Thursday, October 30, 2008


Well, after waking up all nice and warm and cozy on my day off, it's 9:30 and I remember now why Thursdays are not great days off. So many chores to do, bills to pay, bathroom to clean, checks to deposit... My neck and shoulders are killing me!

And my insides are all twisted up ALREADY. I just read the paper and the online news, and read about people perpetrating political attacks on themselves and hanging Gov. Sarah Palin in effigy. Now, yes, I totally disagree with her in so many ways it's not even funny. But even so: to me, it is never O.K. to hang anyone in effigy. Doesn't matter if it's Sarah Palin, Presiding Bishop, black men, or KKK figures, or Osama Bin Laden effigies. It's still a human figure, and it's still fantasizing violence on a real person. It's just never, ever O.K. to perpetrate violence upon other human figures. (Yes, I insert caveats here for police and military, and that issue is far too complex to parse right now!) It is far, far too easy to de-sensitize yourself in our everyday life. Is that the sort of legacy we want to give our kids? If you don't like someone, no need to engage thoughtfully, or to work to bring about a different reality. Just kill, do violence, get angry, and do NOTHING in the end. That person who made that Sarah Palin effigy has done NOTHING for the world. Except foster hate. That's a pretty shameful thing to teach our kids. That's pretty shameful for our world.

In my little church world, I seem to have stepped in it slightly when I questioned if we should call the upcoming Deanery meetings "emergency", and elevate a normal planning process into the status of CRISIS. We're just electing a Bishop as normal. Apparently, CT parlance is to call non-scheduled meetings "emergency" and no one is ACTUALLY freaking out. (Well, maybe one person, who needs a hug...) But wow, I spend SO much time in the church trying to DIAL DOWN from crisis. In God's time, don't we get to rest from our labors and enjoy a time of peace?

I think I'm going to change now, go to the gym, and do some bike riding and iPod listening. My newsreaders are going off for the day. No more news. I'm re-centering the rest of today. Though I am STRONGLY thinking of calling my Bishop and asking if I can borrow her dog for some dog therapy!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Welcome, new readers!

Hi there to all the new readers who are visiting to check me out after the blog workshop at Convention. It was really a pleasure to assist Matthew Scott, Laura Ahrens, and Karin Hamilton.

I'm currently engaged in trying to write my sermon. In fact, my husband has bribed me with promises of pizza and a movie, and he is out picking them up. (Does he ROCK or what?) So I have just a few minutes left to bring some sense to the readings for tomorrow.

It's good classic stuff, like the death of Moses and the Greatest Commandment. Sometimes I find the Collect to be helpful in parsing readings for the inner connections, but I have to say that this week's collect is so nicey-nice as to be pretty useless. "God, increase in us gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command". Not helpful, thanks. There's no meaty middle in there. It's just asking God to make us better than we are, to change the stuff of right now.

But how can we talk about what we are becoming unless we speak of what we are? Is there a place in this sermon for a bit of truth-telling about how we are constantly becoming new in God.

I suppose I want to preach an ACTION sermon, but the readings this week are reading almost like soundbites from an election: Candidate A supports law and order; Candidate B preaches a return to old-fashioned values and faith. Perhaps I'm also a little news-ed out from election coverage.

Well, please enjoy yourselves on the archives, the blogroll, the comments, and the other blogs of the world. I recommend Ship-of-Fools for some churchy type fun. Check out the Kitchmas and Jesus Shop.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ordination Bibles...

So I have a confession... I have never before actually used the Bibles I got at ordination. We get a small, portable one for our Diaconate, and a big, desk one for our Priestly. (At least in this Diocese.) They are very, very nice Bibles- we're talking guilt edges. They are also the same edition- the New Oxford Annotated, NRSV, that I had bought when I went into Seminary. I keep my Seminary Bible, and my looseleaf notebook that I call "The Ultimate Study Bible" (a now-two-volume set of every reading I have ever researched or preached on. 7 years into it, I still don't have the full Bible...) in my office at church. I wrap up my Sundays by printing out the readings and starting the next week's sermon.

I was on vacation last Sunday, so I did not do my usual process. So today, I decided I really wanted to read the full story around this pericope (that's the little part of the story we read each week), so I delved into my Priestly Ordination Bible for the first time ever. I've only had it out of the box once, since I feel like it's too pretty to be an every day thing.

There's my declaration certification and the presentation card signed and a little service for dedication of the gifts the parish gave me at ordination.

I think it's a sign. "Write the sermon, Betsy... this is your work."

Friday, October 10, 2008

Baby Boy!

After months of waiting we finally know the winner of the betting pool! Okay, just kidding, D&D. No one was actually betting on the actual arrival date of the kid, but if we HAD been, wouldn't it have been cool to bet on 10-09-08? Yeah, it would have been!

We are celebrating the arrival of the little boy who will carry the non-phonetic name of Bagioni to the next generation. Ah yes, 20 more years of teachers struggling valiantly and often vainly to pronounce the three syllables. And they never just spit it out... they always draaaaaag it out to its furthest- "Bah... uh... BAY-GUY-ON-n-n-n-n-n-Eye?" before admitting they have no idea how to pronounce classic Italian.

Welcome to the world, kid. Auntie Bee stands ready to feed you Mountain Dew as soon as you learn to say "Please" and "Thank you", to feed you Bento lunches, and to introduce you to sushi and tofu at unreasonably early ages.

Your mom and dad have no idea what a wild ride they are in for. But I gotta admit, you are one fabulous looking kid.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I get vacation! And I'm finally doing what I dreamed about for years... spending an entire day in my pajamas! My mom is one of those people who is convinced that you will feel better if you get up, wash up, and get dressed. Even when I was sick, as a kid, it always meant getting up and getting dressed.

Well, I sure showed her! M did drag me out of bed (reluctantly) with the promise of breakfast together and eggs. Ah, I am such a sucker for eggs. But then I washed up... and put my jammies right back on! And then I sewed for a little while, finishing up the trial run of the pajama pants I'm making for my halloween costume (Alexander from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day). That's right, I DO have a railroad train print. But for now, I was trying the pattern in a purple heart print with giant pink-and-green-striped skulls and crossbones. It's so wrong. I love it. And it's warm and fuzzy. The pattern IS too large, so I have to go down a size.

In the meantime, I'm toying with the idea of making a cake. Not for any reason, just for fun. And how often do we get to do THAT?

My vacation plans for the rest of the week include going to the gym, sleeping late, reading the rest of my latest batch of library books, and taking a whirlwind weekend trip to Virginia and Maryland, where we plan to see a few of you at Octoberfest in Accokeek and catch up with cool people in Alexandria. Oh, and have ourselves dinner at Lost Dog, the BEST pizza place in Arlington. Divine.