Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I Yam who I Yam

Yesterday I read the results of my Keirsey Temperament Sorter II Corporate Temperament Report (otherwise known as a personality assessment).  It's...interesting to read about yourself.  There are the "Absolutely this is me and I like that about myself" moments and the "Really?  No.  That can't be me.  Okay...it is.  I wish it wasn't...but that's me" moments.

One telling description of my personality had this to say:  "[She is] forever looking for, and reacting to, the best in [her] company, office, school, church, and so forth, and [she is] happy to tell people about all the good things [she] see(s)."  Yes!  That's me:).

...BUT  that's not to say there aren't hard days.  There are.  There is stress and worry.  There are days when I wonder "Can I really do this?"  There are days I wonder about the church and its priorities.  There are days.

...BUT (and this is a bigger but...he he) I choose to focus on the best in people and churches.  Several years ago Bill Smith (shout out!) pointed me to Kennon Callahan's "Twelve Keys to an Effective Church."  Callahan and Smith's ideas guide me still:  Focus on what you're doing well and do it even better!  Celebrating strengths builds excitement, community and joy.  Rolling around in weaknesses drags people down.  And when we celebrate the good, the weaknesses organically (hip word alert!) improve.  I believe that.

So imagine my joy this morning when I read a wonderful article about VBS and our very own Alice Glass in the Rural Virginian.  I'm celebrating Scottsville Baptist Church's strength of ecumenism and leadership right now!  Happy pastor.

Here's an excerpt from Langden Mason's article:

"I sat on the soft red cushion on the back pew of the Scottsville Baptist Church and was impressed by all the children who filled the pews in front of me. There were Baptists and Episcopaleans and Methodists and Presbyterians and Catholics. No matter the denomination, all of them were ready to partake in the festive and learning experience known as Vacation Bible School.

It seemed only yesterday my cousins and I were spending a week with my Grandma Mason and attending this very same VBS. I recall Mrs. Glass, who had and still has the patience of Job, helped us memorize the books of the Bible...

So thank you, Mrs. Glass, and thanks to all of you who have volunteered your time this summer and summers past to a small yet vital American institution known as VBS. Though the media tends to dwell on school shootings, gang violence, and other forms of juvenile delinquency, VBS was and still is a week where we can experience children of different races and denominations standing together singing of God's love and providing us all with the hope of a bright, harmonious future."

Read Mason's full article here:  http://www.dailyprogress.com/ruralvirginian/opinion/dont_get_me_started/jesus-loves-the-little-children/article_144e375c-ed79-11e2-9055-001a4bcf6878.html

Monday, July 8, 2013

Preach it, Preacher.

Scottsville Baptist was blessed to welcome Shannon Rutherford as preacher on June 30.  Not only did her sermon include Elijah and Elisha (go ahead and try not to confuse them), it was also thoughtful, practical and full of God's Spirit.

I couldn't help but be nostalgic.  It is a special kind of blessing to listen to a dear friend proclaim God's truth so beautifully.  Nearly ten years ago Shannon and I were assigned to the same covenant group at Truett Seminary.  We later led a small group at Calvary Baptist and subsequently moved into the neighborhood of our church.  I lived in the big blue house/BBH.  Shannon lived in a cheerful pink house.  It makes me smile to think of those days.

I think we both grew in God's grace during those years. (I hope anyway.)  Looking back neither Shannon or myself could've imagined the journeys on which God would call each of us--the good, the difficult, the great, the redeemed and the now.

Thanks Scottsville Baptist for welcoming Shannon so warmly (well done!).  Thanks Shannon for preparing and delivering a wonderful sermon.  Come back any time.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sprinting in My Heels

More than once now I've darted from the sanctuary mid-service to retrieve a forgotten item.  Our sanctuary is detached from the education wing, so this darting requires a sprint across the church yard.  On Sunday I was wearing HIGH heels (not to be confused with regular high heels) when I remembered I had forgotten something.  I wonder what the congregants thought as I exited stage right like a teenage gazelle.  Is Pastor Katie sick?  Does she dislike this hymn?  Did someone yell "Cake"?  Well...none of those.  Yesterday I forgot a prop for the children's sermon.  The other time...I forgot my clothes.

At my first baptism in Scottsville it was a busy day.  It was a happy day (Easter!  Baptism!  Decorating the cross!  Church family photo!) but one with many moving parts.  I think in details, but when there are many I tend to lose track of one or two.  Following the baptism I hurriedly made my way to the dressing room only to not find my dress.  "WHERE ARE MY CLOTHES?" I whisper-yelled to myself and the skies. 

Here's the thing about being a pastor who happens to be a lady:  Fishing galoshes aren't made for dress-wearers.  Come to think of it I've never seen a trout or bluegill fisherperson hit the rivers in a fashionable frock from Target.  I get it, we cool, but still...maybe there's a market for fishing galoshes for the pastor who happens to be a lady?

Anyway...I opted for a t-shirt, shorts, waders and baptismal robe.  I would change immediately following the baptism.  These waders were a gift of a smaller friend, so they are a bit like tight swimsuit overalls on me.  It's a bit o' a struggle to breathe, but we good.

Post baptism it's a goal to get thee back into the sanctuary as soon as possible, so the whole no-clothes situation put me in a serious bind.  I had three choices:  1) Channel my inner Petrine self and preach in wet galoshes.  2) Wear regular black robe over t-shirt and shorts.  3) Sprint across the church yard whilst worship continues and search for my clothes in the education building.  I chose 3. 

Somehow I managed to bring high heels into the changing room, which was a blessing since I could free myself from the swimsuit overalls-galoshes-waders-situation.  Clad in a black robe, t-shirt and shorts and patent leather pumps, I bounded across the church yard in search of my grown up clothes.  Luckily I found my dress and made my way back to worship in time.

So yes.  There's a reason this blog is called Hermeneutics in High Heels.