Monday, July 17, 2006

A picture of "Blaze"

This is "Blaze," a modern-day circuit rider's loyal steed. No hay nor grain for this one, only a gallon of gasoline every ninety miles or so.

I tried to add this to my last post, but it just didn't happen. The cross and flame sticker has been added just below and to the left of the KimPossible sticker on the windshield.

How do you get better? Practice, practice, practice!

Alright, God sometimes has an interesting way of getting a point across.

For some time now I have been struggling with "praying out loud." Once upon a time, I didn't fear it, but in the last several years - maybe since I started seminary and hear so many people who are SO-O-O-O good at it -I've become insecure about it.

But NOW, I am responsible for pastoring two congregations, so I get to do it a lot. I especially have difficulty with the pastoral prayer and trying to incorporate the joys and concerns that have been shared. Both congregations are accustomed to these being included in the prayer.
For what it's worth, my very kind husband, who is usually quite honest, says he thinks I really do okay with the pastoral prayer.

Enter God, stage right.

In the two weeks that I have been in this appointment, four of my parishioners have been hospitalized for major health issues. I have visited, and I know they really expect a prayer before I leave. I try. I think I'm getting better at it, but I'm still fearful. Is this God's way of making sure I practice? Do the people I'm praying for/with really hear what I say, or is it enough that I'm present and attempting to pray for/with them?

Now, about those hospital visits.... All the visits this week were by scooter, and I even parked it in the clergy spot at one of the hospitals. The other two didn't have clergy spots, or I would have there, too. Sunday, I rode my scooter to both of the churches. Parked it in the pastor spot. One of the men who has only come back to church since I've been there (he didn't get along with my predecessor) came up to me before church started and said, "Is that your motorbike out there?" I said, "Yes." He said, "You are ALL right." Made me smile.

Actually, the scooter became a necessity this weekend. Steve had my van on a Scout trip, and the clutch went out on his car just before he left town as I was on my way to visit the hospital. He was able to drive it home, I had to make do with our remaining vehicles, none of which allow the transport of more than one passenger. Therefore, the kids were stuck at home. Friends picked them up to take them to church. They don't go to the same church as me, anyway. The scooter was the most convenient of the other vehicles, so I rode it to church. Now I remember why I got a couple of gaucho outfits last summer...for times such as these.

I've decided to name my scooter "Blaze." As I was riding between churches on a weekday in my first week on the job, I was thinking about the circuit riders of the old days, and how I was kind of doing the same thing in a more modern style. I thought my scooter needed a name like that you would give a horse. Someone suggested Blaze, and I do have flames on it, and added a UM Cross and Flame sticker, so Blaze it is!

Enough randomness. See you soon.