Monday, April 2, 2012

A New Start

Okay, if you have looked, you can see that I have not been at this blog for almost a year. Why not? Very simple, unlike most people in cyberspace, I do not think I have an endless supply of interesting things to say here. Oh, and it got to be too much work, quite frankly.

But now I have started a sabbatical, so I cannot claim lack of time. And I have some great ideas for what I am going to do with it. I will be in and out of town, going to visit sites of new ministry. So, if you know a parish, worshiping community, new monastic community, or any other group who is doing worship and community life in a way that is relatively new (last decade or so), emerging, emergent, postmodern, successful with young adults, reaching SBNRs (Spiritual But Not Religious, for those who are not up on the hip lingo), or frankly just different from the norm, please tell me about them, especially east coast to midwest.

I am planning driving trips mostly (the sabbatical grant people chose not to fund my all expenses paid trip to the West Coast. The Southern route is first on the schedule so South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, even Louisiana folks tell me where to go. How often am I going to make you an offer like that! The rest of you can also fill in now, but I have a little more time for you. Oh, and anyone who has a spare bed for me will be be treated to dinner somewhere in your fair city or town (or I will cook for you if you prefer!).

I will be reading stuff too. First up is Christianity After Religion by Diana Butler Bass. She is doing an on line book discussion with the Diocese of North Carolina on Wednesday evenings during Easter, so it seemed like a good place to begin. (If you want to join in, go to the diocesan web page for info).

I gave the folks at St. Mary's House three questions in my last three sermons to think about during this time. I will be thinking about them as well, and you may see the themes appear in my blogs. Here are the three questions for you to consider. First, what does it mean for Americans to take up their cross? Just when you thought you were about to escape from Lent!

Second, where and how do we meet Christ today? See if you can avoid the temptation to quickly talk about the poor or homeless and reflect on your everyday life a bit. Where else might Jesus be hanging out, and with whom?

Finally, what idols do we in the Church need to smash today? My sermon mentioned the Bible and John 3:16 for starters. I bet you can think of others, and hopefully I will while doing my traveling thing.

I almost forgot: While St. Mary's House will not be seeing me for the next few months, two 'projects' are ongoing. First, I am a deputy to General Convention, so I will probably comment on that once and awhile, like mentioning that no one is buying the absurd idea that we should gut the children, youth, college & young adults budgets because they are 'best done on a local level' while simultaneously adding to the administrative budgets for the PB and the president of the House of Deputies. I bet you the Program, Budget, and Finance Hearing gets an earful on that one!

Don't know how much blogging I will do during GC (early July) because I am on the Committee on Liturgy and Music. Yep, we're the ones getting the resolutions on same gender blessings, revising and finalizing Holy Women, Holy Men, and, apparently a revision of the Book of Occasional Services. And yes, North Carolinians, I will be pushing to include Pauli Murray and Manteo & Virginia Dare on the HWHM calendar.

The second thing on my plate is the Nominating Committee for the Bishop Suffragan in North Carolina. You will probably hear less about that other than basic updates, since I obviously cannot mention anything having to do with potential candidates. I will just say that the rest of the committee is great and working hard; if you have not filled out the survey, you can also find the the link for that on the diocesan page. You have only until April 9, so please go on line and fill it out. Just as important, watch the video of what Bishop Curry is looking for. This could be a very different kind of Suffragan!

So that's it for starters. By the way, there is no book in the works, no DMin. on tap. This blog (and probably a few sermons when I get back) is what you get. If I started thinking that way, this would become a little too much like work, and I much prefer the ability to ramble and not have my ideas well thought out while I do this.

And, in case you are wondering, this first week is going to involve relaxing in Asheville. I am giving up Holy Week for Lent and going pub crawling instead. However, I will want a good place to go for Easter day or vigil. Ideas, anyone?

No comments: