Friday, April 30, 2010

revgalblogpal friday five: Friendship Edition

As posted by me:

I spent the better part of last week on a continuing education cruise with a group of revgals. Both the class on hospitality and the connections made with friends (old and new) were phenomenal. I always have a difficult time with re-entry into reality from times away but this, aided by getting nailed with strep throat, has been more difficult than usual. Not only does it a take a few days (weeks? months?) for it to stop feeling like I am on a boat, but my heart misses my friends.

In parish life the boundaries are clear and they are there for a reason, but it can make the life of a minister a lonely one. It is such a tremendous gift to spend a few days with women who not only are wonderful and gifted, but who also get exactly what you do and why you do it. The hugs are genuine and free and the laughter is awesome.

Many of us have friendships - past and present - with these same qualities. And so today we will celebrate Friday with friendship:

1) Do you remember your first best friend? What did you do together? Are they still in your life?
My first best friend was (not surprisingly) a boy named Jamie. He lived 2 houses down from me and memories are classic early elementary ones of running around outside until the sun went down, someone getting stung by a bee and pretending that we were Superheros (I refused to be Robin or Catwoman so we were both Batman).

He, even in this day of Facebook, is not in my life and that's ok.

2) Did you ever have to move away or have your best friend move away from you?
I did move away in the middle of second grade and although I did see him a couple of more times that was the end of that.
Far more painful are those middle school friends who moved away, but just to a different lunch table. Ouch!

3) Are there people in your life now that you can call 'friend'?
I am incredibly blessed to have quite a few people in my life that I call 'friend'. Where I am really lucky is that I have some of them close enough to me where I live that we can see each other. Occasionally we can even pull off meeting at a local coffee house to work (although some are more focused than others).

I also have the revgals, some of whom even though I may have only seen face-to-face six or less times I have a tremendous connection with.

4) What are some of your favorite things to do with your friends?
Laugh and let's face it, I like to make them laugh. And if I can get them to spit food out of their mouths, that's a bonus point for me. :)

5) What is a gift friendship has given you?
Unconditional love.

Thanks, friend.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fun and Irreverent

God Went to Beauty School God Went to Beauty School by Cynthia Rylant

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Fun and irreverent! It is a must read and at only 56 pages of prose, a QUICK read. I know for me, it will also be a returned to read.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Two... in one day!

Facilitating for Growth: A Guide for Scripture Study Groups and Small Christian Communities Facilitating for Growth: A Guide for Scripture Study Groups and Small Christian Communities by Barbara J. Fleischer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Originally I was assigned this text for a seminary course. I grabbed it off my shelf for a quick refresher course. If you are looking for an intro to small group ministry with a lot of 'how-to', this is the book. But it really works best if you jump into facilitating an actual small group of soon to be small group leaders using this book as the curriculum.

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I Read One!

The Pastor As Minor Poet: Texts and Subtexts in the Ministerial Life The Pastor As Minor Poet: Texts and Subtexts in the Ministerial Life by M. Craig Barnes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a must read for the seminarian, and then a must read again no more than 5 years later.

The two sections of the book revolve around the call and craft of the Minor Poet - namely, the parish pastor. Although admittedly at times M. Craig Barnes hold the bar rather high, he also makes it clear that it is a job never perfectly done and the goal of Minor Poet is more a journey than a destination.

I found this book both challenging and comforting as the reflections on his own journey in parish life were right on target with mine.

I highly encourage those in ministry or considering the possibility to read this book and then keep it close at hand for those days/weeks/months when the vocation begins to more closely resemble that of an activities coordinator or nonprofit manager than the Minor Poet we are called to be.

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