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burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness
 
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Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Time Event
11:35p
belated birthday weekend
On Friday, celebrating Katie's return from being out with gastritis(?) and my belated birthday, we went out to Le's (and BerryLine).

***

Saturday evening was Melissa (housemate) and my "birthdaywarming" (TM OtherElizabeth) party.

Due to it being summer (plus being the same weekend as ReaderCon, etc.) it was a lower turnout than we would have liked, but oh well.

Roza brought greetings from Chaz as per usual.  He calls me "Her Majesty" so as to remember that my name is Elizabeth.  Roza said one of these days he's going to slip and call me "Victoria."  Some of you will understand why I find this hysterical.

Jessie made me a collage of "What I Learned from My Mother" by Julia Kasdorf (because I'm so subtle about how much I love that poem).

Jessie Twittered Amy to tell her her booze went to good use.  (Though srsly we still have an exorbitant amount.  Come visit!)

I called SciFi "the syphilis network" (TM JadeLennox).

I also have to say that I love Jessie's explicit clarity -- e.g., "You can keep rubbing my back, if you want you, you don't have to."

***

Sunday evening, I got off the phone and went out to the living room.

me: My mom says Happy Birthday again, and it was nice to meet you.
Melissa: That was your MOM you were talking to?  About JASON?
me: *shrug*

(My mom had been talking about how there were few enough people at the party that she could actually retain identities of new people, and she said that at one point Cate had been talking about Jason and she realized that it was *that* Cate talking about *that* Jason, but she didn't want to be like, "Oh I know who you are; I have read about you," because she thought that would be weird.  I said I didn't think Cate would have minded -- and in fact told Cate the story after class the next day.)

***

The other day, Melissa was talking about someone and said, "He's young; he's younger than you," and I said, "That is young!"  When I say things like that I still feel like, "When did I get old enough that younger than me is young?" even though it's not like I haven't looked at online dating sites and basically refused to look at anyone who's college-age (which is a few years younger than the person in question, but still).

***

From an email from my dad:
Sent: Sunday, July 12, 2009 8:27:00 PM
Subject: Did you make it out here today?

The computer looked exactly like it did when I left (I had left up a joke and a hi elizabeth when I left to go biking),  I hope that doesn't mean Terry is in more trouble.


Terry got called in to work on Sunday and, I learned on Tuesday, was originally gonna just be until noon and then it kept being like, "Oh can you stay another hour?" and then it was like quarter of four and he was like, "I need to go!" at which point he got my voicemail from 2:30 wherein I said, "I'm getting the 3:00 train back into the city 'cause I have stuff I need to be back in the city for, so show up in the next 15 minutes or else call me sometime and we'll reschedule."  So we rescheduled for Tuesday.  I'd seen him briefly over Fourth of July, but I've learned to be skeptical of his "I'm fine" presentation, and while I'm still somewhat skeptical, it continues to seem genuine, and we actually got to talk for a good twenty to thirty minutes about real stuff, so that also helps me believe that the emotional presentation was genuine.
11:39p
SCBC / CWM [2009-07-12]
SCBC

    Ross opened prayer group by reading James 5:13-16, which of course I found problematic, but I didn't say anything 'cause it didn't seem the appropriate moment.
    We just lifted up the personal prayer concerns that were particularly on our heart.
I felt somewhat weird because I was purposely limiting myself to concerns which were strongly on my heart, but it was mostly okay.
    I still feel like whenever Ross prays for my best friend's depression and anxiety that he doesn't really *get* mental illness, but I don't know how to make that better.
    Hearing my prayer concerns voiced by other people was actually really uplifting.
I had lifted up (in an appropriately vague manner) CWM and our supply pastor and the challenges of that, and Ross prayed that I may speak with grace and truth and for the supply pastor prayed for "the ministry You have entrusted to him."

***

CWM: 6th Sunday of Pentecost

(Can I just say how excited I was to see the specific Sunday listed?  I know we're using a summer bulletin template, which I totally understand and endorse, but I've gotten so used to knowing where we are in the liturgical year based on CWM's bulletin.)

Some time after I'd gotten home, my housemate asked me, "Did church get it right tonight?"  She was at Local 50 that afternoon and had been talking to Cate about it.  I said I was amused that non-church folk were discussing this.  She said, "It's rare that a devout person says the church got church wrong; it's pretty intriguing conceptually."  Possibly I am just a natural born critic, but it doesn't seem strange to me at all.  I mean, obviously if something's really not working for you you should quit, but it's not like there aren't frustrations that crop up along the way...

+

Job 16:1-6
Romans 1:8-12

He talked about a music class he took and how the instructor said the 1st rule is: show up.
hot, dry, dusty speeches
words of encouragement/comfort -- have to come from another
Paul: mutual strength and encouragement

[Edit: He's posted his sermon to the blog.]

He almost never said "he," instead saying "Job" and "Paul" umpteen times, and mentioning raising his kids he said, "my partner" rather than "my wife."  It doesn't feel entirely natural to me, but if he is doing it just to accomodate CWM language I am mostly okay with that.

During Prayers of the People, all of the prayers I lifted up came complete with stories (which meant I didn't actually end up listing all of the, but that's okay).

We had a lot of visitors, and during the Passing of the Peace one woman said to me, "I'm sure I've seen you before."  I said that was entirely possible (though she didn't look at all familiar to me) and as I was mentally running through other churches, Smith College, etc. to try to place her, she said, "Did you go to MJ?"  Indeed :)  She found CWM by doing a websearch for gay churches; Marla was glad to hear that CWM came up :)

[Sidebar: What is up?  I really do not feel like I look particularly memorable, and yet, at Coolidge Corner on Friday, "Alona" said hi to me on the sidewalk -- we went to the same high school together, but it took until Sunday for my brain to process the name and the face such that I actually recalled that yes I had known her.  FCS-Ben said hi to me on the T a couple weeks back, but that is less weird because we have interacted more than once in the past year.  Then Tuesday morning when I was waiting for a funeral procession to cross at Powder House, a guy said hi to me and I admitted I didn't know where I knew him from and he said CWM and I realized oh yeah I did know who he was.]
11:41p
"his words no longer fell to the ground" (I think the prof was referring to 1 Samuel 3:19)
eponis posted about the statement from the 76th General Convention [of the Episcopal Church] on gay and lesbian members.

***

So, I still haven't watched the lectures on Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism, but I started attending World Religions class again tonight because we were beginning the Judaism/Christianity/Islam section of the course.  I actually read the Judaism chapter (and have started the Christianity chapter) in An Anthology of Living Religions (2nd Edition) and realized I'm actually almost all the way through Subverting Hatred (I'd been reading chapters out of order).

I spoke in class a whole bunch -- primarily to point out that we really shouldn't be pronouncing the Tetragrammaton when we're talking about it in a Jewish context -- and during the break I pointed out to the prof that in the Sodom and Gomorrah prelude, it's Abraham who ends the bargaining session not God, but while I had assorted quibbles with presentation, there wasn't anything that really rankled me (save the aforementioned "Can we please not say Yahweh or Jehovah, especially when we're talking about the Hebrews/Israelites/Jews?").

The prof read some portions from the Old Testament, and a couple of them I felt like: these resonate in my bones -- which throws me a little because a lot of the resonances are relatively recent (like post-college).
Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country, your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you.  And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves." (Genesis 12:1-3)

"You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Exodus 22:21)
He also mentioned that Israel means one who wrestled/struggled with God and survived, and Peniel always hits me hard these days.  I think it was Andrew at CAUMC small group who posited that doubt is a good thing because it means that you're engaging ... something like that, I don't even remember exactly; what I remember was how powerful an affirmation it was that "wrestling with faith" is a really good thing -- and I've hung tight to that assurance ever since (my facebook Religious Views are "wrestling with faith [low church Protestant]").  And my mother about made me cry when she told me some months ago, "I love that you struggle with Christianity fiercely and faithfully and I trust the Angel will not let you go without a blessing."

More generally, I just felt so vibrantly alive and engaged throughout class; apparently these texts really are where I live.

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