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Source: Lucky Carry All Tote by Kristen of Two Blondes and a Sewing Machine

My Church

My church is a hospital
      a place of life and death.
The deacons and priests are servants of health—
      moving patient to patient
      serving up hope, grace, grief.
While others tend bodies, I tend souls.

My church is a clinic
       diagnosing,
            dispensing,
                 doling out bandages and advice.
No one stays for long, coming and going as needed.
     I am both patient and practitioner.

My church is a hospice
     nursing facility, private home–
     way stations on the path to new life.
Like midwives, my colleagues wipe brows,
      gives meds, hold hands, see tears.
We usher to the door, then stay in this world to care for the living.

My church is the place
      of spiritual expression, 
          of holy need,
             and sacred grace.
My parish is life, I am it’s servant.
       My name is Chaplain.

 

A Sweet Lesson on Patience

A great story about human grace, one for another, at the end of life.

It’s Monday already, but I just couldn’t give up on the RevGalBlogPals Friday Five Word Association game.

The challenge? To respond to the five words below my own first response word association, and then tell a story about one of the pairs.

1) Airport- adventure

So many associations with the airport, most work related but the best one to share here would have to be my second wedding anniversary. Back in the days before children and mortgages, 9/11 and job losses, my husband and I took a few fabulous trips to celebrate the fact that we’d decided to marry each other and did.

In 2001, my husband and his best man planned a surprise anniversary trip for their brides (Both couples share the same wedding date, but not the same year). We were told some basic things to pack, but since it was only a weekend, there wasn’t a lot to bring anyway. Our anniversaries are on March 6th, so my husband had to get special permission from the rector I worked under to take a vacation during Lent.

I tried hard to not figure out where we were going; I honestly love surprises. The surprise was revealed however, when we had to change plans in Philadelphia. It was then I learned we were going to the pink sandy beaches of Bermuda! (Did you know that the sand is actually ground bits of coral and that’s why it is pink?)

It was a most excellent holiday, complete with complimentary room upgrade to a suite with an ocean view and a stocked minibar. It was the most decadent vacation I have ever had. I can’t imagine we would ever be able to blow money like we did on that trip, and it was worth every penny to feel like jet-setters just once. (Imagine, jet-setting ministers? Ok, with all the larger than life TV ministers I guess it’s not that hard!)
2) Baseball- player

3) Art- museum

4) Chocolate- cake

5) Grill-marks

Thanks RevGalBlogPals for giving me a fun break!

In response to last night’s news, I find my words falling into Haiku. Here they are:

1) I heard news last night

Osama bin Laden dead

Pray for enemies

2) Dancing in the street

College students cheer “U.S.”

Those kids are so young

3)  Servicemen storm in

Target has been taken on

Much blood has been shed

4) Learning forgiveness

It does not come easy, no

No delight in death

5) World has changed today

But has it really changed much

Fear still exists

6) We are on alert

Retaliation may come

What will happen next

7) God, Holy Father

Hear the cries of your children

Please grant us your peace

Bright Sunday?

It’s that time of year again, Eastertide! And the first Sunday after Easter is known by many names: Bright Sunday, Holy Humor/Hilarity Sunday, Risus Paschalis. I used to refer to the Sundays after the highest holy days as AM Sundays; that is, Associate Minister Sundays because it is inevitable that the associate minister will be preaching. Often these Sundays are “low Sundays” because attendance takes a dip or a dive from the soaring figures of the Big Holy Days. Maybe that’s why I latched on to the Risus Paschalis?

It seems to me we all deserve a good laugh after Lent. Easter is so joyful and triumphant, why not carry it on with a few good laughs?

I won’t be preaching tomorrow, but I do plan on going to church. Looking back on some of my older entries here, it seems my wondering has come to bear. I’m not serving in active ministry, so I’m back to experiencing worship as a person in the pew. Perhaps God is trying to teach me that lesson I seemed to want to learn–am I meant for long term parish ministry or does God have other opportunities in mind for me? Can I be gifted for ministry and not serve in a parish? What else can I do and still count it ministry? Why is it that I feel the need to have an official title and role to be empowered to do ministry? If I lived somewhere else, would I feel empowered to minister?

I’ve been so disheartened by my previous church and my health, that I feel I’ve become too withdrawn, too self-focused, too self-protective. What do I do next? How do I get over the selfish protection of my time? Isn’t it all God’s time, and don’t I just borrow it?

I’m not melancholy all the time, but I do hope we have a good laugh at church tomorrow.

With the RevGalsBlogPals:

1) Will you be watching? YES!

If so, is this your first royal wedding?

No. My first was Charles & Diana, then Andrew & Fergie.

2) The bride has chosen as her wedding cake a fruitcake. Where do you stand on this pastry?

Squarely in the middle, where the nuts are concentrated, it’s a firmer spot. Just kidding! I actually like fruitcake, but I must say it’s because I am related to people who know what good fruitcake is and how to make it. And, nodding to my family heritage, the top tier of my wedding cake was a traditional fruitcake baked by my mother and reserved for eating on our first anniversary.

3) The dress code for royal weddings has not seen the same sad decline as that for most other weddings. If you could design your own royal wedding hat, what color would it be and what special decoration would it feature?

I think I’d like a Robin’s Egg Blue with some lovely white tule and bits of lace.

4)  Any chance the Archbishop of Canterbury is using a Sustainable Sermon (tip of the mitre to the Vicar of Hogsmeade)? What would you tell the couple were you offering the homily?

Actually, it was the Bishop of London who preached, and I thought he nailed it! But I’d have been tempted to say something about the legacy that Diana left for them to continue. I think he got it without having to say so directly. Watching the couple, I might also have been tempted to do something to keep their attention. They looked like they could have fallen asleep (understandably so since they likely had a short sleep the night before!).

5) Believe it or not, kathrynzj is getting up early mostly to see the wedding dress. By the time this post is up, the world will have seen it. Did you like it?

I loved it! I thought it was so elegant, appropriate, classic, beautifully fitted, and gorgeous. I loved the act that it was so modest and covered her without looking dowdy. Most of today’s brides show WAY too much skin in the church. I do hope the designers will make this demure style a trend!