Saturday, October 29, 2011
Last fall, I was reading a novel about nuns. At one point, one of the nuns took a walk at lunchtime to reconnect with God. My first thought when I read that was, "I wish I was a nun, so that I could take lunchtime walks to reconnect with God!" Then I realized how silly that was—I don't have to be a nun to do that!
Since then, walks during my lunch break have become one of my spiritual practices. I walk and I pray and I try to pay attention. Sometimes I put my ipod on shuffle and listen to whatever comes on. In each season, I am grateful to live in such a beautiful place.
Yesterday, I brought my camera along; here are some of the things I saw.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I haven't felt led to write much here lately, but that doesn't mean that nothing is happening! Life has been pretty full lately, and there is more to come. Here are a few of the things going on around here.
Friends Journal. The Friends Journal special issue on Quaker women in ministry came out a few weeks ago and included an article I wrote called "Walking the Labyrinth." In the article, I talked about some of my experiences in traveling ministry and how I felt called to clerk Freedom Friends Church. I had forgotten how different it is to have something published rather than posting online—this encapsulates how I felt when I wrote it in May, but of course I am in a different place now. I recommend the whole issue. It has many wonderful articles by School of the Spirit graduates as well as women from the Pacific Northwest, including Cherice B and an article that was also posted online by Becky A.
Preparing for the World Conference. The FWCC World Conference of Friends is just six months away! I have been preparing by fundraising, getting vaccinations and prescriptions, and holding the gathering in prayer. It has been exciting to see news about the conference on the website, including the study booklet, which is offered to a resource to all Friends, whether or not they are attending the conference. The conference organizers also recently posted a list of everyone who has registered so far.
Visiting Friends. After five months of staying pretty close to home, I was back on the road last weekend. I got a rental car and took a quick trip to Seattle. I was glad to have the car; it allowed me to do a lot more than I could have if I had relied on public transportation. It was wonderful to see friends, celebrate babies and birthdays, and worship at University Friends Meeting, where I sojourned for three years. Next weekend, I am going to visit friends in Portland and plan to worship at Multnomah Monthly Meeting.
Programmed Worship. This year on fifth Sundays, Freedom Friends has been experimenting with different kinds of worship. Instead of our usual semi-programmed worship, we have alternated between unprogrammed worship and programmed worship when a month happens to have a fifth Sunday. This month, we will have programmed worship on fifth Sunday, with Sarah H bringing the message. I think everyone has enjoyed this experiment and it will be interesting to see whether we will continue it next year.
Back to normal? The following Sunday will be our regularly scheduled business meeting. It is hard to believe that it is almost November again—time is going so fast!
In the article I wrote for Friends Journal, I said that traveling ministry is an exercise in listening to God and to others, trying to be faithful in responding to whatever happens. Of course, that's really what life is. So I'll keep trying, and hopefully post here about some of my experiences!