Sunday, September 30, 2007

Most frightening part of the Eucharist

I know I'm not the first person to say this, but when at a new parish, there is one part of the service that is far scarier than any other -- no, not trying to sing new versions of the Gloria and Sanctus, nor recalling my sins and repenting for them, no the scariest part of the services is definitely the passing of the peace.
I guess I'm rather generic looking, because it seldom seems to occur to anyone that I'm new (although an usher did ask the person in front of me if he was new - he wasn't). So the peace - who do you shake hands with, who don't you, how far to people go, do you cross the aisle, who are these people anyway? And its hard to remember, because after you've been at a parish for a few weeks, it doesn't really matter anymore.
But yes NEW+PEACE=scary.

So please, be aware of visitors (but please, never make the stand up and introduce them.

Good clean fun

Last evening I was a bit down. It was a Saturday night, and I had nothing to do. There was a party I could have attended, but I wouldn't know anyone there and well, we all know how I get at parties (if you don't, I tend to stand on the side of the room and stare into space and get really uncomfortable with overstimulation).
Anyhow, I had resigned myself to spending Saturday night in the computer lab (I needed to print some things and don't have a printer) when I decided to go exploring.
I wandered into downtown New Brunswick around 10:00 and bought myself a cup of tea at a coffee shop. I spent the next hour and a half reading, people watching, and just being.
And that was what I really needed. Just sitting and thinking. Then had a nice walk before heading back around midnight. It was a great night.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Watering us down

Most of you know I'm against military action of almost any sort and that I can't stand offensive measures, but although I don't know much about military strategy, even I can see that this is bad planning.
The Kyl-Leiberman amendment essentially just turned the strongest branch of the Iranian military into a terrorist group. This basically gives us the" responsibility" to invade if they make any military move (I thought Syria would be next, oh well). That would be like a government calling the Marine Corps a terrorist group. Let me make this clear - I do not like or respect Ahamud Ahmadinejad, or his government.
But this just seems like bad planning. We are actively in Iraq and Afghanistan and have smaller forces in many other countries. The guard has been deployed, what now? Many leaders in the middle east are taunting us, and we are falling for it. They are draining us, watering down our forces, and I have to wonder to what ends. We know that many of the leaders over there don't value the lives of their own citizens, so I don't wonder if they will stop.

So it goes.
Prayers for peace, justice, and mercy in the word.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blame Susy... or better yet, blame Linda

Donald Rumsfeld briefed the President this morning. He told Bush that three Brazilian soldiers were killed in Iraq. To everyone's amazement all the color ran from Bush's face, then he collapsed onto his desk, head in his hands, visibly shaken, almost whimpering. Finally, he composed himself and asked Rumsfeld, "Just exactly how many is a bazillion?"

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pray for my car

Hello everyone out there,
Please pray for my car. An undergrad drove into it today (at the corner of College Ave and Huntington in the RU campus) . It needs at least a new headlight and possibly a new fender. We don't have a police report, though it was clearly her fault.
Susy is taking me to get some estimates tomorrow. Let's just pray that she, her family, and her insurance company are helpful, and that this gets fixed quickly and as stresslessly as possible.
Oh yeah, and1. I'm borderline broke, and 2. my parents are in Florida which is kinda helping and kinda not.

Prayers please!

HOB document thingy...

edit2: I really need to stop updating this when I'm very sleepy
edit1: please read the related post a few below first... its a bit better thought out and written...

Let me begin by saying that I truly wonder how long the church will continue to get in the way of God's mission... Seriously, when "historical orthodoxy" (read, keeping things the same as they always were) gets in the way of where God is leading his flock, you have to wonder where the logic is.

For anyone who has continued to read this far and doesn't know what I'm talking about, the Episcopal House of Bishops has just met in New Orleans, and, as a friend put it "are a bunch of wussies." While I might have chosen different language, I do have to agree.

They agreed to "show restraint" in consenting to bishops whose lifestyle was a problem to others in the AC, and confirmed that homosexuals fit into this category BUT then later explained full support of LGBT members of the church (go figure).

I agree with what others have said, if you believe in it, its time to show it, if not, then don't. But stop straddling the yellow long. God is leading us somewhere, let's follow....

oh, and read the related post a few below, its much better written and thought out.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

John McCain...Episcobaptist?

I awoke this morning to an IM from a friend asking me if I was aware of this article.
Basically, McCain was finally asked if he identified as an Episcopalian (how he tends to market himself) or a Baptist (the sort of church he has been attending for years).
After he failed at trying to tell them that it didn't matter, he was still a Christian, he finally admitted that although he was raised Episcopalian, he did identify as a Baptist (although he was never formally received).
In the AP article, McCain mentioned that one of the reasons he attends the Baptist church was because he found it more fulfilling - and I've heard a lot of people say this.
TEC is very focused on bringing in more people my age by looking at alternative worship styles, but I wonder if they would fare better using them for boomers as well.
I love my high church worship - the smells and bells, historical liturgy and all around pretty... but sometimes I'll admit I love a more contemporary free style of worship. As an undergrad I often enjoyed attending IVCF (for the worship, I could do without their theology or politics), and as a grad student I sometimes miss it.
I tend to pray more contemplatively, and some of my best conversations with God happen during late night walks. But sometimes there is something to be said for being able to clap my hands and throw my arms up in the air for God.
Oh, and enthusiastic sermons are definitely a better way to go than droning at 9:30am.


Friday, September 14, 2007

My fear for the (Episcopal ) Church...

I've been reading around the Anglican Blog-o-sphere, and I've found that many conservatives and moderates express a fear about getting "expelled" from the Anglican Communion (whatever that means).

As many of you know, I was raised Jewish. Which means I'm still Jewish. I was baptized when I was a pre-teen, and am very active in the church. I love Christ and the Trinity and try to live the gospel.... but I'm still Jewish. When Jewish sects break off, they are still...wait for it.. Jewish, and are still children of our forefathers. There is nothing I or anyone can do about that (not that I have a problem with it).

But, clearly, I'm used to, and love, being a part of a huge network of people - being part of a world-wide faith community --- and that is one of the things that I loved about the Episcopal church.


My biggest fear, is that, in the church's striving to "remain in communion" we stop loving our neighbor as ourself, that we stop ministering to the sick, the friendless, and the criminal, and stop accepting the sick, the outcasts and the needy. We cannot become a church based on fear- based upon accusations and threats made by people if these threats get in the way of our living the gospel.

And that is my fear for the Episcopal Church, that we try to conform because people are telling us, and not move forward, when that where God is leading us.

The Episcopal Church welcomed a smart-alecky, awkward, 12-year old Jewish girl when, to be honest, no one else really did. Now that smart-alecky, awkward, 22 year old Christian girl wants to know when people got off deciding that an issue worth splitting the Anglican Communion over is one that Jesus never mentioned. Sorry, I'm too busy trying to live the gospel to care that Paul doesn't want me preaching or that he cares what I or anyone does in bed.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Woman's Place is in the House....

On T-shirts, bumper stickers, and buttons this phrase is often followed by words like "of bishops" or "and the Senate" or lately "the White House." As most of you know, I'm bit of a feminist and would love to see a woman in the White House, which is why Hillary Clinton ticks me off.

In the spring, in an essay you can view here I discussed my early feelings about many of the candidates. My concluding statement was that I don't believe gender should be an issue when electing a president. Sri Lanka, the UK, Canada, Israel, India, France, the Central African Republic, Portugal, Norway, Pakistan and Bangladesh have all had a female head of government. Here in America, shouldn't we join these "forward thinking" countries?

But then there is Hillary Clinton.

Whether one likes or dislikes her husband, the general consensus seems to be that he meant well (other than the whole bombing this as a distraction). I don't see that with Senator Clinton. The Senator sat on the board of Wal-Mart. Its been common knowledge for years that this company is morally bankrupt. For someone who spent some time trying to get everyone health care, it seems strange that she would support a corporation that believes quite loudly that the government can supply these people health care (in free clinics and government sponsored programs... we aren't quite set up for that yet).

Senator Clinton recently returned $850,000 in campaign contributions that were tied to Norman Hsu - a fund-raiser caught up in a Ponzi scheme, and her campaign seems to have been marred by things like this since the beginning.

A huge supporter of her initial Senate run, Clinton seems to have been disappointed many. She has spent much of her terms trying to please everyone, yet is somehow much less subtle than other candidates who flop around just as much. She doesn't come across as down to earth, or even as "one of the people" - a fa├žade than many other candidates have mastered.

Her voting record isn't awful, and her (and Kucinich) have the BEST attendance of any congress person running for the President. (McCain is currently at 44% attendance. Sir, if you can't show up as a senator, what do you have to offer me as a president).

To be honest, Clinton hasn't shown me anything that she will do that really impresses me.

Probably unsurprisingly, I support Dennis Kucinich, but acknowledging the probability that he will not get the Democratic nomination, I swing to John Edwards. Because while he might not be fully progressive, unlike many of the other Democratic nominees, he isn't lying to me about being the moderate he is.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Harry Potter and the Christian Message

While that title is bit hokey, please blame Fr. Greg, not me.

The C.S. Lewis Society at Rutgers discussed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (and all of the books to an extent) this week. It was rather interesting, especially since, by the end, we agreed that the books are a bit more about discipleship. Harry and the other characters aren't so much parallels to Christ so much as disciples trying to live a Christian message. While there are components of self-sacrifice and relations between Harry and Christ, it is nothing like the comparison Lewis makes between Aslan and Christ or that is made in the Matrix between Neo and Christ. That said, imitatio Christi is important as well.

My thoughts for the evening.

Russians asked to Get Their Groove On

On Wednesday one province in Russia will be sponsoring "Conception Day." A holiday of sorts to help counter the falling birth rates in Russia. The day was picked as it falls nine months prior to "Constitution Day." Read more here.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


For anyone who doesn't know, I'm just beginning a master's program in Library and Information Science.
For those of you who do know me, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I'm really beginning to doubt a calling to librarianship... or am I just doubting having any fun at all in library school?

Friday, September 7, 2007

In the beginning...

Hello all,
So I'm finally beginning this blog.
Why you may ask (although probably don't care).
Basically, now I'm a grad student. I'm taking 12 credits of classes that give me piles of reading and bore me to tears.
I have no free time at all, so it seemed like the perfect time to start this wonderful diversion.
Well, that, and as most of you know, I'm a news, politics, and religion junkie, so, it gives me an outlet without having to inflict everything I find mildly amusing or upsetting on my friends.
Here's to hoping there is someone out there reading this, but if not, in the words of the noted philosopher Kurt Vonnegut,
...So it goes...

Any my apologies for my over use of ellipsis.