HermeneuticLand 101

Herein lies a place not only to discover, but also to interpret that wonderful gift -- that challenging experience -- that crazy world-- called LIFE.

Location: California, United States

For those whose curiosity brims, I am a RN turned Methodist pastor. I enjoy lots of things, am troubled by several things, and hope for many things. But, if you keep reading, I suppose you will find that out anyway.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday Five: Beliefs

This week's friday five is "Tell us five things that you believe."

1. I believe that chocolate is one of the best treatments for PMS.
2. I believe sheer tenacity and steadfastness is more effective than any particular strategy for getting the job done.
3. I believe that George W. Bush lost the 2000 election...and that would make him not likely to have ever been there in the first place...and certainly not now.
4. I believe that war, murder, and oppression are wrong and should be eliminated, including the oppression of women that are then forced to make decisions about abortion that might have been totally eliminated if it weren't for the lack of education, availability of birth control, rapist, or patriarchal assumptions that put them in such positions.
5. I believe in miracles. (In spite of the problems associated with 3 and 4.)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday Five: Wordplay

"Please tell us five words you had to think about really hard before saying them out loud for the first time, or that you discovered you had misapprehended when someone corrected your pronunciation."

Hors d'oeuvres -- I had an aunt that always pronounced this exactly as it looks. Therefore, I became accustomed to hearing this word as "hores dee overs" and therefore also shared it with others. Very embarrassing.

Laissez faire -- I love this word, but had trouble deciding not how to pronounce it, but when to use it! I first started using it for every type of action, LF--this and LF--that, I'm feeling LF about everything today.... but soon discovered that was overkill.

Brassiere -- this word is one that has a funny story with it. When I was in first or second grade, I was shopping in the mall with my mother, and misread a sign for my mother's favorite store, "The World Bazaar" Instead of reading "Bazaar", I read "Brassiere". I guess she laughed off and on for a week or two about that one. Wasn't funny to me at the time, but now...I think it was pretty funny after all.

Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious (spelling?) -- this word was also a pretty big deal to be able to both say and sing in elementary school. I was pretty big on Mary Poppins, and it was fun to be able to sing the song.

La Jolla -- again, when I first moved to California, I pronounced this La Jolla just like it is written. It is pronounced "La Hoya". It took me the better part of two years to match the word on paper with the word everyone was saying. Oh well, at least I wasn't living there when I was making that mistake.

Those are my five... y'all think I have a little trouble with foreign language, or what? *laughing* I don't even speak English all THAT well sometimes.... Haha.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Friday Five

1. Describe a memorable conference, retreat, workshop, or convention you've attended.

When I was in college (undergrad), I was on the United Methodist Student Movement's National Steering Committee. I always loved going to the national gathering, called Student Forum. There were college students there from all over, and by the time my tenure was over, there had been a lot of changes at Forum that showed great hope for the future of the church. Not only was the church (according to our group) becoming more inclusive and loving, but also the legislative committee had done fabulous work on building a consensus model. The whole national meeting was done by consensus, not vote! AND IT WORKED!!!!!!! (Yes, it CAN be done.) I really enjoyed my time there and hope that all those folks do become leaders in the denomination. What a great place the church would become if some of those college visions became reality in the "grown up" world!

2. Tell us about a memorable speaker or preacher you've heard.

I really enjoyed getting to hear Desmond Tutu. I also got to meet him, and was even more impressed. His words and sermon were wonderful, but the thing I couldn't get over was how gracious this man was to everyone he met. He did things like hold the door open for folks, wait in line with everyone else for lunch when he was the special guest speaker, and personally thank with a handshake and a smile each person who served him or helped him in any way. These are simple things, but oftentimes I have seen "famous speakers" let the fame go to their heads. Not so with my experience of Desmond Tutu! Neat Guy.

3. Do you attend scheduled events, or play hooky? If the latter, what do you do with your free time?

It depends on the conference. Generally speaking, if I am REQUIRED to be there, I usually take as many opportunities for extra (away) activities as possible. If I am going because it is something I am specifically interested in, I tend to try to make it to as much as I can.
In the former, what I do with my free time varies with time available and location. Sometimes I go out to eat with folks. Sometimes I sit on a bench and talk to a good friend, or a person I want to become a good friend. Sometimes, I go out and sightsee or just have fun somewhere!

4. Do you like having a roommate, or would you prefer a room to yourself?

Most of the time, I would rather have a room to myself.

5. What is the most exotic location you've conferenced or retreated?

I don't know if I would go with exotic as the adjective....but I really liked the Parliament of World Religions 2004 that was in Barcelona, Spain. (grin)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Angels Among Us

Today I had a very interesting encounter which truly blessed my life. The past two days I have noticed a lady outside my church on the bench underneath our little tree. Yesterday, she left before I got a chance to speak to her. Today, I went up and introduced myself to her (not as the pastor, but just with my first name), met her, and began to listen to her talk about her time spent on the bench. She didn't know me from Adam, but she wanted me to feel welcome there too.

She began by explaining to me that she really liked the sign in front of the church. It told her "Come and Rest. Go in peace." (Mind you, this is the same sign that I have been wanting folk to change because if you drive by it too fast, all I can see is "Come and Rest In Peace.") From her perspective, however, I was given new eyes to see things from a different angle. She didn't have a home, but she had made that bench her temporary abode. She showed me the sign and explained how welcoming it was to come and rest there...with God...in front of the church. She liked looking at the nice green grass and the lovely bench. She also showed me how nice it was that our church had tables outside to sit at and a nice lounge inside (our parlor) for people to find comfort. She said it was a very peaceful place, and she really liked it there.

She also pointed out my parsonage, and informed me -- That's the minister's house. You can tell because the parking lot is on the other side of it. He and his family live there, and he has peace too because he doesn't have to walk very far. She asked me where I went to church. I pointed to the church. "I go over there," I said. She asked me where I lived. I pointed to the parsonage. "Right there" I replied. She said, "Oh, are you the minister's daughter?" "No, ma'am" I responded endearingly. She then went on to tell me the minister must be a very nice man, and that it was nice I went to that church. I didn't have the heart to tell her who I was after so eloquent a welcome. Instead, I offered the only things I had available at the time, a listening ear...and an invitation to church. If she shows up Sunday, I guess we'll both have a laugh.

In any case, this is my smile-story for the day. Hope you've enjoyed reading and sharing it with me. It's amazing to me how the most welcoming and evangelistic person at my church this week was a transient lady who had made our front bench her home. Is there a message there for us? I think so!