Accountability and Transparency

I can acknowledge that I'm not the most trusting woman in the world, and I'm willing to enter into a discussion on how that may be a significant character flaw. We can talk about ways that might indicate a need for growth.

One of Miriam Webster's definitions of accountability is "an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions." When I'm in a position of leadership, that accountability is sacred. I don't want blind trust-- because what if, God forbid, I'm wrong? I want there to be people around me who can advise and question me. It's good when people trust me, but I want them to trust their own wisdom, as well. I don't believe that it's disrespectful to ask questions. Back when we did that 5 Things I Dig About Jesus thing, I should have said that I loved it that Jesus was OK with questions. My asking questions isn't a sign of disrespect, and engaging in discussion is how people win my respect.

Another important point about that-- I don't have to agree with you to respect you during those discussions. In fact, I might respect you more for the ways you conduct yourself when we do disagree. But if we don't engage, we don't get to really know each other. And if we don't know each other, how deeply can my respect run?

What are your priorities in leadership? How do people acquire your respect?

Tummy Rumblings

It is clearly almost lunchtime, because I'm HONGRY!

And an anonymous lover of my soul (if not my arteries) has just turned me on to Homesick Texan.


I think I have found a state where I could really, reallY EAT!

Between the Mexican food of my years in SoCal, and my Tennessee kin, I believe that Texas may just have all the food I really need.

Crap polititians, of course (always excepting the sainted Ann Richards). BUT THE FOOD!!!

It's just like Jill Connor Browne says in The Sweet Potato Queen's Big-Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner: "If you eat this, you will die. And you will die with a huge ass. But you will die happy."

The other day Mr. M fried up some tilapia for me. Dredged it in buttermilk (is there anything that doesn't get better when you add dairy?), coated it in cornmeal, garlic, parmesan powder, and cayenne pepper. Cooked a little dirty rice, steamed some green beans. We topped it all off with the peach and raspberry pie I made this weekend.

Friends, I believe in EATING!

(And you need to know that no pre-made, store-bought pie crust ever comes out of my oven. There is just no way.)



I noticed in today's Meet N' Greet over at the RevGal homepage that we've recently been joined by
Professing Counselor, a lesbian agnostic counselor who, among other things, has shared about her difficulties in being a part of her partner's Jewish synagogue. It's a new perspective for me, and I really am glad that she's sharing it.


I'm so excited! I start Monday, it doesn't pay much, but it's very flexible and they offered me a little more than my minimum was going to be (which was really nice). My boss is great, the department does great work, and there will be some flexibility, which is AWESOME!




Y'all, I have a hankerin'.

I am craving chess pie like you would not believe. Not lemon chess, not chocolate chess, nothing weird with raisins (go ahead, TRY to tell me that raisins and capers don't look like bugs!). Just plain old chess pie.

And good biscuits. Not hard, dry biscuits. Not cheddar, not chive, just plain ol' buttermilk biscuits.

I wouldn't turn down fried chicken, either.

Anybody have any good Southern recipes to share? Miss Lynn is never around when I need her. (That's patently untrue. She was very much there when I needed her.)

Friday Five: Floods and Droughts

Well, I suppose this is further evidence that I can't keep my mouth shut. My plan to spend a while away from he blogosphere has just whithered in the sun. *sigh*

Sally gave us this Friday Five.

1. Have you experienced living through an extreme weather event- what was it and how did you cope?
I've lived through a number of earthquakes, a few blizzards, no floods, and one brush with a tornado. The nearby tornado was the best one-- a close girlfriend and I just sat through it on the porch, gabbing away. Everyone else in the dorm had gone to the basement for protection. I'll admit that I'm a little obtuse sometimes.

2. How important is it that we wake up to issues such as global warming?
I'm not sure about global warming specifically, but I strongly believe that we need to be more respectful of the environment.

3. The Christian message needs to include stewardship of the earths resources agree/ disagree?
I agree. God made it, and pronounced it good. If part of the Christian message is humility (yes, there we have it, yet another growing edge for me), I don't know how we can be so reckless with other creatures. And personally, it's easiest for me to see God outside, in nature. (Seeing the artist through the art, maybe?) It breaks my heart to desecrate that.

And because it is summer- on a brighter note....
4. What is your favourite season and why?

I LOVE summer. Also spring. Fall is beautiful, but it feels like the entrance music for winter, so I dread it a little.

5. Describe your perfect vacation weather....
Warm (humidity doesn't matter much to me). One good powerful thunderstorm is a welcome addition.


The Pits

You know, the really crappy thing about having a lousy, low-paying, brainless job is that when you make a mistake (which is inevitable, because we the people don't do anything perfectly), you feel like a huge moron. And if you're a temp on top of it, people often treat you like an even bigger moron.

Yes. I know we're using the new cover sheets for the TPS reports. I did get the memo. No, I don't need another copy, I have it right here. OK.


"You rush a miracle, you get rotten miracles."

It's not at all uncommon for people to ask me how long the Episcopal ordination process takes. Bare minimum, 5 years, I tell them. For me at this point, I think we're talking 8.

But who wants a rotten miracle?

Having said that, I'm going to take a little Process Sabbath. Not officially, just for myself. My rector will be on sabbatical until late September, and there are a few "have-to"s between now and then, but I think I'm going to try to just listen, and not squeeze myself into the process during that time.

I was talking to my spiritual advisor yesterday about things that energize me. I was also talking about the ways I feel squashed and unheard by the process. So, I'm thinking I'm going to try to take a little time to get my voice back, and then go from there.

I'm also going to go quiet from the blog for a little while, I think. If anything spectacular happens, I'll let you know, but I want a little time for myself. In submarine lingo, I'm going quiet.


Something Troubling

I don't know the details, not by a long stretch. But there's a person, Kate, who has always been kind and supportive to me here, and who was a member of my RevGal community. As I understand it, she's been asked to leave, not for sexual orientation exactly, but for reasons close to it.

I'm going to be as frank as I possibly can here: I don't understand polyamory. It would not work for me, in a really big way. But as I've said numerous times about the split in the Episcopal church, sexuality is not the heart of the issue for me. I absolutely cannot get my mind or my heart around the idea of excluding someone who is seeking God. We are Christians because we love Jesus, the way we understand the rest of it varies.

I'm really disappointed. I love this community of (mostly) women. I don't know how the decision was made, and I'm sure people had strong feelings about their reasons. Especially as women in ministry, it feels very awkward to tell someone that she doesn't fit the right mold.

One more thing-

I have an interview Friday for the job I mentioned earlier. Keep everything crossed!

I Need My Fix

Because I'm a serious NPR junkie, I'm seriously considering giving in and saving up for an iPod.

Because there are NPR shows that my local station doesn't get. (Speaking of Faith? Splendid Table? Countless others!) Plus, sometimes I actually have to work, rather than listening to NPR (gasp!). So podcasts would be a blessing (and a curse).

But here are my questions-- does iTunes work for all MP3 players, or just iPods? Could I go with a cheaper version, or is Apple really my best bet? And am I honestly going to be able to figure out how to subscribe to podcasts?

Somebody help me make the transition.

Travelling Mercies

Mr. M left this morning to spend a few days at the beach with the Out-Laws. I would have loved to go (and Mr. M is pretty darn distraught about missing out on my new swimsuit).

I'm going to miss him, but I'm a tiny bit looking forward to putzing on my own. We've finally straighted up our spare bedroom, and there's a little white desk just waiting for me to take some letter-writing time. It sits directly under a window (which is, to my mind, the very best place for a desk). I can see lots of trees, our creek, and this time of year-- the ducklings! from that window. I think I'll have a nice peaceful evening tomorrow.

It's funny how, even when you're silent, it's very hard to have the same sort of peace with someone else home.


Quick Job Prayers?!

There's an opening where I'm temping, I think I'd really enjoy it, but I don't know whether they've already made a decision (or whether they'd take me). Since I'm not starting seminary this fall, I'd love to have something stable!

Prayers for guidance and contentment either way, please!

Highlights from the Summer Academy

I spend last week in a five-day summer session at a local UCC seminary. Took 2 classes (Preaching on Matthew, Global Worship for Inclusive Communities) and 1 workshop (Creating Liturgical Art). Had 12-hour days Monday through Friday, and then the drive home (exhausted by the time Saturday rolled around). Here are the highlights (and lowlights) :

  1. I'm about a bazillion times more comfortable with my brain than my heart. Ergo, my "academic" class was a great joy, and my "creating" class was very uncomfortable (albeit in a good way).
  2. If you're going to introduce new or unusual theology, talk to your class about how you got there. Unusual ideas or otherwise, people will be much more receptive if you don't plunge in assuming everyone agrees with you. Instructors who are talking about personal spirituality would be wise to use "I" statements, and respect the diversity that is likely to exist among their students.
  3. Speaking of diversity, it feels very, very good to be in a room with people who are not just middle-aged and white. "Diversity awareness" can so often have a tone of condescention: "wouldn't it be nice for Them if We let Them sit with Us?" How wonderful it was to be in the midst of so many different incarnations of beauty and wisdom.
  4. You don't have to know someone long to have a very real connection with them. I met a Kindred Spirit this week, and he was gracious enough to spend a few hours with me. We both shared, and I think we were both better for our brief tiny friendship.
  5. UCCers are not as rank-conscious as Episcopalians are. Nice respite, though also very weird.

More later, but I'm still processing. And still sleepy, frankly.


Because it was asked for...

My Momma asked me to update her blog for her since she is without internet access this week. Since I love her and she is the cat bed, I will do her bidding. She found out about the comments you have been leaving about the toe ring and she asked me to upload a picture of it. That big, smelly thing took it since I haven't figured out the buttons on the digital camera....yet. I will figure them out...oh I will. He may have thumbs, but I have stripes. Stripes always win over thumbs!

Anyway, world domination aside. Here is the picture:

As you can see, it is beautiful. It pleases me. Many things please me. My Momma pleases me. Glitter balls please me. The paper cat toys that the big, smelly things makes pleases me (he is good for something). The kibble pleases me. Cute Overload pleases me (there are many orange, ginger stripes displayed there).

I am pleased. Now I am off to figure out buttons. And to roll around in some catnip.



Friday Five: Hasty Edition

Poor Reverendmother's in a rush! Her Friday Five offering is as follows:

Today, what are you:

1. Wearing

A white and red blouse, black pants, and best of all-- a tiny ladybug toering!

2. Reading My Summer Academy assignments

3. Eating Not eating yet, but drinking a glass of sweet tea. Trying to figure out what to get for lunch. (Qdoba is a sad alternative to Chipotle. Don't want pizza. Hmmm...)

4. Doing Scheduling meetings for several non-profits in the building.

5. Pondering How I'm going to fill the lovely new pen display case that my aunt/godmother just sent me. Tee hee.


Because it keeps nagging at me,

I'm going to throw it out there:

Would anyone be interested in a Mid-Atlantic Meet-Up? I'm thinking maybe a dinner in Baltimore, since it's pretty Mid-Atlantically central?

Holler if you're game.



Is anyone else familiar with the story of Titus Andronicus? Shakespeare did a version of it, though the plot itself is much older than Shakespeare. At the risk of being melodramatic, I wonder if anyone else has perceived the ordination process as a Lavinia period? A time when we are attacked in some ways, and at the same time rendered mute?

People are misinformed, I suspect because we play Ecclesiastical Telephone. Unlike Lavinia's losses, I don't think that an aspirant's/postulant's/candidate's muteness comes into being through vindictiveness. It's still hurtful, still damaging. When does clarity finally trump deference? When can one say, "I'm sorry, sir, I don't believe that's quite accurate?" When can the Bottom of the Ladder approach the Busy Important Man?

I'm very lucky-- the top of our ladder is a kind, caring person. Unfortunately, we see each other largely through the lenses of the middle rungs, and they seem very hazy to me at this point.

This is not a system that fosters clarity.


I have found a maker of gorgeous stoles (and other fabulous quilted artwork). Her name is Cindy Starkey Robinson, and the company is Inspirita. (I'll be keeping her info on my sidebar, because I think she's incredibly talented.) She seems to be a neat lady-- and if anyone else was looking for good music, her recommendations are Global Songs/Local Voices by Bread for the Journey, and In His Hands by Gene Harris (though like many of us, she's not wild about the Battle Hymn of the Republic).

Go check out her work, I really think you'll love it. Her Advent stole is particularly striking. Shown here is her Tree of Life art quilt.


Speaking of requests

Does anyone have any favorite choir and/or Gospel CDs? I'd love to find stuff for belting out in the car, but there's a lot out there that doesn't quite work. I LOVE King's College Choir, but their hymns are so beautifully arranged that they're hard to sing along with! I like a cappela, but the King's Singers are such precise Brits that their gospel album sounds weird to me. I like classical, and I like southern gospel, but I don't care for most "praise music" (Muzak for Christians?). I'm open to unfamiliar songs or styles.

Suggestions would be warmly welcomed.

Radical New Idea

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. More accurately, I've been feeling like it might have been better if I hadn't gotten out of bed this morning. I've been crotchety and short-tempered, convinced that most of the people around me have no sense whatsoever.

Don't tell me you haven't had days like this.

But, I don't particular enjoy being a little thundercloud. A few minutes ago, I had a radical thought (clearly God's, because this never would have occurred to me on my own): Ask for prayer.

Now, I ask for prayer if I'm hurt, or scared. I pray for myself and others over joyous events. But I just about never say, "Hey, God, I'm being a big schmuck. Could you please help me with this?"
And now I'm relieved, because it feels like such a gentle way to move forward. Not embarrassed or ashamed of my bad mood, just accepting that it's there, and I'd rather it wasn't. Inviting God in, in whatsoever state I am. (Perhaps this is a new read on Paul's having learned, in whatsoever state he was in, to be content. I've always taken that to mean whatever outside factors there were, but perhaps it's also whatever emotional state we're in.)

What a relief.