Monday, December 31, 2007

2008 and what did you do in 2007?

Mom To the Left wrote her list for 2007, and it makes sense to fit mine here.....

List your favorites from 2007:

Book: Here If You Need Me
Movie (DVD): Popeye The Sailor Volume 1
(although Im working on Treasures from American Archives III)
TV Show: none, I watched no TV shows this year
unless you count the DVDs of the Flatt and Scruggs Show,
Song: Now Be Thankful (Richard Thompson)
Singer/Group: Alison Krause
Christmas Gift: only present was the DVD of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (the spouse and I buy an ancestry subscription)
Dinner Food: Spinach pirogies, Porkchops with balsamic vinegar
Snack: wasabi covered anything
Ice Cream Flavor: Cherry
Drink: diet vault (can someone say caffeine....)
Color: green
Hobby/Relaxing Thing: reading
Toy: my new computer

Where did you go on vacation?
Universalist convocation in Bellville Ohio (and visited Berlin and Wooster and Ohio Amish country and my mother's family roots in Lutheran country)
ALA meeting in Washington DC (not being a member, I spent my time at the husker's room, also went to the Universalist National Memorial Church)
Also McCormick and Myrtle Beach SC for weekends

What is your proudest accomplishment this year?
Giving two sermons in North Carolina.

What will you remember this year for?
giving my first two sermons to a neutral audience.

Make 1 New Year’s Resolution!!
spend less

how about you?

Monday, December 24, 2007

I've been quiet.....

Today is Christmas Eve - forecast is for more rain ---it will be a nice 64 degrees later today.

I've been quiet, making a few comments on other blogs when I have time, but not doing much here. The reason being: Ive been busy.

My mother has been in the hospital for the past three weeks, and after work I have been there. As her health care power of attorney, I had to make tough decisions about her care, this means I had to make tough decisions about her life. There turns out to be no good decisions, just tough decisions. I had the fun of having a friend of the family lambaste my decision (which was to let her leg be amputated).
I did get some reading done while in the hospital though.... the rest of us are doing fine. My mother survived a year, so she's a tough woman.....

Ive got one gift under the tree - so I guess I havent been completely bad this year.
Ive got a couple gifts I bought for myself coming, which you're going to see if you read my southern Universalist history blog (assuming I get the time to read them anytime soon).

In the New Year, we plan to go to the Universalist Convocation in North Oxford Mass in May. Hopefully I'll be less quiet by then.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

What Makes a Good Worship Experience?

Over on Dan's Yet another UU blog, the question becomes "What makes for Kick-Ass worship".
I responded, maybe not too helpfully... ok, no "maybe" about it: I responded unhelpfully with the observation that one person's good service is another person's bad service. And admitted that I cant stand youth services and large churches. Those of things that would make me stay at home. If I knew the youth or their parents, I would be more inspired. But then I dont like drum circles either.... and large churches throw way too many things that I don't care for. Say can one bring binoculars to large churches? I should mention that I dont go to large concerts either.

Shelby Meyerhoff lists several great things to make up for my post
"Music that is vibrant and accessible, Preaching that has a clear message that is relevant to listeners’ lives, Worship leaders who are warm, friendly, joyful and expressive" and a few more - which you can find at Dan's website.

As I think back to a service I provided to a group in NC last week, I wonder how sucessful I was. I can certainly see what should have been better - audience feedback certainly told me what they found interesting. And what I should have emphasized - and If I ever give this sermon again - I'll have a better understanding of what works. (My grandfather had a list of many sermons and when and where he gave them - it helps to avoid repeating it at the same place). Obviously the questions and comments that people gave, were what they found most interesting, and most inspirational....

for someone who only gives 6-8 sermons a year, Im impressed by the pros who can give 52- or more a year!

I find songs very important, both in front of the pulpit and behind it. They engage the congregation - I like loud numbers with loud singing - anthems. I like the participation, being part of things.