Monday, January 25, 2010

We have a service on Wednesdays called Rest and Bread. This is a service I love because it is small in attendence, and therefore intimate. It seems we really can pray. And we have Communion every week. I love this. I love the act of celebrating the Eucharist. I do it every week with a layman, especially allowed by our Deacons because he loves it, too. This layman is a deep guy. He has a combination of a smart mind and a compassionate heart, an economist, him.

He, as a project, re-figured out out to count the expense of health care, a work that will save our government lots of money. More importantly, it is a work that will help the discussion of health care for all go forward. Transparent finances allows for a clean heart before God. I like this man.

I cite his justice work of accurately counting the cost as health care as a beard for the fact that I just plain like this man as a spiritual being. He is kind, deeply kind, spiritually kind. He has a kind of vision that allows for freedom of thought and unity for the sake of the community - both/and he can do.

When we stand together behind the altar and declare that the bread I bought from the When Pigs Fly outlet and the the juice from Rite Aid has become for us a reminder to see Christ in our midst and in each other, I want to dance a little jig for Jesus and all his people. Who could be luckier than me, to serve with such a man?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Today was a glorious day, ministry wise. Since I work second shift, my first appointment was a 1:30 PM. My next appointment was at 3, a standing weekly appointment which is really the rehearsal of our church's marching band called the Spark of Love Joy Band. The members of our band can't necessary always make our rehearsals, but there's a current core who get together every Friday. The current core is Julie, Duncan, Zack, and me.

We pull out all the drums that we store in my office, cannibalized sets, djembes, a cowbells, shakers of various kinds, an agogo bell from Building 19.

Our rehearsal is like this. We sit in the cold, very cold sanctuary in a circle and wait for spirit to direct us. One of us begins with an idea, and the others follow. It's all improv. When I look at my sister/brother drummers, more often than not, our eyes are closed. The cold becomes bare-able, the drums warm up because we've turned the thermostat up and because we play our hearts out. Sometimes we don't do very well, but we are very generous with each other. Sometimes, our playing is so amazing that we have to hold our breath for just a few seconds when were done, so as not to disturb Spirit who lingers with us if we hold very still.

Often we just laugh with delight. My laugh sounds like a seagull calling, but it doesn't matter compared to what does matter. What matters, I think is that we hang on, play the best we can, and believe that our drumming is led by spirit. This is everything. May I die doing this.

The last appointment today was a gathering, the third event of our orientation for eleven people who will join our church on Sunday. Molly, our lead pastor hosts this event at the parsonage. She cooks crepes, serves bubbling beverage, we bring crepe stuffers.

We tell our spiritual journeys during this third event of our new members class. Tonight, it took a long time to tell these precious stories. So amazing are the people of God. Our congregation doesn't attract folks who want to walk lockstep in their spiritual journey. The people we attract have been to hell and back and to heaven and back. The people we attract want to know why, how come, why not, who else, how does this make sense. Oh, I love these stories of people's spiritual journeys. We are a diverse people. We make relationships by telling our stories.

At my church, we've asked every member and attendee to fill out a "Spiritual Gift Inventory." We want to know what people love to do, and not ask them to do stuff they hate to do. One of the questions is, "What were you doing the last time you felt completely happy?" Tonight, my answer to that question is this. I was listening to the stories of people who are in search of God.

I'm a lucky sister.

Night, y'all.

The Big Banging Begins

A parishioner suggested I start a blog. And so I am.

I'm a drummer, self taught, but not a bad player. I love drumming, the banging, all the noise. That's why the title of the blog, the Big Banging.

Mostly, I love how I feel when I'm drumming. If I concentrate in a particular kind of way, I know how to follow the impulse of my brain, and arms, and feet, and spirit into a prayer that is drumming. I don't mind making mistakes when I'm drumming. My mind doesn't wander. I am in the state of spiritual presence.

I'm writing this blog to see if it can also be a means by which I can pray - with words.

OK, that's it for today.

Peace, y'all.