Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Graduation vestments

We proudly watched Noah graduate yesterday from Oberlin College, as this week of multiple family graduations continues. At Oberlin, graduates may wear what they wish, so there were some in caps and gowns, some in dressy clothing, some with funny hats -- and then there was our son. He chose to graduate in his choir director cassock and surplice! Maybe he was standing in solidarity with his parents, who will wear cassock and surplice on Friday morning.

It was so hard to leave, missing the organists' dinner for their families, all because we still have class! What a fine day it was, though. Way to go, graduates!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Key Lime Pie

At our Senior Retreat last weekend, some of us talked about being given words or phrases shortly before delivering a sermon, as a challenge to use those words in the sermon. "Key Lime Pie" were the words proposed for the next one of us that preaches.

I'm up tomorrow for the final day of Play Church Eucharists. Shall I take on the Key Lime Pie challenge? I don't know what I'll actually do until the moment comes, but you're all welcome to vote or take bets. In the meantime, this post is making me crave fresh limes.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Today I served as deacon at the weekday Eucharist at my Field Ed site for the last time. As usual, a dear elderly couple came in between the psalm and the gospel reading -- they've never been on time once since September. At first I thought they weren't coming, which would have been too bad since they wanted to come say goodbye and have another round of hugs. But when they stood up for the gospel I noticed: they had dressed up! She was wearing pearls and heels, and he sported a suit and tie.

After the lovely staff luncheon, kind words and gifts following the service, what I'll remember with more affection is the way these two people in their eighties showed up today to mark an occasion, a transition.

And so it begins: tomorrow, most of the senior class leaves on our retreat, to start the necessary work of leavetaking -- at least for this part of our journey.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

God is so good

Happy news: A few days ago, I accepted a job as Episcopal campus chaplain at the University of Iowa and priest associate at Trinity Church, Iowa City. The campus ministry position is newly reworked to be parish-based, although some events still will take place in a campus building shared by other denominations.

Trinity Church has long been a favorite place, not only because of its music program and its tendency to attract fun, artistic university people of all ages, but also because of Mel, the rector. He and his wife (who serves at a church nearby) are the priests that our bishop advised us to spend time with "to see what a healthy clergy couple looks like."

Best of all, I didn't hunt for this job...we returned home for clergy conference to find two messages from Mel saying, "I'm looking for you." He interviewed me at the conference, and my second interview with the campus ministry team of six happened just a few days ago. "We want you if you want us," Mel said later that night. I'm so happy and I feel so blessed. Oh, and did I mention that Mel and Barbara operate an award-winning winery in their home?!

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