Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Five: Gifts and Talents

Over at revgalbogpals, Sally is in charge of the Friday Five.

So this what she introduced: Our Circuit (Methodist) is having a "Gifts and talents day" tomorrow- we have a minister visiting from another circuit who has modified the Myers Briggs personality test and added a few things of his own to run a day where we get to look at ourselves in the light of giftings and of the whole church. The idea is to encourage everyone with the news that there is room for you in the ministry of the church- and perhaps to discover where that ministry might be.....It should be an interesting day, and one where I hope people will leave feeling encouraged and challenged...
So with gifts and talents in mind here is todays Friday 5;

1. Personality tests; love them or hate them? Depends on which one it is.

2. Would you describe yourself as practical, creative, intellectual or a mixture ? How about none of the above....(But its early here, and I was up late last night.)

3. It is said that everyone has their 15 minutes of fame; have you had your yet? If so what was it, if not dream away what would you like it to be? No, and I probably never will. (Aren't I the cynic this morning.) But if you want to know what my dream was as a kid, here it is; I wanted to be the First Woman President of the US. And frankly I think I might be just a hair better than someone else I know that is running, well at least a little more ethical at this point, but then I have never been in politics and all that means. So now you know.

4. If you were given a 2 year sabatical ( oh the dream of it) to create something would it be music, literature, art.....something completely different...share your dream with us... You know, I had a Seminary Prof, that took his sabbatical and made pizzas at Pizza Hut. I have never forgotten that, and often thought that would be an interesting sabbatical to take. But if I were to take one to create something, I might write and maybe paint some, not quite sure.

5. Describe a talent you would like to develop, but that seems completely beyond you. Are we talking about talents like music, art, sports or what? Maybe acting, they seem to be making the megabucks these days. It seems so unnatural to me.

Bonus question: Back to the church- what does every member ministry mean to you? Is it truly possible to encourage/ implement? Every member in ministry is one of those Wesley, Discipline, purposes of the church. It is something that we have gotten far far away from. I think it is part of making disciples in the church, "it is the fruits by which we know them." Yes, I think it is possible to encourage, and to implement.

Bonus, Bonus: What is the most recent Personality test you have taken? Most recently I attended a workshop called, Ministry from your Strengths. In order to take the seminar, I had to read the book from Gallup Press, part of the Gallup Corp. and take the online test. Only my book didn't come in time, and I took the wrong test online. I have since taken the right test. If you ever want to introduce a different way of looking at your gifts and graces, for your members, this is a good way. I had worked it out for the person to come offer the workshop here in our district, and no one signed up. In the meantime, the whole cabinet took it, and so now the DS is pushing it, so we are going to reoffer it in the fall. Now go find your strengths and introduce them to your congregation. Amazon has the book too, and most of their books. If you want to know more let me know.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's Another Birthday

Well, Kara had her 7th year birthday party at the skate rink, last night. She was the Queen of the rink. Several of her school mates, and church friends came. It was a lot of fun. She is pretty good at skating too, for a 7 year old. We forgot the camera, sorry, no pics. She made quite a haul of presents. We got home so late last night that she didn't even have time to really play with them. But this morning, she spent most of the morning, playing with them, trying to keep her little brother away from them too. She was very happy. I am glad. Surprisingly it was quite affordable too.

Mom had to go to Bham for a meeting and just made it back in time for the party. Dad had to get all three of them ready, bring the presents, go get the cake. All in all he did pretty good, with all that to do. Kara, somehow managed to sit on her cake, how we don't know, and I don't think we ever will. But that didn't matter, it did taste good. Note to mom don't go to meetings out of town, on big event days.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Seasons are over

Yes, its true, Baseball, softball season is over. Its done. I don't know if Zachary is glad or not. Several of the parents mentioned they were. I think we are going to miss it. They had a party at the water park here in Florence. And since then all we have heard, "I want to go to the water slide today, now!" It was a fun party though, and the parents enjoyed talking with each other.
The girl's season is over too. We are waiting to hear what they are going to do for a party. I know the girls are glad its over. But as the season went on, they really played better, and they were encourage to play Fall Ball. So I guess we will be back out with fall ball.

The Dance season is over too. And the Dance Recital was really good. The girls remembered their routines in both their dances and did really well. I have to brag, on one of the dances, the girls were the only ones who knew the routine and danced it. People were coming up and telling us how good they did, and encouraging them to keep up the dancing. Katy told Bob that she liked being on stage. I believe it! She and Kara were just beaming. All the dancers and dancing was just great. In the girl's jazz class there were two boys. At first they didn't like them. But then all I heard toward the end was their names. They are cute boys. Katy didn't want to take dance this summer, she wanted a break. She is taking tumbling instead. Kara wanted to take dance, so she is in dance and tumbling. She originally didn't want to take tumbling, but when she got there and saw what the others were doing, she was excited. Zachary finished his preschool dance class, and their little recital was well cute, what other word is there. There was one other boy in the group, and the boys were both pretty good. Zach is taking hip-hop this summer, and is really good at it. One of his teachers is the granddaughter of one of our members. So he is now in love with Darby. Darby is really a good dancer, a sweet girl, and very beautiful but too old for him. He is taking tumbling for boys, and is loving it and doing well. They wanted to do Karate too, but we just could not afford or do it all. They offer Karate at the Y, and so maybe later they can take it. So Bob is still doing a lot of running back and forth to the dance and tumbling studios.

I finished preaching the Purpose Driven Life series, and the book study is done. It has had an impact on us. This Sunday the book study group celebrates with a meal. They are also supposed to make a commitment to some kind of practical application of what they have learned. This group has decided they want to continue to stay together. So Sunday they will be looking at that, and deciding or looking at deciding how they will do that. This is good news.

We have started the Natural Church Development Process at St John. We completed our surveys, sent them in for scoring, and they came back this week. I met with our Coach to go over the results and to make plans to meet with the leaders to go over the results. I am not going to reveal the results here. I am going to say that the Coach was positive about our strengths and how that will help us in our working on our weakest point. When I looked at them I felt the same way. It was very uplifting, and says a lot about how this church is growing. I am going to be preaching on the Eight Characteristics of a healthy church, How God grows us, and how the church has its own natural growth process. I am calling it the Growing Season.

I haven't written in awhile, so I thought I would summarize some of what I keep meaning to do. And it seems like I can't get to the computer to blog like I was. I know I have been double tagged and am planning to blog those, but every time I sit down to do it, something comes up.
I am hoping it gets better for me to be able to blog now that the season is over.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Five: Books, Books, Books

Sally at revgalblogpals is in charge of today's Friday Five:I've just returned from a meeting in Cambridge so I'm posting this late here in the UK (it is 3:45pm).. because I took the opportunity of a free afternoon in Cambridge's wonderful book shops... I only bought a few- and they were on sale- very restrained for me!!! (Can't believe you were restrained, and I am so jealous that you were at Cambridge book shops!)

So with my head full of books I've seen and a long wish list in my mind, I bring you a Friday Five on books!!!

1. Fiction what kind, detective novels, historical stuff, thrillers, romance???? I tend to be ecletic in my reading, but once I find a good writer or a series, then that's the books I read. Right now I am reading the No. 1 Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith.

2. When you get a really good book do you read it all in one chunk or savour it slowly? Shut the door, get quite, and stay up all night. Read until its done. And then maybe read the good parts again.

3. Is there a book you keep returning to and why? Mmm unless its one of the kid's books, I don't know....Chronicles of Narnia. Why, I can escape to Narnia and be with the lion, and have all those wonderful adventures.

4. Apart from the Bible which non-fiction book has influenced you the most? Any thing by C. S. Lewis, or Barbara Brown Taylor.

5. Describe a perfect place to read. ( could be anywhere!!!) (The Beach with a little breeze, not that noisey, something to drink, and the waves coming in. Perferably the Gulf Coast on the Panhandle.)

Bonus question #1. How many books are on your Amazon Wish List? Too many to count.

#2. Bad habit you have while reading books? With some books, I tend to not be patient and go to the back of the book to read the ending, and then I'll read from where I where I left off. ( I have really tried to break this bad habit.)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A day of Tragedy for Methodist Ministers

I hate to bring the bad news, and I hate to hear it. I really do.
Today was a day of bad news.

Rev. Jerry Herston was killed in a single car automobile accident Monday afternoon. One other individual in the car with Jerry, a member one the church he has been serving, also was killed. The News Channel in Huntsville has the details of the accident. Jerry and I were in the same district before we both moved. I was truly upset by this news. I like Jerry and his wife. He was moving this year, so I don't know what that means. His son Jonathon, a Methodist Minister also, will be moving too. What a tragedy to deal with right after conference. There will be a service of thanksgiving and resurrection celebration will be held at Guin First United Methodist Church at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

And a memorial service for Dr. Herston will be conducted Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 2 p.m. at Asbury United Methodist Church in Fort Payne . He really had a Pastor's heart, was a genuine individual. He will be missed. Prayers for his family.

Then I found out that Jim Hauer, husband of Rev. Martha Hauer, died at 4:00 this morning following back surgery in Columbus, GA. Martha is the Pastor at the church I formally served, Wadley UMC. She is also the one that was in the terrible automobile accident last year. The church has surrounded her with their love and care and support. She is still effected from her accident.The funeral will be Thursday, June 7 at 2 p.m. at Wadley UMC. Burial will be Friday at 1 p.m. at Oakwood Cemetery in Tuscumbia , AL . She and Jim were married for 35 years and he has been super supportive of her ministry. They have one daughter. Keep them in your prayers.

My heart goes out to the Herston Family and Martha. It is a truly sad day for us in the North Alabama Conference of the Methodist Church.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A Quick Conference and Quick Elections

I attended the two day conference of the North Alabama Conference. Usually this conference starts on Sunday afternoon and finished late Wednesday afternoon. However, not many of the lay delegates could come or all you got were the retirees. So our conference last year shortened by one day, and this year it was shortened to the two days. The Memorial Conference was moved to Thursday night and to one of the churches. That was well attended and it was a good service instead the sterility of the college Coliseum. We women had our clergywomen gathering right after the service in the parlor of the church. That was nice too. I think it was one of our better gatherings. The Bishop even joined us for awhile. Then the next day we started the long day of Friday. A lot of us were concerned that elections though would lead to a long weekend. The last elections took a whole lot longer than planned for. I felt like we were running through the business pretty fast almost at light speed with little discussion. We had no Bibles study, no workshops and fewer worship services.

Bishop Huie spoke to us about the changes that are going on in the Texas Conference. As I listened I thought to myself, "It won't be long that we will be doing some of the same things."
She also preached at the Ordination service. She was imaginative and creative, well spoken. Boy is she a dynamite. The commissioning service will be done later at another church. Bishop messed up though the ordination of Jan McCarver, I think he must have forgot what she was being ordained for. But that will be corrected.

The next day was a quickie too. We did finish the elections. I had to leave early because of the girl's had a Dance Recital, that I was not going to miss even for the conference. Now something you need to know is that last year we had a big argument over one of the petitions that came before the conf. this petition was to tell the President to end the war. The same petition came up again. The person from the petitions committee did a good job presenting it, asking us to stop and pray for those who have died in the war. It was very moving. The Bishop brought up that he had lots of letters about last year's discussion, and so he did not want us to have a discussion again. That just ruined the tone, because our conference has always had a history of discussing things sometimes pretty heatedly, but coming out on the other end. Everybody was pretty upset that we could not discuss, he even used the Roberts Rules to keep that from happening. But then one of the Pastors out maneuvered him and brought an amendment to it. The amendment basically took out the language of telling the President what to do and took out the time line. Well it passed, and the Bishop was fed up. Two other people at that point stood up to speak. One of them started saying that maybe we needed to think about what sacrifice we could make and he basically shut him up. Well don't you know then the conference was pretty mad at the Bishop. You see we have history of being able to speak and be listened to. Usually we have one for the and then one against, like that. That is all he had to do. You know we are students in a class that you tell us what to think and what to do, and be quiet. I spoke to the man about what he was trying to say. I know this man very well. Good fellow, bright, thoughtful, worth listening too. His son is a Marine in Iraq. What he was trying to say, is okay, instead of just saying we are for peace, lets to something, find out what is needed in Iraq. How we can make things better and do it. You know I think he is on to something. I suggested he present that next year. Start now finding out how we can help, how we can do something and present it. I don't like war anymore than anybody else, but I think writing the President and telling his to cease fire, and withdraw immediately is not the only answer. I think we the people need to begin to give and help too. I don't remember it being so bad last year, but that was a year ago. I do think that a fair discussion is okay. But with limited time like this was set up for, there is little time for discussion.

The place we met was great, I have no complaints. I don't even mind making possible for lay people who work to be there. But what would it mean if we just go ahead and met on Sunday too. Go ahead and give enough time for what has to happen and be taken care of. Have lay speakers or retired ministers preach. I think it was too short of time.

Now to the elections. I am going to put the results of the clergy elections up here, and you tell me what you see and think....

General Conference
1. Will Garrett
2. Bill Morgan
3. Mark Parris
4. Paul Hillard
5. Robert Sparkman
6. Amy Bowers
7. Tommy Grey

Jurisdictional Conference
1. Dalton Styes
2. Sheryl Thornton
3. Steve West
4. Rudy Guess
5. Glenn Conner
6. Andy Wolfe
7. Robin Scott

1. Amelia Sims
2. Alan Head
3. Sara Cameron
4. Tim Barnes
5. Alan Weatherly
6. Dale Cohen
7. Kenny Baskins

I will say we had more mission moments that were really inspiring. We had good ministry reports also. I would say over all it was a good conference.