Important Disclaimer

Since I currently have several employers/supervisors/churches/etc., please know that none of the words on my blog represent them or their beliefs. This blog is my own creation.

It also does not represent my children's perspective, nor my mother's; they think I am funny, but misguided.
(Quick update: only my mother thinks I'm funny now.)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dropped Out of the Almighty's Pocket

Sunday, January 29, 2012
Sermon by Katie Mulligan

Scripture Readings: Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28 and Luke 15:1-10

I have often wondered what it means that there are three stories of being lost, one right after another, in the gospel of Luke. Often we focus on the prodigal son story—and why not? After all, there’s something for everybody in that story. The younger brother who gets too big for his britches, or just tired of sitting in the shadows, and goes off to see the world and find himself. He takes with him his inheritance, squanders it, and gets into trouble. We see the younger brother and see ourselves, or our loved ones, as we have been (or are perhaps now), wasteful, lost, sinful, bringing doom down upon ourselves. And who among us hasn’t had the opportunity to truly humble ourselves to another? The prodigal son’s return mirrors our own journeys back into relationship. Perhaps we’ve found such grace that he did, or perhaps not, but eating humble pie, well we’ve all had to do that.

And the older brother! Any takers? Oh, I know there’s some older brothers here! Worked HARD for his money. Every morning he got up and went all in. He worked 14 hour days. He put in his time, he earned his tenure, he saved into that retirement plan. He was in the union. He marched in the protests. He voted every year. He was dutiful toward his father and gave at the office AND at home. Perhaps you remember the song from the Kinks, “A Well Respected Man”?

Friday, January 27, 2012

We're Already Here

Church gate in Taos, New Mexico
Several folks have asked me in the last few weeks, "What do you think the Christian community is missing in reaching out to the LGBTQ community?"

Your answer is in the question itself and consists of two parts:

1) There is no single, unified Christian community nor is there a single, unified LGBTQQI2S* community.

2) Christian and LGBTQQI2S are not polar opposites. We overlap. There are LGTBQQI2S individuals in Christian communities the world over.

An example of how this problematic question plays out is in John Shore's recent blog post: "An Open Letter From Christians to Gay People." It was a letter of apology in the form of a prophetic dream and offered a hope for reconciliation and expressed sorrow for pain caused. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

At Table in Spirit

Quick Update: The chocolate truffle tart was Divine. Delicious. To Die For.

I was feeling anxious today with not a lot to keep me busy. So I decided to make a chocolate tart thingy I've been meaning to make for a while: Pure Gold: Clementine Truffle Tart. I knew it would be complicated, because my friend says so, right on her blog. But this thing took me six hours. Which is good. Six hours, puttering about my kitchen, quadruple checking the directions, texting friends in between, thinking through a blog post I'll write later.

I had to boil the mandarin peels first, after juicing the mandarins (which I realized later was kind of silly--the point was to empty the mandarin peels, and I could have just eaten them). And when they were done boiling I spent more time than I will admit scraping off the white stuff from the peel. And then I candied the peels in sugar water for an hour.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Piecework

I was going to write a post on ordination and call. Actually, I had a fair amount of it written, but it was duller than dishwater. What I was trying to say is that I think we should consider changing our ordination process to ordain people FOR ministry instead of ordaining people TO particular ministries. This was all wrapped up in an excruciatingly boring explanation of our call/ordination system. I just think we should consider the time under care of a local congregation and presbytery CPM as the external test of call, ordain folks who get through it FOR ministry, and then turn them loose, paycheck be damned.

But that's a conversation for either a committee or a bottle of wine. Because every person I talk to about this thinks this is a bad idea, and I need either The Contrarian of your committee to run with this or the wine to deflect your disapproval.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Wipe The Dust

For a few years now decades, a certain tension festered within my church denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA). One might say it is The Gay. Or Biblical Inerrancy. Or Social Justice. Or Any Number of Other Polarizing Issues. There tend to be broad coalitions that form along different sides of The Issues, although don't assume, my friends. In theology queer bedfellows abound.

If you've followed this blog and the goings on of the PC (USA) over the last few years, you're probably up to date on our Troubles. But here's a quick synopsis (in 3 easy steps) for those who don't care at least as much as I do: 

1) Last year the PC (USA) amended its Rule Book to allow the ordination of individuals sexually active outside of marriage (which is defined by that rule book as between one man and one woman). Effectively this means that we can ordain Queerly Partnered Queer Folk (and as critics are wont to point out: Philanderers too). 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Called to This Leaky Apartment

Yesterday I posted a link to a map-chart of new Presbyterian congregations in the U.S. in the last 10 years. You can find that map-chart in figure 3 here: PCUSA Stats. The map is nearly blank. 

Over the last couple of days, Landon Whitsitt has posted a couple of blogposts, suggesting newly minted seminary graduates set off to plant new churches. Here are those posts:

Dear Young(ish) Mainline Pastor Type People: Please Plant a Church

Further thoughts on my “plant a church” post

You can go read the posts if you want--they make plenty of sense. The titles are self-explanatory--Landon basically says new pastors who want opportunities for new ministry should consider planting a church.