Friday, November 30, 2007

Random Pre-Advent Dots

* Lots of rain! Yeah! We really need round here.

* I know it's hard to find purple candles for the church advent wreath when all the stores are full of red,white, gold and green-- but buying red candles and wrapping them round with purple wrapping paper simply will not work. Trust me on this, I'm a professional. Luckily, our Associate was making a visit that took her by a big Cokesbury store. We will save the red candles for Pentecost.

*New favorite word:
Ethnodoxology: the theological and anthropological study, and practical application, of how every cultural group might use its unqiue and diverse artistic expressions appropriately to worship the God of the Bible. I want to be an Ethnodoxologist when I grow up.

*Cats do not appreciate cat-sized Santa costumes you impulse-buy them at Target.

*Too bad about Evil Kneivel. He was my brother's hero back in the day.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Not Kosher

My Dad, visiting us for Thanksgiving, claims I must relinquish all claim to the Jewish heritage which I inherited through him. His basis for this pronouncement? He found Blueberry Bagels in my kitchen.

Can I get a rabbinic ruling on this????

Friday, November 16, 2007


My kids are in a stage production of School House Rock this week. Remember School House Rock? Those educational pieces that appeared between Saturday morning cartoons in the '70s? I remember them from a kid perspective. What I don't remember is whether the grown-ups back them found them at all controversial. Re-learning all these songs thirty years later provides an interesting reflection on how social consciousness has both evolved and devolved during those years.

For example: The exuberant "Elbow Room" is an enthusiastic romp through westward expansion. Today it would be suppressed/banned/attacked because it does not even mention the impact of manifest destiny on native populations.

On the other hand "The Great American Melting Pot" contains these lines:
"What great ingredients! Liberty and Immigrants!" and
"Just go and ask your Grandma, there's something she can tell
How it's great to be an American and something else as well . . ."
Great to be an American and something else as well???????
Toss those lines into any immigration debate today and see what happens.

Then there is the very frank discussion of "Tyrannosaurus Debt". Which I think would make the business community today a little nervous.

And "Suffering Until Suffrage"? Certainly some religious right group would jump all over the feminist mind poisoning of our children going down in THAT song.

And the Two Times Tables "Elementary My Dear" are presided over by Noah and the Ark which today would likely bring out the ACLU to make sure no public funds were used in the production of this blatantly Judeo-Christian material.

And so on and so on.

Anyway--I could go on, but I've got to get the kids to the theater on time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

We need a Word for it.

One of my best RevGal friends hereabouts is a woman who was the Associate Pastor at this church for about nine years a decade or so ago and now serves as pastor of a church about 45 minutes away. She's often able to give me history and insights on people and situations here; I bring her news of her old friends.

While lunching with her last week, I remembered a conversation I'd had with a group of pastors a few years back. There happened to be several of us at that particular gathering who had served the same congregations at different times--sometimes decades apart. We all agreed that there should be a name for pastors who have served the same congregation but at different times. It's a unique kind of relationship--sort of like in-laws, but not exactly. Maybe more like two people who both dated the same person but at different times. But that's not exactly right either.

What would you call it?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

And the Gerbil Is . . .

Rach for most creatively inserted gerbil into a blog post last week. Check it out here.

Honorable mention to PresbyGal for literary gerbil use and to Kathryn for gerbil post that best reflects my own state of mind this past week. (i.e. Gerbil on Speed).

And for today's surreal moment . . . . the whole family went to this event today. My kids decided they wanted to visit the face painting booth, but we did not know where it was. While I held their cotton candy, they raced across the path to ask directions from the kindly gentleman in a Pilgrim costume who was sitting in the information booth. As he pointed them in the right direction, I recognized this kindly pilgrim as none other than world renowned Process Theologian John Cobb.

For the record, his directions were entirely accurate.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Gerbils on my Mind

The Gabriel/Gerbil mix up last week reminded me of another Gerbil story.

Many years ago I was taking a writing class through the local community center. One of the guys in the class was an aspiring novelist. His day job, while he waited for his big break, was answering phones at the state income tax office. This was about a decade before the internet and clickable FAQs. He basically spent his day answering the same dozen or so common questions most people called that office about. If anyone asked a really complicated question he was supposed to transfer them to the specialist upstairs. He was one of about half a dozen people working the phones. It would have been deadly except that the most of them were also creative types who had taken that particular job while on the way, they hoped, to dazzling careers in print, theater, academia or whatever.

As they anticipated their busy season between January and April, they decided to liven things up with a little competition. A fabulous prize would go to the member of their team who was able to work the word "gerbil" into their conversations with callers most frequently during a particular work day.

"Hello, New York State Income Tax bureau. I'll have to put you on hold--we're busier than gerbils around here."

"You'd better get that form turned in faster than a speeding gerbil!"

"No, you can't deduct veterinary medical costs--not even for gerbils."

Well you get the picture. Apparently it raised moral exceptionally.

So--as we come into a busy time of year for most clergy, I propose a contest. Best use of the word "gerbil" in a blog during the coming week. You can't mention the contest. Leave a link in the comments so we can all enjoy.
Winner announced next Saturday.