Monday, May 04, 2009

P is for Prime Rib (and Plenty of Prayer)

Friday night, we were both pretty wiped out from being out the door by 5 to get to Erie for a 7 a.m. school conference! J had had a busy day at work and I'd been to a very long interview for a management position I'm pretty sure I don't want. When I got to the interview, I was told that the position might be eliminated, after all. Fine by me. No one there seemed particularly happy to be there and there was maybe one item in the whole store that I'd want. It was funny because you could probably pick up the whole store and drop it into Rave in 1985 and it would fit right in. Funny how trends come back around. So, I was happy to have a simple dinner planned. I made spaghetti, which was perfect for the cool, rainy evening. We watched a little t.v. and went to bed fairly early.

Saturday morning, we both had to get out the door early, J headed for an Adoption 101 workshop and me to the UCC Association spring meeting. The host church made a hot breakfast for us and I got to visit with one of their members, the Association treasurer and the publisher for the United Church Press and Pilgrim Press. It was great conversation about holding on to faith in rough times and about working with other denominations and faiths for common goals. At the end of breakfast, I was approached by the head of the Search Committee for a church where I have a resume in for a Christian Ed Director position. She would like me to visit a worship service to get a feel for their program, then schedule an interview after that. Sounds exciting to me! So, I'll be going there next weekend.

After breakfast, we had a fabulously energizing and spirit-filled worship service. The host church is an Afro-centric congregation and we had some wonderful, get-on-your-feet gospel music and an energetic and fantastic sermon by their pastor, who is a black woman who is about my age. It was all about how our lives should be evidence of God and God's goodness and how our love and care for our neighbors provides that evidence. After worship, we had the business meeting and somee time to check out the displays. I did want to see them, but I got into a great conversation with a gay man who works for National and attends a church that will be looking for a pastor soon. Then, a pastor for another church approached me to introduce herself and see if I'd been interested in preaching at her church on Pentecost. She'd heard good things about me from my pastor. She was also a lot of fun to talk to. Interestingly enough, she's Japanese-American but speaks little Japanese, just like me with Spanish! Instead, she speaks fluent Spanish...maybe she can help me bone up on mine.

We all went to various workshops after that. I chose the one on the Emerging Church. I'd hoped for some practical ideas on how to create a postmodern church service when the congregation is still pretty modern, but it was strictly the basics, all of which were covered in my seminary. So, I was a little disappointed in that. Oh, well. I also got to meet, in that workshop, the pastor of the church where I caused such a stir in December by mentioning gay marriage. She was very warm and friendly and gave me an update. She decided, after reading the sermon I preached, to make copies and post them on the bulletin board so the people who'd missed the ruckus could actually see what was said. Apparently, things calmed down. Yay.

I spent lunch talking about my church search and about interfaith issues and universal salvation with a pastor who was on the ordination committee. He and I share a deep respect for other faiths and want to figure out the best way to go about interacting in a respectful and affirming manner with folks from other faiths, and to help our congregations do the same. J and I got home at about the same time and shared stories of our mornings. She was the oldest person at the adoption workshop and was the only one who was gay. She said the social workers were just great. She was able to get a much clearer picture of how this whole adoption thing works. It sounds as though fostering to adopt will be the very best approach. So, we're going to continue looking at that. She'd been to the West Side Market on the way home and picked up some gorgeous fruits & veggies, as well as a prime rib for our P date. Since we were so busy over the weekend, she thought it would be best to have a very simple P date, so she made a prime rib with baked potatoes and asparagus for our dinner. It was fabulous! But, before dinner, we got to have a nap, which was also great!

Sunday morning, we went to the church that's going to be looking for a pastor soon. It's an urban church that does a lot of work with recovery and even turned their parsonage into a 3/4-way house for women. It's very racially diverse, which is wonderfully refreshing, and uses inclusive language for God and for people. Moreover, we were greeted with enormous hugs. We had visited last summer and felt very welcome then, too. The service itself was amazing. It was a jazz service, featuring the band of the guy who's in charge of events for National. He's a really dynamic preacher, with a knack for storytelling and a really laid-back vibe. His "Free Play on the Word" (AKA sermon) featured a reenactment of the story of the itsy bitsy spider, with the message that even when we're getting knocked down the spout by the rain, God is with us. God is also with us when we decide to climb back up again to check out that amazing light at the top. The music was top-notch, too, just so spirit-filled and nourishing. We spent some time at coffee hour, then headed out to the grocery.

After picking up the week's groceries, we headed home. J watched "Alien" while I puttered around online and looked at magazines. I'm not much into those movies, but I am very happy to just sit with my baby while she watches! Dinner was a selection of cheeses (Belletoile, a sharp Canadian cheddar and locally-produced Lake Erie Chevre) with leftover prime rib (cold), baguette, crackers and grapes. Wonderful! We were in bed by 9:30, although I stayed awake reading well past then!

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