Wednesday, January 30, 2008

a day in the life

like i was saying, not long ago one of my high school friends found me. (actually 2 have found me but that's another story). he was a year ahead of me and one of my dearest friends. we were a part of the popular crowd only because we really liked one another and could care less what other people thought. honestly, my high school had lots of clicks, but no real popular crowd and i was lucky to be able to hang out with other groups of people.

i grew up in philly and philly is all about the neighborhoods, which when i was in high school were still pretty ethnic. each group had their own space at the school. for example, if i remember correctly, the east lawn was where the south philly italians hung out and the south lawn was where the punks hung out. (but it was a long time ago and i could be remembering the lawns wrong).

i do know that i spent a lot of time on both lawns and in other areas of the school and i don't ever remember there being territorial debates about who was welcome where.

but back to my point... in our emails back and forth to reacquaint ourselves he asked me what a pastor does and i have been trying to find time to actually sit down and explain my job. it occured to me that perhaps i had already done that since at the end of every year and the start of a new one i have to write an annual report that includes all the stuff i did over the last year. here's an edited version with the edits in italics.

there are three pieces to the pastor pie: congregational, synodical (a geographical area of churches headed by a bishop), and community (while this is typically the area around the church it can also be national or international.)

I served on all committees of the church including the Church Council and Childcare board; taught adult forum and confirmation classes, preached, presided, and planned all worship or provided supplies; visited the sick, shut-ins, and other members; performed 3 weddings (1 of non-members); supervised all lay staff (secreatry and the staff of the childcare); held office hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays (Thursdays in 2008 will be used for visitation days); managed the insurance for the flooding at the rental house; Attended Borough Board meetings in regards to the rental house (a house the church owns, once rented, and now is trying to sell); trained in Kids, Money, and Stuff (a stewardship program for children and youth) for continuing education; organized the booth for and attended the Harvest Moon Festival; and designed and maintained the new website for the church. (i also do funerals, but while may people died in 2007, none of them were from my congregation.)

I participated in the Ecumenical Ministerium (the other churches in town) by attending meetings, preaching at the Thanksgiving and Good Friday Services and speaking at the Virginia Tech Memorial Service; I led worship services at 5 different nursing homes and or rehabilitation centers; Represented the church and childcare at the Duck Race Dinner, gave the invocation at the Memorial Day Parade (I even marched in it) and at an Eagle Scout Ceremony; submitted a sermon for Voices (a local community paper); walked during the Crop Walk (a walk to raise money for hunger), and maintained our relationship with the other lutheran church in town through the Gardener Cooperative with joint services for an Animal Blessing and Ash Wednesday as well as a week of VBS.

I attended weekly pericope studies (the bible readings for sunday) with other area pastors to prepare for preaching, attended meetings of our Conference, served on the Synod Worship Team, attended Synod Assembly where I assisted with worship; and attended 1 ordination and two installations of area pastors.

so there is just a taste of what i do. of course each and every day is different. today i have to work on the service for ash wednesday which means putting together the bulletin and beginning to prepare to write a sermon (sermon preparation/writing takes a minimum of 8 hours each week, but usually no more than 10). and i have a huge load of filling i'd like to get done when i go over to the office.

guess i'd better get to work.

God's peace y'all

Monday, January 28, 2008

we're having a heat wave

well, not really all that hot, but the heat is up and running today. the plumbers (yes, plural) suggested that i pray over it so i laid my hands on the *&#% thing and called out, "BE HEALED!"
and after they worked on it for almost 2 hours it was working again.

we still need a new furnance, which will include needing a new chimney and major electrical work, but the house is actually warm again!

God's peace y'all

Friday, January 25, 2008

chilly willy

there have been a lot of things going through my mind that i've been meaning to blog about. a dear friend from high school just got in touch with me. i hadn't heard from him since i graduated high school... which was a long time ago. when i told him that i was a pastor he responded with "it's hard to imagine anyone i went to high school with becoming a pastor. what does a pastor do?"

so i've been thinking that would be a good topic for a post. few people really get just what kind of stuff i do... but right now i am too cold to try to put together any kind of list like that.

why am i cold?

well, it all started last night when i sat down to watch pan's labyrinth (which was very good) and realized that i was freezing... so i cranked up the heat and huddled under the covers to read subtitles. by the end of the movie i decided that it had started to heat up and i turned the thermostat down to 69-70 degrees for the night.

when hubby woke up this morning it was 50 degrees in the house.

we cranked the heat back up and i checked the pilot in the basement for the 3rd time... it was lit... and we went on with our day.

it was when i got back from lunch with hubby (we had a little date at the olive garden... yummy salad, bread sticks, and soup) that i decided to call the plumber.

now here's something pastor-ish... i live in a parsonage, which means that the house belongs to the church. i pay utilities, but no rent and when something goes snafooey the church has to handle it.

well, it seems that the heater is older than the house. ok, i'm exaggerating and the house had originally been heated with coal, but this is besides the point because the plumber can't fix the problem because he doesn't have parts that old.

here's the problem: the pilot is lit, but the burner isn't lighting. so heating the house is much like trying to cook something on a gas stove by the heat of the pilot flame.

hence... i am chilly willy.

i have the heat set at 80 and it's about 60 degrees in the house. and oh, it's below freezing outside.

the good news is that the plumber called one of his other plumber friends who works more with gas than oil, which is his specialty, who thinks that he might be able to do something to fix the problem for now, but he can't come until monday morning.

i'm praying (yes, another thing i do as a pastor) that he will be able to do something to get the heat working for now because clearly the next step is to replace the heater, which is not as simple as it sounds and far more expensive than i care to think about.

all this after the kids have been sick off and on for the last week or so. that in and of itself is post worthy because of the goat rodeo that was...

... so i am off to put on two pairs of jammies, set up the electric heaters i borrowed, and watch what i hope will be a semi-entertaining movie.

stay warm and God's peace y'all

Monday, January 21, 2008

ode to a good night's sleep

ok, this isn't going to be a poem (poetry has never really been my thing), but rather just an update on the whole sleep thing and how i haven't gotten much for some time now.

i seem to be going to sleep later and later lately. the lights had been going out at midnight, but now i don't seem to be getting to sleep until after 2am. don't know why except that i seem to dread the idea of tying to fall asleep and so i'm staying up later and later in hopes of it being easier to actually fall asleep once in bed. ha.

on thursday we took the prince to the dr's for a follow-up on his ears which continue to get infections. it sounds as though we will be seeing an ear, nose, and throat dr to determine whether or not to get tubes. while i really don't want to do it i'm almost relieved at the thought that maybe this is going to solve some of the issues the poor kid has with his ears.

while at the dr's office the prince fell asleep on my lap in the exam room. the night before he had been up partying: jumping on the bed, laughing, getting into all his toys. i figured he was tired after his late night and didn't ask the nurse or dr to check his temperature even though i did think he was a bit warm.

later hubby and i decided that we have amazing instincts with the kids, but are too stupid to follow through with them.

this we decided after taking the prince home and my informing hubby that he had thrown up in his bed several times and why didn't i mention to the dr that i thought he was warm!

he slept most of the day and night, waking up to eat some toast and an apple, but we kept him home from school the next day to be on the safe side.

friday night i went to bed like usual, but the prince wouldn't let me stay in bed. he cried most of the night and my instincts failed me as to why. after getting about 3 hours of sleep i got up to get on with my saturday, which was a work day.

i tried to get into bed before midnight and actually succeeded, except that i was up with him 4 times. when i talked to a friend about it later she suggested that maybe he was having night terrors which would account for the fact that at one point he was running up and down the halls shrieking bloody murder.

after no more sleep than the night before i woke up at 8am to get on with my sunday, also a work day. thankfully i was able to take a nap in the afternoon and while the prince got me out of bed twice before 1am he either slept through the rest of the night or i slept through his not sleeping through the night. (though i am guessing he slept since i find it physically impossible to sleep through either of the kids crying.)

another bit of news is that his lead levels are still about the same, though his body burden did drop a bit his blood level is still below the number where they would chelate him. we'll see the ent the same day as we take him to the lead clinic. hopefully they will go up just enough for a short treatment to get things moving.

now it is time to finish the bedtime routine and read a book with the princess kitty so we can write a book report by the end of the month. and maybe... just maybe i'll get some sleep tonight.

God's peace y'all

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

misery is a butterfly or don't you want me baby?

bds over at two dollar productions recommended this meme and I thought, hey cool I should do that… then the pobble did it and I couldn’t resist.

The rules:
1. Put your music player on Shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER WHAT. (This is in capital letters, so it is very serious.)
4. Add editorial comments in parenthesis after most song names.

(ok, so here is the 1st parenthesis… i have several play lists on my music player including one that is entitled “jesus rocks” with all my gospel music, but the two lists i listen to most are my contemporary music and my 80’s music, so i had to do this twice. the first answer is from the playlist that i listen to most, the second is from my 80’s list)

1. IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY? Beautiful Disaster - 311
Just Like Honey- The Jesus and Mary Chain

Should I Stay or Should I Go? The Clash

3. WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL? Bitterweet Symphony- The verve Pipe
Love is a Battlefield- Pat Benatar

4. HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY? Epiphany- Staind (well, it was tuesday when i got this answer and hubby always says i have epiphanies on tuesdays)
Crazy For You- Madonna (actually, just crazy)

5. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE? Cobrastyle Teddy Bears (i seriously thought about skipping this one, but i followed the rules)
Vacation- Go Gos

6. WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO? I Write Sins Not Tragedies- Panic! At the Disco (ok, this one made me giggle)
Moments in Love- Art of Noise

7. WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU? Mother Mother- Tracy Bonham
Psycho Killer- Talking Heads (i need to have a long talk with my friends)

8. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS? No Way Out- The Foo Fighters
Stupid Girl- Garbage (no i don't, honest!)

9. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN? Hole in the Earth- Deftones (there’s a hole in the earth? i never thought of that)
Do You Really Want To Hurt Me- Culture Club (i think i might have some issues)

10. WHAT IS 2+2? Oh! Gravity- Switchfoot
Right here Right Now- Jesus Jones

11. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND? When Your Heart Stops Beating- Plus 44
I Wanna Be Sedated- The Ramones

12. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE? The Kill- 30 Seconds to Mars
Relax- Frankie Goes to Hollywood

13. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY? Don’t Lose Touch- Against Me
Golden Years- David Bowie (i'm not even 40 yet - golden years... geeze!)

14. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? Icky Thump- The White Stripes (sometimes i think i am that already)
Jessie’s Girl- Rick Springfield (doesn’t everyone want to be jesse’s girl?)

15. WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE? Undone (the Sweater Song)- Weezer
Rush- Big Audio Dynamite

16. WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU? Painted By Numbers- The Sounds
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun- Cyndi Lauper (oh, daddy dear you know you’re still number one…)
We Could Be Heros- David Bowie (funny thing is that both songs are bowie and that pobble got this one too! and we didn’t actually play any bowie at our wedding! but who is cooler than david bowie?)

18. WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL? Teenagers- My Chemical Romance
Shock the Monkey- Peter Gabriel (for God’s sake, i might not actually be dead!)

19. WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST? A Certain Romance- Arctic Monkeys
Obsession- Animation

20. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET? Baby One More Time- Dilana (the biggest secret might be how much i love this song)
Down Under- Men at Work (honest, i was born in philly)

All I Want is You- U2

22. WHAT SHOULD YOU POST THIS AS? Misery is a Butterfly- Blonde Redhead
Don’t You Want Me Baby- Human League

Thursday, January 10, 2008


i still don't know who i am ultimately going to vote for in the presidential primaries. i keep going back and forth on this issue and wish i could just decide. however, i do kinda like the fact that i'm having such a hard time deciding since it has been a very long time since i have felt this way about 2 candidates.

and so finding this link was actually helpful. the candidate calculator asks just a few questions, but then tells you who you most match up with. i didn't even know who my first choice was, but my second choice was one of the two i am thinking about. my other choice was way down on the list.

God's peace y'all and don't forget to vote when the time comes.

Friday, January 04, 2008

of hot pink, fuzzy robes

this past christmas i asked for a specific list of things and received just about all of them. the spoons being just one of the things i truly wanted.

i also got itunes from my brother and slick. it's been fun adding some new music, though the album i've been waiting for doesn't come out until march and i suspect that by then i will have spent all the itunes. (but my birthday is in march, so i have hope).

i asked my parents for a gift card to see the hair dresser we all visit with. she and my mom have become good friends and before xmas when my mom went to get the certificate she told gloria about hubby's test. gloria responded by writing a second certificate just from her. i can't wait to go get my cut, color, and my eyebrows waxed. (i'm started to get a little hairy above the eyes.)

when hubby's mom asked what we wanted for xmas from our pollyannas i said i needed a square frying pan so i could make more than one piece of french toast or grilled cheese sandwich at a time. and guess what my wonderful mil put under the tree for us!

and then there were the gifts from hubby and the kids. i mentioned to hubby that perhaps next xmas i was going to ask for jewelry, but that i really wanted a pretty long sleeved nightgown for this year... the nightgown looks really good with the white gold diamond hoop earrings they gave me.

months ago i mentioned to the pobble that i wanted a new cutting board. and it came with a hot pink fuzzy robe. i think i have lived in the robe since christmas. it's one of my new favorite things.

even with all the stress of the past few weeks i've realized how much i've really enjoyed this past christmas. it's not all about the stuff that i got though i can't remember the last time that "santa" listened so well. being around family and friends was such a joy.

it's been two years now that we have been able to spend christmas at home; exactly the same amount we weren't able to spend at home the two years before. traditions seem to be reinventing themselves. we even spent new year's with the prince's godparents, something we missed doing for a few years because new year's was falling too close to sunday and we couldn't travel.

even missing friends at the table this year wasn't such a downer. not having the pobble here for christmas (last year she was the guest who wouldn't leave) was sad, but the joy of knowing that she was happy where she was made the melancholy go away.

and we saw hubby's nephew who now lives in hawaii. and one brother-in-law, hubby, and i went out for drinks with his neice. nephew was 13 when we got married and hubby bought my engagement ring the day of the neice's 8th grade graduation. it's scary that they are growing up so fast (actually, they are totally grown now) but how much fun was it to see them as the adults i always knew they would become!

all in all it was a wonderful holiday time... a warm, hot pink, fuzzy holiday.

God's peace y'all

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


when hubby and i registered for our flatware over 11 years ago we picked a set that was higher in quality on purpose. i expected that we would never own a set of actual silver (until my parents and uncle suprised us on our 10th anniversary with my grandmother's set). i wanted something that i could put out with the china and use every day.

we picked a simple, but elegant pattern, but then discovered that we couldn't register for a slotted serving spoon. for 11 years i have been without a slotted spoon and somehow our teaspoon numbers dwindled from 12 to 4. now how you lose spoons i don't know, but they have disappeared like socks in the dryer.

so, for christmas hubby's family does a pollyanna. my mother-in-law organizes it and our rule is that she and the grandchildren don't participate, only the siblings and spouses. when she asked for ideas for me to give my pollyanna i went to and looked up my pattern and low and behold... there was a slotted spoon.
i wanted it! i needed it! 11 years without one and i was this close to having a dream come true.
and guess what. i got 4 new teaspoons and my slotted spoon from my wonderful sister-in-law!!!
sometimes dreams do come true.
christmas and new years were wonderful, but i am too tired to say anymore at the moment. i still have to read with the princess kitty and pack lunches for the kids for tomorrow because it is back to school tomorrow! hey, another dream come true!
God's peace y'all!

"and vivian followed."

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket