Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Great times in he life of an ed chaplain

So I stopped to get some water in the ed. Says the nurse- don't you usually work at night? Says me- well I work mon and wed morning and tues and Thursday night... I'm sorry that be confusing. Her- um... Yeah, actually. Me- don't worry. Next week I start doing mon and we'd at 4 til tues and Thursday at noon. Her- blank look. Me- it's like firefighter hours. Two long shifts on mon and we'd, but covering the overnight til tues and Thursday morning. Her- er.... Me- that probably didn't help much? Her- no, not really. Siiiigh!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Election!

It was my first election. Convention as usual was an extroverts' dream.

I was really impressed by all the candidates who stood for election. Beth Fain and Ian Douglas were out of state (as customary for non-resident clergy), but Jim Curry and Mark Delcuze were naturally both present. I must give giant kudos to the both of them. It's a nerve-wracking experience to be in the spotlight anyway, but to be standing for the election of a Diocesan Bishop must be an "Ant under a microscope with laser beam affixed" type experience. Both men handled themselves with such grace. Mark and Jim, you two are class acts, and I am so pleased to be your colleague. Granted, I serve the role of "pain in the oops!" priest at times, but ultimately, I hope to settle in on the normal end of the spectrum.

There was lots of interest in my shared positions... it seems that a few other previously full time clergy are starting to think about part timing it. Several are thinking doctorates, others are also exploring a dual role in chaplaincy. It could be months to years before some of these plans take place, but I can certainly see how we are in a changing place in our church.

And finally, welcome to Ian Douglas! I think we shocked the world as stodgy old CT elected from outside the Diocese. But I have to say it was a very grace-filled election. It was certainly a choice that took much deliberation, and any candidate would have been a great chief priest, and I say that honestly. I thought for many hours and read all the written material before making my decisions. But as it all went down, I felt that we were guided well by the Spirit.

Time to go write a sermon and a Red Door article now!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Big Changes

I debated for a bit if I should blog this, and or leave comments open. Fianlly, I decided I would do both. Just as when I told the Vestry in the first place, just as when I sent the letter to the parish, I think that leaving comments open is the ethical thing to do. I ask only that if you comment, do me the grace of either leaving your name or emailing me so we can have an honest, open conversation.

Whew.

The exciting news is that the hsopital offered me full time! It's a number of night hours, so I'll be working 2 nights a week. No, it was never my dream to work nights, and yes, I'd rather be spending my nights curled up with my hubby, but hey... it IS a dream job. To finish out my certificatiion in a place like Hartford... whew. Opportunities like this don't come ever day. I'm also humbled that the hospital came and asked me... I didn't put in for the position. I am honored that they thought enough of me to ask me to apply for the full time job. I mean... wow. I didn't even think that happened to priests.

Yet I have not, and I will not, resign from Epiphany. We have stuff planned through the New Year, both secular and sacred. There's too much happening right now. There's too many hopeful signs of life. I don't know how much longer my story with Epiphany will last... but I do believe that it goes on for a good amount of time yet. My part in that story isn't yet over.

What a roller coaster!

Dominic

Can the newspossibly spread too widely?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Registered, Tripping, and Achy Hand

On the bright side, I get to take my acolytes to DC for a trip! Nothing like a youth pilgramage! I've wanted to take youth on a trip for so long. It feels like being a normal priest. National Acolyte Festival, here we come!

Meanwhile, the broken bones are quite uncomfortable. I called the doc again just to find out what's normal. I don't know if I really believe that "hurts when the weather changes" stuff... yet. Not to mention the knee was pretty achy, the shoulder was stiff and sore, and I felt generally run down. I hate not feeling like my normal self.

And there are cleaning ladies here to clean my horrible house back to its normal state. Amazing how just 2 months of no floor mopping changes the world... Yes, folks, I DO mop at least 1 a month. But I might decide I like hiring out the cleaners. I used to say I'd hire a cleaning service after I'd met certain goals... like having a certain amount in savings, then it was paying off my car, then it was paying off certain loans, then it was having a zeroed out credit card for a certain period of time, and I realized we had done all that... and I was always finding a reason to delay hiring the cleaning service. Then I gripe because the house isn't as clean as I want it. It's probably a good discipline for me to draw the line between frugal and cheap, and to give myself permission to actually reap the rewards of having achieved my goals sometimes, eh?

Next goal: find a tailor and have my suits tailored so the jackets actually fit me! It's probably time to give in to business clothes and have them done right. So anyone who knows a good tailor in West Hartford..... chime in!

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Apple Picking Story

It is true that I typically sing the praises of Virginia, as if Connecticut were simply an afterthought. Virginia does have Northern Virginia, which is next to DC, which has the Smithsonians. Nuff said.

But in one season, Connecticut does waste the rest of the country's claims to fame. When fall rolls around, no one beats Connecticut for colors, crisp air, apple picking from the trees in the orchards, and sweet wood fires. Since I love being warm and bundled up, I welcome the return of wool socks, sweaters, vests, and scarves. And pickle sandwiches. Somehow, I got hooked on those as a kid and the combination of cool air and woo fires still makes me want a pickle sandwich, on nice crusty Portuguese rolls with some cheese. (See how I mention the Portuguese rolls? OK, which of you on my mom's side started this?)

In the fall, Virginia falls flat. Here's how I discovered that.

I had gone to church one morning somewhere in northern VA. I was driving back on roads that wound their way through green and brown trees. The temperatures just don't snap quickly enough for the real dramatic colors that I grew up with. I was having a craving for apples when my joyful eyes lit upon a sign- "Apples! Pick your own!" I pulled right over, grabbed my canvas bag (I was being a reusable bag green geek before it was cool, so I looked really enviro-geek), and marched up to the counter.

"Hi there! I'm here for the pick your own!" Great, they said. "Where's the wagon for the trees?" I ask. They respond with blank stares. "And how will I tell which tree is which type? Do you have a map?"

They responded with laughter. "Oh, no, you don't pick them off the trees!" More laughter. "Nobody is allowed into our trees. We have to keep them free of diseases."

"But... I'm sorry, I thought I saw a pick-your-own sign?"

"Oh yes!" They wave a proud, expansive arm at the lot to the other side of the building. It was covered in small bushel baskets of apples. "You can pick out any one you want!"

............................

Thank you.