Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Observance of Holy Lent Invitation

We are about to embark on a journey that will take us through the life, death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. This season is a reminder of all the ways we are in need of God. This season is similar to Advent in that we wait and listen for God’s “still, small voice.”

Traditionally, the Lenten season has been a time to fast, exercise abstinence and penitence in commemoration of Jesus’ fasting in the wilderness for 40 days. I would like to encourage each of you to consider giving up, or adding to your life in a meaningful way that would help you focus on God.

Pray as you consider what God would invite you to ‘give up.’ God may compel you to add something to your schedule, rather than take away. Stacy and I are going to abstain from eating meat over Lent. I will also be practicing Yoga each day during these 40 days.

The benefits of abstinence are reviled as you practice. Fasting is a way for you and I to be aware that God is present in our lives.

I encourage you to pray through the possibilities of your season of Lent, my prayers are with you as you practice faith.

Grace and peace,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Preparation for Lent: The easy target of Mardi Gras

So today is Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, and Pancake Tuesday...

I think it's funny how we try to work indulgences out of our system... when our system (western, American cultural system) is indulgent. So to prepare to be 'holy' during lent we try to get 'all our sin out'

Mardi Gras is the easiest target for this visual... the celebration is comprised of masked, therefore anonymous, people getting all their 'sin' out, at night, in the dark... there is the safety in numbers thing, and mob mentality rolled into one.

At the height of all this 'tomfoolery' I'm struck most by my conclusion that I don't do the exact same thing... I tent to compare and contrast my behavior against such an easy target as Mardi Gras. However, my indulgence is just as destructive, just as dark, just as masked... It's just not celebrated as such?

The sins of: pride, indifference, lust, prejudice, competence, narcissism, (the violence of) consumption, disconnection from the body of Christ and countless others are what I keep hidden.

So before I look down upon such celebrations of 'sin' I must be fully aware of my sin that separates me from God.

what do you think?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Back to Normal

I returned to the office this week for my first 'normal' week back since the last week of January. Here's the short list of explanation of absence:
* Covenant Clergy Midwinter Conference in Chicago Feb. 2nd-6th
* Shane Claiborne: The Simple Way: Friday the 6th Evening
* Oregon Center for Christian Values Advocacy training February 7th
* Vibrant Gathering focusing on the pillars of being Church February 8th
* Multnomah County Jury Duty: Monday February 9th: Juror in the Philip Sano Trial until Wednesday afternoon (11th)
* Got Sick (cold Thursday-Sunday)
* Valentines Day Breakfast with the Mathis'
* V Day evening dessert @ Pix Patisserie... with the amazing CJ: DJ, transvestite, lounge singer...
* Vibrant Gathering focusing on our attention on our Vibrant Congregational Identity...

Yesterday was a much needed day off...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Jury Duty: the waiting game

Here I sit...
in a huge room with a other potential Jury Dut-ee-ains. We wait. every once in a while a officer of the court gets up reads from a list of names... everyone takes a deep breath... the tension is significant... the boredom is less noticable but no less significant...
I think we the potential jurors are in the nebulas space of ambiguity... not knowing when our name will be called...

there is the sense of the unknown in the ambiguous space... an emotional connection to what might be...

People are passing the time in various forms: reading working on computers talking quietly, there is a group of women that are playing "cranium" (very entertaining)...

We are in this together, but each separate... the table i share now is with 2 other computer users... we've talked internet...

is that it?