Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fame, glory, and...bath fixtures?

The local newspaper ran a feature article on our family in today's Religion section. In the hard copy, there's a neat photo taken at the altar on the morning after our ordination, but in the online version the accompanying picture shows various ads, beginning with one for spiffy new bathroom fixtures! Here's the

Friday, June 29, 2007

Boxes of Words

We've been back in our Iowa home for nearly three weeks and have been unpacking boxes the whole time! Today we unpacked the very last box of books. It's also been three weeks since a monster bronchitis attacked me, rendering me unable to sing a single note and also unable to sustain even a simple conversation. I've been imagining my first official Sunday at my new church in Iowa City, in two days: "Hmm, the new priest doesn't say much." "They said she sings, but I didn't hear anything!"

Amidst these wanderings of the mind, I thought about all the thousands of words inside the books we freed from their boxes, setting them back in good order on neatly organized shelves. So many words! Maybe these countless words make up for all the words I've been unable to speak. Maybe I'm supposed to go into this new position as one who mostly listens. And maybe all the words, unspoken and newly taken out of boxes, just needed a time to rest.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Does Furniture Have a Brain?

All the furniture we brought to Evanston is on its way home with John and Noah in a U-Haul truck, and I missed the whole move on that end. Right after ordination, preaching the next morning, and sending our friends and family home, I got so sick during the night that I could not go along for our "closure" experience on the block. But I wonder, as the chairs and tables and beds and bookshelves arrive home: are they smarter now? Did they soak up wisdom from the 45 or so courses I took over the past 3 years? What might they say if they could speak?

While home in the quiet today, I had the opportunity to watch the DVD slideshow from Saturday's ordination. So that's what it all looked like -- how festive and fun, and people had such huge smiles! Like a wedding, if you're the ones in it, you're up front and don't get to see much of what's happening. The photographer hired for this event did a marvelous job capturing peoples' emotions, both joyful and overwhelmed! And bubbles were dancing in the aisle during the recessional hymn! Now I know which groups spent time together over dinner, since we missed most of the reception. We were up in a receiving line, blessing people for a long time. After my new rector received his blessing, our eyes met. A few tears ran down his cheeks. The spirit is powerful with him. The day was amazing, and we had the best lectors ever -- all that liturgical experience really does count! Thanks, L and C!

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Make Lemonade

The day before Seabury's commencement, our Presiding Bishop advised seminarians to make lemonade when things get tough. I must need help squeezing lemons, because my lemonade is taking all day. I awakened today sicker than I've been in years: fever, shakes, scary cough (this morning's chest X-ray ruled out pneumonia, but my physician said "You're got bronchitis -- in spades.") And I'm light-headed when I walk around.

So, I can't speak without coughing, can't cough without hurting, and we're expecting at least 15 family members to start showing up tomorrow for Sasturday's ordination...and then I'm preaching on Sunday morning (and John is presiding).

I wanted to really enjoy our ordination, but now I'll be okay with just being there without having to be propped up.

Lemons? Sugar? I must be missing something...maybe a pitcher.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I Must Be Dreaming

Right after celebrating three graduations in our family, I flew off to Philadelphia with two good friends to attend a conference sponsored by the Episcopal Preaching Foundation. If you long to hear ten sermons per day, for a whole week, this is the place for you!

Then, the adventure began: we were stranded in the Philadelphia airport, since all flights to Chicago were cancelled due to weather. So we returned to Chicago a day late, barely leaving time to pack up and head home to Iowa for my meetings with my new colleagues in campus ministry.

After a full day in Iowa City, I came home with:
a key to the kingdom (and to my new office)
a new laptop -- with Bibleworks!
a parking space
nifty business cards
an enthusiastic support staff
and a whole list of ministry associates to contact

I'm going to be really busy! For now, though, I'm off on a self-imposed retreat for these last 3 days prior to our ordination to the priesthood on Saturday. I ask for your prayers.

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Friday, June 01, 2007


Graduation day was blessed with favorable weather and a whole aquarium of family and friends. The reception in the garth featured really tasty food, and my parents no longer cared that they didn't know what on earth a garth is.

On this day, I remember with gratitude and affection everyone who has been part of my formation in seminary. I miss you already. Thank you for the gift that you have been and for anticipating with me all the gifts and surprises waiting for us as we go out into the world, doing the work we are given to do.