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"U2-charist": Bono moves in mysterious ways January 29, 2007

Posted by introspectreangel in theology, worship.
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Mon Jan 29, 9:18 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) – For Anglicans who still haven’t found what they’re looking for, the Church of England is staging its first “U2-charist” communion service — replacing hymns with hit songs by the Irish supergroup.

“Rock music can be a vehicle of immense spirituality,” said Bishop of Grantham Timothy Ellis, announcing plans for the unique service in the central English town of Lincoln in May.

A live band is to play U2 classics like “Beautiful Day” and “Mysterious Ways” with special singalong lyrics displayed on a giant screen. Seating for the 500-strong congregation is to be re-arranged so everyone can dance and wave their hands.

The service is to focus on the Millennium Development Goals — U2’s lead singer Bono is a leading promoter of the targets to alleviate world poverty.

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I part ways with many Anglicans/Episcopalians on the subject of what is appropriate music for the liturgy…I grew up in the 1970’s/1980’s post Vatican II Catholic Church and spent most of my childhood Sundays singing folk songs and other contemporary arrangements. Some of my favorites were “Though the Mountains May Fall”, “Here I Am, Lord” and “Gather Us In”. I always hated the organ and thought the acoustic guitar and the flute were the way to go for church music. At my wedding, the church required us to pay the organist whether we used her or not, so I ended up paying the organist as well as hiring other musicians to play the guitar, piano, and flute. I understood their logic – the money the organist makes from playing weddings is considered to be part of their compensation, but I still resented it. When we got back from the honeymoon, we immediately went church shopping and landed in the Episcopal church. Theologically, I’m at home, but it’s a fact: the music has been the hardest thing for me to adjust to. I thought it was very “stodgy” at first, but I have come to like many of the hymns we sing in my own way. Still, I would jump at the chance to participate in a Eucharist and hear something else besides the arrangements from the 1982 Hymnal. This “U2-charist” would be very interesting. I’ve always thought that the modern trend towards electric guitars and drum kits in the non-denominational mega-churches creates music so loud that it actually takes away from worship, but I’ve also never seen these instruments used in a liturgical service.

It can be scary… January 20, 2007

Posted by introspectreangel in life, photos.
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…the things you find when you set about cleaning out the camera memory for the first time in a year…
Looks like this mama still knows how to party – at least I did last April at my sister’s bachelorette party OF DOOM. What a night…

RevGalBlogPals: Badda Bing Badda Boom Friday Five January 19, 2007

Posted by introspectreangel in Friday Fives.
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The questions are simple, the answers unlimited. Go!

Who: Charlie and Lola

What: a British kids’ series on Playhouse Disney that features Charlie and his small and very funny little sister Lola, who will not ever NEVER eat a tomato, is just not keen on spiders, and is far TOO extremely busy!

When: all the time. “Mama, I wanna watch Charlie ‘n Loooooola!”

Where: with me, on the couch in the living room

Why: because secretly, I think I like it more than he does. Shhhh!

Bonus: How: wrapped up in a blanket and drinking hot chocolate, which he calls his “coffee”, because he wants to be just like dad.

horrible weekend January 17, 2007

Posted by introspectreangel in Boy-o, chaos, life, marriage, The Princess, weather.
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When we heard about the impending ice storm last Friday, we decided to proceed with our plans to head south to the state I grew up for a weekend visit with my parents anyway. It was a three day weekend, and as I told my mom on the phone when she asked if we were still coming, “I REFUSE to spend the weekend trapped out here 10 miles outside of town where they don’t plow the roads. Yes, we’re still coming!” If I was going to be trapped by ice, it was better to be trapped in the middle of civilization was my thinking.

Well, the weekend did not go well. The discussion about getting The Princess on some type of regular visitation schedule with us didn’t happen, in spite of our attempts. My parents just will not commit. Evey time we ask, they say they are waiting to hear about one thing or another. This made us tense, and on Monday led to husband and I breaking one of our cardinal rules about not fighting in front of my family. We spent almost all morning and early afternoon on Monday shut up in the guest room arguing. By 2 PM, our son had not had lunch or a nap, and we were still pissed. My personality is such that I have to work out problems when they occur. I don’t have the ability to forestall fighting until meals have been prepared or people aren’t around or to wait for a more “appropriate” time to have “this discussion”. Something inside me is completely convinced the world is going to explode if the problem is not addressed immediately. In any case, by 2 PM on Monday, we knew we had to head back home. I had to be at work the next day, though husband had received a phone call that his work was shut down as that entire city was without power. We left, and my mom was sure to point out that our son had not eaten yet. I snapped something along the lines of “he’s not going to starve to death from missing one meal” and we left. I’m sure they were as relieved to see us go as we were to leave.

The drive home was fairly uneventful – there was some snapping at each other about the volume of husband’s audiobook and the temperature of the thermostat, but this was obviously not what we were really arguing about and more about neither one of us wanting to compromise or let go of our anger, though the argument had run its course. I decided to just shut up by that point and focus on the condition of the road in front of us. We got back to our town with no problems, but as we turned down our county road that doesn’t get plowed or sanded, we quickly realized we had made an error. We slid into the ditch across the road from the house, and the truck was not going to budge. We were exhausted, so we left it in the ditch and went inside to put our son to bed and get ready for work the next day.

The next morning, we tried to work together to get the truck out of the ditch, but it wasn’t moving. I tried to move my car from the driveway to the road, but the tires could not find anything to grip and started sliding almost immediately. I managed to stop it before it too wound up in the ditch, and we both went inside to call our employers. Husband’s boss was no problem – the rehab center was still without power, and the residents were eating only because of a gas generator, but there was no therapy or treatment occurring. My work was open for business, but very understanding when I said I couldn’t get out of my driveway, much less down the road to the highway. A friendly soul knocked on the door about midday and attached a chain from his truck to ours and hauled husband out of the ditch, but not 5 minutes after he drove away we slid right back in the ditch again. This morning we tried to get it unstuck again, and our landlord came over and hooked his tractor up to the truck and moved it from the road to the driveway. A few hours and some snow flurries later, husband thought he could get enough traction to get into town and pick up some snow chains for the tires, but alas, the minute he got off the driveway and on to the road, he was back in the ditch. A third friendly person happened by and hooked up yet another chain and hauled us back onto the driveway, and it was at this point we decided we weren’t going anywhere until spring. Apparently, a truck is not enough – you need a truck with 4 wheel drive to even begin to negotiate this stuff, and even that is no guarantee. The last people who hauled us out of the ditch explained the truck they were in belonged to a neighbor, because their truck was stuck at the bottom of their driveway as well. So at least we knew it wasn’t just us. Meanwhile, I’ve got clients going nuts because I’m not at work and kids who need to be moved to a new foster home, but my boss is having to do it for me, which may not bode well when it come time for my performance review.

I’m trying to console myself with the thought that I may be stuck, but at least I have power and groceries. I’m not in a shelter with many others, my Internet is still working, so I’m not totally isolated. I heard large chunks of ice sliding off the roof this afternoon as they melted, so maybe tomorrow will be better. The schools out this way have already announced that they will still be closed tomorrow, so I just don’t know.

RevGalBlogPals Friday Five: Countdown Edition January 12, 2007

Posted by introspectreangel in Friday Fives.
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80’s nerd that I am, I call anything that involves a countdown the “Major Tom” edition. Laugh to yourself if you get it – it’s okay, no one else will know. 😉

“Please count down five living people you admire and tell us a little something about why they make your list. These could be famous people or people you know personally.

5…4…3…2…1 “

5. Father E.M. The first “religious” person I ever honestly counted as a friend. Not afraid to admit he’s grouchy and cranky and judgmental as hell. He opened his library to me, shared some of his own doubts with me, welcomed me when I was lost and confused, grabbed me by the shoulders and set me in the right direction again. He probably doesn’t have a clue what he did for me…wish I could tell him.

4. Whoever invented cosmopolitans. Wheeeee…….

3. J.P. For assuring me that sometimes it takes a very long time to find your vocation, but that God is with you every step of the journey.

2 and 1. My mom and dad. For showing me that families are not perfect, and that relationships take harder work than I ever would have imagined. For showing me that life sometimes requires that we choose “the lesser of two evils”, and for acknowledging that this is not a fair choice to have to make. For not abandoning me. For giving me the tools to find my own solutions, for allowing me the freedom to do so, and for loving me even when my answers are different from theirs. For the Christmas present of a calendar that counts down the days until George W. is out of office, even though they think he’s a great guy. 🙂

news bulletin January 12, 2007

Posted by introspectreangel in Episcopal, peace, politics.
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Episcopal News Service – January 12, 2007
Presiding Bishop responds to President Bush’s speech on Iraq

[ENS] Noting that “the road to peace goes through Jerusalem, not Baghdad,” Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has responded to President George Bush’s January 10 speech on Iraq and related U.S. military activity. The complete text of Jefferts Schori’s statement follows.

Presiding Bishop’s response to President Bush’s speech on Iraq

While I welcome President Bush’s recognition that the situation in Iraq is unacceptable, I am deeply saddened by his failure to address peacemaking in the context of the whole region. It is a mistake to view Iraq only through the prism of terrorism. Others have pointed out that the road to peace goes through Jerusalem, not Baghdad. In order to bring peace to the Middle East, not just Iraq, and the land we Christians call holy, there must be a comprehensive regional plan that culminates in a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians. Our country must engage diplomatically not only the U.N., European Union and Russia, but all the nations in the Middle East, including Iran and Syria. Diplomacy, built on a foundation of mutual respect and interest among people of good will, not more troops, can bring an end to this tragic conflict. We continue to pray for our soldiers and their families, as well as for all the people of the Middle East, seeking God’s wisdom in the search for peace with justice, for shalom and salaam.

-The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church

I just bought husband’s textbooks… January 6, 2007

Posted by introspectreangel in education, life.
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…for the spring semester through the bookstore link on the University website. How cool is THAT?! You order, they gather, you pick up! EVEN COOLER: he has the same textbook for two different classes. I suspect as soon as one professor figures that out, they’ll change their textbook selection. Can’t have the students actually saving money now, can we?

Well, I’ve done it. January 3, 2007

Posted by introspectreangel in ministry.
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I’ve thrown my name in the hat to be considered for a two year term on the vestry.

From what I was told by the outgoing Senior Warden, it’s not much of a time commitment, which seemed a little odd to me. I’ve been asking myself “why” I did this for most of the day, because, you know, I just wouldn’t be ME if I didn’t question my motives!

How is it that I hope to contribute? What exactly do I expect to accomplish? The truth is, I’ve felt pretty ambivalent about this parish since we transferred our letter in mid-October. Our son is one of maybe 5 children in the parish, and the only one under the age of 6. I think there are two high school students and 1 junior high student. Average Sunday attendance at the 10:30 AM Rite II service is about 10-15 people, not including the choir. I’m constantly alternating between “I have SO MANY IDEAS that this place could use!” and wanting to run screaming the 45 miles to the next nearest parish, a parish with a USEFUL WEBSITE and CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS and MORE THAN ONE OUTREACH MINISTRY. I want to help, and I want to share my ideas for change, but I don’t want to become frustrated when I run up against “but we’ve ALWAYS done it this way”, as I know I inevitably will (see above picture of the light bulb that someone’s great-grandmother donated when the parish was founded, the light bulb that SHALL NEVER BE CHANGED).

Possible signs pointing me in the direction I should go? Two emails in my inbox in the last week, one from the Episcopal News Service pointing the way to an article called “Ecumenical study shows why congregations grow”, and one to “Episcopal bloggers” from Bowie Snodgrass with the Episcopal Church’s Office of Communication that included a link to the Small Membership Churches BLOG.

Goodbye, KIA… Helloooooo, TRUCK!!!! January 3, 2007

Posted by introspectreangel in life.
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Goodbye, KIA…

Helloooooo, TRUCK!!!!

meditation January 1, 2007

Posted by introspectreangel in prayer, reading, thoughtful.
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The world gives itself
up to incessant activity
merely because
it knows of nothing
better.
The inspired man
works among
its whirring wheels
also, but he knows
whither the wheels
are going.
For he has found
the centre
where all is
stillness…

-Paul Brunton

From Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Readings from the Northumbria Community