July 15, 2012

Summer 2012

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 12:02 am by a care in the world

I’ve all but abandoned this blog as the pressures of school and life have overwhelmed me this year, but I’m halfway through summer break and feeling reflective again. My husband and I just returned from an 8-day road trip through California, visiting friends from previous lifetimes and soaking up the magnificent views of the Pacific.

People have asked me about my favorite part of the trip, but my favorite part was simply our itinerary. We spent a couple of days in San Francisco, courtesy of my ever-generous in-laws, a couple of days in Carmel with great old family friends, a few exciting days in L.A. with college soccer buddies of my husband’s, and family a short visit in San Gabriel with my favorite old neighbors. The wonderful people we got to spend time with and the variety of places we visited was my favorite “part” of the trip. It is good to love and be loved, even far from home.

Since we have been back we’ve been thrust into church life as much as ever– a funeral and a 65th wedding anniversary celebration have kept us occupied our first 2 days home. As we try to adjust to the time change and to being back in our “real world,” I’m starting to think about next year and my new school. I’m very excited to be teaching closer to home and in my area of expertise– English, finally! I’ll be with middle schoolers and while the curriculum is a little more rigid than I would like, I’m interested to see what it’s like to teach assigned books, grammar, vocabulary, and a specific writing technique. I think the thing I’m most worried about is trying to plan out a year-long syllabus before I even meet my students. Darn those private school parents and their intrusive expectations!

For now, I’m trying to take the to-do list a line at a time, starting with church first thing tomorrow morning. Then, bring on the planning!

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July 30, 2011

Here’s to you, New York

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 1:18 pm by a care in the world

Well hey there– it’s been awhile! Things have been crazy in this time of transition, and I’ve put the blog on hold for a bit until my life settles into a routine in a couple weeks. I’m in the midst of packing and finishing my Masters, and also trying to prepare for my new teaching job! I’m at a great school that I’m really excited about, and I’m teaching a little outside of my comfort zone, but it should be a great challenge.

A couple weeks ago I got to visit my family in Atlanta, meet my new nephew, and visit my husband in our new town. I got to see the parsonage and the church and hear him preach his first sermon. The congregation is small but SO friendly, and I think we’ll do well there. We celebrated our first anniversary that weekend as well, by unpacking our books! Well, at least half our books 🙂 We ate the top tier of our wedding cake (which was actually delicious!) and drank champagne and had an awesome, newlyweds-in-a-new-house-and-a-new-town time.

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It’s a beautiful day in New York City and I’m just trying to cram in as much city life as I can before I leave. It will be hard to go from a population of 8 million to one of 5,000, but it will certainly be an adventure and a totally new experience. So here’s to you, New York– the home of my first year of marriage, the place where I earned the degree that put me on the road to a career I’m passionate about, the lifelong friends that made my husband and I feel welcome from day one, and all the incredible memories and experiences of living in the Big Apple. I will truly miss you.

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July 2, 2011

Parsonage Photos

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 2:55 pm by a care in the world

After the somber tone of my last few posts, I decided we needed to lighten the mood a bit 🙂 My husband moved into our parsonage a few days ago, and though I haven’t seen it yet, he’s been sending me pictures! I think the best part is the fact that there’s a dishwasher.

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Oh, and the wallpaper.

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Which makes me of Portlandia– “Put a bird on it!” But seriously, here are the real photos:

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And finally, the church!

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I guess this is starting to be real… I get to go see everything next weekend, when I fly down south for his first sermon and to meet my new nephew!

 

June 30, 2011

New York Pride

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 5:53 pm by a care in the world

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This past Sunday I had the honor of worshipping at Riverside Church on Pride Sunday. Riverside is home to the oldest continually functioning, church-sponsored LGBTQ organization in the United States, called “Maranatha,” or “The Lord Cometh.” The sermon was a beautiful statement of love, pride, acceptance, and celebration. Friday June 24th (my birthday, in fact), New York lawmakers voted to legalize same-sex marriage (article here). For many of our friends and many in Riverside’s congregation, it was a long-awaited triumph, and the Gay Pride Parade on Sunday was just icing on the cake.

You can read the whole sermon here (and I highly recommend it!!), but one thing that really stuck with me is this: Interim Pastor Rev. Stephen Phelps spoke about Paul’s letter to the Romans, and I quote the pastor here: “‘I am confident in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself,’ Paul wrote. And then he said something that re-set the course of religion: ‘But a thing is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.’ In other words, sin and its destructive power arises from your inner motivations, from your inner condition, not from things in themselves.” So– God does not make anything unclean, it is humans who make things unclean. But Paul also says that it is legitimate for humans to make things unclean, because if you feel something is wrong or unclean, then it is for you. The pastor’s point was that we must accept and have compassion for people who believe homosexuality and gay marriage are “unclean,” because it may be wrong for them. The last thing we should be doing now is turning around and judging or condemning the people who condemned homosexuals. Mathew and Luke both say “Do not judge, and you will not be judged” (Mathew 7:1, Luke 6:37).

I certainly don’t mean to turn this post into a sermon, but as a pastor’s wife, so many things about the serivce struck me because of their inclusivity. I think you could use many of these words with all kinds of congregations of varying beliefs, including the small church we’re headed to in North Carolina. I do want to leave you with a prayer written by Howard Thurman, civil rights leader, from Pride Sunday:

Lord, open unto us.
Open unto us – light for our darkness.
Open unto us – courage for our fear.
Open unto us – hope for our despair.
Open unto us – peace for our turmoil.
Open unto us – joy for our sorrow.
Open unto us – strength for our weakness.
Open unto us – wisdom for our confusion.
Open unto us – forgiveness for our sins.
Open unto us – love for our hates.
Open unto us – thy Self for my self.
Lord, Lord, open unto me. Open unto us.

Hymns included the beautiful and uplifting “In the Midst of New Dimensions” (video not at Riverside)

Words and Music by Julian Rush CCLI #958649.

In the midst of new dimensions, in the face of changing ways.
Who will lead the pilgrim peoples wandering in their separate ways.

CHORUS: God of rainbow, fiery pillar, leading where the eagles soar.
We your people, ours the journey now and ever, now and ever, now and ever more

Through the flood of starving people, warring factions and despair,
Who will lift the olive branches, who will light the flame of care?

CHORUS

As we stand a world divided by our own self seeking schemes,
Grant that we, your global village might envision wider dreams

CHORUS

We are man and we are woman, all persuasions, old and young,
Each a gift in your creation, each a love song to be sung.

CHORUS

Should the threats of dire predictions cause us to withdraw in pain,
May your blazing phoenix spirit, resurrect the church again.

CHORUS

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May 22, 2011

Graduation Weekend

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 10:55 pm by a care in the world

Some days are so emotional and uplifting that you don’t even know where to begin to recount them. My husband graduated from seminary on Saturday, and his family and I spent a proud and exhausting day escorting him from event to event, receiving words of praise and gratitude for him from so many of his friends, professors and co-workers. The Commencement Communion Service in the morning was filled with the interconnectedness that we have come to appreciate so much from this community. Students prepared the entire service, offering gifts of word, song, and communion. Fittingly, the MDivs anointed each other to go forth and do good work, sharing intimate words of encouragement and blessing with one another. It was an incredibly moving experience.

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The Commencement Ceremony later that afternoon began with great noise and jubilation, as bongo drums led the procession of graduates and faculty into the chapel. It was such a small group that I knew most of the graduates, and was proud to witness several of them win awards for their hard work and dedication to sharing the gospel and working for social justice. I was caught off guard but not terribly surprised when my husband’s name was called. In my own words, the award he won was “most capable of translating his seminary work into good for the community through parish ministry.” I’m sure the official phrasing was much more impressive than that, but after some of the struggles we had this spring, I am so proud and so grateful for this particular affirmation. My husband had hoped to be heading into a PhD program at this point, but it wasn’t meant to be, so he followed his calling into ministry, postponing his PhD ambitions for another time. Though it’s been quite a challenge to have to delay that dream, we could not have received better confirmation that he’s on the right track for now. I’m so thrilled and so proud of him.

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As we leave this place behind, we leave a library filled with wisdom and theological challenges, a building draped in history and beauty, and a community of the most fiercely loving people I have ever known. This community believes in love and acceptance above all else, and they fight for social justice, equality and open-mindedness in a way that will always inspire me. It has been an honor to be part of this community, and I know it will feed and support us wherever we go. To all the graduates– may you go forth to bring love, truth and light to all people you encounter. Make us uncomfortable when we need to be uncomfortable, hold us when we need to be held, and challenge us to look beyond our own little worlds so we can create God’s kingdom on earth. And all God’s people said: “Amen!”

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May 10, 2011

A little bit about me…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 12:26 pm by a care in the world

I thought I’d say a little bit about myself and why I decided to start this blog. I’m currently finishing up my Master’s in Teaching English in NYC and searching for teaching jobs in North Carolina. I’m excited to be going back there because it feels a little like home. My husband and I both went to college in NC and his family is there, so it will be good to be on familiar stomping grounds. So we’ll be going from this:

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To this:

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Talk about culture shock! My grad school friends are mostly looking for teaching jobs in the city, so they can’t imagine what my life will be like. Many of them suggested I start a blog to record this adventure, so I hope to be using this space to share teaching stories and resources, my photography, and life as a small town preacher’s wife. I hope y’all will feel free to make this a dialogue rather than a monologue!

May 9, 2011

“If I have a care in the world, I have a gift to bring”

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 11:58 am by a care in the world

Well, this is officially my entrance into the blogging world… let’s see how it goes! Right now I’m choosing not to post my real name here, so I’ll just explain my username. This comes from one of my favorite Indigo Girls’ songs, the lyrics of which go like this: “My life is part of a global life. I find myself becoming more immobile when I think a little girl in the world can do anything. My destination- my community, street person- my responsibility… If I have a care in the world, I have a gift to bring”
-Indigo Girls

I’m here to chronicle my new life as a teacher, photographer, and preacher’s wife. This summer I’ll be moving from New York City to a small town in North Carolina, and I hope this blog will help me process the journey and enjoy the ride. For now, I’ll leave you with one more quote from another favorite artist: “And I don’t know how it gets better than this, you take my hand and drag me head first, fearless. And I don’t know why but with you I’d dance in a storm in my best dress, fearless.”
-Taylor Swift