My theology, let me show it to you

I was going through some really old posts on my other blog, and came across this:

It also included a fun-sized Nestle Crunch bar and the greatness beverage in pouch form EVER, a fruit punch Capri Sun.

I agree so vehemently I must immediately post a blog entry of my own to let y’all know that, in fact, the best thing about Heaven is when you walk in the door, St. Peter hands you a fruit punch Capri Sun.

I’m certain someone out there disagrees. BUT THEY ARE WRONG!

I could probably make this a metaphor for anything I darn well please right now in Christianity and the Anglican Communion and the world in general, but mostly? Right now I really want a Capri Sun.

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Soliciting book recommendations for a wacky idea.

There’s this thing I’ve been kind of half-arsing through in my spare time (in between teaching myself the ukulele, playing Pokemon on my Nintendo DS, and creating geeky cross-stitch patterns). It’s called the Personal MBA and at its essential base it’s a list of books that, if you went through a MBA program, you would more than likely have read.

So, here’s the question: What kind of books would be on a Personal M.Div. reading list?

For those of you who have gone to seminary, what books were you assigned there were, in your opinion, the best, and had the most impact on your lives and ministries?

For those of you who haven’t gone to seminary, what books have you read that were, in your opinion, the best, and had the most impact on your lives and ministries?

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Best laugh of the day, courtesy of the CofE

NO WAIT! COME BACK! It’s not about *that*!

No, someone just linked me to the Church of England’s Prayers for the World Cup.

There’s one for the players and workers and spectators, yawn. There’s one for South Africa, standard stuff.

Then there’s this one:

A prayer for those simply not interested

Lord, as all around are gripped with World Cup fever,
bless us with understanding,
strengthen us with patience and
grant us the gift of sympathy if needed.
Amen.

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Open Letter to the ABC

Dear Rowan, Archbishop of Cantebury,

Hi! I see you and your staff have sent out a couple letters recently. I apologize, I haven’t been able to read them. You see, I’ve been at church! It’s been a very exiting time here, we’ve added a mass midweek, and we just got finished hosting a community conference. We’ve barely had time to wash all the coffee cups, and now we’re hosting another conference, this time ecclesiastical! The kids in the cooperative daycare have painted tiles and are helping to build the mural alongside the outside wall, along with our Buddhist building partners. And there’s the music studio, and the free lunches for job seekers, not to mention the fundraising for Haiti relief!

So, I hope you’ll understand if we don’t get back to you quickly. Ooops! It’s my time to go turn the compost. We’re trying out some new initiatives to be better stewards of our Earth, and I’m sharing my talents and knowledge of how to turn garbage and rotten things into good, rich soil, perfect for growing things. I’ve got your letters around here somewhere, I’m sure I’ll get a chance to read them here any day now.

Until then, I’m going to sing when the Spirit says ‘sing!’, and obey the Spirit of the Lord.

Love,
this Child of God,
Mary Sue,
Laywoman

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From One Who Has Died

The guest priest at my parish this week was significantly less formal than my Anglo-Catholic heart is comfortable with.

But I subscribe to the theory if you’re always comfortable in church, you’re doing Christianity wrong.

I sat in the back practicing my patience. Has anyone ever mastered patience, I wonder? I know I practice a LOT. And as with anything you’re busy practicing, whether it’s patience or ukulele, practice means you mess it up a LOT.

(But you keep trying, which is important both for the ukulele and for patience.)

The priest opened the sermon with the question, “Is there life after death?” Every time he repeated it, I practiced that patience thing and didn’t shout out, “I’ll tell you when I get there!”

I’m sure I looked like I was chewing on a lemon, but I felt secure enough in the wayfarback of the Sanctuary that the guest priest couldn’t see me. About halfway through, though, I had a realization.

He’d never died.

Matter of fact, it was statistically likely I was the only one in the congregation who had.

It wasn’t that flashy, folks, it wasn’t like the television where there were medical personnel working frantically to save me. I calculated a toxic level of a medication, doubled it, swallowed it, and I lay down to die.

[Missing Scene]

I sat up, and began to speak. That was the first day of my life after death.

I’ve had about 6300 days of life after death now.

The priest said in his sermon, he straight out said, “What do we do in the life after death? It sounds boring, doesn’t it?”

Oh. Sweetie.

No.

It’s not boring.

Dull and frustrating and angry and brilliant and happy and awe inspiring and cranky and depressed and joyous and glorious and dusty and new and stinky and electrifying and with all that going on before 10am on a Monday morning, how could you possibly be bored?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pay some bills.

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I’m a little in love with Diana Butler Bass.

Sure, her article Rowan Williams and Katharine Jefferts Schori: Anglican Smack-Down is an excellent commentary on the dueling banjos Pentecost letters* from the Primates in question.

What makes me fall a little in love with her, though? The last two sentences of the article.

*swoons*

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*Wouldn’t it be fun if ++Rowan and ++Katharine both showed up to a debate in High Tat, sat down on opposite sides of the chancel, and started playing Dueling Banjos? I would pay cashy money to see that.

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Hm. Seems I forgot to mention…

Those of you who have been paying attention over the last year or two know I had a bit of a falling out with my home church.

Aw, understatement! Tres adorable. I decided I was done being treated, not just as a demographic, but as general dogsbody and Girl Friday, who would take on any project and produce results on demand— oh, wait, did we forget to tell you that we’d put you in charge?

I had a nice long bout of not-going-to-church, and it left me feeling very empty.

No kidding, really? I’d figured out when I was 19 that not going to church regularly left me feeling very empty and soul-hungry, but sometimes I’m a slow learner.

So, after a lot of research and pondering and Trimet Trip planning and forgetting to set my alarm, I finally pulled up my big girl pants and went to a new church.

And it’s… nice.

It’s not perfect. I’m not under the illusion that any church is perfect. As Fr. Andrew Greeley says, if God had wanted a perfect church, she would have left it in the hands of seraphs and not us mortals. The music can veer off into shoot-me-now land, and it’s significantly lower on the candle than I am…

But it’s a place I can be.

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