Wednesday, May 23, 2007

haunting words

Not this Sunday (Pentecost) but the next, I'm preaching. That particular Sunday happens to be Trinity Sunday - a Sunday we set aside to praise the glory of God who is triune just a little bit more than your average Sunday.

All fine and good, EXCEPT, certain words keep ringing in my ears. "The worst sermons are always preached on Trinity Sunday" - so sayth one of my preaching profs from Columbia. Sheesh. Talk about not hoping to live up to expectations.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

saving a meadow, losing my hand

It's been 3 days now since I was part of the group that "saved" the Big Meadow on Skyline Drive. Great event, by the by, hope we can do it again. But it's been 3 days and my hand is STILL cramped from all the weeding. John says that just means I need to do more weeding, get that "exercise" in or something. I think it means I need to find a massage therapist!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Contemplative Youth Ministry

I just finished (yes, it's taken me forever) Mark Yaconelli's Contemplative Youth Ministry. This book really spoke to me. Faith isn't just fun or dogma, it's an ongoing relationship. Leaders aren't program directors or instructors, they're more like spiritual directors, pointing to the presence of God. They're seekers, mentors. The program isn't what matters, the ways of prayer aren't what matter - what God is doing, that's what matters.

I highly recommend this book to all -- all those working with youth, all those who have teenagers, all those who want a fresh and spirit-filled perspective on ministry.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hurricane Katrina Relief Trip

I never knew I’d become an expert in mud. At the very least, mudding seams in drywall. Now I can add that talent to my skill set list! It’s amazing what you can learn when you take yourself out of your context—your comfort zone—extending yourself for others. 11 Covenant members and twelve Mary Baldwin students discovered just this when we traveled to Gulfport, Mississippi to join the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance camp and crew there.

While in Gulfport we lived in “pods” – which are basically slightly fancy cardboard box huts. We ate together, prayed together, and most importantly worked together. Our team was divided into three different groups – one assigned to roofing, one to inside carpentry, and one—mine—to drywalling. The Covenant members and Mary Baldwin students bonded as we built (ask Charlie Huppuch about being called “Grandpa Charlie”) and we had wonderful opportunities to get to know those who lived in these affected areas—especially our home owners.

The coastline, while much cleaner than it was a year ago, is still devastated. As we worked hard we couldn’t help but be aware how much more hard work would be needed before this community found itself back to something called “normal.” May we continue to offer prayers and presence to the Gulf Coast