Monday, July 30, 2012

As my Season of Sabbath Continues

It's hard to believe that it has been eight weeks since my Season of Sabbath began. In some ways it seems like it has been much longer. In other ways it seems like it has only begun.

I have only visited a church once, but it was enjoyable for the most part. I observed worship at the hospital one day and led it another. I also went to church with other camp folks while there. It was a different experience that I honestly don't know how to describe. I have been to camp for two weeks and been reminded of what being in ministry really means.

In the midst of this, I have also waited and watched and then celebrated with the announcement of our new bishop! The North Alabama Conference is getting their first female bishop, which is exciting. What is even more exciting to me is that she has studied the things I want to study and has an appreciation for and value of the various forms that ministry and ordination can take in the United Methodist Church. This is a perspective that has been much less prevalent around here in recent time.

In the wake of this, I am now headed into a new adventure. Tomorrow, I will head back to Camp Sumatanga, but this time to participate in the Academy for Spiritual Formation. I'm both nervous and excited about this new adventure, but I know that no matter what this is going to be an amazing experience! I'll spend most of today finishing my packing and preparing and doing a little extra reading and allowing myself to absorb this new experience.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why I Don't Do Boycotts

This whole thing with Chik-fil-a is a little out of control. I pretty much ignored it at first, but now it seems like it's become a social media war and it's all about picking sides. It makes me angry and sad.

Recently, a friend of mine shared this article - "In Defense of Eating at Chick-fil-a" and the thing that really caught my attention was the sentence over the picture. Make sure you look at it. It really got me thinking and the bottom line is that if I only agreed to purchase from businesses and people who thought exactly like I did I would be in trouble because I wouldn't have anything or any ways of acquiring anything! It's a fact of life - nobody is exactly alike. Nobody acts or thinks exactly the same way I do. It's what makes the world a rich and interesting place!

When I was at Vanderbilt I went on a trip to Arizona and Mexico to look at immigration and some of the issues that are tied up with that. It brought some things to my attention I never would have considered. While we were in Mexico we heard stories about the rotten policies and conditions in factories just south of the border. And the truth is, it was pretty rotten. And the response of all of us high-and-mighty Vanderbilt students who could afford advanced degrees and flying across the country and beyond for a "cultural experience" was that we should boycott these companies and products in support of the workers. But the former worker who was telling us about these horrible things even told us that a boycott wasn't the answer because it wasn't going to actually accomplish anything other than making us feel superior.

The same is true here. No matter what side you land on, the only thing that choosing a side accomplishes is making you feel superior and "othering" someone else. It doesn't facilitate dialogue. It doesn't promote peace or understanding. Rather than choosing sides, I'd rather focus on loving my friends and family - those that are gay, straight, conservative, liberal, Christian, non-Christian, and everything in between!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Week 81

Time to check in with my 101 things list.

22 - Vacation with my side - We're finally doing some planning. We won't get to go until next spring/summer but at least it looks like it is finally going to happen!
26 - Read 3 classic novels - Does Harry Potter count? I finally finished book 5 and am about halfway done with book 6. That's really the only reading I care about doing right now.
38 - No Fried Food - I've sort of done this because, as I previously stated, except for chips I didn't have any fried food while at camp and since I was there for two weeks, I can pretty much count this as done.
47 - New Sheets - I'll probably do this for my birthday in a few weeks. Exciting, I know.
49 - Bake a cake - COMPLETED - I made a chocolate pound cake and took it to camp to share with two of my all-time favorite nurses. They were nice enough to share a piece with me. It was a little under-done, but personally that's exactly how I like it.
61 - New Madame Alexander Doll - Another birthday option.

Not terribly exciting, but it's my life right now. Consider yourself updated!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Camp Sumatanga 2012

This summer, I got to go back to one of my favorite places in the world - Camp Sumatanga. I was an Assistant Director (AD) for Elementary 2 and Junior High 4. Our theme for this year was "Just Add Water" and it was awesome. I'm not going to lie - I like the comfort and convenience of staying in the lodge at Elementary camp. However, I love the worship/programs and food at Junior High. I met some amazing people and made some great new friends. I got to spend some great quality time with old friends, as well. I got a new, glittered, name tag. I learned some new songs and experienced communion in a new way.

The food was pretty terrible at elementary camp but it was much better at junior high. I got eaten up with bug bites at junior high, got my first ever rock-bite and a small patch of poison something-or-other. I also forgot some things and I'll have to make an unplanned trip back up there to get them if a friend can't grab them for me.

All things considered it's been a great summer and I'm already getting excited about next year!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Week 78

Remember my 101 things list? Yeah, sometimes I forget about it, too. Fortunately I've finally got some updating to do!

19. Prayer journal - I'm still working on this but it hasn't been as consistent as I had thought it might be. Still, I'm enjoying it.
20. Marker for Jeff's dad's grave - We're going over sometime in the next month or so to actually get the ball rolling on this. It'll be nice to go visit.
38. No fried food for two weeks - I still have very little motivation to do this, but the best chance for me is going to be at camp (because, except for chips, we really don't eat a ton of fried food) and I'm learning that eating a lot of fried food after coming home is not a good idea. We'll see what happens.
42. Jeff's surprise trip - COMPLETED - We had a blast in Vicksburg and I'm honestly still surprised I pulled it off!
47. Good sheets - I already got one set and I need one more. We got new a new comforter, shams, and bedskirt so I'll probably get the sheets soon!
49. Bake a cake - I'm going to do this before I go back to camp!
81. Be a counselor - COMPLETED - I had a great time at Elementary camp and can't wait to go back for Junior High!
89. Bake bread - this one will probably happen before going back to camp, too!
101. Make jam - I may do this to go with the bread!

So there you have it. It's not a ton, but it's something. At least I'm still attempting to pay attention sometimes!