Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Five.... Got Talent?

Sally writes about an upcoming 'Gifts and Talents' day on her Circuit:

The idea is to encourage everyone with the news that there is room for you in the ministry of the church- and perhaps to discover where that ministry might be.....

So with gifts and talents in mind here is today's Friday Five:

1. Personality tests; love them or hate them?

I appreciate personality tests, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, that help you learn something about yourself. Finding out that I am an INFJ helped me understand better who I am and why, for example, I can sometimes know something in my gut without having any facts to back it up (my intuitive, feeling side). Personality tests that you find in the back of women's magazines, though, often make me feel self-conscious.

2. Would you describe yourself as practical, creative, intellectual or a mixture?

I definitely have a creative side, but that is probably not the first thing people notice about me. On the surface I am more practical, organized and schedule oriented, I think. When my schedule allows, I can be creative. (Like every Saturday night while I am trying to work out a sermon! Thank God for the 11th hour Preaching Party.)

3. It is said that everyone has their 15 minutes of fame; have you had yours yet? If so what was it, if not dream away what would you like it to be?

I have been in the spotlight quite a bit, lately, since my recent ordination. I am ready for the spotlight to turn a bit and for everything to get back to normal. I'm not sure if that counts as my 15 minutes of fame, but it is close enough for right now.

4. If you were given a 2 year sabbatical (oh the dream of it) to create something would it be music, literature, art.....something completely different...share your dream with us...

If I had two years of 'free time' I would try to write a novel. It sounds cliche, but ever since I was a pre-teen sitting at my Mom's electric type-writer clicking out my first novelette (60 pages single-spaced!) I've dreamed of publishing a work of fiction. Who knows? It may happen someday!

5. Describe a talent you would like to develop, but that seems completely beyond you.

I took dance lessons as a girl (as so many girls do) and enjoyed it for quite a few years. I wasn't the best dancer ~ coordination has always been a struggle ~ and other interests began to surface, so I quit when I was in the 8th grade. As an adult, though, I always regretted quitting tap. I would love to take up tap dancing again. I know I would never be a star (note my coordination problems, as mentioned above), but I think it would be so much fun!

Bonus question: Back to the church- what does every member ministry mean to you? Is it truly possible to encourage/ implement?

The wildly optimistic follower of The-One-Who-Makes-All-Things-Possible in me says, "Yes!" The practical church administrator part of me that sees this as an overwhelming, not to mention time and energy draining task says, "I'm not so sure." I would like to think it was possible. I think the only way it could happen would be through a deliberate program of small group ministry where everyone feels like an integral part of something much larger than themselves. (Do I hear any Wesleyan 'Amens' out there?)

Packed and Ready to Go

After a week of vacation, Nicky was ready to head home to the city ~ and away from the mosquitoes.

Crate packed with all the essentials: blanky, mailman toy, and food.

Oh, that we could all travel so light!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I've been 'stoled'

It has been quite a while since I've posted, but it's not because I don't have anything to say. Quite the contrary. I actually have so much to say that it feels overwhelming to think about having to gather my thoughts enough to compose a post! Ordination was truly an amazing experience ~ as was vacation after ordination! Gary and I spent time visiting friends and family and painting our little cottage (see pictures below). It was equally amazing to return to my church after a week of vacation and be able to celebrate my ordination with my community of faith, wearing a stole for the first time!

I was able to preach at all three services on Sunday and share with the congregation some of my feelings (questions and celebrations) about ordination. As I shared with them, ordination was a culmination of many years of hard work and an affirmation of God's call in my life ~ yet I'm still me. Here is an excerpt from my Sunday sermon:

With my new stole has come a lot of questions. How does it feel to be ordained? Do you feel different? What is it like to be an ordained minister? And I’ve had trouble answering these questions. It seems kind of foolish, but I don’t know what to say. Certainly being ordained was amazing. It was something I prayed about for a long time, even before I started seminary 10 years ago. When the Bishop and others
laid hands on me and charged me to, “Take authority as an elder in the Church to preach the word of God, and to administer the Holy Sacraments," it was certainly
a humbling experience. I can only pray that I am up to the task. I would say that ordination was a joy, a relief and a little bit scary. But essentially I feel the same. The same, old Krista. Just me. Same vocation. Same calling. Same taste in ice cream……. Should I feel different? I don’t know.

I guess I'm still teasing out some of the questions that sprang up before ordination. What I know for sure, though, is that ordination doesn't solve life's big questions or prove I have 'arrived.' I'm still on a journey, maybe a different phase of the journey, starting down a new path, but it's part
of the same journey ~ and I'm still the same old me! (Only with more interesting liturgical accessories.)

Before, During, After

Friday, June 01, 2007

Breaking the Rules Again! Friday.... Three

1. Think back to the time you left High School, what were your hopes visions and dreams for your life/ for the world?

As I look back on my senior year of high school I recognize now that I was struggling with a call. I didn't want to be the weird kid who got all religious and went to seminary. My passions were working with people, church life, and writing.... and I knew that I wanted to somehow make a difference in the world around me. (Sounds idealistic, huh?)

Even as I decided to go to college and major in Social and Behavioral Sciences, I knew that probably wouldn't be the end of the journey for me. Studying social work was a way to stall the inevitable decision I could sense even then... a way to buy some more time to get 'comfortable' with my call ~ if a call can in any way get comfortable!

2. Have those hopes visions and dreams changed a lot, or are some of them still alive and kicking? (share one if you can)

My basic hopes and dreams have remained the same, although they have been lived out in ways I could never have imagined at the time. As I said above, when I was leaving high school I was thinking about being a social worker and / or writer. Guess what! I've found a way to do both, and its even better than that.... I probably would never have dreamed that I would be a pastor in Connecticut, a step mom, married to a wonderful man I met at my seminary library! Yet my call to work with people, my love of the church, my commitment to family, my love of the written word and my hope to some how make a difference in the world remain steadfast.

3. Hebrews 11:1 " Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Comforting, challenging or frustrating?

Definitely comforting. Although I can not always see the impact I'm having on the world around me, my faith calls me to press on even when ministry is messy and little is happening Spirit-wise. If it wasn't for the assurance that God was somehow with me on this journey, I would never have been able to make the leap to seminary. For that I am extremely thankful... if I had to rely on what I can see it would have been easy to give up hope or settle for what seemed 'good enough.'

This is getting to be a long post, so I am going to stop my Friday Five here. Maybe I'll answer the other two questions tomorrow... or maybe not!

Either way, this has been an interesting reflection especially considering my Ordination is a week from today! It's always good to look at where you've been and where you are. The trick is to be open to where you are going.