We are young / so let's set the world on fire...
It felt too warm today for a long-sleeved shirt, and I don't love the one short-sleeved red shirt I have (plus, I'd rather be wearing a red shirt with black pants, but my weekend usual is blue jeans) so I decided to wear my red dress* and maroon tights ... and I wasn't wearing my rainbow Pride heels** to bicycle, so I wore my black ~Vans with the ~glow-in-the-dark stars on them (they're not actually Vans, they're just laceup flats in that style -- they were on like closeout sale at Berks for $10/pair or something).
*When not worn with black knee-high boots with ~3-inch heels, this dress totally doesn't feel like a hooker dress. [No one has ever called it a hooker dress to me, I just frequently think of it as such, b/c of aforementioned footwear pairing.]
**I got an Urban Outfitters email this afternoon which included these shoes [Jeffrey Campbell Rainbow Starlight Eva Sandal marked down to $99 from $139].
(from the FCS bulletin this morning)
Unison Prayer of Confession***
We confess that we find Christmas and Easter more exciting than the urgency of Pentecost.
We confess that our worst nightmare is sounding drunk or folish.
We confess that this birthday-church isn't always a party.
We confess that we rarely listen to the speakers of other languages, and almost never try to learn their words ourselves.
Holy One, we are heart-cut and frightened by strong winds.
Make us new, and ready for Your Holy Spirit. Amen.
-Maren Tirabassi, adapted
Meditation [a longer piece was printed in the bulletin]
I believe the church can have an integral role in the development of the self, but also of the self in covenantal relation to others. I believe the church should always adapt and change and grow with each person; in other words, to a certain degree, when a person becomes a part of a church community, that church should never be quite the same as it was. And as change happens to the church, I should change, too. I want church to help me to be me, to help me figure out what that means as a child pf God, and to help me figure out what that means as a citizen of God's green earth with neighbors all about. I want church to help me to understand what it is to be loved, to feel loved, and to love. I want church to help me to recognize God around me and others, to see God at work in and through me, to assure me of my place in God's grace.
-from Rev. Kaji Spellman, Yale Divinity School Reflections Fall 2009
-mylittleredgirl [more info]
And those chapters, again, must be read in the context of the entire book of Acts, which begins with Pentecost — bringing together people “from every nation under heaven … Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to the Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs” — and continues inexorably outward to include and embrace European tradeswomen and African eunuchs and anyone else the author can imagine the reader otherwise being tempted to exclude or reject. The book reads like an after-school special on celebrating diversity.Good things about today:
- Bible Study (Sabbath & Spirit) with Reebee
For Sabbath we did Genesis 2:1-4 & Exodus 23:10-12 and then skipped Leviticus 25 to move to Spirit and I had the choice of Creation (from Genesis 1) or Anointing of Prophets -- I chose the latter (which turned out to be 1 Samuel 16:12-13), since I'm already fairly familiar with these sorts of conversations re: the opening of Genesis.
I prefer the NRSV's rendering of the Exodus to The Inclusive Bible's, because the NRSV renders it as "You shall [do this] SO THAT the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the wild animals may eat. [...] SO THAT your ox and your donkey may have relief, and your homeborn slave and the resident alien may be refreshed" (emphasis mine) whereas The Inclusive Bible just says, "In that year the land will provide for the poor, and what they don't take will go to the wild animals. [...] On that day the donkey and the ox are to rest as well, and so are your indentured workers and the foreigners who do your work." Whereas in The Inclusive Bible's rendering, the framing feels like, "These are some consequences of doing this, these are some guidelines/rules for doing this," the NRSV's rendering feels like, "This is the REASON to do this."
The next section below the Exodus we read is the 3 mandated pilgrimage festivals, one of which is [verse 16]: "You are to celebrate the Harvest festival,* with the first fruits of your work, with what you sowed in the soil."
*Inclusive Bible footnote: "Also known as the Shavu'ot, the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost. This is the wheat harvest, or the harvest of the firstfruits, which usually falls in early June."
So I was thinking a little about what that means in relation to the Christian holiday of Pentecost.
- FCS service began with Molly and Melissa&Pete speaking in various languages, and in the Receiving Line Molly said to me, "I was really hoping that no one in the congregation today spoke Russian because all I could remember were curse words -- and like Please, Thank You, You're Welcome." ♥
- FCS-Chelsea C. and I chatted a bit after the training, and I was glad to get caught up on what's been going on with her, because I've been aware from the periphery that she's been down but I haven't actually been privy to any of that.
- I didn't get out of FCS until after 3pm, and I was planning to leave my house ~4pm to get to CWM ~4:30 to set up for worship, so I opted to just stay and Internet. It was sunny enough that laptopping was suboptimal, but it was still nice. (Plus, I wouldn't have gotten to chat with Chelsea if I hadn't been sitting outside when she left -- and I got to let Tom S. in to use the bathroom when they stopped by after the parade.)
- some good conversation with C. and LT after church tonight
- got really good traffic lights bicycling home -- and a driver let me into the righthand lane when I was merging into Highland from Cutter (yeah, I really need to invest in a mirror...)
- got myself out of bed and ate breakfast and was still only a little late to Bible Study
- I grabbed Jeff B. during Coffee Hour to say hi since we didn't manage to actually connect last Sunday, and he solicited me for the Family Gift Solicitation Training Meeting -- there was one at 12:30, so in like twenty minutes, and one Tuesday night (which I couldn't make -- because I usually have Bible study but I actually am missing that this week to go to a concert with my mom). I said I would go to the training this afternoon, though I made no promises about actually signing up to do anything (hi, it involves interacting with people, and asking them for things). And by the end of the training I'd decided it was something I felt like I could do. Which, demonstrates the power of asking -- I felt kind of guilt-tripped into it (though partly that's because Jeff, whom I love dearly, often doesn't know when to shut up, and so he was still talking about the training etc. like ten minutes after I'd decided I'd go to the training), but there was also the fact that I felt sort of honored by the invite and like I wanted to honor the offer (though I've certainly declined various invites to do various things at various churches ... which, okay, they're usually email invites and there's a way in which it's harder to turn someone down in meatpsace interaction [this is true on LEVELS] and I have a very emotional resistance to affirming that meatspace asks are full-stop more effective than e.g. email asks ... I think partly it's the persistence of the talking, which isn't present in real-time communication ... and I do think there's a necessary pre-existing openness, because I often have it in my head that No this is not a thing I wanna do and so I shut down really quickly [yes, this is often true in meatspace interaction asks]).
Early on in the training, someone asked why we got selected to be invited to this, and Christy Z. said: people who love this church/community.
- swapped out the Eastertide Rest and re/New orders of worship with Ordinary Time ones
- posted to facebook soliciting a ride to Mike R's wedding (it's at the Enfield Shaker Museum in New Hampshire)
And, good thing: Mike R. emailed me this evening saying one of Kristen's friends has offered me a ride.
- Ari and I had talked yesterday about the gender binary language in e.g. today's Acts passage and I said I wanted to inclusify by using the binary terms (because for some people -- especially e.g. some trans folk -- it feels really important to be explicitly named) and then say "and people of all or no genders," but that I thought that would probably be pushing it a bit even for my community. But I did get asked to do the Scripture reading today (as I expected, since LT was preaching and Pr. Lisa was out of town) and I did in fact read it the way I had planned to: "...  ... Women and men and people of Judea ...  ... Your daughters and sons and children will prophesy ...  Even on the most insignificant of my people, women and men and people of all genders ..." I didn't get a strong read from the congregation about how they experienced it, but I felt good about my choices.
Having [afterward] seen Ari's inclusification of v. 17 as "And your children will prophesy, children of all genders and none," I think I prefer hers (this is unsurprising, as she's the one with all the poetry in her soul).
- bought groceries (I'd realized yesterday that I was e.g. almost out of pasta)
- fed the cat
- caught up on the CWM Twitter feed
- sent a couple emails (I was gonna send a 3rd one, but given the potential tone of the replies I got to the first 2, I decided to hold off on sending the 3rd, because there were only so many ~fights I wanted to have tonight)
- emailed my mom to confirm about Tuesday evening
- sent PIC follow-up/reminder emails (our print deadline is THIS THURSDAY)
["anything that you're looking forward to, that means you're facing tomorrow with joy, not trepidation," as Ari says]