At SCBC Adult Ed this morning, I argued against the suggestion of population reduction as a tool toward environmental sustainability. (And was stoked that David was on my side -- even though I was a little frustrated that he was in some ways arguing against something Vic hadn't actually said.)
Karl's sermon today focused on the Isaiah passage -- "Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?" (v. 2). Haha. (Last week, I told Laura Ruth some about the Pastoral Transitions workshop I'd gone to and said, "in the stuff about pastor-congregation dynamics, I was also reminded of how inappropriate it is for one person to impose a vision on a congregation." She said, "Why not impose your vision on something what wants your vision imposed on, eh?")
After service, Sarah C. chatted with me about the More Light rainbow scarves for General Assembly project. I said I'd wanted to interrupt during the announcement to ask for an explanation of the project in case people present didn't know, but that while that's part of the culture at my church (CWM) it's not part of the culture here and so I worried I'd come across as bitchy. She said no, I should have, and she said I should do the announcement next week. I explained that what I meant was that I want the explanation to be a part of the announcement -- like how at Communion we always say that all are welcome at the table, even if we know that everyone present knows that. I said that one of my big things is making things really clear -- because it's so easy for us who know to forget that there are people who might not -- and for the explanation to be just a part of how it's done. She received that well. (We also attempted to come up with a succinct, coherent explanation ourselves and found we couldn't and agreed that was problematic -- and she said she would bring it up at Women's Group on Friday and hopefully they would be able to come up with something. I know Ellen put something in the March newsletter, so I'm gonna try to remember to look at that this week and come up with one myself just in case.) And when she had been telling me about her complaints about the yarn for the project, I said, "I think that would be really valuable feedback for the More Light folks to hear," and she said she was already drafting an email. Well-done! :)
We had Adult Ed actually about on time.
I sat out the discussion about exclusionism (e.g., not wanting your child to date someone who is not "us"), anti-Semitism, and Zionism/the current nation-state of Israel.
We wrapped up Spong's book, and when we got to the last section I agreed that yeah it's vaguer than is really useful, and I critiqued some of the vagueness, but said I like the citation from John that Jesus came so that we might have "life abundant."
Karl said that was still so vague -- what does that mean? is that prosperity gospel? etc. I said I was surprised he was pushing back on that, since usually I'm the one asking for a bullet point outline and he's the one saying it's poetry, it's metaphor, it's a mystery, etc. Karl said it's always in tension. I agree. I listed various things that I think "life abundant" means in this context -- economic justice, wholeness (in self, in relationship -- in relationship with God and in relationship with others).
I said, "That is the work of the church" [to translate the poetic metaphors of our inherited tradition into our lived lives]. I want people to jump up and down and engage with me when I say things like, "This is the work of the church." Sigh.
Karl's away next week, so I said I'll just stand up during Announcements and say that if anyone's interested in Adult Ed on the Borg and Crossan Holy Week book, we'll be in the Green Room 20 minutes after service is over.
Other things making me sigh today include the facebook group Instead of "Fuck the Police!", how about you STOP BREAKING THE LAW RETARD.
CWM tonight was a small turn out (though we had 4 newbies), but it was a good night.
Our guest preacher was Rev. Chuck Hartman from Melrose, who was good. After service, Barbara was saying Sean did such a good job with his creative and powerful story of the Last Supper and we have such talented people here and oh, Elizabeth preached and that was great. So Chuck asked me about that, and I sketched out how I became this girl who wrote sermons in her free time and Tiffany insisted I preach out loud before she left. He asked if I was studying, and I said no -- told him where I work, said I have an undergraduate degree in English and people keep suggesting I go to divinity school and I keep saying no (he made some noise in agreement with all those people). I said that church is basically what I do with my free time, and I sketched out my primary weekly church involvement -- so I said it's like I'm taking classes. He invited me to preach at Melrose and I said sure.
Chuck: "How about next Sunday?"
me: "Maybe not so much."
Chuck: "How about the next few Sundays? I could take a vacation."