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 know almost nothing about music from India. But I heard an interview with someone who does on NPR this morning that included a statement I've thought about all day. Some Indian musician died recently (don't mean to be disrespectful--I told you I didn't know much about it), and the NPR piece was about him. Near the end of the piece, the narrator talked about the musician/teacher who had died. He told a tale of a time when the teacher had told a voice student that he his singing was way too much like typing--that he needed to learn to sing more like handwriting. Then this afternoon, Deanna was here at the church giving a piano lesson, and I heard her tell her student that it was time for her (an adult) to start feeling some of the music instead of just playing it from the page. I'm as suspicious of feeling in religion as a Presbyterian is supposed to be, but I do think there is something about the thinking of the NPR guy and Deanna the piano teacher that can be helpful to us. Paul talks about the Law being our guide while we need one. That doesn't mean we can abandon the Law, but I hope it mean we can eventually get to a point at which we're not so worried about dotting i's and crossing t's and can spend more of our time and energy listening for and responding to God's call. I offer neither my penmanship nor my practice of the faith as a model for others, but I do think we'd all be helped if we lived and believed more like handwriting than typewriters.