RevGals are adept at juggling and making do on the fly. In the spirit of the ability to multi-task, we’re pulling a random Friday Five out of the hat today.
What is your “gotta go!” breakfast that you can grab and take with you in the morning when you’re in a rush? String cheese sticks. I like how they soften up between the time I take them from the fridge and the time I eat them. If I'm fancy, I have something else with them...fruit or a pita.
When was the last time you had a fun evening out, and what did you do? I went to The Episcopal Church of Wichita Falls for an amazing and holy All Hallows Eve service, followed by Trunk or Treat. :) It was great!
Favorite poet or poem? for today, Anne Sexton. This is from her book, An Awful Rowing Toward God:
THE ROWING ENDETH
I’m mooring my rowboat
at the dock of the island called God.
This dock is made in the shape of a fish
and there are many boats moored
at many different docks.
“It’s okay.” I say to myself,
with blisters that broke and healed
and broke and healed –
saving themselves over and over.
And salt sticking to my face and arms like
a glue-skin pocked with grains of tapioca.
I empty myself from my wooden boat
and onto the flesh of The Island.
“On with it!” He says and thus
we squat on the rocks by the sea
and play – can it be true –
a game of poker.
He calls me.
I win because I hold a royal straight flush.
He wins because He holds five aces,
A wild card had been announced
but I had not heard it
being in such a state of awe
when He took out the cards and dealt.
As he plunks down His five aces
and I am still grinning at my royal flush,
He starts to laugh,
and laughter rolling like a hoop out of His mouth
and into mine,
and such laughter that He doubles right over me
laughing a Rejoice-Chorus at our two triumphs.
Then I laugh, the fishy dock laughs
the sea laughs. The Island laughs.
The Absurd laughs.
I with my royal straight flush,
love you so for your wild card,
that untamable, eternal, gut-driven ha-ha
and lucky love.
Who makes you laugh? Amanda Quraishi. Check her out on social media.
Where do you like to go for some “time apart,” in the way that Jesus took time apart? There's a pond near my house where I go to listen to the birds.
When you were 8(ish), what did you want to be when you grew up?
The title phrase, "When I grow up..." continues into a song from my childhood:
When I grow up
I want to be
A lovely ballerina
Just wait and see
Some day I'll be
A lovely ballerina
Clearly I am not and never have been such a thing. I took ballet at 7 or 8 and found out how unsuited I was for it, and how unlike my fantasies it was.
When I was 8-ish, and for many growing-up years, I wanted to be a nurse. As I grew up, and in school and college, I learned that literature was my native academic language, I eschewed the science I'd need to go on to nursing school.
I have scant patient experience in hospitals:
when I was 4 I was dehydrated and spent a certain number of nights in the hospital. I vividly remember having an IV started in my hand, which at that time I was sure was some particular form of torture.
when I was in my late 30's I got a chigger bite on my rear (camping!) that got badly infected. The doctor thought I might have MRSA or another really bad infection. I was there over Easter weekend.
But, I have a lot of experience with being in hospitals as an advocate for patients.
My mom had a lot of hospitalizations, my dad had a few; other family members had them; I was with my grandfather and my aunt as they died in hospital.
And every time, I watch the nurses and I think, "I could do that. I THINK I could do that. I bet I could."
Who knows what I'll be when I really grow up? :) (If I do?)
I had a little furnace mishap at church on Sunday. What's something you've done for your work that wasn't exactly in the job description?
Where I work, and have been working since 1996, the person who has been around longest seems to become sort of the "room mother" for the facility. When I arrived that was J. and now it is P.
And seeing how over-stretched P. was, particularly as we moved into a newly renovated building and she coordinated everything from the renovation to the move to the punch list to the whining (sorry, but there has been whining...we have humans here) I've been trying to help. I'm maybe the "apprentice room mother."
A few weeks ago P. took a rare and well-deserved vacation, and the person whose office is next to hers exclaimed to me, "Oh my gosh! When P. goes away, it's like the Apocalypse around here!" It can be very stressful to come to your good solid resource, the one who is always there and knows it all, and find that they are NOT there.
So: This newly, gorgeously renovated building is all kinds of environmentally sound. From the lighting to the HVAC, we are cutting edge. And, paper towels are verboten (as in, they are not provided by Facilities). So if you want to dry your hands or a dish in the kitchen, you must use the communal dishcloths (or cart your own from your office).
And if you want to dry your hands in the restrooms, this is your choice:
Yes, it's one of those fancy hand dryers that Sheldon Cooper gets so upset about:
Cue much whining...including, I'll admit, from ME at first. But I've gotten used to it.
You can see there's a little trough that collects the water the machine blows off of hands. Well, periodically the reservoir fills up, and then the machine starts BEEPING. Once I learned that all you have to do to stop that is get down on the floor with a cup and drain the reservoir, I figured all was well. I like being self-sufficient in small things.
So imagine my surprise, recently, when a colleague said to me, "Hey, I guess I really should tell P. this, but that dryer is beeping."
I said, "Oh, you don't have to tell P.! It's easy to fix it, you just drain the reservoir. Come let me show you how."
What!? She didn't want to get down on the bathroom floor with me? I guess it's not in my job description, but when I weigh listening to the beeping until Facilities comes, and then THAT guy has to close the bathroom and get down on the floor...Geez.
Photo post time!! Take a picture of something you see all the time- the simpler, the better. Write a little about what the thing means, symbolizes, reminds you of... Give us a little glimpse into your world.
This small clay dove sits in the windowsill above my desk. It's a high window, and the bottom of it is at about the level of my neck when I stand.
Here's a view so you see it in context:
It was given to me by the amazing Karla Miller as a gift from the second RevGals Big Event. Back then there were so few of us we all brought a small gift for everyone. Karla made this. I love it. It reminds me, when I look out of my window, of her. Of RevGals everywhere. Of my hope and prayer for peace every day.
It's a pressure cooker and...I AM NOT AFRAID OF IT. Like many my age and older, I grew up terrified of old-school pressure cookers...have a terrible memory of explosions of such. But this, this is a brave new world of cooking.
It's electronic! It's speedy, it's fun, and it retains more of the vitamins & minerals than some cooking methods. It is supposed to make meat super tender (need this for my husband's eating needs) and it makes a wonderful risotto with NO STIRRING. There are great vegetarian and vegan recipes for it, and several great Facebook groups that share ideas, techniques, and trouble shooting. (Bonus: they are some of the friendliest, happiest, least contentious Facebook groups ever. It's a pure pleasure to belong.)
The pot does things like yogurt that I have not approached yet. I have to have some thing to do at Christmas break, right? :) I've had it since the early fall and love it so much.
I'd love to tell you about my experiences (convert you!) or answer any questions.
Write about what you wear at church (your best clothes, your comfy clothes, robe, stole, etc.). What does the phrase "church clothes" look like in your world?
Usually I wear to church what I wear to work: slacks and a top. Sometimes it's jeans and a t-shirt. I really appreciate that there are quite a few people in my parish who are always that casual. There is, of course, a range, and we have a few older men who are ALWAYS in a suit. But the general feeling I get is, wear whatever is comfortable for you.
When I am acolyting, I wear a white robe with a hood and a white cincture. Here I am robed, with Amy Haynie :) (thanks to RevGals website for the photo).
While my street clothes don't affect my sense of worship in the pew, wearing a robe to serve at the altar does. It's a measure of mindfulness: I'm doing something special here. I have responsibilities to help worship go smoothly.
I know that before I was serving in the Acolyte Guild at this parish, I really noticed acolytes very little (unless they were sleeping or misbehaving) and that's how it's supposed to be. The robe is meant to remove attention from us: our t-shirt slogans don't show, our baggy jeans are hidden. We are just a part of the liturgy. It's really quite Zen.
I'm not sure you an actually transfer a day of National Blog Posting Month the way you can a feast day in the lectionary. But I'm doing it. My blog, my rules.)
This morning I am thinking about welcome and inclusion in church (which I hope can be extrapolated into other environments and other writing later.)
I will start by saying that I have a certain measure of social anxiety, and it is very hard for me to be in a new or unfamiliar church setting. If the church is of my own denomination, the discomfort is several orders of magnitude LESS than if it were a different/new to me denomination, or if I were unchurched.
I traveled to my friend Amy's church this weekend and attended 2 services there, as well as Trunk or Treat. I have been there once before, for her installation service about a year ago. On that day, there were very many visitors and I did not make connections with many in the parish.
Their regular average Sunday attendance is 25, so I knew I would stand out.
As people started to arrive for the first service on Saturday, I found myself approaching people right away and offering a handshake: "Hi, my name is Mary Beth. I'm a friend of Amy's." All were exceptionally gracious and spent time talking with me, some at length. I enjoyed it like crazy. And when I went back the next morning, we picked right up. I felt like part of the group.
I realized, as I reflected on it, that my connection with Amy and my familiarity with the liturgy gave me an incredible amount of privilege. With my introduction, I was telling them right away, "I am NOT a stranger. I belong here because I know your priest." So, good for me.
Then, here's what I saw.
This small and rebuilding church, with no children regularly in worship, held a Trunk or Treat. They had one member who really grabbed onto the idea and persuaded others to participate. She made and took flyers to local businesses (bookstores, Starbucks). It was posted on the church Facebook page.
There were six decorated cars, and (super bonus!) a parishioner who has a fabulous barbecue cooker setup cooked hot dogs and hamburgers to distribute to the visitors. The smell, oh! The delicious odors wafted through the neighborhood and there were certainly people who were trick or-treating in the residential neighborhood who came our way because of that.
(Thomas, who will be ordained deacon in December; Mother Amy Haynie, priest-in-charge; Steven, Thomas' husband, who played the organ that night)
The parishioners all interacted with the visiting kids and parents; one gave out cards with information on upcoming events; several families were invited in to visit the worship space (with candles from the All Hallow's Eve service still lighted, it was beautiful and just a bit spooky). They were shown the children's area, featuring a comfortable rug and coloring supplies, and the kids were asked what THEY would thought would be good in the space.
(Mark, Sharon, and James and the Ministry of Yum)
Maybe not one of those families ever visits the church again. But that group of 40 (?) people in that north Texas town now know that The Episcopal Church of Wichita Falls is welcoming, interested in them, and fun, and they have great food.
- even if you are tired, even if you don't have enough people to do everything, do SOMETHING.
- help people find the thing they are delighted to do (i.e., their ministry)
- have others who will support the person in carrying it out
- free food is great. Good smelling food is better!
Tell us your five favorite memories of Halloween-time (covers Halloween and All Saints). These can be from any age, for example I don’t trick-or-treat now, but I did as a child and also with my son when he was young.
1. I remember trick or treating one time with pillowcases, which ended up jammed full - but my sister's was fuller than mine.
2. I loved going to school in costume. I'm not into it so much now. Today I will sport my Dia de los Muertos specs:
In this pic: One RevGal and Two RevPals. :)
3. I love that more people are learning about Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican way of observing this time of the year. I'm charmed by it. Here's some cool DOD stuff in my town next week:
4. It's just such a relief to have fall coming, finally. It's been a long hot summer.
5. I love All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day (the latter our equivalent of Day of the Dead). I love being part of the communion of saints.