Thursday, September 20, 2018

Porch Story :: Green Team Talk

porch story 18 May Green Team Talk

porch story 18 May Green Team Talk

Porch Stories host Kristin's younger daughter Rachel is three years old! Happy Birthday, Rachel!


September and October typically are our hottest months in southern California. Two more days until Saturday and the autumnal equinox. Water year begins 01 October, the rainfall year—01 July; both are at historic southern California lows. Meanwhile, Florence has sent floods, devastation, and grief along the Eastern seaboard and she's become another hurricane name that will be retired forever. Today, September 20th, I'm finally blogging my Green Team talk from May 18th, Friday of Easter 7, the 48th day of Easter, two days before the Festival of Pentecost. Although I kept my six pages of notes, I'm reconstructing what I said from my single page outline.

Green Team Talk

Today is the forty-eighth day of Easter!
Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
response: Christ is risen indeed; Alleluia!

Today is the forty-eighth day of Easter! In a couple of days the church's year of grace will cycle into the green and growing liturgical season of Pentecost, and we'll begin counting Sundays after Pentecost. Even Trinity Sunday can be called the first Sunday after Pentecost, or the octave of Pentecost. The church long has celebrated important events in octaves of eight days...

During this season of the Spirit, time of the Church, we act upon and celebrate the reality of the Holy Spirit of life, the Spirit of resurrection from the dead that fills all creation and that we specifically receive as a gift of our baptism.

A month after the Day of Pentecost, the wheel of the year will welcome another summer solstice; summer's unfolding parallels the early part of the Sundays after Pentecost. Long ago the band Spirit sang, "I've Got a Line on You" because "the summer, she's coming on strong." Spirit! Just listen to that name! During the great fifty days of Easter, the lectionary gospel texts have showed us quite a few misunderstandings of Jesus' call to serve, and by extension, confusion regarding our baptismal call to life as God's servant people in Christ Jesus.

I love reminding my adult Sunday School class Romans 8 reminds us all creation waits for us to be revealed {to all creation} as true offspring of God, as people who authentically reflect and embody God's image as careful stewards of all the earth, all creation just as Jesus would. In fact, that passage is the appointed second reading or epistle for Trinity Sunday in this lectionary year B:

Romans 8

19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God ... 20for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

I love reminding my class when we claim our divine image in the Spirit, creation itself will be set free from death and decay and enjoy the same bounded freedom we humans do as God's presence on earth. I frequently point out the same Spanish word – esperar, espero, and cognates – means hope, wait, and expect.

The days and the nights of summer convey a sense of lush, full, completeness. Spring's yellow-green has turned richer and darker; seeds have displayed their once-hidden promise in fruits, veggies, berries, and blooms.

The late James Agee {A Death in the Family; Knoxville, Summer of 1915} wrote about summer with a poem later set to music for a solo vocalist by Samuel Barber, for mixed choir by Morten Lauridsen:
Sure on this shining night
Of star made shadows round,
Kindness must watch for me
This side the ground.
The late year lies down the north.
All is healed, all is health.
High summer holds the earth.
Hearts all whole.
Sure on this shining night I weep for wonder wand'ring far
Of shadows on the stars.

I've been enjoying the PCUSA's Daily Office app that follows a 2-year, standalone {not related to the Revised Standard Lectionary} daily lectionary. This morning's psalms were 96 and 148; both psalms are appointed for all the Christmas/Nativity liturgies in all three lectionary years!!! Psalm 96 charges humans and "all the earth" to sing a new song to the Lord, with happy skies, singing trees, rejoicing prairies, roaring waters. Psalm 148 demands sun, moon, stars, mountains, fruit trees, cedars—and people, too praise the Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer God.

During this season of the Spirit, time of the Church, we act upon and celebrate the reality of the Holy Spirit of life, the Spirit of resurrection from the dead that fills all creation and that we specifically receive as a gift of our baptism.

This denomination emphasizes God's Work, Our Hands. Does everyone have a chrome orange slogan t-shirt? {I have two: one from one of my churches in Previous City, one from my church in Current City.} In the SS class I facilitate, we've talked a lot about neighborology—the word about the neighbor. Especially during these great fifty days of Easter, particularly in John's gospel and Luke's Acts of the Apostles we've considered the shape, form, and function of the servant church God calls and enables us to be. Now we're moving into another Season of the Spirit, Time of the Church.

Now we're moving into another Season of the Spirit, Time of the Church. God's promises in the Spirit through Paul of Tarsus' letter to the church at Rome, the psalmist's word imagery of creation fully alive look exactly like the realization of God's work done by our hands, voices, hearts, and feet. Like the band Spirit, in the power of the Spirit of Life, we've got a line on all creation.

Amen? Amen!


This typescript of my page of sparse notes probably is close to what I actually said four months ago; like most people, I tend to say the same things over and over. When I assembled this talk, summer with its long, sun-filled days officially was four weeks on the horizon, only ten days out in the popular sense. As I blog on this September Thursday evening, late summer's shadows, shortening daylight, and a settled sense of completeness rivals James Agee's whole hearts of earth in the grasp of high summer.

Recently admitting I'm doing less with my gifts and education, participating less in church and world, even earning less in my design endeavor than during my last bleak year in Previous City has made me weary and thoughtful. Like someone in a small town with declining population and departing industry, I relocated north to Current City because I'd mined all possible opps where I was. Like Mary Chapin Carpenter's sibling in "Only A Dream," I departed Previous City leaving no sign of someone who expects to be back, though I left the bed in the old condo, gave the desk to the son of a good friend.

Please tell me all this was only a dream and I'll wake up to something new?

porch stories button

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Season of Creation 2B • Humanity

Season of Creation 2B - Humanity

You have made them
a little lower than God
and crowned humanity
with glory and honor.
Psalm 8:5

Original B&W faces art by Prawny via RGB Stock; recolored by me in my suntreeriver design identity.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

It's Momplicated :: Debbie Alsdorf & Joan Kay

On Amazon—It's Momplicated: Hope and Healing for Imperfect Daughters of Imperfect Mothers by Debbie Alsdorf and Joan Edwards Kay

It's Momplicated front coverThis is a most amazing book! Co-authors Debbie and Joan have solid psychological and scriptural backgrounds, so "It's Momplicated" is super-sound in terms of contemporary psychological practices; it's firmly grounded in Old and New Testament scriptures. Everyone needs to read it and gain more wisdom regarding relationships, though authors and launch team particularly focused on women because even mother-daughter relationships that have experienced lifelong sweetness never are quite perfect. As a grateful member of the launch team, for me the best aspect of the book (so far) are short case studies or vignettes that help clarify what's within a normal range and what's way far outside normal, expected, and acceptable.

Without delving into much of my own pain or history, I've previously mentioned learning about some of my late mother's history and struggles has helped me understand her in general along with providing perspective on her often outrageous, hurtful, treatment of me. Though like every human she had her faults, my maternal grandmother was an almost constant nurturing presence from my early years until her death at 96 years old; by the time I reached high school, she'd often comment on some of my mother's – her elder daughter's – out of line behaviors. Page 33: "When we realize our mothers faced difficulties, we may think it insensitive to acknowledge our wounds. ... However, the fact your mother faced personal trials does not remove the reality your needs were not met." We can carry over this realization to all sides of all our relationships.

Ideas I plan to start implementing right away include: page 54–realizing when we're not doing something or thinking about something in particular, our minds return to a default network; page 64—not so much focusing on my mother's mistakes as on my needs as a daughter and taking positive steps toward healing; page 72—when an event or rejection triggers negative feelings, ask if it's a legitimate concern or not.It's Momplicated back cover

Besides rich revelations related to both authors' mom-daughter situations and those of anonymous others, we get many opportunities to put the Serenity Prayer into practice, an "Explore Your Story," and a written "Connect with God" prayer for each of the dozen chapters. It's Momplicated is a prayer book, a journaling opportunity, and a workbook. As I plan to do my second time through, I'd strongly suggest starting a new journal book or spiral-bound notebook (my choice for serious life reflections), or whatever format works best for you to take best advantage of the content.

Notice of material connection: I received a free pre-publication copy of this book from author, publicist, agent, or publisher with no obligation to write a positive review. As always, I've expressed my own opinions in this review.

my Amazon review: relational wisdom