Tuesday, January 8, 2013

can a gal have too many shoes??

One of my earliest blog posts was about footwear, kicka** shoes to be more precise (you may read it here).  I was inspired by a challenge from some of the male members of the church I serve about my choice in footware.  In the 26 or so months since then I have upped my game, so to speak, trying out a variety of heels of all shapes and colors and I must admit have had fun wearing kick** shoes!

 The biggest challenge is that not only are my feet different sizes (which is normal - kinda) but there really aren't all that many option for gals with larger feet...this has not stopped me from scouting out stores and finding some real treasures.  I especially like our local shoe store, Thompson's, because they carry Clark's, my favorite brand of shoes.

Well, here's the problem...I fear I may have gone a bit overboard.  I mean really, how many pairs of shoes does a gal really need???  I have been a wise shopper, I have opted for comfort much of the time, although.....there is a red pair I had to have and I only pull them out for special occasions (for those into the liturgical seasons of the year - think Pentecost!).  

Usually I buy my heels off the sales rack - for a fraction of the price, but in doing so I take a chance on whether or not they will work once put to the test.  I have found through natural selection that some shoes really aren't as comfortable as I first thought they'd be after standing (and walking around) in them for 3-4 hours on a Sunday morning.  And the reality is, I am 49 and holding - so comfort is important to me!   So, here I am, with too many pairs of shoes and the realization that I should give them a new home where they will be appreciated!

WHICH gets me to the point of this post (finally)...

If you live in Waverly and find yourself with too many pairs of shoes, or slacks, or jeans or sweaters, or if your kids have outgrown their clothes or there are too many coats in the closet, would you please bring them to Trinity United Methodist Church any time between now and January 20th for the Trinkets and Togs Clothing Only Drive?!!

This is the one time each year when we focus on gathering clothes for Trinkets and Togs, a tremendous thrift store that is part of the Larrabee Center, an organization dedicated to helping people with special needs here in Waverly.  Trinkets and Togs is a favorite of many folks, and I know that your donations of clothing will find a good home on the racks of the store and in the closets of Bremer and Butler County!

I figure this is a great way to thin out my shoe rack (and closet) and a tremendous way to help our neighbors...I hope you will consider doing the same!

journeying together in Christ's name,

Saturday, January 5, 2013

on the twelfth day of Christmas

In July, 2003 I left behind a 20 year career in television marketing and promotions for seminary and a part time student appointment as pastor of Apple River United Methodist Church.  I was thrilled to begin my journey as a pastor in this small village in NW Illinois.

Gordon Lamont became one of our favorite Apple River citizens.  Gordon was a widower who made homemade caramels and sugar cookies from scratch, the soft kind with sugar on top like my grandma used to make.  I think its fair to say that Gordon was the patriarch of the church and he was loved and respected by one and all.  Gordon was also a wood worker and I am pleased to have several pieces made by him in my home.  Among my treasures made by Gordon is a Christmas card holder.

Each Christmas when I pull out this simple Christmas card holder I think of Gordon and remember his kindness to me and my family.  Each Christmas as I decorate the tree I pause as I unwrap the ornament he gave me with a picture of Apple River UMC on it - so I would never forget my first church.  His church.  The church he helped to rebuild after a fire when he was but a boy, where he raised his family and buried his wife.

Gordon is gone now, home with the Lord and his beloved wife.  I will never forget Gordon, or any of the other fine people who loved me into being a pastor and taught me lessons that I still draw on today.  The stories they shared, the experiences that we all shared make me who I am today, they make me a better person let alone pastor.

Christmas and the Christmas season is a time of memories, both making and sharing them.  Christmas is supposed to be a happy time, and there is much to be happy about, but it can also a challenging time with family gatherings, unmet expectations and the basic funk that can happen after Christmas is over.  

I believe that a lot of what I do as a pastor is create an environment for people to experience God in new ways.  I seek opportunities for memories to be made with the help of a variety of people who share their talents and gifts as an offering to God at our worship services.  These memories, I pray, will help to encourage and sustain us when we face challenging times in our faith journey.  

Christmas Eve 2012 at Trinity UMC
I am grateful for my senses and the ways that a certain smell or a color or image or the taste of something can evoke a memory and take me to a place that helps me to remember the beauty and meaning of the Christmas season.

It is my prayer that as Christmas winds down this weekend and our decorations are put away for another year that the memories created this year will be with you to encourage and sustain you in your faith journey in 2013 and beyond.

journeying together to Bethlehem and beyond,