sk8eeyore: Lately I've been all, "Wait, how many communities is she involved in now?" and needing backstory.
I'm involved with approximately 3 church communities (which is what Sarah was referring to in that comment).
1. CAUMC (College Ave. United Methodist Church)
I've been going to young adult small group (Thursday evenings) here since early August. (sk8eeyore and I went to Sunday morning service here when she visited because neither of us had ever been to a Methodist church before. I've been to a couple more Sunday services there since and have been underwhelmed.)
I recently started going to Wednesday night Bible study (currently in recess) as well, but usually when I say "CAUMC" I'm referring to the young adult small group, headed by Trelawney.
2. CWM (Cambridge Welcoming Ministries)
Currently lives in the upstairs of the CAUMC building, and Trelawney's (young adult leader at CAUMC) twin sister Tallessyn is music director, so there's often overlap between the communities.
Is Methodist, but its emphasis is more on being explicitly GLBT-welcoming.
lay leaders: Will and Marla
3. CHPC (Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church)
After doing some ecumenical church-hopping, it was almost a coin toss as to whether to pursue a more lengthy trial period at here or at the Congregational church. This one won basically because it's 15 minutes closer to my apartment and service starts a half hour later -- two factors contributing to increased sleeping-in on Sunday mornings.
They're liberal activist-y, which sometimes makes me uncomfortable, and I haven't really clicked with most of the congregation, but I do really like some of the congregants.
ministry intern: Gusti
Other churches I talk(ed) about:
* UCN (United Church of Norwood)
I grew up in this church. It was a merger of Methodist and Universalist back in 1934, and ever since I've been there the denominational leanings of the church have depended on the pastor. I don't actually understand how PB (Pastor Bill, who comes from a conservative Baptist tradition) got hired back when I was like 9 years old. My junior year of high school we had an influx of very enthusiastic young people (i.e. in their 30s or so, many with young kids) who railroaded lots of changes (e.g. more contemporary worship music, more Christ language in the church creed), prompting what I refer to as the "schism" in the church. They're very nice people (though I thought the way they were going about these changes was decidedly un-Christian and was really upset by that). They're also much more conservative than I (and my mom) are, and I ceased considering it "my" church. My mother still goes, because my grandma (her mother) is too set in her ways to leave after 37 years, and I do like a lot of the people who are still there, so going back for stuff like Singspiration can be nice.
* FCCN/The Congo (First Congregational Church of Norwood)
When I was living at home in between graduating college and getting an apartment in the city, I did a lot of ecumenical church-hopping, but I went to Sunday morning service here a lot.
* Emmanuel Lutheran (Norwood)
I went to morning service here a couple times in my ecumenical hoppings and was drawn into their Thursday evening prayer service.
* First Churches (Northampton)
The church I attended regularly my sophomore, junior, and senior years in college.
ladyvivien: I want a you-primer! That would be fun to read, I think. [...] Hmmm... a State of the Elizabeth speech ;)
The state of the me currently is predominantly a state of contentment.
I have a good job, and while I'm unsure as to how long-term I want to stay, I'm generally happy to stay until I figure out what else I want to do. I'm looking forward to the summer when work will calm down considerably, plus I'm doing a fair assortment of traveling (though that begins with College Reunion right when my department's course is ending) and intending July to be a month of birthday celebrating.
I am getting nowhere near as much done as I would like, so hopefully I can work on remedying that this summer. (I'm not entirely sure where the time goes, though some of it needs to go back to the gym once I get over this stupid congestion.) I at least have some idea as to how I need to go about this, just need to get less lazy and more focused, so that's good -- and means I mostly don't feel flaily.
I am really truly grateful for the wonderful people I have in my life.
I don't know, I'm not good at the "sum up my current life" thing. I'm used to spinning it (job with great benefits and good people, nice apartment, etc.) but I get tired of making it sound like what other people want to hear, 'cause it's not a fancy list of accomplishments and it could certainly stand some improvement, but I'm generally in a good place.
lunabee34: I would like to hear about the little things, things that don't come up often in conversation like your favorite colors and why or what kind of flowers you like and which posters if any you've got on your walls.
My favorite color is purple. Has been for ages now. I don't really have a "why" for it.
I love crocuses. We had them in the yard of the house I grew up in, and they're the first flowers to show up when warmer weather begins, plus they often come in purple.
I'm not much of a wall decorator, though in college I learned to love decorating my door.
My door currently has:
* a square of paper saying "Elizabeth-who-will-not-be-nicknamed" (from the passel of gifts Layna gave me at her Senior Banquet)
* a dry-erase board
* a postcard of a young girl (who looks like one I used to baby-sit for) sitting in a bookstore under a sign that says "Women Working," reading a Wonder Woman book
* a postcard of a muscular man wearing a tutu and pearl necklace standing in front of mirror flexing
* the December 12, 2004, Boondocks strip.
* the January 1 page from the 2004 Queer Year Page-a-Day calendar my mom gave me for Christmas which says "My mother made me a homosexual. If you give her some yarn, she'll make you one too" (Quentin Crisp). [This is particularly awesome because my mom has in fact made a number of soft cloth dolls for various kidlets we know.]
* a bumper sticker that says "Change how you see, not how you look" with a silhouette of a curvy woman. [from northernsun.com, but I can't now find it on their website to link to]
Decorations inside the room include:
* a Serenity tile? (gift from trijinx) Bed Bath and Beyond
* a framed copy of the text of "Why you should fall to your knees and worship a librarian" (gift from my mom upon my graduation from high school/going away to college)
* a stuffed William (the blue faience hippopotamus mascot of the Met but more importantly a reference to one of the best children's books ever -- tragically out of print) sitting on my dresser
* a postcard of two women kissing on a bed -- on the back of my door, next to the full-length mirror
Ari (wisdomeagle) asked for identifiers of the people I talk about.
I'm a Faculty Assistant (glorified secretary) for 3 professors, referred to herein as: Prof.B., FormerUnitHead, and Prof.D. [Though FUH is going on sabbatical next year and FA/prof assignments may get juggled a bit as at least one professor is leaving and we've hired two new professors.]
* The other FAs who work in my Unit are: Alyssa (leaving soon to go to law school), Laura (recently back from maternity leave), Ranjan (the temp we had for Laura, recently hired to replace Alyssa), Katie (our newest hire before Ranjan, and meant I was no longer the newest/youngest FA in the unit), MaryAlice, and Rich (both of whom have worked here for ages).
* Research Associates who often get talked about are: Nicole (who works for Prof.B., my main prof), Cailin (friend of Alyssa's from college), Nicki (course admin for the major course my department teaches), Claire (works for a different department, but has her cubicle near the girls who work for my department).
* Other FAs who get mentioned frequently: Eric (used to work in our unit, now works one floor below us -- though he recently interviewed for an IT job), Michelle (who works in the same unit Eric works in now).
* Other people mentioned in the context of work (e.g. Greg, Mike, Andy) are likely to be other professors in my unit; I apparently can't be bothered to have a consistent system of discretion.
* Eric - Yes, this is the above-mentioned Eric-from-work. Sometimes referred to as my NotBoyfriend, from last summer when he spent a lot of time hanging out at my desk (summers are boring, yo) and the girl posse (Cailin, Alyssa, Nicole) were convinced he was into me. (That October I had been working in that unit for a year and I learned -- from a reliable third party -- that he's gay and partnered.)
* Terry - Often referred to as my (illiterate) fake boyfriend. I started working at the public library in the town I grew up in I think the summer before my sophomore year of college, around which time he also started working there. He's substantially older, married, and a tremendous flirt. I adore him.
* Joe - Often referred as my boy (I try to remember to not capitalize that since that would imply dating). We went to the same high school, but he's a year older so we didn't really know each other until we were both working in the same bookstore the summer after I graduated high school. He has a very low-key approach to keeping in touch and is always crazy busy (working ResLife and doing a million other things) and it took me years to finally be okay with that, to feel like our friendship could still continue and be valuable/valued even when we go long periods of time without talking.
* Jonah - Has no epithet. We met in Latin 1 class in high school when I was a senior and he was a freshman. He is a darling and adores me. Despite the encouragement of some of my acquaintances in that class, we have never had any interest in dating each other.
I am not going to explain every church person I ever talk about. The people I talk about most are the CAUMC young adult small group people, so I'll list them.
* Trelawney&Eric - recently married; she's the young adult leader at the church, getting her Ph.D. in religion and international relations, and is way nicer and more positive than I will ever be; he's very mellow (I would love to get into deep conversation with him at some point, as he's mentioned sometimes that he can get very intense and argumentative), works with computers
* Michelle - we bonded over shared Buffy&Angel-verse obsessiveness, dirty minds, and now HIMYM
* Mike&Meredith - engaged, both recently finished up graduate programs in science/computer type stuff; Mike and I are often on the same page with rational-approach problematizations of the material we discuss in small group
* Seth - is an organist at another church, but this church is his community; his approach to religion/spirituality is sometimes more conservative than mine and discomfits me, but I admire his dedication and also appreciate anyone who contributes to the group discussion not being one big chorus of agreement with each other
* Sue - has recently started coming after a hiatus, yet another person who works with computers/programming
* Catherine - has come a few times, teaches high school math
* Anthony - comes sporadically (he travels a lot), does Christian counseling
* Jess - has started coming recently, works in occupational therapy (physical therapy)
I will gladly take requests for further explanation and/or additional topics.