Getting in the Groove

Getting in the Groove

As I work on the August calendar I am realizing that month number one of the Southeast Portland Parish is coming to a close.  We have a long way to go until we have everything figured out and in place, but we are definitely getting in to the groove of what it means to be the church in this way in this place. Amanda and I have both had a chance to preach and we’ve been able to share the sermon time together effectively on two other Sundays.  We are finding our pattern of how we share our vision and how God is speaking through us with the people of the Parish. Coming in August Paige, Jeff’s and my daughter, will preach one of the Sundays, August 13th.  When we were planning the schedule back in May she asked when she could speak, so of course we gave her a time.  It will be fascinating to hear her perspective on our faith community and to contemplate her vision of the future.  We will continue to share the pulpit with others over the coming months including my coach Nicole Reilley in December. After taking a little bit of a break from normal programming at SFC we are starting back up our Worship Walks, Taize Worship, an Spiritually Thirsty.  The first Worship Walk will be August 19th at 10am at Elk Rock Garden.  We will be reveling in nature and sharing scripture, poetry, and spiritual insights as we walk the garden.  Taize will be back in September, with an evening gathering at the SFC house once a month.  This is a...
Seeing Beyond The Moment

Seeing Beyond The Moment

I just got back from a Disney Cruise to Alaska with my mom, my aunt, and my daughter.  It was a lovely time and one of the best vacations I have ever had.  We saw amazing shows, ate well, got to see glaciers, whales, eagles, seals, and icebergs, we visited interesting towns, and got to learn about the history and peoples of Alaska. I come home relaxed, a few pounds heavier, and thankful for the wonderful time with my family. And I come home thinking about the way our world works, aware of my own privilege and the ways that I want to interact with people. There’s a lot I don’t know about the people working for Disney that I met over the last few days. I do know that almost all of the people working as servers and room stewards are people of color while the cruise staff and cast members are almost all white. I know that I know nothing about what it might be like to be from Thailand or Indonesia or the Philippines and to work serving the largely white, largely American guests of the ship.  It was also interesting to notice the way the cast members who performed and stared in the shows were ignored when they were acting as character hosts.  When someone is on stage we see them in one way, when they are telling us it’s our turn to meet Mickey Mouse we almost see through them. So while I come home thankful and happy I also come home unsettled.  Is this the world I think God would imagine?  How do I...
Slow Your Roll

Slow Your Roll

This moth we are beginning the work of living in to this new, collaborative ministry at the Southeast Portland Parish.   As we do this work it would be easy to let it swallow us whole.  So Amanda, Jeff, and I are intentionally working to make time to slow down and take breaks.  We each have some time off planned, to unplug and appreciate the things we love.  Amanda and I are also taking some retreat time together to let God speak to us in the wild beauty of Timothy Lake.  It is important to take this sabbath time to rest in God, to take time to enjoy life and be with the people we love. May you find time this summer to slow down and create space to see more deeply and breath more easily....
We Are In This Together

We Are In This Together

 On Sunday afternoon I was completely out of energy.  This past week had been fairly intense.  It’s lots of work to move in to a new office and get all the pieces in place to pull off that first worship experience.  Physically I was tired from all the moving and unpacking.  Emotionally I was tired from the energy poured out to meet and connect with new folks.  Mentally I was tired from all the writing and planning we had done.  I was worried dinner would be a disaster. And then my family got home from their trip and began the work of setting up for the meal.  I walked to the store to buy some food and by the time I got home everything was ready.  When people began to arrive I felt like myself again. This work we do can be a heavy burden, but the thing I have learned is that I do not do it alone.  I can’t.  This is why our proposal for the Southeast Portland Parish included 3 clergy.  It takes a team to do this sort of creative, innovative work.  When I am depleted and out of ideas, Jeff and Amanda are there to carry on while I recover for a minute.  It’s not just times of low energy when we need the team.  Every idea we have is better when the three of us collaborate and discuss the idea together.  We bring our own perspectives and end up with a more complete idea than if just one of us was working alone. It’s not just with the staff that we work as...