Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chaos Reigns

YIKES.  What a month.  Between my denominational conference in Chicago, a quick trip to Iowa, a family visit, and some goings on, it has been non-stop chaos.  All of the travel and visit were fine and fun, though they did kind of upset the routine of life.  Couple all of that with Ben's interview this week, some shenanigans at Church of the Holy Mother (LOL), and some medical issues, I'm ready for a respite.  Later this week, we have a two night hotel stay to celebrate my birthday, and there is a likely trip to a potential new location within the month.  There are goings on my child's life involving separation and eventual divorce, and family relocating to our area (just as we are looking at leaving).  Add all of this together, and is it any wonder that Ben and I are about to go 'round the bend?  Life is seldom dull here at Slumlord Heights, but can we at least slow the merry go round from warp drive to mach speed?  PLEASE!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pissed Off

Why is it that clergy are open targets of both active and passive abuse, but seem to not be allowed to address the inappropriate, abusive behavior.  Do we wear targets?  Are we not human with feelings?  If I were to treat some people the way they feel led to treat me, I would be defrocked or at least fired from my post.  People think it's okay to leave churches with no explanation or to be critical or mean spirited, but they would be the first to criticize me for calling their bad behavior.  It happens in most churches and to most pastors at one time or another, but it really raises my hackles!  GRRR.  Think before you judge, criticize, or complain.  Clergy are people too, and we love to minister with you all, but we do not deserve abuse.

Welcome Back

Well, I see it has been a very long time since I have posted here, and much has happened over my absence.  There have been grand and good things like marriage, along with challenges like moving multiple times and managing pastoring a church through a crisis situation, and oh so much more.  However, I won't bore anyone with all the details in this post.

What brought me back here today is that this is a safe place for me to post thoughts and insights.  Right now I am sitting in the church office feeling a bit overwhelmed and almost to the point of not caring.  I was away for ten days and came back to broken relationships, discord, and confusion, along with the good stuff that continued in my absence.  The question that comes to my mind when considering all this with this interim pastorate is, "Are they ready to move forward?"  The question that comes forward for my is, "What more can I do with and for these people?"  I have between two and four months left here in which to help prepare these people for the exciting and challenging times ahead.  What can I do in that time?  What do they need?  Who will love and lead them when I am gone?

By now you are probably all wishing I had stayed gone, but here I am.  Hopefully, Facebook hasn't totally overshadowed the blogosphere.   See you all soon.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Life Changes

Today I filed the necessary paperwork to retire as active clergy within my denomination.  Normally, they require age 65 (2  years away) or 25 years of ministry (one year away).  However, because I am not currently in a ministry position, nothing appears on the immediate horizon, and Ben's career will keep us local for the next three or more years, I asked for advice from the higher ups.  The response was an offer of early retirement.  That means I will be able to continue weddings and funerals and occasional duties with no particular responsibilities.  It gave me kind of a funny feeling, but all in all it is the best course of action at this point in life.  I will still be doing some ministry work in the local church, but with no specific time requirements.  Is this a sign that I am getting old?  I sit wondering how this will affect my life.  I guess I will find out.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rampant Homophobia - ONE

I have just about reached the end of my rope reading all of the posts that display homophobia masked as personal preference -- statements that are somehow allowed to stand unchallenged and acceptable.  In this post, Ted Nugent (apparently a self proclaimed expert on gay issues?) calls gays the most protected class in the country.  What a load of ignorant crap!  The most protected class in America is heterosexual middle to upper class Christian white men.  What?  Oh yes!  Now, there are not a lot of laws defining and deliniating the rights and acceptability of this class of people, but the protections are so culturally entrenched that laws are not necessary to protect them.  The "power" group never needs to singled out in laws in order to enjoy rights and protections of society.  The civil rights issues of the 60s and 70s never touched this "protected" class -- they had all the rights just by being who they were.  No special legislation was required to "give men the vote."  This class is never singled out for ethnic or religious profiling.  A HMUCCWM (acronym for  heterosexual middle to upper class Christian white men) is free to marry the person (a woman of course as defined by the H part of the group name) he chooses, and all rights, priveleges, protections, and recognition of said marriage is automatically granted. 

Mr. Nugent goes on to offhandedly perpetuate gay stereotypes by saying, "If the NBA had any true gay convictions, the NBA should host a Homosexual Night. During halftime, the homosexuals could come down on the court, hold hands and prance around the court to music by the Village People. The NBA could then give each homosexual a pink basketball as a symbol of solidarity."  Mr. Nugent -- most gays watching NBA basketball do not hold hands and prance around; many people (even some of the HMUCCWMs) enjoy and dance to the Village People.  Further, why in the name of common sense, would any of us want a pink basketball?  It might clash with our carefully selected fashionable basketball viewing outfits after all.

While I give Mr. Nugent absolutely no credibility, this post just plain pissed me off (pardon the term).  It is just one more example of ignorant, stereotyping that is allowed to go on unchecked.  I am a believer in free speech, and people have the right to say whatever they feel (even if it is stupid, mean spirited, rude, or hurtful); however, I believe that that the reach of that free speech protection should stop short of allowing someone to unfairly bash an entire segment of society (no matter how "protected" that group" might be perceived to be.)

I intend to post and comment on such outrageous but hurtful baloney from time to time and I encourage Musings readers to do likewise.  Until we stand up and speak out, these lies will continue; as long as they continue, we will not be free or fully included in society.  Let's hold the institutional bigots accountable and stop the hate.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Life's Journey Continued

First off, Happy Easter all!  It's been a while since I've posted a life update because there was no news to be told.  Finally, today, Ben got word that the potential new post in this area was a 99% (+/-) done deal beginning sometime in the fall.  The diocese is trying to put together some kind of finances that will allow us to stay put and to wait for this position to come to fruition.  This is extremely good news, because in part it means that we do not have to terminate our lease early and that we do not have to move in the immediate future -- thank God.  Today was the last Sunday service at his church, and it was kind of joyful and at the same time kind of sad.  There were smiles and Alleluias with occasional tears.  So, tomorrow we begin emptying our storage unit and bringing things home (unmoving -- if there is such a word).  Time to put the house back together at least the next 10 1/2 months left on our lease -- and maybe longer -- hooray!   Thanks for bearing with us on this weird and taxing journey.  Stay tuned for future updates as they become available.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

A Government Shutdown?

We are about one day from a potential government shutdown that is no one's fault but all of those who are playing politics rather than doing the jobs with which they were charged by the voters.  Thankfully, Social Security and Medicare will continue.  At least they aren't leaving seniors hanging in the wind.  Then there are the "non-essential" government workers who will be furloughed -- therefore, no pay!  That is sad and not good for the economy.  A couple other things, however, bother me a great deal more.  There are those workers deemed "essential" - military, TSA, border patrols, etc.  Those folks will be expected to work, but will not be paid.  Isn't that called SLAVERY?   Even more upsetting than this travesty is that Congress -- where the blame for this potential shutdown lies -- will continue to be paid!   This strikes me as being "government ABOVE the people", a phrase that, to the best of knowledge, does NOT appear in any constitution or other founding document.  If there is to be a shutdown -- and if Congress is deemed "essential" (something that could well be called into question), then make them work without pay -- I bet they would quit the bickering and get down to business and would find a way to compromise on the budget very quickly. 

Monday, April 04, 2011

Updates from Lake Up in the Air

Well, we are well on our way to packing and storing our lives and about to relocate to stay with friends hundreds of miles away while seeking direction for our lives.  My mind and heart were resigned to this process, but God isn't finished yet.  Today, Ben got an email from his Bishop's office asking if he would be interested in doing an interim assignment (about 18 months) about 30 miles from where we are currently living.  Half our stuff is already in storage, plans are made, direction was set, but this sounds like a real possibility.  It is also a full time position.  It would allow us to stay where we are, to complete our lease (and save the 2,500 dollar early termination fee), it would allow me to become more active in my church in this area, it would broaden Ben's skill set for future assignments, and so on.  Tomorrow he will be in discussions to learn more about this potential assignment and will soon make the decision to pursue it or stick to current plans.  So, until a decision is reached either way, all packing and moving to storage stops.  SO -- as we were just staring to get some direction, a huge gust of wind has whipped up to change the weather.  Guess we will stay tuned for God's leading.  You stay tuned to and I will bring updates as they become available.  Fun, eh?