Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Apology NOT accepted

I was attending a meeting at our Presbytery office today with several other pastors from our quadrant to learn some things about what our Exec had discovered on his learning sabbatical. It was some pretty interesting stuff, not sure it will apply to our church, but I'm willing to learn more.
Anyway, there were 5 of us total and 2 of us were women. Both of us are moms. The other lady pastor is a few years older than me, and she's been in ministry about 8 years to my 1, but I've got a year on her of being a mom. Anyway, fairly close to the end of the meeting, she gets a note from the presbytery secretary that says her son has thrown up and she needs to come back and pick him up from child care. So what does she do? She apologizes profusely for having to leave early!! I'm like, sister, your kid is sick!! You don't apologize for being his mother or for taking care of him! I flat out told her, "M! Stop! Do not apologize to us! You have nothing to be sorry for. He's sick, he needs you. Get out of here!"
Please ladies--all of you who are moms and ministers (or any other kind of professional, really). Do not ever apologize for being a parent. (Same goes for dads too, of course, but they are much less likely to overdo the guilt I've noticed.) I think it helps me that I was a mom for three years before I got into the ministry. She comes first, always. I feel no guilt about this and I was upfront about this with my PNC, and they were all very supportive of that, many of them parents themselves.
So again I say, Sister! Don't apologize for being a good parent. Just stand up, look 'em in the eye and say, "You'll have to excuse me. I have a sick child to attend to." Thank the host and just leave! Be bold!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

When VBS is lame...

Last week was VBS week. I've never seen one quite like this. They have a lesson for the adults too. Is that common where you're from? I've never been to a VBS that did beyond 6th or maybe 8th grade.
Let me tell you that the adult material from this highly respected company was hands down the worst lesson material I've ever seen! It was written at a high school level (yes, it was the adult curriculum, I checked) and the author told little stories of her trips down memory lane and would occasionally thrown in a question like, "what memories does this story invoke for you?" She even had activities (for adults!) like soaking cotton balls in different liquids like alcohol, ammonia, coffee, etc., and putting them in film canisters and asking people to sniff and see what memories were evoked.
So the poor Episcopal rector and I were pretty much stuck making things up as we went along. IT went ok, but I don't think it was as good as it could have been with better curriculum to point us in the right direction.
I was also pretty disappointed in the music for the kids. I've heard some pretty good VBS music in my day, this was not one of those years. This really surprises me since, like I said, this is a well know company who's been putting out VBS material for years.
Since we work VBS out with two other churches in our town, I'm not in on picking the curriculum, but for next year, I'm going to encourage our representative to look a little deeper into the material rather than picking it because the theme was cute.
Here's hoping.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Camp Nostalgia

I spent last week in service to my presbytery by volunteering as Bible study leader for a week of church camp. It was fun to get away for a while. It is a rustic camp which is the kind I grew up attending, so it was great to have that bit of nostalgia. It was interesting watching the dramas unfold and remembering my own time as a counselor (and being glad I wasn't the one doing it then). I met wonderful children and wonderful staff. I met a nearby minister-colleague's daughter-- a smart, lovely college student and all around beautiful young lady. I think it weirded out a few of the college students to realize that the 'Adult, Reverend, Bible Study Leader Lady' had less than a decade on them. (I also think that most of the other adult, reverend, bible study leaders this summer had been on the brink of retirement and had come the week that their grandchildren were participating.) All around it was a good time. I am glad to be home and back in my routine and with my family again.
Speaking of family... while I was away, we got a new member. P decided that our kitty Push was lonely and so we got a kitten. They actually seem to be getting along fine after only a week. Don't have any photos yet, but I'll post some soon. We named her Starbuck. No, not after the coffee shop, after the Battlestar Gallactica character--the new series, not the old one. She's as much of a spitfire as her namesake.