Thursday, March 30, 2006

A pitiful excuse for a blogger

...that's me.

Got straight A's last quarter, which is not shabby since I started the quarter overlapping with CPE *and* cracked ribs, ended the quarter with a church mess AND a car accident, and had a bad cold in the middle. Lots of drama for ten weeks.

As usual, we are doing Easter services outdoors in a park this year. I dread this and it is leading to more conflict. I spoke to my boss on Sunday, told him we had a couple items that were rough in preceding years, easy fixes, just need to be in the plan, so I'd send him mail for the planning team. He said, fine, that would be great. So, I did. Yesterday I stopped by to ask a couple questions, only to find out the planning team ISN'T TAKING CARE OF STUFF FOR LITURGY. So, fine, we'll have a table to set out the cups and stuff for communion servers, but as to stands for people to read from, something to do consecration at, microphones, hey--that's up to me! I should ask the head of the band/sound for a microphone (we tried that last year, and got: oh, sorry, guess I forgot), and figure out/find/arrange for my team to transport whatever is needed for the other stuff. AND, I should have known this. Somehow. I had proposed using disposable glasses, since this year we are doing two services without a facility to wash them in between as we do when we're at church. The boss would rather we re-use ones that have been drunk out of, I said, well, there's a genuine sanitation issue, turns out he has already told the other worship assistant to have the non-disposables ready, he doesn't think we sanitize them properly ANYWAY, whatever, but once more, I am wrong. Somehow it comes across so harsh and judging to me, and he thinks he is SUPPORTING me. I don't get it. I only know that I will hear it if things are not done according to vision, and alas, who knows the vision? Surely not I. I am very seriously considering resigning this staff position. I suspect my boss thinks I "need to learn" about something, but having worked in dysfunctional situations much of my time in business, I beg to disagree.

Theologically--am I the ONLY person in the entire world who thinks that the service planning team ought to be expected to think about how to provide a setting of God's table on the feast of the Resurrection??? Is that just too bizarre, that the actual worship (in the sense of word and table) should be part of the PLANNING? I guess they are working on seating, layout, video screens, location of the musicians. Word and table? Not so much.

So perhaps what I "ought to learn" is, if this turns out awkward because the details have been fluffed, NO APOLOGIES FROM ME. Last night I sent all the emails asking for a microphone, telling the team what needs transported to/fro, etc. The pastor has not yet written the order of service, so I don't know how many reading parts there will be or how he wants communion done.

Sorry for the shouting, I just hate this, it is all such a mess, and I hate the whole thing. In point of fact, in sheer numbers and planning, I have been the most effective liturgy coordinator this church has ever had. But none of that matters, because I'm apparently not doing things the way others would do them (although they do not have the time either to do them or to communicate their visions to me). I think it's about time they had someone they actually trusted and spoke to, and I had a break from being "taught" something, the content of which is a mystery to me.

Please keep praying--one person on whose behalf I have asked for prayer has actually gotten some good news--lovely family who are hoping for a second child but have suffered numerous very painful losses along the way, right now things look good but all could go south in the blink of an eye, so all prayers for them are wonderful.

And if you have any to spare, pray for me--that I don't kill anyone before Easter. Self included.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Now, look here, God...

So, I got rear-ended on top of everything else. The other driver got the ticket, and the little Beetle bumper is just kind of scratched--trunk still pops open as intended, etc--but my curved spine means that head protection devices aren't very effective, so I had that pleasurable sensation of head flopping back and forth like a fish out of water. Man.

If God wants to send me a message I need a different vehicle of communication (pun intended) than a Ford Explorer.

Finished the paper on which I was procrastinating. I doubt the last few pages make much sense as they were written post-whiplash, but at present I have to say, too bad. I have written the required number of pages, and I figure that has to count for something. The professor of my favorite class is flexible re: the due date for our final paper, so I am saving that as my reward for completing the other two things I have to have done by Thursday. That final paper is one I'm enjoying working on.

So here's some of the struggle I'm stuck in: I feel more and more strongly that I do NOT want to be a parish pastor. I DO want to be a chaplain (and some other things, maybe). And I need to be ordained, and a lot of the stuff I have to do, to be ordained, would be most relevant if I wanted to be a parish pastor. AND the job market for chaplains is terrible. AND I dread my advanced field placement/clergy candidacy, for the reasons in yesterday's post mainly--it's going to be hard.

My fave class, the one with the paper I like, is my pastoral theology class. The professor gave me some wonderful affirmations on my second paper. Now, in my time of doubt and struggle, I keep going back and looking at his comments. It helps.

Send some good thoughts/prayers to two very special friends who are facing bad news today, if you would?

I am off to bed now, having had a long, healing cuddle with Wilson Wolfhound, who does his puppy job of Making Everything Better most admirably.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Procrastination Station here...

I am *supposed* to be working on my final for Introduction to Christian Religious Education. Which is a course that has taught me greatly but has also reinforced my existing perception that I am not in any sense called to be a Christian Religious Educator. I am slogging through a paper that I am basically making up out of whole cloth. And attempting to tie to readings. Even thinking about it is putting me to sleep. Gah.

So also meanwhile I am slogging through a mess at church. Miscommunication/lack of communication/misunderstandings/triangulation/you name it. Somehow a proposed mandatory workshop for staff and board members to review the church's covenant and help us know how to live it, turned into a weekend retreat out of town. I had, upon even getting wind of this possibility, emailed to say, overnight is something I cannot do. Had gotten no acknowledgment of my communication, then got an email saying, here is the plan, here is what WE are doing. Which hit me at the wrong time--I had a splitting headache and a ton on my mind, and I was mad, so responded perhaps more quickly than wisely; got an ambiguous response that made me feel no better; responded to that, and was ultimately treated to a full-bore "venting session" from my boss, which was full of accusations, assumptions of my intent, global "you" statements -- you know, the ever-effective "you always" and "you never," along with a whole BUNCH of statements about how this person, that person, the Russian army, their boots, and their horses, were angry and dissatisfied with my work. As my boss is also someone dear to me whose opinions I value, I took every word as gospel truth.

What a mess. It was all I could do to even walk in on Sunday, having been primed to believe everyone was mad at me. My boss and friend thinks I am paranoid and has no sense that his explosion might have engendered such a feeling. I am, perhaps, oversensitive, but my Lord I hate this style of "venting." I felt slashed to ribbons, undermined, devastated. Unfortunately, the guys at church apparently think "venting" in this way is healthy.

Have only touched the tip of the iceberg on this. I think my friend and I have repaired the friendship, and I have asked for a meeting with the entire senior staff, in one room at one time, to clarify expectations about my work performance. I want to at least try to cut through the triangulation. We shall see if it happens and how it goes.

Back to my damn paper. Gotta make up a couple more pages.