Tags: church: somerville: ucc: rooftop people

moon house

[Pentecost +6]

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Another FCS week of our opening hymn being a song I already know which Thom W. takes a long time to teach us. This time it was "What does the Lord require of you?" -- which, okay, we did as a round, in a slightly different way than I'm used to doing it as a round.
I forget until later that CWM sings "Love" for "Lord" (I tend to make substitutions that match the number of syllables) so after experimenting with "y/our God," I eventually sang "Hashem."

Molly had said:
I'll be preaching, the second in a mild-mannered sermon series I like to call Summer Reading, because, guess what, I like to read in the summer. I'm preaching on the runaway bestseller among young adult fiction, The Hunger Games, and on a very strange, disturbing and illuminating story from Chapters 6 and 7 of the book of 2 Kings (read it!).
I did indeed read the story on oremus and didn't really follow what was going on. I wondered if she was gonna opt for The Message. What she actually did was to tell the story as if she were just telling the story, rather than reading it (the bulletin said "2 Kings, Chapters 6-7, excerpts"), and I could definitely follow the story this time -- including being able to map pieces on to pieces I recalled from my oremus reading.

The post-sermon hymn was "Taste and See," and I wished that we did Communion.

I was in line at Coffee Hour and India came up to me and hugged me (usually I find her and hug her). She asked, "Have you tried the cake?" and I said No (because I was still in line and so hadn't sampled any of the food) and then said, "Wait, which cake? Because some of the cake is leftover from my birthday party last night."

Rooftop People in fact happened. Redheaded-Diane, whose first time at FCS was today (she recently moved to the area) came, too. Yay, people who jump right in.

Jeff B. and I made plans to see Brave (in 3D -- I'd never seen movies in 3D, and had no real desire to, but that was the showing that worked best in our schedules) on Tuesday.

I was starting to feel fade-y at like 4pm -- which is when I needed to leave to get to CWM because I'd agreed to help set up since Pr. Lisa is out of town. Grate. I set up and ran worship fine, though -- I wasn't expecting to have to run worship, so my extemp was subpar, but it was just me and Tara so it didn't matter too much.

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light in the darkness

Also, I had mushroom+pesto+smoked gouda pizza for lunch; it was v. tasty.

Lectionary at morning prayer this morning switched up the Gospel -- John instead of Luke (we've been doing narrative arcs in Isaiah and Luke) -- and The Inclusive Bible doesn't always mark chapters in an entirely intuitive way, so I ended up reading from the wrong chapter, but it still went well. (And I really felt minimal stress about it.)

I haven't had as much time/energy as I would have liked to prepare my Incarnation Reflection for Rest and Bread tonight, but I got a working draft done this afternoon, extemporized the very ending, and it seemed to go fairly well. (Thanks to la bff for suggesting to me Isaiah 55-1-3, which I also used as our opening passage for Rooftop People -- topic: "self care" -- on Sunday. Keith said he really liked it, that it worked well, which I was glad to hear, as there was a small part of me that was worried I was too personally enamoured of the passage and the fit wasn't going to work for everyone else -- and he liked the Inclusive Bible translation as well.) Jeff said he feels like Body Theology is what everyone at HDS is doing these days. This pleases me :)

FCS is hosting West Somerville's Longest Night service this year -- next Wednesday, replacing Rest and Bread. I am remarkably not bent out of shape about this. (Though there is a part of me that wants to punch FCS-Ian in the face for suggesting replacing Rest and Bread to begin with, because when you barely ever come to a particular service, it's not your place to suggest overwriting it for some other service.)

Support Pastor Ian asked me if I'd had a chance to look at the liturgy for the Longest Night service (I was on the list of people it got emailed to). I said yes. He had suggested Keith and I do the candle lighting, so he asked me tonight if that was okay with me. I said yeah -- said I had left my printout of the bulletin at my office, but that in skimming it I felt like there should be silent space, but it wasn't explicitly written in, so I wanted to check in first. He said he hadn't read the liturgy that thoroughly, but that since I would be the one who was up there, I could basically do whatever felt appropriate to me, just "hold us in that space in a faithful way." [Edit: That's what I get for skimming; I looked later, and there's totally "silence" written in to the program at the moments where I thought it should be. /edit] He also mentioned the anointing for healing part of the service and asked me if I would be interested in doing that as well. I said I couldn't give him a definite answer in this moment but that I would think about it. Of course my immediate thought was of the anointing for healing ~training Laura Ruth did at the last FCS retreat. Part of me wants to ask, "What is it about me that makes you think I would be interested in doing that?" but I don't know how to ask that question in a way that doesn't sound argumentative or whatever.
professional me, self

Updating, right.

So, classes started in earnest last week. Tuesday I came close to feeling like I was treading water. All 3 of my professors had stuff for me to do. Yes, summer is over. Each day of the week was progressively calmer, though.

Friday night I went to Wicked at the Opera House with Allie because a friend of mine had a conflict come up and couldn't go (and so gave me the tickets he and his girlfriend were going to use). We went to My Thai Vegan Cafe (famed for its fake meat, apparently), and I was sort of overwhelmed by the fact that I could eat everything on the menu.

I am unimpressed by my Jesus and the Gospels class, but we shall see.

On Saturday I took another trip to the Fells.

Sunday morning, Ian H. preached on the 1 Timothy reading ("Even Me! Even You...."). He opened with reminding us what a bad guy Paul was before his conversion and then talked about his own faith journey and said that often God asks us to do something and we think, "No, I'm not good enough," but God meets us right where we are.

At CWM, Anthony Z. from Interfaith Worker Justice preached on Psalm 14 ("No Not One"). Eh, "worker justice" memes make me somewhat uncomfortable, and I felt a little like it was trying too hard to fit exegesis into what was really a worker justice speech -- though the sermon I have currently tabled for that lectionary set is the least sermon-y sermon I've written, I think, so I feel a little hypocritical lodging that criticism (and as I learned in trying to write that sermon for yesterday, I don't have a good solid definition of what a sermon "is").

(Our closing hymn was "Solidarity Forever" -- which is to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," and Pr. Lisa joked that hey great, she could offer this to all the churches in the South that don't like "The Battle Hymn of the Republic.")

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After morning church was Rooftop People. I didn't really know what to expect, and it was more discussion than support group, which isn't exactly what I was expecting, but it was good.

We read Mark 2:1-12 (from whence the name of the group) and had a bunch of good conversations about it.

Think outside the box. Easier said than done when constrained by needing to not get fired, etc. The friends didn't know how Jesus would react -- they had a strong sense of what needed to be done to help their friend and so they did whatever they could to get their friend to a place where that could happen.

Were they cutting in line? Story implies that the crowds were listening to Jesus preach, not necessarily there for healing.

We talked about the fact that Jesus first says, "Your sins are forgiven," and only does the physical healing after the lawyers complain -- if the lawyers had just said, "That's interesting," would Jesus have not done the physical healing at all? I said that one of the things I was thinking about was all the disability politics I've encountered, about how physical limitations aren't necessarily inherently problematic, it's society that's the problem (people who are in wheelchairs, if buildings are wheelchair-accessible, then they're not at a disadvantage), so one way of understanding the story is Jesus recognizing that physical healing wasn't what was most needed, but that what was most needed was for the person to know, "You are right with God."
Someone else commented that in that socio-historical moment, physical infirmity was often understood to be a result of sin, so Jesus could have been understood as going to the root of the problem rather than just treating the symptoms. (I thought about mentioning the "Who sinned that this person was born blind?" story to emphasize that Jesus didn't believe in that causation model, but partly there wasn't opportunity to, and partly I felt like we all understood that and so it didn't necessarily need to be said.) Someone else commented on it as a holistic model of healing rather than focusing solely on bodily healing.
Someone else (who works in social work) commented that although we don't tell people, "Your sins are forgiven," but we do try to help people (e.g., abuse survivors) internalize the fact that it was not their fault. Someone who works as a nurse practitioner commented that yeah, we say, "It's not your fault," to people with cancer and etc., too -- and sometimes it is their fault (e.g., smokers who get lung cancer), but really, it's not our place to judge.
* cure vs. healing *
Folks who work in medicine can't necessarily "cure" people, but healing can be instantaneous. Healing is also a long process -- a lot of people self-sabotage, because okay you're gonna have this different life but "What will it be like?" Also, "What will be expected of me?"

Who are our Rooftop People? We know (from our jobs/roles as caregives) that people need help/ers, so why is it so hard for us to ask for help ourselves?

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Autumn weather has hit!

I am considering investing in leggings to wear under my denim skirt, because finding dress pants (or even nice jeans) that fit and that I like has been fairly fruitless, plus I am not a fan of not having pockets, and women's dress pants are faily at pockets.

Future-sister-in-law sent me the final decision on bridesmaid dress -- this dress (in Wisteria -- a light purple). I'm not a big fan, but we'll see. Must hie myself to a David's Bridal and actually try one on.