Monday, January 22, 2007

My new favorite website

For soaking in the presence of God through music and imagery

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Listening to nudges

Sunday, a member of Council (which is our only standing board) decided to resign to focus attention on other good works he is doing. I was really proud of him for doing that.

I've been in organizations in which anger or despair is the automatic response to resigning from a board. The underlying sense is scarcity: there aren't enough people to do the work so anyone who leaves is a traitor.

We're really trying to become a community in which people listen to God's nudges, try new things, make and keep commitments, and renegotiate their commitments when they discover that God really is nudging a different direction (or has in fact provided different gifts). It takes a lot of courage to try things, be open to course correction, and to try new things. It takes courage to be accountable to your community. And we find new life, become new, when we heed the movement of the Spirit.

Anyway, I was really proud.

After that, the meeting went to talking about an adult baptism coming up at the end of the month. The candidate wants to be baptized by immersion (which I wholeheartedly support), but being a certain stream of Christians we have no baptismal pool. The same fellow who withdrew from Council heard a nudge, and started talking specs.

Now he's leading the baptismal pool build. And two Christians will be (re)born: one through baptism, one through the touch of the Spirit.

Oh! And another man, who is officially a member of another church, but leads a shared ministry and comes to our Bible study, will stand with the baptismal candidate. Her choice.

Big grins all around.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Relieving anonymity

Christianity Today has started a new line of blog/newsletter/downloads/etc. for women leaders. I had signed up for the newsletter, and visited the blog today. Read all the entries, read the bios of the editorial board. Immediately felt unworthy.

In one of the blogs, the editor asks readers to introduce themselves. I'm thinking: sure, why not. Tell 'em who is out here rooting for them (and looking for others).

Consider using a pseudonym: Lone She-wolf (what are female wolves called, anyway?)
Consider using just a first name: Elane (that could be anybody, right?)

Decide that it's so like women to just use our first names -- as if using our last names gives us too much authority, or might truly identify us (and sets us up to be recognized for our failures -- couldn't be our successes, right?), or makes us less friendly and approachable.

Realize: that's the problem. Mine anyway: claiming my power/God's power/successes/hopes.

So I use my whole name. But I don't name my church, 'cause then I'd really be on the hook.

Apparently I still have some work to do.