Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Post trip--being home

It's been a couple of days now, since I got home, but still.....it's so nice to be home!

I really missed:

my dear husband

the kids I left behind (one was there in NC, although not really "with" me)

fresh brewed coffee (didn't buy s-bux even once....)

the little dog (even though she ran away while I was gone and they found her in the middle of an INTERSECTION! Naughty dog.)

hot baths with bath salts

KUOW, my local public radio station (OK, I'm not done being mad about Mister Keillor and his abuse of my faith, but I promise I'll pledge again)

fresh food that you cook and eat right away

my kitchen table


Pacific Northwest weather.....but getting up to at least 70 degrees would actually be OK with me, really.

Seems to me I'm getting to be a little bit of a homebody. But that's OK with me. I like being home. I have a whole lot to do, and eventually it'll get done. But for now, I'm happy to be home. It was really heart-healing good to be with dear colleagues and friends. It was good to just get to sit and experience soul deep worship, I sure miss going to church during the year. And even though I'm still a little tired, and looking to some of the details of fall planning makes me actually shiver a little, I'm feeling a sense of hope and renewal. It's clear that this faith makes a difference, and the things we stand for and the things we do change the world a little bit every day. So, I guess it's worth it all.

Welcome home! or Happy Trails! Hope the summer is beautiful and filled with peace and solitude and fun!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

GA, last day.

The gathering of congregations from my faith is nearly over, I'm getting ready to leave.

What I'll bring home is:

A sense of renewal.

A really beautiful mobile for the new preschool room.

Great joy at getting to witness my son in his home church--the "First UU Church of GA-ville".

Some fabulous books.

Some new things to do in leading worship--maybe not throwing a ball, but hey--we dropped balloons from the balcony a few weeks ago--anything is possible.

And a commitment to bringing race and ethnicity into the conversation in working with our RE Committee and  in our teacher training. The truth is that with 125 kids I am not often in direct contact with all the kids, so it's a training issue in the weekly implementation. I am white, and I've really struggled with bringing a strong message about race into the program-I realize that I really don't "Get It" about what a person of color experiences. I know I'll never really know. I am white. I live white. I know that I cannot possibly know what it feels like to be anything else.

But I think I might know a tiny grain of something. Here's the story:

The day after the Fahs Lecture by Dr. Mark Hicks entitled: "Religious Education for People of Color" I was having dinner with a friend who mentioned that she'd checked in with a member of her congregation about Mark's charge that we go out into our churches and bring race into the conversation. She mentioned a family from her congregation that has a trans-racially adopted child. She had asked--following the lecture-- if they'd like to have race and ethnicity be touched on at their church. They said "no." They didn't want their child singled out, and they didn't expect church, certainly, to deal with race. After all, they expressed, they don't think she experiences racism.

I am sure that I know so little about race that I don't even know what I don't know. But this is absolutely untrue. I share my life with a trans-racially adopted man--my dear husband. And yes, you may say, things are different now 40 some years after he was adopted. Maybe. Maybe that's true--maybe that's what I don't know. But actually I do know. Things may be different but they're not that different.

Race is real and present in the lives of our children. What my husband has told a very few white people (because he'll say, you don't say this to white folks) is that you never tell your white parents. You hide it as fast and as far as you can, you even try to hide it from yourself. Because it is a horrible and shaming experience and you don't want anyone to know what has happened to you.

I mean here--replace race with gay/lesbian/trans/bi or gender identity and see what you get. They didn't want their child singled out, and they didn't expect church, certainly, to deal with "sexual orientation" or "gender identity". After all, they expressed, they don't think she experiences "homophobia" or "transphobia". No Way.

And then...buying t-shirts and bumper stickers for my two teenaged sons who are not here I asked what I thought was a simple question to one of the exhibitors here. My sons back home are both black belts in Tae Kwon Do. They have a great Korean master who has been a wonderful mentor as they are growing into men. But they've also read and studied the work of Bruce Lee--a hapa man also from Seattle with whom the feel a connection and who has written some very deep and philosophical teachings that have meant a great deal to them. 

I asked, "Do you have anything with a quote by Bruce Lee?" this man replied "Like 'I am Kato' or 'The Green Lantern'" I was so mad I thought I'd spit in his face (and screw compassion for his racist ignorant soul). 

So yeah, work to do. Not just in classrooms, but throughout the faith.

Do we have "Building the World We Dream About" for Kindle? Maybe this is what I need to read on my way home.

Safe home all my UU friends! Thanks for a lovely GA!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Breakthrough--the big day!

Hoo boy, I think I forgot to say anything about our "Breakthrough Congregation" award yesterday!

Here's the video of our big moment on the stage, but even more importantly....our video! It's about 18 minutes in.

Watch live streaming video from uuaga at livestream.com

And just for fun, here's the "response" written by a member of the congregation I serve, Mr. Rand Cufley--it was actually used to kick off the pledge drive this year. The theme of the pledge drive was "Carry Through". Love the line "It's not enough to break through if we don't break through together."

And really that's all you need to know about the congregation I serve.

But it was quite an honor to receive this award. And I really enjoyed presenting with the other congregation who shared our workshop slot: the fabulous Beaufort Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. What a fabulous group of excited folks! I think they're not done growing, not by a long shot.


Once upon a time I blogged every day at GA.

Man, that was a long time ago!

Yesterday was a good day. A fabulous day! I mean, what a great day.

I learned a whole lot, I met up with friends and colleagues and people who live in my heart but who I almost never get to actually wrap my arms around. And I got to debrief the day with my brilliant and insightful son when the day was over.

Here are my fractured-brain reflections:

God is a verb. Uh huh.

Dr. Mark Hicks is a brilliant and gifted leader and we have a whole hell of a lot of work to do to make our Religious Education ministries "expect" to minister to children of color in our classrooms. He even mentioned the unique needs of trans-racially adopted children. He didn't specifically speak about children who come from "Loving" families--mixed race kids, but still, good stuff.

Then the New Epiphany Revival. Sometimes what you really need to do is to sing out loud and to hold hands with those people who you are actually getting to see finally and to cry a little. That's good stuff. And it almost made me have a little hope and faith again after a year that made me so tired that sometimes I just wanted to curl up on the floor and rest. Just for a minute, you know. But this was hope. And faith. Good. Stuff.

And then there was the Synergy Worship (and how BRILLIANT was it to have the Nick Page concert roll directly into Synergy--SO good so good so good. Thousands of people stayed)

Ok, and who knew that Nita Penfold is married to Nick Page? Really? Spirit Play and music? Way to go changing the world in THAT household! Amazing.

The Synergy worship was fabulous. Watching our youth bridge to young adulthood was deeply moving. Hearing Bill Sinkford and Lee Barker speak about their experience as UU youth and Liberal Religious Youth--also fabulous.

But the most amazing thing I heard last night was from Betty Jeanne Reuters-Ward. And it was not completely comfortable to hear. She spoke of broken promises to youth--and how painful it was for the young adults who treasured YRUU that it's gone. And that we don't really have a continental structure for youth any longer. I know, because my son's been smack dab in the middle of the whole process, that the goals and hopes and dreams for youth are good and very well intentioned. I know that there is a hope and dream that our youth will have their spiritual needs met in their own congregations and districts. I understand. I   am a "boots on the ground" religious educator trying and trying to make youth ministry vibrant and vital in my own congregation.

And the truth is that there are no easy answers, and that there is a huge amount of work ahead to find the right and good answers about serving our youth well. And the only way to really get there is to speak the truth. Even if it's uncomfortable. And even if it's right in front of Bill Sinkford.

Amen. Amenamenamen!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The General Assembly of Congregations:Thursday

First: have you seen that you can stream events happening at the UUA GA?

OK, you should. Please. Now. Really, I mean it. Even if you're not a Unitarian Universalist. If you care about people and love and life, come on. It's the ONE thing you can do.

The other thing I can say is that I am so glad to learn that the people I was partnered with in our year-long study group about UU theology were really the top notch folks thinking about theology and life because I seemed to be a little over my head, so yeay for the people who crossed the stage tonight. You rock. And thank God I really should have had no idea what was going on when we were talking hard core theology.

Yes. Off the hook.

Blessings all!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Living the Life at General Assembly

Two things:

1) Free bananas and apples at the hotel are fabulous.

2) Getting a "smoking" room accidentally is a real bummer. But--oh well. This is one of those times I wish our "middle-class-gold-member" status would fix a hotel issue, but I guess a full hotel is a full hotel. So, whatever! Good to remember that having a place to sleep and air conditioning is really quite a privilege. And the guy at the front desk says he's got a magic machine that will fix some of the stench. Hope so.

I had a really lovely day at the LREDA Professional Day. I learned a lot about what's happenin' and hoppin' in the world of Religious Education and I got to see so many people who live in my heart all year but I almost never get to see, and that might be the best part of all.

Somehow though, I do feel a little like it's my first GA and I'm just learning how to be a religious educator. Except that when I read through the different things expected of a religious educator today at the credentialing panel, I realize I'm no rookie.

I've been around. Kind of a while. Nothing compared to some, but still....kind of a while.

And the most important thing I learned today?

I am really lucky. Really super freaky lucky.

I serve a congregation of well grounded beautiful people who have a wide experience with other UU congregations. I serve with a wonderful partner in ministry (can you believe, there are people who have to be CAREFUL around the minister they serve with?! horrors. Really. Horrors!) and the music director who started last September has joined the ministry partnership in a professional and fabulous way. He's a partner and an ally and he likes my dog. What else on earth could a person need?

Nothing. Nothing at all. Well, maybe a good hot baked potato, but other than that? Nothing at all! Looking forward to the opening ceremony. Amazing? I bet, I bet it will be just that. Amazing.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Charlotte, NC--where it's HOT! And people of Liberal Faith are running rampant!

The Severe Thunderstorm alert is running across the bottom of the tv screen in my hotel room. We had a rockin' round of boomers here in Uptown--my friend and I barely got back from dinner before they really rolled in, but I didn't mind getting a little wet and moving fast after sitting all day in airplanes and airports.

My flights were fine, if a little delayed at my connection in DC, due to the same storms, I think.

And even though I took off with no hotel reservation this morning ( I could SWEAR I booked a second reservation for tonight at my hotel after I decided I could come today, not just tomorrow.....I think it's like my order from the Gap...didn't quite hit "confirm") I'm settled in a lovely hotel really close to the one I'll be in the rest of the stay. And yes, Michael won't be able to dump his stuff in our room, but oh well, it's all good.

I got to see a few dear faces tonight and I'm looking forward to seeing many more tomorrow.

My little dog ran away from home today, since I didn't bring her with me when she tried to sneak into my suitcase. But they got her home and fixed the broken fence. Naughty dog. They found her in the middle of a busy intersection. My heart is still pounding.

I forgot to bring band aids, and of course, already raked a door across my foot so I might actually wear my Birkenstocks with my leggings.....ha! I brought an umbrella but have to remember to actually bring it with me when I go out. I worked on our power point for the Breakthrough Congregation session, but I'd better run it by the others who are here....I may have added too many pictures of kids. Wait, can there ever be too many pictures of kids?

It's hot here, our average temperature this past month in Seattle has been 57, so 100 is a huge jump, but who cares. I'm here, I'm happy, and it's time to enjoy the week! LREDA meetings at 8:45 tomorrow, so even though it's not even 9pm my time, I'd better skedattle to bed!

Tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the year; Opening Ceremony at GA! And of course, LREDA Professional day! Oh happy smile.

Blessings to all! Big, bright stormy blessings!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Heading off to the big PARTY!

About six years ago I headed off to my first UUA General Assembly of congregations in Fort Worth, Texas. I had been a religious educator for about 12 minutes and I begged everyone I met for help figuring out just what the heck I was going to do with all these 23 children for a whole year.

The next year I went to St. Louis with two youth--one of them my oldest son who was 14 at the time. We stayed very, very far away from the convention center and walked our teens home at night through areas people probably shouldn't walk though at night in St. Louis. I witnessed some history at the "Transracial Abductees" panel and cried pretty much the whole way home, but still--was filled and enriched by the experience--well, eventually anyway.

The following year must have been in Portland and I remember being so thrilled to just get to drive to GA and to be able to bring oranges and a case of soup with a hot pot to heat it up. We brought 4 youth that year--all on scholarship from our district. And my son was elected to national leadership.

In Fort Lauderdale I got to room for part of the time with one of my best friends in the whole world, and we ate Cuban food and drove her Prius to the beach. Michael was the Jr. FUNTIMES manager and I had to make an appointment to have dinner with him he was so busy. It was hot. Really hot. So hot. Super hot. But I had a fabulous time and I launched this blog during the week.....

Then we were in Salt Lake City, and I was coming on to the LREDA board holding the GA Portfolio. It was a flawless GA for me, except for the thunderstorm that shattered the glass in the Convention Center and the tension over the election for the UUA president. And of course, it was hot. Michael was the Sr. FUNTIMES manager and I wasn't even his sponsor because he had to come even earlier than the LREDA board.

Oh and then, Minneapolis. And I got to see another of my very BFF--cool how my friends are UU, isn't it? And I was in the town I grew up in, and got to drive past the location of the nursery school my grandmother and mother owned from the 40s to the 70s. I had a fabulous time with friends, and I hope did an OK job on the LREDA GA presence. Michael was the HUUPER, and didn't need a sponsor because he was an adult. But I saw him once or twice anyway. There were thunderstorms that I walked through holding my shoes so they didn't get wet and it wasn't too hot at all. The rooftop happy hours with my dear roommate were probably the highlight, though!

Now, I'm packed and headed to Charlotte, NC. I had hoped to bring my youngest son, but the airfare of $700 we'd have had to have paid was impossible. I am again rooming with my oldest, both of us holding much less responsibility than we have for a while, both of us looking forward to roaming the exhibit hall and just attending sessions. Our congregation has won a breakthrough congregation award, but other than that, I have few responsibilities. I'll listen and learn and sit next to people and beg them to tell me what to do when you've just moved into a church building of your own and you have 125 registered children and youth and you're already out of space. I'll rest a little after the craziest year ever, and I'll hope to come back with ideas and resources to see us through another year.

And I'll tell you all about it! Hope to see you in Charlotte, or at least in the comment section!

Look for me, I'll be wearing a very relaxed expression, and you know, maybe--leggings.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cue the cheezy violin music.....

I've been just a mess these past couple of days. My youngest son had a lovely run as Fredric in "The Pirates of Penzance" this weekend. He isn't really a tenor--a high baritone, yes, but not a tenor but between the heroic transposing of our music by our wonderful music director and my son's fabulous voice teacher, he just sounded fabulous through three shows and a dress rehearsal over the past few days. And his very best friends in the world were in the cast, and the rest of his closest friends--in the audience. He was even supposed to kiss the girl in the last scene, but I think it felt a little too weird since he's known her since she was in preschool, so he picked her up, twirled her around and then did a deep dip away from the audience which you could interpret however you may like.

It was a fabulous performance. I'll post video soon because it's out of copy write--yeay! so it's legal! The whole cast of almost all middle schoolers was simply amazing.

And since I can talk easily in front of people given my church life, I was asked to do the "thank yous" at the end, which was fine but by the end it was all I could do not to sob out loud.

This school has been one of the solid centers of our family life for seven years, just a few months after we moved to Seattle. We've celebrated births and mourned deaths with our friends there, we've spent holidays and vacations and every milestone possible with our extended family from school. Our boys have really grown up there. And now, we'll never, ever go back. I don't have to go sit in the lunch room and study airport codes, or read curriculum or do mountains of dishes that teens left behind. It's over. I can visit, but it'll never be the same.

People tried to compliment me on my son's performance last night, and all I could do was nod and bite my lip and try not to fall completely apart.

That's the other thing--he went from being forced to take the musical theater class which performed a canned, packaged musical that lasted 20 minutes to being an accomplished actor and the lead in an operetta. It's been a blessed gift to be here. Our middle son took his first biology course here and did his first animal experiment ( at age 9-nearly identical to the one just completed in AP Biology!) and dissected his first animal--now he's headed off to work toward an Associate in Science at the community college instead of his last two years of high school. And the oldest was a member of the robotics class and then the coach of the First Lego league team--and was assistant director of two musicals (Suessical and You're a Good Man Charlie Brown) and is now headed to an engineering degree and maybe even a drama minor at the University of Washington.

Our little homeschool school has been a beautiful bright blessing in the life of our family.

I will miss it. I will miss everyone.

And as I mourn myself into a self pitying puddle of muddled drama, we hear the violin soar...

Sun rise, sun set.....sun rise, sun set.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Top Ten True Things about Saturday Afternoon at church

We've only had a church building for just over a year now. And sometimes, it still surprises me a little. How did that even happen?

It's a long story about how we got here. Come to our session at GA, Friday at 2:45pm--Breakthrough Congregations small to medium.

Back to the day..... I'm here today, mostly waiting for my youngest son while he attends a music council meeting. But also doing some last minute prep for tomorrow's RE Celebration Sunday. It involves kites and leis and many, many balloons. And it's very, very Saturday.

Top Ten True Things about Saturday Afternoon at Church

10. There is always someone working on the garden. Gardens. Many gardens.
9. The parking lot has a few cars, but not the same staff cars I always see.
8. No lights are on.
7. The office is quiet.
6. If you work in your office, you'll hear a smattering of laughter and hooting and hollering--especially if lively musicians are meeting.
5. The view out the window is especially serene.
4. A squeaky chair is extremely loud.
3. The ticking clock, also extremely loud.
2. Desire to wander into the quiet sanctuary and just sit for a bit-huge.
1. Feeling of peace and love--still everywhere.

Dear Universe,

Thank you for the church building. We like it very much.



Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Dreaded.....LEGGINGS!

OK, I actually laughed out loud at this post by the dear and dedicated PeaceBang about......leggings.

I mean. Come on! Leggings! Who the heck cares if people are rocking the REI style and wearing leggings with their casual and funky dresses during the summer months (apparently--forbidden by the goddess of goodness in dress for clergy and others everywhere) who cares?

Not me!

Well, I do. I don't want to be forbidden to do anything. ANYTHING! Especially by an illustrious "Rev. Dr."--you know--two sets of letters in front of anyone's name kind of brings out the rebel in me.  Tell me not to?? Well, I might just cancel my Ann Taylor order for clothes for GA and replace it with an lovely little trip to the local REI. (where, it just so happens, my dear middle son who is only 16 works--they don't hire people his age, but that's just the kind of kid he is....yes that was bragging, oh go jump in a lake if it bothers you!)

I mean, let's quote our dear Ms. PeaceBang here...."If I see you in these I will fall to the floor and roll around with my tongue lolling out like some medieval poisoned monarch."

That sounds like a challenge. A challenge I just might take. But there's more. Isn't there always more?

This actually brings to mind a significant difference I've discerned in the coasts. I grew up smack in the middle of the continent as a Secular Humanist UU--and in the past 30 some years I've grown into a warm and fuzzy West Coast liberal who says "God" sometimes wears a suit to lead worship--sometimes with just the right fashion accessories, and sometimes (GASP) without. But as a friend at a local congregation just experienced--we don't necessarily fit PB's rules. We're different when it comes to other rules, too. One dear person I know who is looking for work on the East Coast and is striking out, could probably--no easily, find work out here on the West Coast--we're just more open and friendly and relaxed and accepting. It's different.

I like it a whole lot better. Here we have real freedom to believe as we are called to believe, to worship in ways that we are called to worship (as my colleagues who asked this week when the walked thru the new lovely sanctuary of my church--yes! we DO use the drum set almost every week!) and to....

wear what we wish to wear!

But still, not without a really long tunic or a dress, that much I'm buying completely. Yes.

Here's where to find the best "left coast" look around http://www.rei.com/. And if you come to GA and you deign to wear  l e g g i n g s--find me! We'll make a down right scene out of the thing!


And remember.....it's June and we STILL have highs in the 50s out here some days. It's different. Really different. Don't judge til you come out here and spend some real time. We NEED leggings to pretend it's summer and keep us warm!

Happy Friday, all! And bright blessings for all things good-- and free and cool ankles.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

iphone syndrome

I have joined the new decade--just a little late, I know, but hey--I've been busy and I work for a non-profit. It's just the way it goes!

But as I learn how to check my three email accounts, and facebook, and pandora and the super cool weather app-- I have realized what's been happening in the volunteer support portion of my job.

iphone syndrome.

People say to me: "I didn't see that email". "We've got a meeting tonight?" "You tried to reach me?" "You're not going to be there?" "When?" "Where?" "How?"

I thought I was absolutely losing my mind. Really? How did I get so extremely flaky? But then I realized that half the people I thought I'd communicated with, knew about the meeting or the plan or whatever.

Then I got my iphone and the rest became clear. If you read a message in the parking lot between the grocery store and the car--you may not remember either the details or the whole message, you probably won't reply, and you certainly aren't going to take time to put it on your calendar.

But there's more than just iphone syndrome. People are not checking email--opting for texting and facebook instead. They're probably active on twitter, but that's on my list for July, so I'm not even aware of what I'm missing there. And when they see "church" come up on their caller id, they let my calls go to voice mail--I know that's true!

It's good to know I've not lost my mind. And it's good to know that some of the lovely volunteers and parents and teens I communicate with aren't just dismissing me out of hand. I think I just need to adjust the way I manage communications. I need a twitter feed that posts to a facebook page that you can sign up to receive text messages from. And I need to learn to communicate in 10 word bursts. "like" the status and I'll consider it a done deal.

Or I'll just build a bonfire and learn to send smoke signals. Or semaphore. Or drumming. Or maybe I'll just pare down the schedule a little, post the information on a bulletin board and call it "retro" scheduling! Ha.

So all that said, when I blow off your cute facebook post on my wall, hit me back--I probably just read it on my iphone while buying huge vats of hummus at Costco. Ha!

Almost summer. Almost summer. Almost summer.

Monday, June 6, 2011

June, finally, June.

It's finally June. Well, it's been June for a few days now, but it's finally sinking in. We held the last day of classes for our church school yesterday. And we had our final Religious Exploration committee meeting last night. I could hardly even socialize at our impromptu outing to a local restaurant, I was so exhausted.

It was really nice to see this article from Marilyn Sewell and to watch the official trailer for her movie which is about to debut.

This is what I want to do, the things she speaks of in the opening scene. I want to help create a place that gives children the freedom to be who and what they are deep in their soul. Not sure if that is possible anymore. I'm too tired!

Maybe some coffee, some mindless work cleaning out electronic files. And then maybe the sun will come out and I can sing like Annie and find that spark of hope again!

Because, at least--at least--it's JUNE!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Vampires Have Consumed the WEEK!

I'm so sorry, there must be a rampant rage of vampires running wild here in the dewy dawn of June.


Sucking every last stinkin' minute from the week.

There was the last minute need at our little homeschool school because almost every family has a child who is sick so all the moms and dads are home.....but of course sending the one or two healthy kids to school. And our brand new hardly- ruined-at-all office manager was out sick, and our temporary-doing-heroic-double-duty-work program manager actually has to teach the high school classes on Thursday--so she was busy. I think the first adult in the building wound up subbing in the office (reason 348 to never walk in the building first...one other being the possibility of discovering ant infestations...) and so when I saw the call on facebook for a headcount of who was going to be on site for the day--with no replies, I knew I was on.

No problem, really. This school has been our home and offered a fabulous education to all my boys. I can give a day.

So that was no vampire, really. Just a need.

And then there was this project I said I'd do that I didn't really want to do but I felt obligated to do because it wasn't really that difficult after all, and the people asking me were really overwhelmed with other things.....so I said yes. Oh dear. Say no. Never say yes. Practice with me. "No" "Noooooooooo!" "Nope" "No" "No thank you!" Um, yeah. Didn't say no, and I really should have. Well, unless *I* ask you for something. Then say yes.

So, yeah, that was kind of a vampire. Vampire-ish. Taking lots of time and lots of time to just worry about busted deadlines and falling reputation.

Then there was all those children I had a couple of decades ago who need to go places and eat and register for new schools and interview for internships and you know.....live in my house. Geez!

No, OK, not vampires at all. Just lovely children who are so happy to be together after months apart that video games are played until all hours of the night and homework is sloppily completed--so much so it's sent home again. Oh well. People are more important than algebra, right?

And then the actual work I do, which is lovely work that is only possible with the combination of a devoted faith community and families and children and the end of the church year. And movies--the production of the year end movie. And bridging gifts which can no longer be purchased at the local drug store but must now be purchased from a mega-provider of Kindergarten bears. Because we've grown by some 60% this year. And I'm tired, and it's overwhelming every time I walk in the building, or log onto email. or think about our little church busting out of it's walls....still busting out of it's walls.

But that's not a vampire. That's a glad gift of exhausting and exhilarating service. And it's lots of amazing children and youth. That's always a good thing.

OK, I guess I take it back. It wasn't vampires that consumed my week. It was my life. My rich and full and vibrant life. And it wasn't sucked out of anything. It was just the real truth of what happens when we engage in this one wild life and when we care. It's life.

My life.