and actions can be made even better. I asked the Prime Minister designate to have no qualms about taking ideas given to him by the other parties – and using them, giving credit where due.

Will it make one iota of difference?

Probably not.

But it will let them know that there are citizens who truly believe in them and their abilities… and have hope that they will be able to be the leaders of this fine place and people.

May God bless them all with wisdom, with compassion, and with love.

I take that back.

God does bless them.

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Welcome To Election Watchers

I see that many of you have wandered over from Bene Diction Blogs On.

It is going to be quite an evening. I’m sitting watching CBC – the countdown is at 20:58 until the polls close here in Ontario.

So – what do you think is going to happen? How are you feeling about this campaign? Does it matter?
In my own riding, I’m sure that the incumbent Conservative candidate will return to his seat.

“…we all had the chance to vote and not one shot was fired. At the end of the day, that’s a country worth voting for.” Rick Mercer, just finishing a rant.

Preach it, bro. *grin*

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Election Day

This is a day that God has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Holy One – you who live in our breaths,

in the moments between our breaths,

in life itself…

I pray, today, for all Canadians, as they decide.

Whether or not to go to the polls.

Which box to check.

Who they believe should be governing.

Bless us in our decisions, O Love Divine.
Amen.

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I’m Disappointed

One of the members of the congregation I serve has been working their butt off to develop an exciting, well-rounded, congregationally-supported ministry with children. With the support of the Council, this person has been able to get a whole bunch of interest brewing. We’ve got new children and new families coming out. We’ve got Grammas and Grampas (many of whom didn’t think they had gifts for working with children) taking part – and being excited about it.

Today, a few people were approached, asking if they would be willing to take on the responsibility of being with one of the groups of children for three Sundays. The co-ordinator will have done all the leg work of getting the curriculum and resources put together – and there would be someone who has already accepted that responsibility to work with them the first Sunday, so they wouldn’t feel like they were being dropped into it.

Their response, “If its so easy, why doesn’t the co-ordinator just do it.”

Right. The co-ordinator organized everything, made sure necessary copies and resources were there… and already takes responsbility for one class.

But in these folks eyes – that’s not enough?

I’m disappointed. Big time.

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Are There “Christianeeze” Phrases That Make You Go “Hunh?”

It seems to be a part of our human nature to grow language out of our relationships. Its often called “jargon”.

Christianity has developed a jargon (or argot) all of its vary own. (Actually, various sub-groupings within that seemingly monolithic body have developed sometimes not-so-subtle variations.)

What of “Christianeeze” makes you go ‘hunh’?

What of the jargon has you scratching your head, or making you wonder…

or ticking you off?

Add your thoughts to the comments below – invite your friends. (*grin* Let’s see what phrases we ourselves use that make others go, “?!??” as well!)

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Another Ponderable

“…theology should not primarily be argumentation. It should primarily be the attempt to state the basic tenets of one’s faith in such a way as to elicit a responsive perception of these as self-evidently true. This does not mean that there is no place for argument. The perception of the truth of an idea may be aided, for example, by stting the absurd conclusions entailed in its rejection. But the argumentation should remain secondary to the attempt so to formulate beliefs that they can be immediately perceived as true.” (Process Theology: an introductory exposition, John B. Cobb, Jr., and David Ray Griffen, p.37)

“In sum, God is that factor in the universe which establishes what-is-not as relevant to what-is, and lures the world toward new forms of realization.” (ibid., p.43)

“…the responsivenes includes a sympathetic feeling with the worldly beings, all of whom have feelings. Hence, it is not merely the content of God’s knowledge which is dependent, but God’s own emotional state. god enjoys our enjoyments, and suffers with our sufferings. This is the kind of responsiveness which is truly divine and belongs to the very nature of perfection. Hence it belongs to the ideal for human existence.” (ibid., p.48)

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Coming To the End

of a good study leave.

I still have a number of books that I’d like to read, but I’ve spent more time in libraries than anywhere else.

This period has been good for me, too, in that I’m realizing that I need a little bit more balance in a number of parts of my ministry and my life.

I may not like becoming more scheduled – but there are things that I want to do that are slipping through the cracks.

Yes. A good time of learning.

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Reading The Passionate Steward

Different Approaches to Giving
Christian Stewardship versus Secular Fundraising
Stewardship: Primarily concerned with the development of individuals and their place as members of the Body of Christ
Fundraising: Primarily concerned with the organization meeting its financial obligations.
Stewardship: Seeks life-long change for individual
Fundraising: Seeks to reach an immediate financial goal.
Stewardship: Concerned with the vocational development of the individual.
Fundraising: Concerned with the financial commitment of the individual.
Stewardship: Based on respect for individuals and their place in the community of faith.
Fundraising: Based on estimation of the wealth of individuals and their social standing.
Stewardship: Promotes altruistic acts of compassion.
Fundraising: Promotes recognition for acts of contribution.
Stewardship: Invites everyone to be generous according to their ability.
Fundraising: Invites a select number of wealthy individuals to make pace-setting gifts.
Stewardship: Creates a plan based upon core beliefs and confession of faith.
Fundraising: Creates a marketing plan to persuade or manipulate people into giving money.
Stewardship: A vocation to goodness emanating from a confession of faith and immersion in two millennia of tradition, culminating in a baptismal covenant with God.
Fundraising: A process of practices and conduct predicated upon a legalistic approach focused on the individual, culminating in a “donor bill of rights” governed by an association of “professionals”.
Stewardship: Provides and opportunity for people to give witness to their faith in proportional means.
Fundraising: Provides an opportunity for people to self-identify their level of commitment, e.g. “Sustaining member”
Stewardship: Concerned with retaining each and every member of the faith community.
Fundraising: Concerned about growing the databse, even at the expense of some current donors.
Stewardship: Believes taht offerings stem from people’s commitment to their faith and community.
Fundraising: Believes that donations are the best way to build commitment from the database of donors.
Stewardship: Thematically promotes the idea that giving is a sign of appreciation and returns to God that which is God’s own creation.
Fundraising: Thematically promotes the idea that people are the masters and possessors of their own wealth, and that a gift can promote their standing.
Stewardship: Approaches individuals with the hope and promise of promoting stewardship, religious values and spiritual growth.
Fundraising: Objectifies individuals, treating them as problems to be “solved” in order to meet financial goals and organizational objectives.
( “The Passionate Steward” , O’Hurley-Pitts, Michael, St. Brigid Press, ISBN 0-9731378-0-0)
I think he’s got some interesting points here. What do you think?
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Please Rise and Join In Singing “O Canada”

Because the new citizen in the house will join in. (Though the words will probably be a little garbled.)

That’s right.

At 10:34am EST, Rowan Zhao Xuan Tennant became a citizen of the True North, Strong and Free!

O Canada, our home and native land,
true, patriot love, in all our lives command.
With glowing hearts, we see thee rise,
the true north, stong and free.
From far and wide, O Canada,
we stand on guard for thee.
God, keep our land glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Not a bad little ditty to be singing – and prayer to be praying – on my way to the polls.

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Major Problems With My Net Connection

Sooooo… until my ISP’s techie gets here, I’m going to be posting even less than ususal.

I’m really glad that s/he is supposed to be arriving sometime before 5:00pm.

Though, I am a bit surprised, because the bloomin’ appointment was booked for the morning.

But its ok.

This time.

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Accepted!

I was asked to write a workshop article on the use of computers and digital projection in worship and Christian nurture for a new book being put out by the UCCan entitled, “Arts and Spirituality”.

Just got word from the editor – accepted with just a couple of minor changes.

The phrase, “Woo Hoo!” comes to mind.

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A Toast for The Host

My most wonderful host – Jen of the Peacefulwaters – is even more’ther wonderfuller.

After reading that the Spam Trolls were munching on my brain (or, just as frustratingly, makeing me munch my way throught them…. mmmm… SpammyGoodness(tm)), she gave me a call and said, “Why don’t I upgrade you to WordPress 2.0?”

And then, in the course of the phone call… she did it.

I mean, really. While we were chatting, she backed up my archives, uploaded the necessary upgrade, clicked here, clacked there – giving me this wonderful (and relatively spam-free) space.

Thank you, Jen!

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Went To Worship At

a church in London this morning. Their Contemporary worship gathering.

I enjoyed it a great deal. The message had a good deal of depth to it, but it also had openings for people to jump in at a variety of levels.

The music was the standard “praise chorus” style… well… maybe not-so-standard. There was a definite attempt to find music that spoke to a variety of images of God. I appreciated that.

Its funny, though, how one “niggle” can set off a whole bunch of different feelings. During the message, focused on Ecclesiastes, the pastor continually named the writer of the text as King Solomon. I recognize that one of the traditions in the church name Solomon as the writer… but other scholastic traditions suggest that Qoheleth was the author.

I wish I could put my finger on why that bothered me so much. Perhaps… perhaps it was because the entire tenor of the service was about feeling worship – and this niggle touched on my thinking stuff. Its silly, I know, but I really would have prefered to hear something like, “Well, no one is quite sure about who wrote this text down – some say King Solomon, some say Qoheleth – but, whoever it was, they certainly knew what many of us are feeling, eh? ‘Meaningless, meaningless, meaningless…'”

Am I being picky?

I’m glad I worshipped with them, though.

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I Love Reading the Brocheurs From Political Parties

Today, I got one form the Christian Heritage Party.

As with every party, some of the points I find interesting.

On the positive part – Honesty and Integrity.

There are some things with which I completely disagree. Again, the same thing as with all the other parties.

But there’s one line that I’ve heard before that I really want to ask about.

From the CHP brocheur

Imagine

Protecting the sanctity of human life

From conception to natural death every life is precious.

It’s the “from conception” part that I’m thinking about right now.

Would this stance not mean moving toward the removal of the hormonal forms of birth control, leaving barrier and “natural” methods… oh, right… and complete abstention, as well?

The “Pill”, the “patch” – they don’t actually prevent conception.

It prevents implantation of an already fertalized egg.

Sooooo… if a political party believes that conception is the point at which life begins… wouldn’t we be talking about some kind of restriction on birth control – at least, those methods that prevent the implantation, rather than prevent conception?

Hmmmm.

At the other end of things… “natural death”.
I’d love to hear a definition of “natural”.

I mean… it could be argued that suicide is “natural”.
It could be argued that for a death to be “natural” there can be no medical intervention.

So. I wonder what a “natural death” is.

Hmmmm.

I can’t wait to see what I get from the rest of them this week.

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