Monday, December 29, 2014

Interacting with My Students Drives Deeper Meditation

I've been getting back into my writing lately. It's felt really good to renew this as a spiritual discipline, and I'm making space for it again in my life. At this exact moment, that's pretty easy, since I'm in the Winter Break from teaching.

But at any rate, I wrote a poem just recently that's all about the way that I interact with my students... see, teaching is another spiritual discipline for me. There are days where I really, really resent some of my students. Which is, of course, offset by the days where I feel exuberant about the whole school thing. But the point is that the whole thing is a challenge, and recognizing it in terms of my spirituality allows me to navigate the school environment in a more virtuous way, I think.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

TREC Has Worked Its Butt Off... And Yet There Is Something Wanting

This post is one of mine that is rooted quite solidly in my severe case of Episcopal-itis. It is a congenital affliction that I have never been able to shake off. So if you are one of those who are not afflicted by Episcopal-itis, feel free to catch up with me on my next blog post. However, if you, too are a fellow sufferer, you have my condolences and I urge you to read on.

Image borrowed from Art of Manliness

All sarcasm aside, there is a topic that many of us in The Episcopal Church have been contending with for quite a while now: the Taskforce for Reimagining the Episcopal Church (TREC).

Thursday, December 25, 2014

"Merry Christmas!" or, A Reflection on Meaning in Five Hashtags

I'm so glad that I have the time and energy to be writing on Christmas Day! I woke up this morning at my in-laws home in central Minnesota, after going to church and opening presents last night. At the end of a very tumultuous Advent, I am incredibly thankful for this Christmas Day... and to make up for my lack of focus during the Advent season, I am hoping that I might be able to make the most of the 12 day Christmas festival!

Anyway, my reason for writing today has more to do with the fact that I woke up and hit the Twittersphere to see what's out there. And I've found a few pretty awesome movements that I would like to share with you, my dear reader. There are also a couple of things that I found which I thought were quite curious. But as I'm looking over everything, I realize that it's always useful to ask that question: "What does this Christmas thing mean?"

1. #AdventWord
The first is from the Society of St. John the Evangelist (@SSJEWord)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

At the Time of My Grandmother's Passing, or, the Kingdom of God Comes Near

My grandmother and I visiting my grandfather's
gravesite on Memorial Day 2014
My grandmother, Patricia Mary Monson, passed away last week on Thursday, December 11. She was buried on Wednesday the 17th. For me, it's an odd sensation because I had lived in her house for almost ten years and after that she was simply a constant presence throughout my life. I've noticed in retrospect that I've just kind of had this child-like sense that she would always be there, like some kind of indomitable force that would keep organizing parties and feed anyone who might walk in the door.

I've been really frustrated because, even though my family knew that Grandma was fading, it's still really hard when someone so special dies. The fact that we're so close to Christmas doesn't help that, either. For my part, I've been trying to reconcile this season of Advent (waiting for the coming of the Savior) with the sense of mourning and loss from my grandmother.

Now, I need to state that this blog post is not meant to be an obituary or a eulogy or anything else. It is just something that I think I need to do. After all, some of you, dear readers, will know that this post is me breaking radio silence in the blogosphere. I am doing this just because I need an opportunity to write out my thoughts and feelings at the passing of my grandmother. And here, at the time of her passing, there are two sets of stories that I want to share.