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April 5th, 2006

05:01 pm - fruits o' de Spirit
hey friends.

o, are any of you all going to the returning student retreat????
i find the $50 cancellation fee to be a bit of a deterrent for even signing up.
(as well as the dates of the thing)...
just wondering...

in other news:
"fruits of the spirit" is our wed. night lenten theme.
i preach on self-control today (he he).
it sounds silly, but i've had good times coming up with "new" definitions for words, so they're not so darned moralistic.

okay, well...

Hosanna! Easter is almost here!

hope, realistic hope!

Current Music: clap your hands say yeah!

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March 21st, 2006

02:13 pm - Gulf Coast and other things...
Thanks Heidi, for that wonderful account of your Spring Break down in the Gulf Coast. I am lucky enough to be able to go myself! Brian and I are going to lead a joint trip - his congregation and my internship congregation - so we are pretty excited about that. We are going the week after Easter... this was not the ORIGINAL plan, given how dang wiped out we will all be after a week of non-stop services! But it's when people could get away, so we decided to just go with it. We'll be staying at a church in Slidell, LA and also working with Lutheran Disaster Relief. We have a pretty good mix of youth and adults, with various levels of expertise/inexpertise, so it will be interesting to see what we do. I have heard various accounts like yours of people who have been down there helping out, so I am anxious to "go and see" for myself!

Other musings/questions/ponderings...

At this point in time, does anyone else feel plain wiped-out?! Sometimes I feel like my life has turned into one big meeting, no matter how much I try to practice good boundaries and limit my involvement. Numerous evening meetings, council rehashings of "vision and mission," among many others. It makes me just want to sing "Give me Jesus, give me Jesus, You may have all the rest, give me Jesus!" I guess I just get a bit disillusioned at all the administrative/maintenance tasks of ministry, thinks that weren't quite on my mind's radar before internship. I know we can't avoid all that, but even my supervisor admitted that it accounts for probably 80% of his time - yikes! I don't really want to be a CEO.

Don't get me wrong, overall my experience has been positive and affirming. But I think I really needed to get some of this off my chest, too! :) Thanks for being an outlet!

And thanks be to God for moments of humor - when things seem to be overwhelming, you just have to laugh. Like last Sunday's kids sermon, when out of nowhere, a youngster broke in and asked, quite seriously, "Can lambs eat chickens?" (This kid continued on with other crazy antics during the sermon.. I'm kinda glad it wasn't me up there!) Laughter... It does the soul good.

Until later... Maren
Current Mood: thirstythirsty

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March 11th, 2006

05:27 pm - 11.5
Well friends, I have 11.5 weeks to go. That's right. June 1 I'm out and a new intern will be here to take the NW by storm. In that time I'll have 5 sermons, 5 children's sermons, 2 confirmation classes, 10 adult ed classes, 3 lock-ins, numberless meetings, a plan for the summer, a retreat to plan and execute, and hopefully some good Holy Spirit lovin' and probably some tears as I drive away. Strange how all this comes to an end.

Anyway, one of those sermons is tomorrow and, in true form, I have only an outline at this late hour (actually, 5:30pm on Saturday is hardly a late hour for me). I just can't seem to get things out without a scary deadline looming ahead. During Lent, we're doing a church-wide Spirituality study covering 6 spiritual practices and traditions. This of course means we are preaching on the themes of the week. This week is the Charismatic Tradition which honestly I usually associate with speaking in tongues and the like. But, as I reflect more and more on it, I find it has more to do with life in the Spirit than those weird fruits (Spiritual fruits, that is;)) that I've never been able to wrap my head around. (Insert your, "Duh, Sarah. Everybody knows that!)

I'm making plans for the summer in which I'm finding myself looking like a gypsy for quite a while. I'm hoping to be at Holden for June, then traveling much of July. I plan to end up back in Chicago sometime in August. I too am looking forward to those hugs and smiles and story sharing with all of you- preferably over a $7 pitcher of beer. And while I am looking forward to some time of freedom, I also feel a bit unstable. It's nice to have a place to be each day and a bed to come home to. And as many of you have noted, we have only a year left and then on to the next thing. Now, don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to what the future holds. But the control-freak side of my brain wants to know everything NOW. I was complaining about all of this to my dad on the phone the other day and he said: "Yes, but when your stable stays in one place for too long, all the s^*t just piles up." So, there are some words of wisdom from one who knows. :)

It's good to hear the reports from all of you. And as Paul writes to the Philippians: I thank my God every time I remember you, praying with joy for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.

Peace out friends,
Current Mood: energeticenergetic
Current Music: God is a DJ (Pink)

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March 7th, 2006

03:58 pm - Living life intentionally
Hi all! It was good to read about what was happening after some absence. It appears that everyone was as crazy as I was leading up to and after the 6 month evaluation. Plus I loaded up on preaching and my project started and it was all sort of overwhelming (but also a whole lot of FUN! I love working in ministry!) Now I'm feeling positively Lenten...my supervisor is preaching all of Lent, right through Easter...followed by the Youth Service on doubting Thomas Sunday. I miss the process of preparing to preach already...in fact I'm still preparing a little, just in case. Again, it was good to read a little of your experiences. It is indeed strange to think about another intern sitting in this chair, loving the people here, and them loving the intern back. It is a special congregation that can do this over and over again! Remember who you are and to Whom you belong. Trudy

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March 3rd, 2006

10:41 am - Spring & Lent
Spring is almost here - I can totally feel it. The rez is still brown and there are isn't really any green in sight - but I know it is a comin'.

Wednesday was so cute, at kids church we planted these beautiful seeds in huge pots - I am not sure if they will be sprouting by easter but we make sure we water them and give them proper soil - just like during lent we take care of our spirits by giving it water (prayer).

I joined the 21st century - my cell has an mp3 player. I am enjoying a playlist I made too much. It is all about the little pleasures ;)

See ya in August! (I'm not counting down quite yet... I still have some fun left to have here on the rez).

Current Mood: cheerfulwaiting for spring
Current Music: Against the Wind (not Seager) Waylon Jennings

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February 22nd, 2006

02:04 pm - the mug
When I am disgusted at various politics or the various conditions of the poor in our midst I take a look at my new mug. You see I just spent a few days in NYC (yeah it was cold) but it was a lot of fun. I went to the club "Bed." For all of you Sex and the City fans - you can get excited now ;) Met cool people from places like Brooklyn, the Upper East Side and SoHo. I enjoyed shopping a bit too much - but that is besides the point... I am talking about this fabulous mug.
So one day when it was like -20* (ok maybe a little warmer than that) My sister and I decided to take the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. It was still crowded that day (unbeleivable). So, we get there, tour around and then go to the best part - the gift shop... where I bought this amazing mug.

Now, why is it so amazing? Well not only is it HUGE (for my morning coffee intake that gets larger and larger) it is this trendy olive green color and enscripted with the quote from Emma Lazarus, 1883 that states...

Give me your tired,
your poor,
Your huddled masses
yearning to breath free,
The Wretched refuse of
your teemiing shore.

Send these, the homeless,
tempest - tost to me.

I lift my lamp beside the
golden door.

Yeah - it insights feelings of patriotism in me and I enjoy reading that quote from dear Emma as I guzzle the brew o' magic(go Foldgers and America!)


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03:07 pm - nails, nails, pierce him thru
at the alzheimers wing yesterday, in west point, nebraska, i was giving communion to patients. when we serve the body and blood to these folks we intinct the body in the blood and then put it in their mouths for them. is there a special name for that, patrick?
anyhow, i gave them all communion and then gave the nurses communion. i've given lots o' communions to lots o' peoples before. but not usually by putting it into their mouths for them... anyway, this was the first time i have knowingly placed the body of christ, with my hand, into a girl's mouth who had a tongue ring. ah, the pierced (Emphasis on "ed" i.e. peers-sed)body of our Lord and Saviour...
it was pretty hot.

Current Music: the new year

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February 18th, 2006

10:15 am - Out with the old, in with the new (ok, so not quite yet)
It was weird when my supervisor went to LSTC this week to interview next year's interns. It feels like we just interviewed, but then again it seems like forever ago. I guess I am just dreading moving back to LSTC housing. I wish I could keep my nice apartment here in Farmington Hills and commute to LSTC. Logistically it is possible, but unfortunately I would actually have to pay my own rent again next year. :(

I am excited because in a few weeks I will be in Washington D.C. for Ecumenical Advocacy Days. Anyone else going? I am registered under the Illinois 1st congressional district, and I'll be advocating for justice and peace in the Middle East. Maybe I will meet some cool people there.

I had a home visit the other day that lasted 2 and a half hours! I kept looking at the clock descretely while the couple told story after story. The husband has stage three lung cancer and there is a lot going through both of their minds. He was worried that he wouldn't get into heaven if he didn't let go of his anger that he had been harboring for years. But every time I tried to refocus him on his feelings and concerns, his wife would tell him how he was feeling. It was like tag-team. It was draining to hear all of their life stories, going back years and years, but they needed to tell them.

UGH, I hate these mid-year evals. Could they be any longer or more abstract? I especially like the last one about what we need for balance on internship. Good luck with completing yours. Take care.
Current Mood: chipperchipper
Current Music: champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends

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February 13th, 2006

08:12 pm - CORE Meeting
Hello all!

I pray you all are doing well wherever you are. Posts have been slow lately, I'm guessing everyone has been very busy. I know I am as the 6 month mark is coming up in a week or so. Last time I blogged, I mentioned I was getting married. Well...I still am. Rachel and I are looking to get married in June '07. If you want to see pictures of my trip to Germany (and my life) I have some posted at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bsheets I will still have another semester left after you all graduate, so Rachel will come to Chicago and we can play house for a while before I get drafted. One of my peers from the Navy this past summer attends a congregation in Stafford, VA and says that there is an intern from LSTC there. Who is it? She couldn't remember the vicar's name.

I was reading my LSTC email today and there was the summary of the CORE meeting. And one of their topics included:
4. Why does LSTC not have a welcome statement that defines who we are as an institution and community, and/or who we strive to be. It was mentioned that in the mission statement for LSTC, diversity is only used once, and that a welcome statement could address who it is we welcome to the community (i.e. those with conservative perspectives as well as liberal perspectives). This will be discussed further at the next meeting.

I'm curious on your reactions to this topic of discussion. I'm not sure that a "welcome" statement is necessary. As Christians, and as a Christian institution ought we not welcome all people? (here is the link to the LSTC mission http://www.lstc.edu/about/mission.html) I guess my question is, must we be explicit about welcoming diversity or does the fact that we are Christians imply that we are welcoming (I recognize that Christians have not been the most welcoming people to diversity, but that is descriptive, not normative) What role would a "welcome" statement have for our community? Because if we welcome some, do we not in turn not welcome others? Or would the welcome statement say "we welcome all people"? And if it does, is that necessary?

I don't know. Just some initial reactions to what's happening back in Chi-town. You know you want to put down that commentary and respond to this :-P

In Christ,
Ben Sheets
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Wilco (at least in my head)

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February 10th, 2006

11:23 am - do u like american music?
hey, for those maybe interested, i put up to more songs. these are not quite so "disturbing" as others reportedly were, some witnesses even reported a "prettiness" about them. though i would not go that far in a description of the product of my own bowels... if u're bored, give a listen. thanks friends:
Current Music: weakerthans

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