Monday, June 30, 2008

worshipful goodness

Yesterday's morning worship was the best GA service I've seen, in the almost-decade I've been attending. Rather than *telling* us to be "appropriately" worshipful, the leaders created a powerful service that drew us in and shook us up and *compelled* us into a deep worshipful space.

The pieces were well-designed and coherent--they all worked together to reinforce the shared spiritual journey. I appreciate all who planned and presented it, and I do hope that this is the model we work from in the future.

Check it out for yourself at the GA streaming video site; scroll down to "Sunday Morning Worship."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dorothy Parks, RIP

My grandmother died today. Born Dorothy Eleanor Richey, on January 26th, 1922, she married Charles Naylor, gave birth to my mother; then divorced and married Ray Parks. She often baby-sat my sister and me, and specialized in home-made hot cocoa. Her scrambled eggs had exactly the right amount of moisture. She had some artistic talent: she sketched cartoons and did needlework until her eyesight or her arthritis prevented it. She kept scrupulous track of the local professional baseball team, keeping their schedules and scores in her careful (Gregg shorthand-trained) script. She worked as an Executive Secretary for many years--and none of this describes the person she was, either as I knew her; or before, as she grew up.

The most truth I can write is that I love her, and I already miss her.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

endorsing a direction

The Meadville Board "endorsed the direction" of the administration's proposal (including a 3-year degree, without an internship year) *and* they requested a "detailed implementation plan" before they would grant their full approval, at their next meeting, in November.

I feel this is a good move. It demonstrates trust in the administration, but it is not blind capitulation. It gives the school time to prove the plan is workable--that it will not only meet the MFC's requirements, it will prepare students for real-world ministry.

I still have two questions.

First, the timing is odd. Why didn't the school slow down to begin with? Why was it rushing to implement this plan so rapidly? And, assuming that it will be postponed at least a year, with the Board withholding final approval, what consequences will there be?

Second, Board President Larry Ladd's letter mentions the "feasibility of a one-year internship as a fourth-year option for students seeking an M.Div degree." This suggests an admission that a three-year program will *not* fulfill MFC requirements. It also sounds like the proposal is basically adding some praxis modules to the usual (now semester-based) courses.

Praxis modules might be overwhelming, and/or they might provide practical applications, so that students "get" it better, and quicker. Praxis modules might prepare people *better* for large-church or social ministries; I don't know.

Like the Board, I am cautiously optimistic and "endorse the direction."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

non-triskaidekaphobe wedding

I am to officiate a wedding this Friday--on Friday the 13th. I pointed this out, early in our conversations, and they were aware and slightly tickled by the idea. Now, three days out, it is cold and raining on the beach where they want to hold the service. We have back-up plans; it will still be a lovely wedding...and we should all be more respectful of the power of 13 :-)