Monday, October 29, 2007


Yesterday was Reformation Sunday. Reformation Day proper is two days away. Today is the calendar-date anniversary of my ordination, but yesterday was the liturgical anniversary.
I was ordained on Reformation Sunday on purpose, for so many reasons. It's one of my favorite days. Aside from being in the best season of the year, it's also a good day of remembering. We Protestants remember where we came from, where we've been, and what it has cost to get where we are. We Reformed-always-being-Reformed types look ahead at all that needs to be reformed. I love the music, the remembering, the tartans, the bagpipes, the history. At heart I am Reformed, though I lean in other theological directions sometimes (process theology can be so seductive, after all). Though our history is bloody, I love the people and the confluence of historical events that made this all possible--the printing press, the ability to travel, the political climate, the decline of Latin, etc etc etc. It's so interesting! And deep inside, I think something very right has come out of it all, along with all the wrong things. Reformed and always being Reformed by the Word and Spirit of God.

I also chose Reformation Sunday because my mother died on Reformation Day, and I needed a way to redeem (in some sense) the date on the calendar. Though her body wasn't with us on that evening in a neo-gothic cathedral one year ago, I know her spirit was there. It was a wonderful evening filled with friends and food (I am my mother's daughter, after all!). It was a chance for both me and the date to be re-formed. And we have--there's been a lot of reformation in the past year.

And so I choose to remember my ordination anniversary as "Reformation Sunday" rather than "October 29" because, in this as in so many things, the liturgical marker is so much more important to me than the calendrical one. Time being cyclical (or perhaps spiral?), especially in the church, I love those markers. Even this one that marks division, because it also marks new beginnings, re-formings, re-creation.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dear T.S. Eliot...

...I love you and your words.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


my puter has come home with a new logic board.
I have come home from two days in Wisconsin where the leaves have changed colors and things are pretty. and the cheese is good.
Dad's on his way home tomorrow.

Birthday was awesome--David LaMotte sang me Happy Birthday! :-) Presents were amazing. I am now in possession of more cake/cheesecake/sweet goodies than one person can possibly eat.

I am going to pet my kitties now, to get ready for back-to-work tomorrow.... :-)

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Happy birthday to me!
The ballet was awesome.
David LaMotte is on his way here.
I got amazing presents. And I can almost buy a drum!

Gotta go do church.... :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

puter sick, and other tales

My 'puter has had a kernel panic issue for the third time in 6 months. It has gone to the MacDoctor and will hopefully be returned or replaced sometime in the next week. In the meantime, I am at the mercy of office computers (which are all windows) so my puter life is mostly on hold for a little while. It's hard to be away from your email when you didn't really plan that! (now when you do plan it, it's a beautiful and liberating thing....but unexpectedly? no.)

In other news, my dad has arrived and we are going to play. Saturday we have tickets to the ballet--Joffrey doing Giselle! I am very excited. Sunday is church day and David LaMotte is coming!!! (yay for a really fantastic birthday present!) Monday and Tuesday we go to Wisconsin for some "pretty"--since apparently Illinois is ugly? Good times.

A bunch more episodes of Cadfael came in to the library today so I am looking forward to watching them sometime soon. I asked for episdoes 5-13, and they had to be brought from another library because we only had 1-4. Interestingly, I got all but 10 and 13 today. Luckily, it's not critical that they be watched in order. It's an amusing show. I know I'm super behind, since it was on PBS 14 years ago, but whatever. It is entertaining me now! And the library, man--who knew they had so much great stuff?

My birthday is on Sunday! woohoo!

Okay, I am going to do some work that doesn't involve my computer. I hope it comes home soon....

Monday, October 15, 2007


It was a good day in church today--good music, good feel, etc. The choir was amazing. The post-church hours were taken up by the CROP walk--4 miles in the rain. One of our youth walked it with one of those electronic fake babies for a class, and that baby cannot get wet. But no complaining from her--it was great! Our church raised about $2700, which is more than our goal, so that's pretty good. I'm sure we could do better, though. Next year?
It was plague day in confirmation. That's right, we read the stories of the plagues and then the confirmands draw pictures of each plague on its own poster. The fellowship hall is currently covered in plagues. Awesome.

when I got home I reheated some risotto (yesterday's dinner: butternut squash and spinach risotto, with all ingredients except rice coming from my local farm, including my homemade veggie broth!) and watched episode 4 of Cadfael. It's a highly amusing show. Only 13 episodes were made (each 75 minutes). My library has only the first 4 so I have to determine whether I can ILL dvds or not. oy.

I am so tired. My body is tired. I have a headache, probably because I'm dehydrated (you don't think about that walking in the rain!). My brain is worn out from talking with 8th graders about plagues and the power of God and whether God is spiteful, mean, or hate-filled. I'm not really sure how to lean toward a process view of God when we're talking about God killing off the first born sons of Egyptians. What was that about not overpowering/coercing/forcing?

There's a lot going on in the world that I want to blog about. Condy in Israel. the 20 year civil war in Uganda and how Tappert Smiley stated that the Israelis have been successful in their "never again" so why can't the rest of the world...and somehow that had to do with Uganda, where 12,000 people are killed every (day? week? month? I can't remember). Perhaps he should ask a Palestinian about that. This whole business with Armenian genocide not being called what it is because we still want to be friends with the people who did it, and they aren't willing to admit a mistake on the part of their forbears (remember, it happened at the end of Ottoman rule...between WWI and II). A whole school district in my area is under emotional/psychological siege after a student threatened to come in and "shoot up a school"--only days after tragedy in Cleveland. How we are willing to talk about being disturbed by non-democratic trends in Russia but not blatant democracy-killing in Egypt. The fact that military officials are calling the war a disaster. the story of a marine of our church family, shared in worship today. The 3,000 children that have died while I've typed this post. The people who have nowhere to go tonight and it's cold and rainy outside.

My brain is full. My heart is full. My body is tired--and I do not have to walk 4 miles for food or water tomorrow like the people we were supporting today.

It's NPR pledge season. If you listen to a local NPR station and you're not a member, you should change that. In Chicago they are offering an "Eco pack" as a thank you gift for $180 and above. It has a nalgene bottle, reusable (and washable!) shopping bags, and some other green stuff. A great way to save the planet and support public radio! Just do it.

I tried to determine whether I could go to bed at about 8.30 and not be lame. The verdict? that is not lame on a Sunday. other days? by case. We'll see tomorrow.....when our first ever Ministry Team Night is over at 9, I may very well be ready to sleep immediately! RCLPC members reading this--now's your chance to get on one of those coveted teams! 7pm. Be there or be square. :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Oh no! Tragedy in the buffyverse! Fox has (hopefully temporarily) pulled the licensing for showing any of their shows in theaters, which means no more Buffy-Sing-Along. boo.
Show your support for the funnest few hours of good clean fun you can spend starting at midnight! Learn more here. I am too traumatized to write more. After having such a great time when I went this spring, I was so looking forward to the next time the show would be anywhere nearby....alas, not for now.

I continue to wait with hope...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

at last

Fall has come at last. The 90 degrees have dropped to 75 and will drop further tomorrow--now we are praying for some fall days and not an immediate descent into winter!
Fall is my favorite season--the colors, the temperature, the warm wind, the harvest smells. I look best in fall colors, especially burgundy and berry colors, and I'm currently wearing my favorite new brown pants. Perfect, perfect, perfect.

To make my day even more perfect, I had an Amy's Baked Ziti bowl for lunch. Holy cow was that good. vegan, gluten free (though neither of those are my needs), and amazing. The sauce, with the soy "ricotta" (I don't even like ricotta) was so good, I wanted to lick the recyclable bowl. But since that's generally frowned upon in polite company, I didn't. Even though I was alone in the church kitchen, you just never know who's going to walk in to see their pastor licking a recyclable bowl clean of its tomato sauce, and possibly getting said sauce on her face at the same time. I resisted the extremely strong temptation.

Then, to make the day EVEN BETTER I went over to Two-A-Tea, my favorite coffee shop (which is, sob!, closing at the end of the month so the owner can focus on teaching yoga and pilates and being a massage therapist!) and had a wonderful caramel apple cider. And I'm about to eat my cinnamon apple scone (yes, for dinner...I had a good lunch!). I love everything from there and will be sad to see it go.

I also got out and about a little bit today, walking around Ridgefield (our little antique shop filled neighborhood-that-was-supposed-to-be-the-town-but-Crystal-Lake-happened) handing out posters for our David LaMotte concert! That's right, David LaMotte is playing a concert At.My.Church....On.My.BIRTHDAY!!!!! I am beyond excited and am having a great time around town taking posters and telling people about it. I cannot believe he is playing a concert right here at my church on my birthday. dang, it's awesome. It's the best birthday present to myself I have ever organized. I have no words besides overused superlatives to express myself on this point. wow. So if you are in the Chicago area, come to our little church for a concert! Here's the info: David LaMotte at RCLPC!
You know you want to come celebrate with me. Come on now...we're 50 miles northwest of the city....come on out!

I think that's enough gushing for today--it's time to get back to work getting ready for meetings and whatnot. yippee. However I am avoiding news as it is likely to make me angry and I'm in a good mood today--I want it to last!

(So cool! David LaMotte is coming to my church!!!)

Sunday, October 07, 2007


I feel that I have really had my call as an Associate Pastor confirmed recently. The last two weekends on my own with Senior Pastor away have shown me my gifts, and they do not lie in the areas of remembering-everything-involved-in-communion-sunday-alone, preaching-every-week, or organizing-people-to-do-things-for-you-ahead-of-time. I could probably preach every week if it weren't for all the other things--if I had an associate to take care of programs and a good volunteer base to take care of dramas, table-setting, ushers, communion servers, or whatever. And I suppose I would remember details as it became more rote for me to go through the movements myself. but wow do I not want to be alone in this. So I guess I could maybe one day be the SP but I'm definitely not called to be a solo pastor! It's about all I can handle to do it alone for two weekends, let alone all the days in between!

so, if I was looking for it: confirmation of my sense of call: check.
now back to your regularly scheduled Sunday naps (or confirmation class, in my case....).

LOTR quotes of the day

after a whole day watching the movies, I have this to say:

"you're late."

"I am no man."


"certainty of death? small chance of victory? what are we waiting for?"

That's a little how I feel heading into Sunday this week....

Saturday, October 06, 2007

"The Food of Faith"--a sermon for Ordinary 27C/World Communion Sunday

The Rev. Teri Peterson
Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church
The Food of Faith
Lamentations 3.19-26, 2 Timothy 1.5-14
October 7 2007, Ordinary 27 C, World Communion Sunday

Lamentations 3.19-26
The thought of my affliction and my homelessness
is wormwood and gall!
My soul continually thinks of it
and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘therefore I will hope in him.’
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.

2 Timothy 1.5-14
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.

Think back with me to a visit to your grandmother’s house. What are some of the things you can always count on your grandmother to have when you go to visit her?

At my grandmother’s house I can always count on a couple of things: butterscotch brownies, those rice krispie treats with chocolate on top, and a jar of m-n-ms. Sound familiar?

I was reminded of this earlier this week when I had a phone call from my brother, asking if I had the recipe for “those brownie things with chocolate that grandma always makes.” After a only little conversation, I was able to untangle his memory of two different foods and get him the recipe for one. For the rice krispie bars with chocolate, and maybe they have peanut butter in them too? I was at a loss. I’ll have to call my grandma for the recipe. If any of you have it and feel inclined to make those for me, however, I will not refuse.

Grandma’s house, for many of us, is about food, but not just about food. It’s about comfort, it’s about familiarity, it’s about going somewhere where the people love you and teach you things your parents would never tell you about, like how to slurp spaghetti, and give you things your parents won’t, like toys that make noise. According to Paul, it’s also where we learn how to live—from our grandmothers and mothers, from our ancestors in the faith. Now at my grandma’s house, I didn’t learn about Jesus, but I did learn about good manners and hospitality. At my parent’s house, I didn’t learn about church but I did learn about being a loyal friend, following through on my commitments, and being honest. At both houses I learned about cooking, I learned about how important food can be for building community, I learned how to share my love and talent for working with food with others in need, and most importantly I learned how to learn from my mistakes and to experience grace and mercy in them rather than expecting the end of the world coming on the heels of some too-crunchy rice.

We all have these places, places where God’s mercies are indeed new every morning, places and people we call to mind as examples of God’s steadfast love, as reminders of hope in dark moments, people who have shared their lives, their faith, their love, and their food with us and who still live inside of us.

These memories, along with hope in God’s steadfast love, are our good treasure. Whenever we have a treasure, it’s tempting to hoard it, to keep it a secret, to bury it in the backyard and draw a secret map with an X to mark the spot. But that’s not the kind of treasure this is, it’s not the kind you store up for yourself. This kind of treasure only retains its value, and it only accrues interest, when we share it. A hug, a phone call, a prayer, a meal brought to a home, and we are all Lois and Eunice sharing our treasure. I make it sound so simple, I know, and I also know it’s not that easy. We’re busy people, we don’t want to impose our beliefs on others, we don’t know what to say. Thankfully one of God’s great gifts to us is the Holy Spirit living in us. She gives us the words, the actions, the courage to pass on our most treasured possession.

The best place, of course, to share anything is around a table. When bread and wine flow freely, so does conversation. We’ve all been at parties that revolved around the kitchen or the buffet table, and this one is no different. In a world where 70% of the people are hungry, in a world that feels more like night than a mercy-filled morning, in a time when hate seems to be overpowering love, in a time when money is more valued than relationships, we gather at table to share the food of faith, to share our treasure. Around the world on this day Christians have gathered at tables. When the sun came up far in the east, they celebrated, and as the sun set there it rose here and we take up the celebration, the pealing of bells, the singing, the sharing, the feasting. When the sun goes down here it will rise somewhere else and they will take up our silence with their song—God’s mercies are new every morning in every nation, in every language.

At this table, we gather with all our grandmothers and mothers, with our ancestors in the faith, with our brothers and sisters around the globe, with all God’s children, to experience God’s faithfulness and to be strengthened for God’s kingdom. Here is the steadfast love of the Lord, here is the family of faith gathered for a meal of bread and wine, and here is the food of our faith, nourishment for kingdom work.

Thanks be to God.

ok, for real

my last LOTR post for the morning....
can I just say, they handle the feeling of grief really well in this movie? They really capture the shock, the despair, the sadness, and the way you have to keep going anyway.

And, I will point out again: I love Orlando Bloom and Viggo Mortensen. I want them to come to my house. Is there a contest I can enter or something?

i'm slow

okay, so I'm sure everyone else has noticed this long before now, but I just noticed this morning that the troll in the Fellowship of the Ring and the troll in Harry Potter are awfully similar looking. Like maybe the same special effects thing/guy or the same model? Pardon me while I go look this up....


so I'm on my own again this weekend, with senior pastor away for a wedding. Good times. I love World Communion Sunday. Except, of course, that once again I have no sermon and it's Saturday morning. What can I say--it's been busy week. And what am I doing right now? Watching the first Lord of the Rings movie. Obviously that's the best use of my morning. And I have a wedding this afternoon...

Anyway, on to the point of this post. I love the head of buildings and grounds. He came over to my house yesterday to look at an outlet that wasn't working. It stopped working suddenly one day while I was not at home (I could tell b/c the clock on the stereo was on when I left and not when I returned). So my friend from B&G came over to scope it out. He'd already advised me to check the GFCI outlets and to flip all the circuit breakers off and on, which I had done. I thought.

He couldn't figure out where the circuit went/came from that fed that outlet. He ended up in the attic, hopping from rafter to rafter in the insulation, only to discover this outlet too was on a GFCI....though it doesn't look like it....and the one in the guest bathroom (two rooms away) was its partner in circuitry. And of course it was tripped and all I had to do was push the button in the bathroom. Did I know there was a GFCI with a button in there? no, because I don't generally use that bathroom. Could I have avoided calling on fabulous B&G man to spend an hour at my house, climbing into the attic, etc, by looking in ALL the rooms? yes. Do I feel dumb? yes, a little. Am I happy my outlet is fixed? yes, very.

while the outlet was not working, however, I managed to rearrange my living room furniture, so that's fun and exciting. :-)

Okay, I'm going to write a sermon now, for real...

Monday, October 01, 2007

field trip!!

After church today some friends and I took a field trip to one of my favorite restaurants: Chowpatti! I love that place. It was supposed to be a youth group outing but with RSVPs low (homecoming was last night, after all), we canceled and just the adults went. woohoo! I got to eat Indian food (my main dish was baingan bharta with brown rice and roti). We also had some incredible indian "nachos" that blew us all away, hummus and really good pita, and I taste-tested Jodi's Dosa (excellent), Cecily's stew (fab) and Scott's uttampana (??)--probably my favorite of all the dishes. I even finished up with an ice cream sundae topped with mango sauce! It was incredible. I was so happy, oh my.

Follow that up with a trip to Whole Foods (which is a good 45 minutes away from here when there's no traffic) for "a few things" that turned into lots of things--organic arborio rice in bulk, and miso, and amy's refried beans (which my local stores are no longer carrying), and chocolate chewies, and and and and. It was a truly fantastic Sunday afternoon. I needed it after the hectic morning. there's a reason I'm not a solo pastor or a senior pastor--it was insane. Three services on my own, with three casts for the drama, a whole host of excitement, children's choirs, deacon Crazy. On my own next week too....better get started now! Well, after a chocolate chewie and maybe a good night's sleep. (not right this minute, it's not even 7! but soon. Since it's getting dark earlier now, and light later. My days are less productive when there's less light.)