Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shameless self-promotion, Lutheran department (w/ note to folks in Washington State, Idaho, Oregon, & British Columbia)

I know, Garrison Keillor says Lutherans don't do self-promotion, and he is right.  But I'm not a Lutheran, only a member of a church in full communion with the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America)  and the [Lutheran] Church of Sweden who was mentored by several wonderful Lutheran clergymembers.  So I'll self-promote, briefly.

The July-August 2010 issue of Lutheran Woman Today, the magazine of Women of the ELCA, is hot off the press.  The whole issue is about prayer and I have a little article in it about praying in song called, amazingly, "Praying in Song."  It is not available online but I gather a few of the articles appear online the month after the magazine is published on paper.  In any case, you are welcome to contact the editorial offices for a copy of this issue or to subscribe to the magazine.  The folks there are very friendly.

A year from now, I will be one of the workshop and and worship leaders at the Women of the ELCA Triennial Gathering, July 14-16, 2011, in Spokane, Washington.  More on this gathering here. The four principal speakers include another Episcopal woman, the writer Nora Gallagher, Liberian peacemaker Leymah Gbowee (now living and working in Ghana), and two other wonderful women.

If you are in the Spokane area or anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, narrowly or broadly (from Spokane itself to the coast , up and down from British Columbia to Oregon or inland toward Idaho) and are interested in a piggyback speaking engagement (retreat, lecture, workshop, sermon, all of the above) my cross-country round trip to Spokane is already covered so it'll only cost you local transportation, honorarium & lodging, and you can do coalition funding with a cluster of congregations (think "ecumenical collaboration" and/or "regional cluster") or schools or other groups or institutions if your institution's budget is small.  

You can contact my publicist, Amanda Williams, at Ave Maria Press/Sorin Books, the paperback publisher of When in Doubt, Sing: Prayer in Daily Life, who will pass on your message and put you in touch with me, or you can leave me a note in the Comments section below with some contact information.

While most of my speaking engagements these days tend to be related to prayer and spirituality, I also preach, give retreats and days of recollection (a.k.a. "quiet days") and offer reflections on theology, social justice, the relationship between the contemplative life and the work of justice in the world, religion and the environment, feminism and the church, ecumenical and interreligious issues, racial justice and reconciliation in the church, and other topics.

A big thank you to Women of the ELCA for welcoming me to the pages of their magazine and to next year's gathering in Spokane!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lily season

The first lilies bloomed a while back, but now they are here in full force, just as the hydrangeas are fading.  You can see the Humongous Lawn, as I refer to it on Facebook, in the first picture.  I spend my time mowing. Then again, it burns calories and it beats going to the gym, except for the heat and the bugs.  Speaking of the bugs, who just love me, I think the proper order of things is 1) apply sunscreen, 2) apply bug spray.  For a while I wasn't sure.  But I digress.

I took the three photos above in the bright sun on Sunday after returning from church, sometime after 1:00 p.m.

Yesterday, La Virgencita got some day lilies.  (The first photo is a bit fuzzy.)

Same lilies, close up.  They look Van Gogh-ish in this photo.  They are a much brighter orange in reality.

 Here endeth the tour of the day lilies.

Hydrangea catch-up

Good heavens.  I neglected to put up pictures of the hydrangeas when they got really blue.  Though there is one small bush of purple hydrangeas (the color of hydrangeas has to do with the acidity of the soil) the other small bush and the really huge one are both blue, and they went from pale blue (mixed with cream at the core of the flowers when they were just "ripening") to periwinkle.  I took most of the photos with the BlackBerry camera, which distorts the color a bit, so the periwinkle-ness is not obvious, but you can see that the blue is more intense than it was in the first week or too of hydrangea blooming. 

The hydrangea is the only thing I've taken care of this year.  The garden is my landlady's doing and the flowers pop up in due season, one wave after the other.  The hydrangea bushes were full of dead wood --no one had trimmed or pulled it out in years-- so in the late winter or very early spring I got rid of it.  It took a long time and the wood filled about three garbage bins.  I had scratched arms after that, having been attacked by the hydrangeas as I worked.  I now understand why garden ladies garden in long sleeves. The reward was a huge, really huge hydrangea bush, much larger than last year, and even more flowers than last year. Spectacular.

Otherwise, all due credit to the house's owner, to Mother Nature, and to Godde, not necessarily in that order.


This is a little purple hydrangea flower after the rain.

In the variegated bouquet below, the middle flower was in fact more blue-purple than the dark blue it appears to be and the right hand flower was more of a dark purple than it appears in the photo.

I'll take photos with a regular camera next time around, but it is handy to have the BBerry in pocket - I just whip it out and click over to the camera function and take a picture.  The camera is especially good with flowers.  It is a little less so with pictures of +Maya and even less so with people pictures, though in a pinch it is helpful to take quick snaps of humans.

I've had flowers next to the Guadalupe candle for weeks now.  Here is Guadalupe with the last of the hydrangeas.

  And this is what some of these flowers looked like as early adolescents.

 And here is the way one looked as a green, unripe baby flower.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Good news re: the Adorable Godson

The Adorable Godson has a job!  Hurrah for him.  It didn't take long for him to find it.  He graduated with his second bachelor's degree in May (physics - the first bachelor's was a couple of years ago with a double major in computer science and math) and received the job offer about a month later.  He will be doing Serious Tech-y Things for an Interesting and Useful Company beginning in July.  The company is in California, so off he goes ten days from now.  I --and we in his little congregation-- will miss him, but we are all very happy for him and proud of him.  

In addition to this, he got a haircut for the job interview (not a short short one, mind you; he has much too beautiful hair to go for a buzz cut, but the hair was a little too much in his eyes and down toward the shoulders to look professional, even for the high tech world) and looks very handsome. 

Of course this is all very first-time-ish and scary too, so we welcome both your prayers of celebration and your prayers for a smooth landing in the world of full-time employment.  I haven't yet asked him whether I can use his real first name here, so for now, you can just pray for Jane's Adorable Godson and Godde will know quite well whom you mean.  Thanks!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

More purple

Consider the lilies

The lilies are out early.

The lilies are actually much more orange than this.  I don't know why the BlackBerry camera lens turns them to peach. It did that when I looked through it, too, so it's not the transmission through the intertubes, it's something lens-ish.

The purple minority

The smallest of the three hydrangea bushes is producing purple blooms this year; the soil composition must have changed.  The blue hydrangeas are more plentiful and bloomed earlier and have now turned from pale blue with cream centers to periwinkle. These purple ones are few, but they are beautiful.  I have a vase of them in the kitchen.

Cross-posted on Facebook.