Summer is in full swing in Florida. Heat. Humidity. Afternoon showers followed by even more humidity. it's summer! I have been working as Organizing Pastor for a new church start near Amelia Island, Florida. We recently made the decision that this work will not continue, so I am seeking another call and wondering what's next. In the meantime, I am doing some interim work for a congregation that has just begun to search for a new pastor.
Just finished Greg Garrett's The Other Jesus. Everyone probably ought to read it.
In fiction, couldn't put down Welcome to the Fallen Paradise by Dayne Sherman. Read it in almost one sitting. Good southern stuff.
John S. Kloppenborg's Q The Earliest Gospel. Interesting, especially the connections between Q and James.
Douglas Ottati's Theology for Liberal Presbyterians and Other Endangered Species, which I heartily recommend, even for those who will need help getting past that word in the title. I'm with him: either we believe and trust grace, or we don't!
Martin Thielen's What's the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian? Turned out to be less than I had hoped it would be, but still helpful. Would be fun to do a short term discussion with a group.
Right now, I'm indulging myself (Yes, I know it's Lent.) by reading the first four years of New Stories from the South, a collection of stories I've been reading at Christmas for years. Finally got the first four years I didn't have and and treating myself.
I took a Calvin quiz (www.trouw.nl/nieuws/religie-filosofie/article2050113.ece)(I don't know how to make this a link, so you can cut and paste it if you want to see how you score)the other day in celebration this year's Calvin anniversary year. It told me my doctrine was solidly Calvinistic (surprise, surprise), but that I probably needed to lighten up a bit. So today, Deanna and I went to a mid-day concert from the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, which is going on here this month. The program (a free one) was interesting, one piece in particular. It featured a violinist and an African drummer (the drum, not the drummer)playing a piece dubbed as Bach meets Africa. (You get to hear interesting things at summer festivals!) It was fun, especially for the children who gathered in a community center gym for the event. Chamber Music concerts can sometimes be about as stuffy as Calvinists, so it was refreshing to go to one with children and other non-Chamber Music types in attendance. There was one little boy in particular who really got into the drum/violin piece. He didn't know that you aren't supposed to applaud between movements (I know, more stuffiness from a Calvinist!), but he knew he liked what he heard, so he clapped in the middle of movements when he wanted to! He was a joy to watch, and the piece was a joy to hear. I still like my worship done decently and in order, but I've learned that it's OK if something unexpected (like applause, which I usually don't like, but understand can be a genuine response) happens. I'm not ready to throw all order and sequence out of planning for worship, but a little spontaneity can be a good thing, too. Maybe I'll take the Calvin quiz again later this year and see if it thinks I've lightened up enough!