Liz was back at CHPC for the first time since before her mom died in early October, so before service I went over and hugged her and rubbed her back.
When we sang "Won't You Let Me Be Your Servant?" verse 3 literally made me cry.
I will hold the Christ-light for you in the shadow of your fear;There was a potluck lunch, followed by a report from the Session about the discernment process they've been going through since June. I kept wanting to say stuff, but I felt like I would just be imposing my agenda... I need to email Karl and be like, "This is why your church is really not working for me."
I will hold my hand out to you, speak the peace you long to hear.
I came home and was feeling "in love but not at peace" both in terms of interpersonal emo stuff and also "I love church -- love engaging with church and helping to make it better -- but I think maybe I need to leave this particular church."
I was crap at working on my homework/midterm.
I went to CWM. I did not introduce myself to the people I hadn't met before, even though I knew I really should have.
I chatted with Jordan a bunch. Over dinner, he was telling Gillis how he loved that my reaction to hearing about the breakup was to ask if it would be okay to lift it up as a prayer concern if he wasn't in church -- and he said to me that he wasn't sure if he was so obscured sitting in the back that I would think he wasn't there, which would have been interesting; I said yeah I made sure to look hard 'cause I was gonna be like, "So prayers for Jordan, who's not with us tonight but who misses us..." He said he's so still blissed out from the Translating Identities conference that he didn't wanna talk about it tonight, but he'd facebook message me :) and also that he'd had coffee with Tiffany before he left "so it's been lifted."
I chatted with Tiffany for ~20 minutes on my way out. She said that she really likes my sermons, and that they *sound* like sermons, that she can hear the spaces in between which is really good, they're colloquial (and I think another term I've forgotten -- something about like doing the exegesis) and dialogical. We talked about my !Call -- she was like, "I don't know anyone who's addicted to writing sermons..." I told her about my phone conversation with Ari on Friday and how I was like, "Yeah, I need to reevaluate my assessment of my Call or lack thereof," and I said it's ironic because when people do the, "Oh, you're so into church, of course you should go into ordained ministry," while my first response is "but I hate people," my second big reason for why I'm not called to that is that I don't preach -- I do critique, taking things apart, telling people "ur doing it wrong," and that's not preaching. Tiffany said but I don't do that in my sermons. I said yeah, I hadn't realized I could do that until I started doing it -- and I talked about how the two things I really try to keep in mind are "What is the Good News?" and "What is the specifically Christian message here?" and she said the urban ministry program she's involved with has ministers talk to seminary students about their field experience but she thinks it would be really good for them to hear from lay people, too, and she talked about how much she appreciates my voice, and she liked my vision for the church sermon (I didn't correct her that that wasn't a sermon but rather a manifesto or something). So she's gonna talk to the program folks and maybe I could get to tell ministers-to-be how I think they should do part of their job :D \o/
She suggested Lay Speaker certification (or whatever it's called) and I made snarky comments about the guy we had this summer, and she apologized -- and explicitly invited me to Charge Conference (so the District Superintendent would hear feedback from folks besides just the lay leaders). I told her it was on my calendar :)
She also said that she knows I don't write these sermons to preach them, but that if I wanted to, the pulpit's open, just tell her what Sunday I want ("I know you're lectionary-bound, so...").
In our conversation about how I write sermons, I mentioned how I'll rewrite the lectionary passages to make them more gender-neutral because I have been at CWM so long. Trufax this church has so affected how I do church (and how I think about church and etc.).
And I was thinking on the way home that whereas at CHPC I feel like I'm so not on the same page as everyone else (at the meeting, people were like "Community!" and "We get recharged here!" and I was thinking, "No one follows up when I stop attending service here; attending service here mostly just frustrates me"), at CWM even though I so often feel like I'm not their target demographic, Tiffany really wants to hear what I have to say and wants to engage with me and wants to nurture my gifts and graces and encourage me to find ways to serve the Church.
So I left evening church feeling really really good -- though also still totally not into doing my homework/midterm. /o\