W/R/L | 23-29 April 2017

In the realm of stressful weeks, let’s put this one at the top. One of my prayers this week was “Dear God, I know you are in the Chaos, and that is where you are revealed, but today is going to be hard. Be with each of us. Help us Reveal You to one another.”

Yeah, it was that kind of week. But still, I Watched/Read/Listened, including:

WATCHED

More bingewatching of Grey’s Anatomy, more sportsball.

Grey’s was back with a new episode (yay, Sweeps!) so I watched that live. Very typically for Grey’s, it had moments of levity and fun and then crushing heartbreak that had me sobbing. And honestly, it was kind of cathartic with the stress I’ve been under.

Scandal was bananas, as Scandal can be.

READ

I finished The Sparrow. What a powerful, amazing, remarkable book. I’ll admit in the middle I was feeling a little impatient with it, but I think it might have been because of the aforementioned Stress. As I neared the end, I was delighted by the little twists. I hope if you haven’t read it, you will.

I often describe my vocation with a line from Firefly – “Just a shepherd spreading religiousity to the fuzzy-wuzzies.” Now I’ve added another line: “stockbroker specializing in undervalued companies”.

You’ll just have to read the book.

Next up on my reading list “The Road to Little Dribbling” by Bill Bryson.

LISTENED

Podcasts – Make Me Smart, Pod Save America and Pod Save The World.

And music. Specifically, bluegrass.

I’ve always appreciated bluegrass, though I’ve never been an avid listener. On Monday at work I needed to block out some noise and concentrate, so I pulled up Spotify and on a whim started listening to some Railroad Earth. Railroad Earth is a favored band among a few of my friends, so I started there, with radio based on RRE. And then I heard this song:

It stopped me. What was an Infamous Stringduster? What type of sorcery was this? I moved over to their latest album, listened to that through, and then started a radio based on them.

I’ve listened to “Gravity” about 20x since Monday.

Maybe it’s my state of mind, maybe because in the chaos, something a little new is welcome to my soul.

I’ll tell you this – the idea of music festivals fills me with dread, even though I have good friends who have invited me and would take good care of me.

The Infamous Stringdusters are so good, I might have to rethink my anti-festival stance.

Maybe. Give me a little time.

OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS

Last week I told you about the Missional Voices Gathering I watched on livestream and promised a separate blogpost about. I promise, that’s still coming, but I’m going to wait until the videos are posted so I can reference them directly.

It’s been a good week or two of stumbling on to things on Twitter that are amazing. Last Sunday night I saw a tweet from @LuthDecolonized¬†about a webinar Decolonize Lutheranism co-founder Lenny Duncan was participating in. It was called Whose Faith Is It Anyway? Confronting White Supremacy in Faith Institutions. It was sponsored by Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism.

Wow.

It. Was. So. Good.

One takeaway I got from it – besides an immediate desire to be in the presence of these remarkable individuals and break bread with them – was that it seems that whenever a group says “this doesn’t speak to my experience of the Divine, and I’d like to talk about it” the dominant group responds with “you must be mistaken. This matches my experience. So it must be right. And it worked for generations, so why change it now?” Basically, shut up.

But if you probe for a story or explanation as to why a belief or ritual has significant meaning, it’s difficult to get people to articulate it.

We need to do better with this. I want to hear the stories about why that hymn, why that prayer, why that chant means something to you. Was it a funeral? A first communion? What do you think about when you hear it? Why does it bother you that someone wants to change the way you pray or sing?

Equally, I want to hear why that prayer or ritual makes you cringe. Why it breaks your heart. Why it’s difficult for you to hear it. I want to hear about what brings a balm to your soul

And I want us to share those stories and hear them and honor them, and create space to explore the changes. To create new & meaningful rituals together. To see where we might see and recognize God in our midst as the disciples in Emmaus suddenly realized Jesus was right there with them. The disciples in Emmaus weren’t expecting Jesus, and yet, there Jesus was – breaking the bread and sharing it. Let’s do that. Let’s walk along the road together, share our news, break bread with one another and find the Divine there.

The whole conversation was filled with remarkable wisdom and inspiration. I’m so glad I was able to watch it.

See you next week ūüôā

 

W/R/L – Holy Week Edition

A little late because… Resurrection Day.

This week I —

WATCHED

A lot of Sportsball. There was college softball, there was baseball and there was the NCAA Women’s College Gymnastics National Championships. The SEC network carried gymnastics nearly every Friday night for much of the season, and it was *fabulous* Friday night chill-out TV, and we got very invested in cheering on SEC teams, especially LSU. They were amazing during semi-finals, but they had a few mis-steps on Saturday night and ended up second. Bummed, but already looking forward to next season. In the meantime, college softball TV coverage ramps up about now – we’re only a few weeks away from the championship part of the season starting.

READ

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, the first fiction book I’ve read in weeks. I needed a little brain space during Holy Week. Great book with some perfect, unexpected twists that keep you turning the page… and anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.

Once I finished that, I picked up The Sparrow, gifted to me at my birthday.

LISTENED

Two episodes of The Collect Call . (I set-up the schedule for Brendan & Holli in January to do a sort of tour of the Book of Common Prayer, outside of the weekly collects, and I have loved seeing how it evolves. And apparently I chose a prayer two weeks ago written by an Episcopal superstar. How. Cool. Am. I. And humble.)

Make Me Smart. A *riveting* interview with George Lakoff,¬†professor emeritus of cognitive science and linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley about the deliberate language Trump uses… you know, the stuff we get angry about because he sounds like an idiot and we think he must not be thinking… yeah, not so much. Must listen.

I also found myself listening to a lot of music last week, blasting it loud with my moonroof open in my car. (It was warm most of the week.)

On Good Friday, on my way home from the Tenebrae service at my church, I pulled up some old Sandi Patty, singing the Resurrection a little early & with not supergreat theology but it felt right for the moment.

(Sandi Patty popped up again on Sunday morning when the soloist sang I’ve Just Seen Jesus. Classic Easter music.)

Personally, I choose Matt Maher’s Christ is Risen.

And finally, This Song, which was featured in Grey’s Anatomy two weeks ago and has captured me.

Our Joy Hath No End – Easter is 50 Days

Easter is an entire season, not just a day. ¬†For neophytes, the people we welcome into the Church at Easter, this season is called “mystagogy”, a time of shepherding of sorts as they encounter the mysteries of Christ through full participation in the Sacraments.

I think everyone could used a little mystagogy. A little time to reflect on what it means to live this life. To embrace this life. To celebrate and encounter the Mysteries again. To figure out what fits and what doesn’t.

I’ve got a few things cooking for my mystagogy, I’m hoping to create some content based on stuff that I’m reading/seeing/encountering and maybe post it here. And I’m continuing my participation with The Slate Project, talking about The Seven Deadly Craps of Christianity.

I’m starting with a reminder of the Joy we have because of the Resurrection.

 

Our joy hath no end