Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More Quotes from my Desk

Continuing my effort to rid myself of these little scraps of paper, here are a few more quotes I found in my desk:

What is the use of living for things that you cannot hold on to, values that crumble in your hands as soon as you possess them, pleasures that turn sour before you have begun to taste them, and a peace that is constantly turning to war? ~ Thomas Merton on going into the Trappist Monastery

When we collectively believe more in the power of love than in the power of fear, then change can happen. ~ Patricia D. Brown

Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving. ~ Frederick Buechner

May the peace of God fill my heart, mind and activity all this day long. Amen.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Faith

I am happy to announce that ~ as of July 1st ~ I will be the new pastor of Faith United Methodist Church in South Burlington, VT! This is a slightly unusual appointment since Vermont is officially part of the Troy Annual Conference. However, Vermont will be joining with the New England Annual Conference as of July 2010. I'm excited to be on the leading edge of this transition!

Faith UMC seems like a wonderful, gifted and faith-filled congregation ~ focused on living a Christ-centered life together. I feel blessed to have been appointed to this church.

Vermont will be the fourth New England state we have lived in thus far... and the only state without an ocean. From what we've seen so far, the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain are just beautiful. Ben & Jerry's ~ here we come!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Quotes from my Desk

While going through my desk the other day I found a box filled with scraps of paper on which I had written quotes I liked from my reading several years ago. I guess that was before I decided to start sharing some of my favorite quotes here!

In an effort to save these quotes which I found meaningful ~ and eliminate the scraps of paper ~ I am going to share a few here every now and then. Don't expect them to be grouped by subject. I'm just going to start from the top of the pile, so they will be in no particular order!

Because nothing true can be said about God from a posture of defense. ~ Marilynn Robinson, Gilead

Have the patience and courage to begin anew each day, and trust in God's help; his mercy is new every morning. Then you will understand that life is a matter of becoming or growing, and that you must look forward to greater things. Even though you stand in battle with dark powers, victory will be yours, since in Christ every evil is overcome. You will always remain at the beginning of your search, because you will continually change, yet in faith you will find the fulfillment of all your longing.
~ Eberhard Arnold

There is an Indian Belief that everyone is in a house of four rooms: A physical, a mental, an emotional, and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room everyday, even if only to keep it aired, we are not complete. ~ Rumer Godden, House of Four Rooms

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Extra-Dependence

About two months ago I realized that our weekly worship services were not leaving me with the feeling of having 'worshipped.' One of the blessings of being in a multi-pastor congregation is that there is at least one service every Sunday where I don't have to preach ~ and can listen to the sermon. Yet, for the first time, I was feeling like that wasn't quite enough. It could have something to do with the upcoming changes in my ministry location and the stress and grief of having to say good- bye. Whatever the reason, on Monday morning I was feeling brittle in a way I had not before.

So I decided to find a mid-week service to attend at another church. Since the only local Protestant churches with mid-week services were the ultra-fundementalists ones, I started attending a Catholic Mass ~ weekly on Wednesdays. It is a short service, about 30 minutes, with Scripture, music, prayer, homily and Eucharist. While I do not recieve the Eucharist ~ being a Protestant and Methodist pastor at that ~ I still feel blessed by the richness of the liturgy.

One of the reasons that I think this experience has been such a blessing is that it is a place where I can go and simply be me. I have no responsibility if things go well or not. I'm not Pastor Krista. I don't have to have input into the service. No one is going to ask me my opinion about anything.

In his book Clergy Self Care: Finding a Balance for Effective Ministry Roy Oswald calls this "Extra-Dependence." We oscillate between Intra-Dependence and Extra-Dependence on a daily basis. Intra-Dependence is the part of our life where we have responsibilty and people look to us to be in charge. This could be at home or at work or in any variety of areas where we have leadership. Extra-Dependence is the part of our life where we don't have to be in charge... the part of our life where we can be cared for, relax and have fun.

Clergy, I suspect, spend much of life in Extra-Dependence. Whether we realize it or not, we are often taking care of others' needs. We are the responsible ones. In relation to what I shared above, Sunday morning in my church is not the primary place for me to work out my grief about leaving. As pastor, it is my responsibiliy and role to care for others in their greif ~ whether it is their grief about my leaving or something else going on in their life. So I needed to find a place where I could work out my own feelings in worship, prayer and praise. Roy Oswald states, "Periodocally we need to move into a state where we do not have to be in charge and can allow ourselves to be cared for." Amen to that!

No one has to worry that I am going to leave behind my Methodist roots and become Catholic! But I am glad I gave myself this freedom to explore and I strongly suspect that my prayer life and my ministry has been enriched by it. For this I thank God ~ who is God of all!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Quote of the Week ~ Satisfaction

I'm finding that packing and getting ready to move is quite disruptive to my schedule. I'm trying to take is slow (I packed three boxes today), but still..... As a person who likes routine, I am trying to keep some sense of schedule in these busy weeks. I offer a quote for this Holy Week from John of the Cross, "The Mount of Perfection." These are words I should take to heart!

To reach satisfaction in all
desire satisfaction in nothing.
To come to possess all
desire the possession of nothing.
To arrive at being all
desire to be nothing.
To come to the knowledge of all
desire the knowledge of nothing.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Quiet

The blog remains quiet and I think it will stay that way much of the next few months. I hope to update now and then, but there is much to do. Goodbyes need to be said. Packing needs to be done. And then there will be the process of adjusting to the new community!

Some progress has been made on my next appointment, but nothing that I can share publicly. Hopefully I will have some news to share within the month. In the meantime, we are beginning to pack.... or more accurately, we are beginning to think about packing. This is my fourth big move ~ Gary and my second together. The last time we moved we had to pack the house in three weeks. This time it is nice to have more lead time, but neither do I want to live out of boxes for the next two and a half months. I've read some 'moving for dummies' kind of books, but I haven't found anything particularly helpful. Any tips from experienced movers out there?