Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Shake, Rattle, Roll

We're fine. No damage hereabouts, just lots of pictures haning crookedly on the walls. It felt worse than it was.

Though several folks asked me "How did you like your first earthquake?" this was not my first. They get earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest pretty often, but Californians seem not to be aware of this. I experienced my first earthquake, the "Spring Break Quake" of 1993, just a few days after I met my husband. This allows us to make all sorts of sappy jokes about how "the earth moved" when we met. Har. Har.

Today in the office we discussed the pros and cons of various natural disasters. What's worse/better? The hurricane you watch approach over a period of days, the tornado that gives you about two minutes' warning or the earthquake that gives no warning at all?


Tuesday, July 29, 2008



Thursday, July 17, 2008

Overheard at DFW

We were waiting at the gate for a flight at DFW Airport.

Presently, another traveller walked into the area where we were sitting. She was talking loudly on her cell phone and she was angry.

"Well....I'm finally at the damn gate. It took me twenty-five minutes to get through security. You know what those damn security guys took away from my ass?????"

At this point the ass in question was only a foot or two from our noses. It was sizeable. I whispered to my son, "Whatever it was, they didn't take quite enough!"

We're bad.
( The confiscated item turned out to be a jar of salsa that was way bigger than the 3 oz.limit for liquids.)

When we relayed this tale (ahem) to my Mom and sister they exclaimed:

"TSA will take stuff away from your ass? Who knew! I should travel more often!"
"Yeah, I'll take my smaller sized swim suit with me! Psyched!"

They're bad too.

Back to vacation. As you were.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

True Purpose

Every year for the past ten years I've been in conversations with church staff, parents, kids etc. about whether Vacation Bible School is an idea whose time has passed. Is it time to let go of this mid-20th century manifestation of Christian formation instead of clinging to it, tweaking it, and waxing nostalgic about the hundreds of youngsters who flocked to this hallowed week at our church "back in the day"?

But I think I have finally accepted the real purpose of VBS. It acts as a once-a-year antidote to Pastors taking themselves too seriously. In the past three days I have:

Helped a nine-year old stuff bird seed into a balloon.
Led fifty+ children and youth in a rendition of "Jesus Was A Cool Dude"
Soaked, squashed and crumpled T-shirts, then placed them in the church freezer.
Arbitrated a jello dispute between two kindergarteners
Cheered enthusiastically for TEAM PURPLE!!!
Listened to biblical instruction from a squirrel puppet.

You see? VBS still plays an important role.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Why is it . . .

That no matter what the theme,
Or the curriculum,
Or the format,
Or the denomination hosting the event. . .

From my own days as a VBS-going kid
Until the present

Vacation Bible School always and invariably involves me coming home with a piece of construction paper to which cotton balls have been glued????

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Two Questions

1. The other night I had a dream that I was praying for an old friend. So the theological/psychological question: If you are praying in a dream, is it a real prayer?

2. Someone in our church is furious at me because he was "not informed" about a particular something. This particular something was included in an article in the church newsletter, announced at two different congregational meetings, highlighted in a children's moment in worship, and was the topic of discussion at several Session and Deacon's meetings. So, the question is: Whose fault is it that the person was "not informed"?

I'll take your answers off the air.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

What Gave It Away?

I've been puzzling over something that happened to me at General Assembly last week. One morning I arose quite early to attend the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship Breakfast. As it happened, the Presbyterians for Renewal Breakfast was happening at the same time in an adjoining ballroom. As it also happens, I have friends in both organizations and might well have attended both events if they had not been scheduled opposite each other. (For non-Presbys, the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship would be considered a "lib'ral" affinity group within our denomination and PFR a conservative one.)

Access to both breakfasts was via an escalator to the sencond floor of a downtown hotel. At the top of the escalator, a woman from PFR was helping folks find the right event. As I stepped of the escalator, she smiled at me and said, "The Peace Breakfast is over there."

Okay. What gave it away? How did she reach such a quick decision about what event I was looking for? I was dressed modestly, I was wearing no T-shirts, buttons, scarves or anything else that would telegraph my theological or political leanings. I was wearing dangly earings, but not THAT dangly. No way am I well known enough in the denomination that people would recognize me on sight.

The only thing I can figure is that she must have seen me the day before hanging out at the Covenant Network booth in the Exhibit Hall talking to some friends who were hosting that booth at the time. From there, she made the inductive leap that since I have friends in the Covenant Network, I couldn't possibly be interested in spending a morning hearing what the PFR folks have to say.

Which is sad. Sadder because, if I had been in her place, I might have made similar assumptions. Saddest because, in scheduling what Breakfasts would happen when, the Master schedulers of the G.A. must also have assumed that it was safe to schedule these two events at the same time because folks who wanted to go to the PFR breakfast probably wouldn't want to go the the Peace breakfast and vice versa.

I hope we can all look forward to The Great Day when we will all sit at table in God's Kingdom.