Taken at St. Mary's Conference and Retreat Center
1. How are you doing? What's going on in your life?
I've just returned from the annual diocesan three-day clergy colloquium. Except for one other occasion (that included spouses) this is the first time in more than two years that I have been with my colleagues. I had dropped off the grid intentionally due to a great deal of ecclesially-induced pain. It was not an easy return, and I certainly had my moments of fragility when attempting to share the cause of my absence, but it was really good to be there. Stanley Hauerwas was our guest and speaker, and offered a great deal of food for thought; extended time for one-on-one conversation was greatly appreciated; and time away was beneficial.2. Have you ever resigned from a position? What was the good-bye like?
In terms of church resignations, most of have been hurtful and disappointing. One, however, gave me a truly loving sendoff. I value particularly a gift given me on that occasion in the form of a kind of scrapbook. There were photos, handwritten notes and pieces of newsletters and other assorted "press" from my time there. What I especially appreciate, however, is the list of names of the people I baptized, married and buried. The construction of the book is such that I was able to supplement those sections with pictures I had of the individuals and couples in the lists, and when I occasionally go back through that album those are the pages over which I linger.3. So, we are still resurrecting...still getting used to New Life!! What is a source of new life for you?
My husband and I have been worshiping the last several months at a church that is what I call a Quaker community with sacraments. Perfect for this Quakepalian! There is a great emphasis on social justice, and a theology more interested in welcoming and ministering to the spiritually hungry and the wounded than following any proscribed dogma. The music is incredible, blending traditional, seasonal hymns with offerings of songs out of folk, bluegrass and rock traditions. What makes the music so good is that it is very well done. One of the perks of being in Music City! I will preach there for the first time on Pentecost, and am so, so grateful to find a place to have a sacramental ministry.4. My friend is running the marathon on Friday, because it is on her bucket list. What is something on your bucket list?
There is some travel I'd like to do, but in terms of some other things there are just two items on my list. One is to make a gingerbread house. The other, a recent addition, is to go sky-diving with my daughter-in-law (seeing a video from when she did it for the first time inspired me!).5. Tell us about one precious thing (tangible) you keep around your house, your altar, your pocket, and what is its story?
I have an assortment of things that are precious to me that were given to me by other people. A handful of special things are by my own hand. One of them is this icon I wrote four years ago at a workshop I served as chaplain. It is The Virgin of the Passion, and the experience of writing it transformed my relationship with Mary.