The Quixotic Pastor

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Did I Also Mention ...

... that I'm very busy planning July 8 worship, because I leave Thursday for my denomination's Clergy Conference and General Conference, held back to back in Scottsdale, AZ. [Rainbow Pastor will be there too. Will any of the rest of you? Do we have any other MCC'ers who blog?]

I won't get back in town until 7 pm Saturday July 7, assuming the plane lands on time and so on and so forth.

Tomorrow I get to do a little laundry, buy a few pairs of nice shorts [perfectly acceptable to wear to conference functions in my denomination, thank God, since the temp will be about 110] pack and finish squaring away the things I need to square away before I go.

I want to go to the bookstore and pick up some "light" reading for the plane ride and so forth. Iwant to review the RGBP F5 on books and reading and see what y'all suggest.

An Ugly Truth

I suppose that ugliness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

I think it is tremendously ugly that some US Senators are receiving 5 calls from the Religious Right against the Matthew Shepherd Hate Crimes Bill for every 1 they receive in favor of its passage.

Persons who are victimized by hate crimes because they hold a particular religious perspective --regardless of what that perspective is-- are already protected by hate crimes legislation. It's a shame that some religious people do not want to extend to others a basic right they enjoy.

Watch this.

Please take action here.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Five:Hot Down, Summer In The City ...

...or town, or suburb, or hamlet, or burg, or unincorporated zone, or rural area of your choice---pretty much anywhere but the southern hemisphere, it's summer. (Australians and others, consider this an invitation to take a break from winter for a while.)

1. Favorite summer food(s) and beverage(s)

Summer foods --anything on the grill; summer beverages --mint iced tea, margaritas, sangria

Now that y'all mention it, I think tonight for dinner I'll make what I call a summer grilled sandwich.

First, build a charcoal fire if you must or else turn on the gas grill.

Then, select some vegetables suitable for grilling --your choice of mushrooms, bell pepper, zucchini, artichoke hearts, onions, eggplant, asparagus or whatever-- cut up in grill sized pieces and marinate in olive oil and garlic.

When the grill is ready, grill what you've selected.

Next, take a loaf of italian bread, unsliced. I've also used rosemary-olive oil bread and bagettes. Cut along the length of the loaf with a bread knife, so that you now have a sandwich top and bottom. Hollow out some of the bread on each half, saving to be used for bread crumbs for a different recipe, or to be dipped in good olive oil and balsamic vinegar while hungry people are waiting.

Brush olive oil on each half of the bread, then spread either pesto or olive tapenade [store bought works great] on each half. Next, if you're not vegan, apply a single layer of provalone cheese to the bottom half. Then next, if you're not vegetarian, apply a layer of prosciutto [italian ham] on top of the cheese, or whatever italian style sandwich meat you might prefer.

When the grilled veggies are done, layer them on top of the cheese/prosciutto on the bottom half of the bread. DH prefers that I process the grilled vegetables in the food processor a bit, to the point of being a very coarse dice, but that's optional. Add at this point fresh, thin-sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle a good portion of parmesan or romano on the veggies. You could sprinkle some dried oregano, basil, rosemary too if you wanted. Put the top half of the sandwich bread on, wrap in foil and return to the grill for about ten minutes until heated through and the cheese melts.

Serve with a good wine and lots of napkins!

2. Song that "says" summer to you. (Need not be about summer explicitly.)

Christine Lavin's "All I Have To Do Is Dream/A Summer Song" Medley --some of you can listen here

3. A childhood summer memory

Cicadas singing in the heat of the day, which is a very "hot" sound for me ... and gathering up their empty shells to place strategically in my sister's car so she would scream when she finally saw them.

4. An adult summer memory

DH luring me into Lake Michigan in early June, clamping her teeth shut so they would not chatter and licking her lips so that they would not turn blue: "Come in --the water's GRRRREEEAAT ..."

5. Describe a wonderful summer day you'd like to have in the near future. (weather, location, activities)

Beautiful sunny day, temp about 88, beach on a nearby Great Lake. DH, me, swimming, relaxing, walking, eating a picnic lunch of wine, cheese and fruit. For once, RDQ remembers to apply sunscreen .... which she usually forgets, which means blisters, peeling, aloe vera and vinegar baths

Optional: Does your place of worship do anything differently in the summer? (Fewer services, casual dress, etc.) Not really

One More Weird Thing

Oh ... and did I mention that my great-to-the-12th power grandfather has gone down in history for making William Penn's life miserable?

Somewhere in the archives for the great state of Pennsylvania, there's a letter my ancestor wrote to William Penn, complaining that Penn had not dealt fairly in his purchase of/setting aside land for my ancestor. There's also some pamphlets my ancestor wrote, that got him kicked out of meeting in 1717 ... the minutes of that particular meeting often include my ancestor's name, and in every mention my ancestor is pretty well being a royal pain-in-the anatomy to somebody, whether it's the widow who refused his attentions or the man that widow eventually chose.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Where Have I Been/Eight Weird Things About Me

Weeeellllllll ... I haven't blogged lately, cuz' ...

My brother and sister-n-law drove up from Texas to visit me here in Michigan. This past weekend, DH and I took them to:
  • touristy faux-German community here in Mid-Michigan featuring the world's biggest kitschy Christmas store, German food and German beer
  • drive over the Mighty Mac bridge and see 2 of 5 Great Lakes for the first time
  • visit a wonderful victorian era island, home of fudge, horse-poop and unsteady bicyclists
  • meet and spend the night with DH's brother
  • wade in the third prettiest lake in the whole wide world, or so DH claims
  • eat at what must be Michigan's one and only Cajun restaurant [and it was wonderful!]
  • visit Michigan's wine country, sample and buy a half-case of Michigan wines --every bottle came from a different store
  • visit a Michigan cheese factory/store and purchase fresh cheese curds to be deep-fried at home, as well as some other stuff, including a loaf of cheese bread which did not make it to my house intact
  • eat Koegel's hotdogs

But before they arrived here, we put in a new, orderly, colorful flower bed where once wilderness and chaos and overgrowth reigned. This included pulling 7 or 8 old shrub/tree stumps with DH's pickup and a heavy duty chain, spading and turning the soil by hand with shovels, installing flower bed edging, hoeing big clods of soil, adding 25 bags of top-soil, transplanting some hostas and some ornamental grasses, planting a dozen new perrenials, planting 4 flats of annuals and spreading 20 [?] bags of mulch, as well as setting out about 8 planters and a few items of yard-art.

I hope to post before-after pics before I leave for our denomination's General Conference next Thursday --maybe Rainbow Pastor and/or I will have the opportunity to blog a little from there. I've been preparing for that trip a little ...

But in the meantime, when I have had opportunity to snatch time here and there to read blogs, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the "8 weird things about me" meme that many RGBPs have posted, and I'm going to take Will Smama up on her offer to consider myself tagged and go for it ...

1. My second name is my real name. I don't use my first name. My first name is the same as my mother's name --she didn't go by her first name either. My first name is also the same as my grandmother's first name --and she didn't go by her first name either. Why they named me that first name is beyond me!

2. I have performed in two drag shows as a drag king.

3. I have moved 17 times in the last 18 years.

4. I have tasted gasoline [quite by accident]. Contrary to what DH says, whiskey does not taste like gasoline ... Nothing tastes quite like a nice Octane 87, Chateau Du Texaco.

5. I have tasted dry dog food [because the same older brother that recently visited me fed it to me when I was a toddler]. It's mostly salty, as much as I can remember. I think I liked it, because they had to break me out of the habit of eating it. Parents, take note.

6. I rear-ended a Pinto [gas tank in rear] with my mother's VW beetle [gas tank in front] and lived to tell about it. I have a crescent-shaped scar in the center of my forehead as a permanent souvenir.

7. When I moved up here to the Land of God's Left Hand, I became suddenly allergic to the red ink in my tattoos, and scratched them in my sleep until all of the red ink disappeared.

8. One of my great-g-g-grandmother's name was Freelove, which took me forever to figure out from the census image on I think she came from Puritan stock, not Hippie ... I also have a G-g-g-g-g-g-grandfather Tunis. On second thought, maybe I'm glad my first name is what it is --it could be worse!

Th-t-t-t-t-that's, all folks! Now I am leaving for Big City in Southeast part of the state for a Creating Change meeting. Ciao!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Stunned By The Obvious

This afternoon while reading through the materials for our upcoming General Conference, there was a line in the Moderator's report which stunned me a bit, something to the effect of doing church like old mainline protestantism doesn't work ... and then it hit me like a brick.

My seminary education is 17 years old ... from an educational bastion of "old" mainline protestantism ... long before Len Sweet and others started writing, long before the emerging church started emerging.

I think I need a refresher course.

Oh I've had lots of continuing ed throughout the years, but nothing that has really prepared me for worship, faith and community in the internet age ... with gen X'ers coming to the fore and gen Y not far behind.

How much of my frustration as a pastor stems from a theological education that might have been out-of-date and out-of-touch at the time I was getting it?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Opportunity to DO Justice

If you are a clergyperson who reads this blog, or if you are lay ministers who work with clergy, I am asking for your help today to help advance a national (US) hate crimes bill that is before the U.S. Congress right now.

Please take time to visit, or encourage your clergy colleagues to visit,, read the information that is presented, particularly the interfaith clergy letter, and sign the on-line petition of clergy who support hate crimes legislation. Forward this message to supportive and affirming clergy in your area. Add a brief note asking them to sign on and encouraging them to forward this message to other clergy, as well.

I have blogged about this before here.

Some conservative faith groups have launched an aggressive campaign to derail this legislation. Members of these groups fear --falsely-- that if this legislation passes, pastors who believe that homosexuality is a sin will be prohibited from preaching against homosexuality from the pulpit. The hate crimes legislation in no way prohibits free speech or free thought. The reason why this action is directed toward clergy is that Religious Right lobbyists, stung by their failure to block this bill in the House, are claiming to represent all people of faith as they attempt to derail this bill. They don't represent me as a person of faith, they don't represent most of the RGBPs, and they certainly don't represent the people who attend my churches.

It is so important for U.S. Senators and eventually the President to hear other voices of faith -- and to know that many, many fair-minded clergypersons support this hate crimes legislation.

Please add your voices to the many that have already signed.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog ...

Yum. The tacos were good. I have baby-back ribs marinating for the evening ... not sure what DH is eating yet. I may grill her some "furgers" i.e. "fake burgers", meaning soy bean patties. The Boca Al-American Grilled Burgers are actually pretty tasty.

Today's tasks include designing two distinct post cards, one for each church, to be included in a Metropolitan Community Churches information bag o' goodies for several of the upcoming Pride events here in Michigan.

MCCDetroit has a wonderful rainbow-colored postcard that says on the front: GAY, God Adores You. Wish I'd thought of that one. Map and contact info on the back.

The MCC in Ann Arbor has a flower-filled flyer that says "God loves Pansies" in great, big letters. Then a list in smaller font down the page: "And Drag Queens. And Leathermen. And Dykes on Bikes" and so on and so on ... I think that is rather creative, myself. I like that.

I want something classy looking that captures attention ...

Pray for me!

I was going to blog ...

... but now I am hungry for breakfast tacos. Nevermind that it is almost time for lunch.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday 5: Hopes, Visions and Dreams edition

Sally from the RGBPs posts this for our F5 this week:

My house has been full of young people all week, young people who have just left school, young people with an eye on the future. Their laughter energy, and hope are infectious, so with that in mind- this Friday 5 is about hopes, visions and dreams;

1. Think back to the time you left High School, what were your hopes visions and dreams for your life/ for the world?

It had been very strongly suggested to me that, since I had the math skills, I go to engineering school so I could make a lot of money and be very well off. Nevermind that I was gifted in music and drama and English lit... those things didn't pay.

TS Eliot said that one is never truly educated until she has mastered a subject she has no real interest in whatsoever --that's me and math!

Fortunately, God intervened ...

2. Have those hopes visions and dreams changed a lot, or are some of them still alive and kicking? (share one if you can)

When I graduated from high school in 1981, I was an Agnostic. If you had told me then that I was going to become a pastor or preacher, I would have laughed raucously in your face and asked you what your drug of choice du jour had been ...

3. Hebrews 11:1 " Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. " Comforting, challenging or frustrating?

Mostly comforting. Believing IS seeing ...

4. If resources were unlimited, and you had free reign to pursue a vision what would it be?

I would go back to graduate school and pursue ALL four of the additional degrees I'm trying to choose ONE among currently.

5. Finally with summer upon us- and not to make this too heavy- share your dream holiday....where, when and who with...

DH shared with me that, once she has her social worker's credentialing squared away, she love to go to the UK and spend a month there. I would too, actually.