In no particular order…

  • I have another new job… well a seventeen month old new job
  • My sister and I went on a road trip
  • and we went to Epcot Food and Wine
  • and I went to visit her again at her new house
  • I barely did any theater
  • I took a seminary class
  • I preached one of the last nights of our departed Evening Vespers service
  • I had minor surgery
  • that let me gain back most of the weight
  • Ryan Bradley won the US Championship
  • Many hours of “So You Think You Can Dance” were watched
  • More youth got confirmed
  • I agreed to help with Youth Sunday School
  • so I am going regularly to the contemporary service at church
  • I cut my hair short
  • I cried my eyes out too many times
  • I took a 12 week Biblical Greek class
  • I put up a half done online dating profile… then took it down
  • I applied for about 20 jobs… got one phone interview and no jobs
  • I finally turned some acquaintances into real friends
  • Visited Lakeland to go to FTC see old friends, waive at FSC, and see my beloved drama teacher get a distinguished career award
  • I got lots of books
  • I nominated myself to be a delegate to General Conference and did not win the vote
  • I saw the first national tour of the Hair revival
  • I spent holidays at home
  • I picked up a bad YouTube watching habit
  • I got asked to speak at next year’s Women’s Retreat
  • I rode lots of roller coasters
  • I went to the PCC reunion
  • I went to my ten year HS reunion
  • I help organize an emergency cold weather shelter for homeless people
  • I got a new car
  • I had a Seder meal at my house
  • and more… can’t decide if that’s a lot or a little

Luke 11:1-13 NRSV

He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.” And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.” So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

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Audio MP3: saintpaulsumc.org

My dad worked as a manager at Kmart until I was in middle school.  There is a sweet story that my family tells about a time when my mom took me to see him at the store.  They were having a family festival and were giving out balloons.  My favorite color was brown when I was in preschool, so I’m sure that I had to settle for a red one.  Well sometime after leaving the store and saying goodbye to my dad, my balloon popped.  I’m sure the tears flowed.  Well my mom called my dad at work and asked him to bring home a new balloon for me.  When my dad came home, I saw the balloon in his hand (a red one of course).  I ran up to him and exclaimed, “Daddy, you fixed it!”  To me, he just knew what I needed and he took care of it without me even asking.  I think that God does that for use more times than we can count.  But today’s lesson is about how we ask our heavenly father.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jacksonville Adventure

October 11, 2009

Today I’m at work, and it’s been very quiet (a fact that we will pay for tomorrow), but last weekend I went on a road trip to Jacksonville.  I had been planning to renew my lay speaking certification by taking the required 10 hour class that was offered in Crawfordville about a month ago, but it conflicted with my work schedule.  Most of the classes are offered on two consecutive Saturdays, which does not work with the way my work works :).  So they were offering one more class this year in Jacksonville on Friday night and Saturday all day.  I could go to that and only have to take a few hours off from work instead of a whole day.  They had a spot left in the advanced “You Can Lead Worship Class.”

I left work at 3 on Friday to get there in time for the 6:30 start time.  And I was able to spent my down time that day planning what I could do with my extra time while I was there.   I even considered getting the hotel room for 2 nights so that I could visit the young adult ministry at one of the Big Churches and go to the Fort Caroline National Memorial, but my cheapness won out and I decided that would have to wait until next time.

But here’s what I did get to do.

1.  I went to the class.  It was mediocre to bad, I am sad to say.  And I guess that’s mainly because I did not learn very much.  The content level was only slightly higher than confirmation class.  And the tone was so pessimistic, whining about how no one wants to got to worship service and no one ever listens to what the pastor says.  And things like spending at least a half hour talking about acrostics that have to do with prayer (PUSH= Pray until something happens…groan.)  On the positive side I am encouraged by the number of people seeking leadership development, and how course there are the people in general who are just the best part of the operation: the leaders and the participants, kind and generous and with great stories and testimonies.

2. I decided to skip the provided lunch so that I could go to “Cozy Tea.”  Which was a bit pricey and caused me to be late back to class, but was totally worth it. Best Scone EVER!!!

cozyteajacksonville

3. After class I went to the bank, because they have Compasses in Jacksonville so I was able to make a night deposit. Then I went to the Cupcakery. Read the rest of this entry »

John 6:51-58 NRSV

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.’

The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live for ever.’
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I love to cook. I don’t even really remember when I started. It just seems like something that I always did. From mixing up kool-aid to cutting boiled eggs with a safety knife. In middle school I had this signature dish that I got from watching an Italian cooking show on PBS on Saturday mornings. It was called black olive pasta, and was basically black olives tomatoes and garlic sautéed together and served over bowtie pasta. It got rave reviews from my family. And we ate it enough, until we all eventually got sick of it. But you can still find the recipe in the back of one of my mom’s cookbooks, even though I can’t remember the last time we ate it. Read the rest of this entry »

Rally, if you can

March 25, 2009

It’s Rally and Action time again for TEAM. Which means Erin is living outside of her comfort zone. Monday’s Rally brought a whole new set of challenges because now besides just worrying about bringing a bunch of folks, I was all of the sudden part of the program. First I got delegated to speak for my research committee. I am one of three who’s been active with them for the last few months and of the other two one is the chair who’s been giving the talks every time for two years and one of our clergy who happens to work for the City of Tallahassee in the planning department, so he always bows out. So I got to be the one.

I did have the advantage that Gloria (the lead organizer) pretty much wrote my speech. I did tweak it a bit, including rewriting an entire section that I did not think was saying what I wanted it to say. I also had a problem about what our issue actually was, since I was at all those meetings I know that it was thrown together really just to have something to present. The purpose of the rally is to get everyone excited about the issue, and our issue is just frankly not that exciting. I really pushed my committee to work on asking the city to fund a housing advocate, but it just didn’t get off the ground fast enough. And all the stuff that I was working on did not make the cut anyway. So are you ready… it might just be too thrilling for you to handle. We want the city to put out an RFP in order for a CDC to run the Rental Rehabilitation Loan Program. And if you don’t already know what those acronyms are, well it’s too boring to care.

Let me just say that no one was thrilled. It was fine, and I think I did the best that I could but I don’t know how you can really fire people up about grant procedures and contract writing. It’s long been a criticism of our organization that we don’t work on things that are exciting enough, that actually meet our own criteria for what makes a good issue. There’s work to be done there for sure.

We did have the Marching 100 (or 30 of them at least) play some music for us that included a drum roll before I got up to speak. But I think it may have had the opposite effect that they were intending, well on me. The opening speaker was talked about Les Mis, and I know what happens after drum rolls during the French Revolution. Gulp.

My weekend at the church

October 26, 2008

I spent more time at church this weekend than I did at home or at least that’s what it feels like.  On Friday and Saturday I was pedaling my wares at the craft fair.  I did about as much business as I did last year.  But besides just the bracelets I sold one scarf, the tutu I made, and one of the ribbon necklaces, and two pairs of the watermelon earrings.  I decided I was going to reduce my prices from last year hoping to be more attractive so I did, by about 33 percent on everything that I had there last year.  But I think that the plan did not work.  I guess there’s like this tipping point where you are willing to buy something just because it’s a good deal, but beyond that if your price is reasonable people just decide if they want it or not. I have this magnet that I got which is cute but that I got mainly because it was a dollar fifty. But I also got this wall hanging for my mom that was no deal for sure but it was so perfect that I could not let it go.

This morning was Laity Sunday again so I got to help lead worship again this year.  I was much less nervous.  And I also got to do the children’s sermon.  That was too much fun; I loved it. I had a couple of laugh lines even.  And the preschool choir sang so we had a bunch of takers.  I think next time I am going to pay more attention to my tone of voice because I found myself talking in that “I’m talking to a kid voice.”  I also think that I needed to engage with the kids a little more.  I was a little over eager about getting the word out that I neglected to look and see if I was getting a reaction and that the kids were understanding.  But over all good and practice makes perfect, right?  Luckily I remembered to do all my parts this year.  And I got lots of compliments on the prayer that I wrote.  So I thought I’d give you all an excerpt.

“…and we also give thanks on this special Sunday for the ministry of the laity.  Those who respond to God’s call on all Christians’ lives, who choose to take time to offer God’s love in action through teaching and speaking and singing and witnessing and serving. Today we ask you to renew us all, to give us a clearer vision of the ways we can give sacrificially.  Help us to leave what is comfortable to meet you challenge.  Let us be the voice of peace in a warring world.  Let us be the ones who are generous even in difficulty.  Let us be a welcoming face to the stranger.  We ask this all in true sincerity and with the confidence of children of the Lord of the universe. Our God who created all things from the tiniest bacteria to the greatest mountain.  Who continues to do great works even in our own lives and will still be comforting and protecting our great-great-great grandchildren….”

My favorite story… apparently one of our medical doctors appreciated the fact that bacteria got a shout out in church.  Happy to oblige.

I think that it was the perfect storm of church jobs today.  And happy World Communion Sunday to you too.

We were singing in honor of the day, a fun African piece.  But that also meant that we had to be there to rehearse at 7:45.  My helping began when Laurel brought her grandchildren in, a four year old and a two year.  She is like 98 pounds and was trying to lift them both up on to her hip. But the little one kept sliding of.  So I when to give her a boost and she burst into tears when I put my arms out to her. Ouch, burned by the two year old.

After we were done practicing Sally asked us to help move the left over garage sale junk off the parking lot.  So there I am in my insensibly high heels and a-line skirt, carting nineteen fifties vacuums and knitting kits, and humidifiers across the lot.  We sang for the call to worship then I left to set up for Sunday School.  There was plenty of time left so I got to make copies and cut out shields for the coat-of-arms craft.  But I left my curriculum at home so I had to wing it a little.  By the way it is very confusing to a second grader that Abraham was once named Abrahm and that Abraham was not named after Abraham Lincoln.  They even asked “what does Abraham mean?” Well luck has it the Bible tells us that it means “the father of many.”  My favorite thing… we were putting pictures of ancient buildings on the map and I told them that the first one was a Ziggarat.  The next one was these domed buildings…Amanda says, “oh, it’s an Egg-arat.”

Had to leave early to sing again.  Then I got asked to be a “pew buddy” by our childrens’ director. There’s no childrens’ Sunday School during the eleven o’clock hour so the kids whose parents go to the contemporary service and then 11 adult class, go to the regular Sunday School and then sit with volunteers during the 11 service before childrens’ church (wow that’s a mess.)  We didn’t have many takers today but Grace came to sit with us and she was having some nose running issues, but I didn’t have any tissues or anything, I felt so inadequate.

Before the service started Sally asked if I’d do part of the “presenting of the breads” which involved reading a paragraph… mine was about sun-dried tomato bread.  I think I only stumbled on a few words sheesh. I think I told God to remember that there was waring in the middle east.  Um I think God’s all over that, we’re the ones that need to remember.  We got to the communion part of the World Communion Sunday and we were singing the opening song and Clarke and Sally were looking distressed.  The sent out one of the acolytes to get me to help serve communion.  I think that at the 8:30 service they had a retired minister helping but he must have bailed.

The highlights… Me trying to grab the bread dish, Clarke “I’m serving you.” Oh yeah…  Me being the last one done every time because the line is “The blood of Christ shed for you.” and saying that to everyone takes longer than the minister version that is many more sentences and covers the time it take to serve three or four people. This must be why they need a master’s degree… My designated acolyte tripping and spilling a whole tray of juice on the floor and her white gown…  Me running out of juice cups with one person left, making me take even longer, and generally interrupting the reverent service with my inability to count… Oh yes and remember the high heels…ouch, and we are all glad I went with my crew neck black shirt instead of the v-neck if you know what I mean….And we don’t have hymns going on so you just feel everyone watching your communion incompetence.  I obviously needed the training session.

Praising time

October 29, 2007

I was liturgist at the 9:45 and 11 service today. I forgot to lead the affirmation till someone reminded me but other than that things went great. One bone to pick Praise and Worship was boring. I mean it was fine but it was boring. And then the band forgot to sing the melody… I think that they realized it eventually but it was a bit awkward when all 3 singers where harmonizing with nothing.

And Dracula, SO cheesy. Please, please.