February 12th, 2010


// But other lands have sunlight too and clover //

Thursday lectionary for the week before Transfiguration Sunday (descriptions from my RCL book):
Deuteronomy 9:1-5 (God's oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob)
Acts 3:11-16 (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob's God glorifies Jesus)

FCS-Ian commented about in the Deuteronomy passage how it's not about us but about a bigger picture -- and talked about reframing our experiences as not being like, "Oh, this bad thing happened to me," but maybe, "This good thing needed to happen to someone else."  I think that's stretching the text a bit -- since God in the text is very punitively punishing -- and I don't necessarily even believe God works that way, but I did appreciate the idea about reframing by focusing on the bigger picture -- not focusing (just) on our own experience but looking at the larger context within which that experience is happening.
I commented on how both passages say "It's not about y/our righteousness but about God," but in very different ways.

The hymn was "We have come at Christ's own bidding," which FCS-Ian loves but which feels out of place to sing most of the time.  The song wasn't all that familiar to me, but the tune felt really familiar, though looking it up in the Index (HYFRYDOL) the other listed songs didn't seem all that familiar to me (though I didn't look at them very thoroughly).


After work on Thursday I did assorted errands then settled at Blue Shirt for Laura Ruth's open office hours.  James and Al were there, and Kathy and Jeff joined later.

~6:15, Allie txt msgd me: "You're probably busy tonight, but I figure it can't hurt to ask? :)"  I wasn't in love with the conversations/interactions going on at Blue Shirt, and I hadn't seen Allie in much too long, so we met up at Mr. Crepe around 6:30.

She had an elsewhere to be at 7:20 (so we made plans to make plans for Monday -- yay holiday).  I knew folks were meeting in Blue Shirt at 7pm to finalize plans for the Feb 21 re/new --- "Remember Thou Art Earth: Lenten Reflections on Earth and Spirituality" -- so I headed back to Blue Shirt.  (Laura Ruth was like, "You came back.")  Laura Ruth, Kathy, Jeff, and Tara were there (and Kim at the beginning? she recalls, having told Ari about someone sharing with me a theological problem with the line "none other has ever known" in "In The Garden").

One of the songs we talked about using was "She Comes Sailing on the Wind."  Tara was having difficulty with the like surprise fifth verse in Sing! Prayer and Praise.  I said my biggest complaint with Sing! Prayer and Praise is that I often find it really hard to follow along.  I was like, "I could send you a photocopy from The Faith We Sing [the United Methodist hymnal supplement]."

Brainstorming for a closing song, I thought of "The Trees of the Field" ('cause of Convo).  But no one else knew it, and I really couldn't sing it (though I swear it is really easy to learn).

Congregational Hymns and Songs Listed by Year of Copyright or Composition
[1985] She Comes Sailing on the Wind (Gordon Light, TFWS 2122)
[1975] The Trees of the Field (Steffi Geiser Ruben, Stuart Dauermann, TFWS 2279)

Yeah, I really need to obtain myself a copy of TFWS.  (And start bringing it to re/New planning meetings.  I would totes get an e-reader if I could use it to carry around things like The Revised Common Lectionary, The Inclusive Bible, assorted hymnals....)

My non-Christian roommate's response to the story about maybe including Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" in the service: "That song has no business being in church.  It's the least hopeful song ever."  [She says Richard Thompson's "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" is the "most depressing" song ever.]

We talked about the fact that most of the songs for this upcoming service were from Sing! Prayer and Praise -- because Jeff doesn't want to have too many books and photocopies floating around in any given service.

Laura Ruth said Jeff had done the "Herculean" work of putting together a book of songs for his kids at Tufts and it's "dog's work."  I was like, "But then you have a book of all the songs you like!  Tara, remember at the retreat when you were talking about being a hymnal junkie.  I would totally collect hymnals so that then I could have all the hymns I like."
Tara: "Oh, so you'd be collecting hymns, not hymnals."
me: "Yeah -- I mean, I would be collecting hymnals, but it would only be as a means to an end."
me (turns to Laura Ruth): "I told this story to Tiffany and was like, 'Worship planning?  Since when do I do that?' and she said, 'At your ordination, I'm just going to say "I told you so," that's all.'"
Laura Ruth: [looks at me over her glasses in a sort of pointed "I'm not saying anything" kind of way]

We actually didn't wrap the meeting until almost 9pm.  Laura Ruth offered to drive people home and I said, "Would it make you feel better to drive me home?" and she said, "No, it wouldn't make me feel better," but she ended up driving me home anyway, because she was driving Jeff and Jeff was asking if it was a good idea that he'd listed in print all of his song ideas (anchoring: good idea/bad idea?) and I said I was really glad to have something concrete to start with and our end list included a bunch of stuff not on his list, so it didn't seem to impede brainstorming or anything -- and we were walking to where Laura Ruth was parked, which was just about the opposite direction of where I live, so yeah, ride home.

They reminisced about HDS some, and I said that I'd heard that it doesn't do a good job of preparing you to be a pastor, and I said most of our CHPC interns came from HDS (in contrast to CWM, where they most come from BU STH), and I talked a little about my conflicted feelings about CHPC [clarification: I'm not saying I think CHPC's interns would make bad pastors] -- mind, I was responding to questions for most of this, was speaking with great energy but I didn't feel monologuing.  Somewhere in this, I said to Laura Ruth, "You're gonna get really practiced at giving me that look, aren't you?"
Laura Ruth: "What look?"
me: "That look of: No, you're not called to ministry at all."
Laura Ruth: "That wasn't what was going on in my head at all.  What was going on in my head was: I just marvel at how many words you have."
I bit my fist in a sort of blushing way.


My facebook status this morning: "Elizabeth has become someone who collects hymnals. Who knew the United Methodist Hymnal came in various color options? Decisions, decisions. (Though I think the purple is too great a temptation for me to get it in any other color.)"

CAUMC-Andrew commented: "I like my purple UMH. If you start collecting non-UMHs, two of my favorites are the Brethren hymnal and the Society of Friend's hymnal."

(Possibly I should actually clean out my bedroom before I acquire an entire new bookshelf of books.)

Jeremy commented: I have a purple UMH too...swanky!
Sharon: CWM should try to find pink and lavender :)
Tiffany: Check out the Australian hymnals too...they are fabulous! There is a list of the hymnals here: http://lectionarysong.blogspot.com/2010/01/song-and-hymns-for-transfiguration.html
Carolyn: I want a purple hymnal!
my mom: I have a couple -- maybe I should pass them on :)

So, my current to-purchase list:
Sing The Faith: New Hymns For Presbyterians (2003)
United Methodist Hymnal (Pew, Purple)
The Faith We Sing (Pew Edition with Cross and Flame)
Zion Still Sings! For Every Generation (Pew Edition, 2007)
[Edit: and Songs of Zion]
Sing! Prayer and Praise
The New Century Hymnal
the lingonberry-/cranberry-colored ELCA hymnal

Edit: Wikipedia: List of hymnals (hat-tip: Ari)