Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Five - The Big To-Do

Kathryn from Revgals writes:
Greetings from the land of the Big To-Do!

It seems like every year I enter into the summer with a growing list of HUGE projects/events/trips that seem to have a permanent place on the 'to do' list.
This year I have a huge move pending so that takes up an entire list all on its own, but it doesn't take a big event like that for me to make plans bigger than my summer can hold!
How about you?

Is this the third summer in a row you have made a pledge involving your garage and actually getting a car into it?
Did you once again miss the registration deadline for the continuing education event of your dreams ?
Are you starting to think you couldn't even find the tents, let alone get it together to pull off a camping trip?

Here is your chance to get it out into the open and OWN your Big To-Do! Who knows? Maybe making the list will help you move the Big To-Do to the Big Ta-Da!

1) What home fix-it project is on your Big To-Do?
Well, considering that we are hosting Music Man's graduation party in exactly 22 days, the project is spruce up, clean-up the house, the deck and the yard.

2) What event (fun or work) is on your Big To-Do?
Calling a second pastor to our staff is a momentous to-do on the work front. I have been soloing it with the help of a one-day-a-week visitation pastor and some preaching back-up since August. It's time,'s time!

3) What trip is on your Big To-Do?
Our every-summer trip Up North, which is actually coming a whole month early this year for several reasons. 4 weeks from today - YEAH!

4) What do you wish was on someone ELSE's (partner, family member, celebrity, etc...) Big To-Do?
Oh...I think that would be Music Man and Game-boy getting the upstairs rooms they occupy cleaned-up and de-cluttered.

5) Getting inspired? What may end this summer having moved from the Big To-Do to the Big Ta-da?
The remodeling of both upstairs bathrooms really needs to be a Big Ta-da by the end of the summer, or someone's gonna be in some deep doo doo here.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Five - Celebrating the Seasons of Life

Sally writes:
It is the first of May, or as I have been concentrating on dialogue with folk interested in the new spirituality movement this last week, it is Beltane, a time to celebrate the beginning of summer. The BBC web-site tells us that:

Beltane is a Celtic word which means 'fires of Bel' (Bel was a Celtic deity). It is a fire festival that celebrates of the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year.
Celtic festivals often tied in with the needs of the community. In spring time, at the beginning of the farming calendar, everybody would be hoping for a fruitful year for their families and fields.
Beltane rituals would often include courting: for example, young men and women collecting blossoms in the woods and lighting fires in the evening. These rituals would often lead to matches and marriages, either immediately in the coming summer or autumn.

Another advert for a TV programme that has caught my eye on the UK's Channel 4 this weekend is called Love, Life and leaving; and is a look at the importance of celebrating the seasons of life through ritual and in the public eye, hence marriages, baptisms and funerals.

I believe that we live in a ritually impoverished culture, where we have few reasons for real celebration, and marking the passages of life;

1. Are ritual markings of birth, marriage, and death important to you?
Yes, I believe that ritual serves to connect us to the larger community and, in Christian tradition, to the promises of God that offer consolation, hope, and purpose.

2. Share a favourite liturgy/ practice.
We have our own liturgy/rite connected to the baptismal journey for those who are graduating from high school. It is not a baccalaureate so much; more of a celebration of this milestone. As we affirm our baptism, we also have the seniors and their parents gather at the communion rail for prayer. Firs, the students kneel, with the parents placing their hands on their son or daughter's shoulders. The presider offers a prayer tries to express the parents' feelings at this moment: awe at the years that have passed, hope for the future, gratitude for the privilege of being entrusted with this young person's life, confession for the times they've fallen short. Then the parents kneel, the students place their hands on their parents' shoulders, and a prayer from the students' perspective is spoken. We share the Eucharist, and then we have a dinner together and present gifts to the students.

This year, I need to find someone to help lead this liturgy...because our older son Music Man and we will be among those participating.

3. If you could invent ( or have invented) a ritual what is it for?
I will have to think about this one...

4. What do you think of making connections with neo-pagan / ancient festivals? Have you done this and how?
I think the closest connection we sometimes make around our neck of the woods is with the neo-pagan celebration of Super Bowl Sunday (tongue firmly implanted in cheek.) Here in the US, at least where I live, there isn't a great deal of awareness or interest in the ancients. But sometimes the nationalistic overtones present a challenge for us.

5. Celebrating is important; what and where would your ideal celebration be?
Word and Sacrament, followed by a great meal, music, and dancing. It could be anywhere, but I am especially fond of anything that happens near the water.