Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approves change in ordination standard

Read this news article from May 2011. I'll probably write a few (hundred) posts on this topic. I'm just sayin'.

Reflection on Amendment 10-A

I’d like to share a story with you: my coming out story. A few years ago, I was sitting around a table, drinking beer with friends, and the topic of sexuality came up. And I said, “you know, I think I might not be straight because I’ve noticed that I feel attracted to women.” It was the first time I had ever said that out loud to anyone. That night, I remember feeling celebrated by the people who were with me, and excited about my future. The Table around which we sat was one of the round tables in the back room at the bar down the street, and the People who were gathered around it were members of the Worship Planning Team.

I am aware that not everyone, not all Presbyterians, feel the same way about the ratification of Amendment 10-A, or more specifically, about ordaining LGBTQ folk. That being said, in my journey, I became Queer when I became Presbyterian. In my life, I don’t know how to be one of those without being the other. And it is this faith community that has held me in both of these identities.

As Presbyterians, we will “seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.”

The LGBTQ community will also seek justice, but we walk with Pride, and with God.

And I wonder: aren’t the similarities striking, between the work of the PC(USA) and that of the Queer community? . . . I believe that we, as people of faith, are called to recognize the humanity of all people, and to work for the full inclusion of everyone in all aspects of society.

For “all are children of God though Christ Jesus . . . There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for all are one in Christ Jesus.”

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What I expect from my seminary education . . .

In 2009, I began writing and presenting liturgy at Covenant Community Church. One of my favorite pieces of liturgy is the Invitation to the Table. I love the Table because it's a symbol that is filled with complexities and questions. Whose Table is it? What is its purpose? Why do we need it? (Do we need it?) Why is the story of Jesus breaking bread with his disciples important? Where is Christ, in relation to the Table? Who breaks the bread now? Who is invited to the feast? (Who would want to go, anyway?) What do we ask of the Table? What does the Table ask of us?

The Table has become central to my understanding of how to be church. I love the Table because it represents God's radically inclusive love. Actually, I'm more comfortable observing the radical inclusiveness of the Table itself. It's not that I want to leave God out of it (how would one approach that task?), but talking about God's love feels a little too mushy for my taste. The radical inclusiveness of the Table is a political reality, and it has (or should have) real consequences for our shared lives together. I believe that the Table has the power to transform our society, because it gives us that power.

So, what do I expect from my seminary education? For one thing, I expect the readings and class discussions to challenge my assumptions about the church, including my beliefs about the Table. I like to think that I have a good, while largely undeveloped, theology of the Table. (It is a radically inclusive symbol, isn't it?) Even so, it's one thing for me to stand up in front of a sanctuary full of people that I know and love and invite them to the Table with me. It's another thing to really live out that invitation. How do I invite people to the Table when I'm not in the church building? (What does it mean to be "radically inclusive" in our culture?) Or even in the building--I don't mean to undermine the importance of inviting (not demanding) all people to participate in the ritual of taking communion.

I expect that seminary, if we do it right, will invite (or, perhaps more accurately, push) me to examine and deconstruct and analyze and interpret and reconstruct and present my own theology--one that is reformed and always reforming.

May it be so.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Oct. 2009 sermon, Covenant Community Church

Click on the title of this post to listen to the sermon I preached at my church in 2009.

Oct. 2009 Reflection #3, Covenant Community Church

Click on the title of this post to listen to a reflection that I shared with my church in 2009. This was the third part in a three-part series of reflections leading up to my sermon, which I will also post on this site.

Oct. 2009 Reflection #2, Covenant Community Church

Click on the title of this post to listen to a reflection that I shared with my church in 2009. This was the second part in a three-part series of reflections leading up to my sermon, which I will also post on this site.

Sept. 2009 Reflection #1, Covenant Community Church

Click on the title of this post to listen to a reflection that I shared with my church in 2009. This was the first part in a three-part series of reflections leading up to my sermon, which I will also post on this site.

Monday, February 28, 2011

God’s Timing (but on my watch)

One thing that feels "right" about going to seminary this fall is the timing. I feel ready for graduate school because I’m frustrated with where I find myself.

I'm frustrated because I feel like I know a little bit about a lot of things, but not enough to be able to make a difference in the world. Even "working for social justice" is a frustrating concept for me. Of course that's what we're all doing, right? Or at least what we’re called to do? And yet, I lack confidence in my ability to expound and reflect on why that is the path I’m choosing, let alone to actually walk it. I haven’t read the books. I haven’t participated in the (classroom) discussions. I haven’t done the research. In short, I haven’t done the work. And I feel called to do the work. In order to grow into my own becoming, to be a person who is engaged in the world, I need to do the work.

Here’s another way to think about it: I’m 26 years old. I’m college educated, and a critical thinker. I listen to NPR because I want to know what’s happening in my city, country and beyond those boarders. But—and this is in some ways related to my age—I haven’t found my niche yet. I care about “the world,” but that’s so vague. I’m frustrated because my passion for living in this world feels undefined in so many ways. I’m aware of the “big issues,” injustices that are so pervasive in most cultures that they often go unnamed. You know what I’m talking about: climate change, starvation, poverty, war, genocide, rape . . . I’m familiar with these concepts in broad, rather than particular terms.

That’s another way to frame this reflection: we participate in the universal by engaging in the particular. I see the universal, and it’s so damn big that it feels next to impossible to navigate, or influence it. How do we engage in our world? Through the particular. How do we know love? Through our relationships with particular people in our lives. How do we create change in our communities? Through grassroots movements. (I know the latter mostly by observing other people, and not as much from my own experience.) So, how can I “make love, not war” into a way of life, instead of a bumper sticker?

Short-term (or everyday) answers to that question include things like supporting my local coffee shop (like I am as I write this). Long-term answers? That’s the “what am I going to do with my life?” question. Attending LPTS* feels like the “medium-term” answer for me right now. The M.Div. is an intense, three-year program that “educate[s] men and women to participate in the redemptive ministry of Jesus Christ in the world,” from the website. To reframe, I see the M.Div. program as preparation for a particular way of engaging (“redeeming”) the world. For those who might not know, the Presbyterian Church—PC(USA)—is liberal compared to most other denominations. So, “redemptive ministry,” as I understand it, is not necessarily the same thing as witnessing to non-believers about accepting J.C. as their personal L&S.

". . . What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8) Maybe it’s just the Presbyterians that I hang out with, but I understand that to be the mission statement of the Presbyterian denomination, and as the purpose of church in general. “To do justice” is easier for me to claim than the other two. “Loving kindness” is too cliché, and the part about God and humility is about God (and humility), so . . . that’s part of wrestling/struggling with God, for me. Or, maybe it’s the part that calls for deconstruction and reframing . . . I don’t know . . .

Put another way, I don’t believe half of this shit that is “church.” And, I believe in this shit (mess, whatever) that is “church.” I don’t believe that Jesus Christ is the answer to some all-important Life Question. Christ is called The Way—one of many, many valid ways or traditions or frameworks—one that describes how people called “Christians” choose to live in the world.

And I’m like, sorta kinda, almost, maybe, possibly ready to make that choice for myself. I mean, I think.

So, now’s a good time to go to seminary.

* Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Discerning Seminary: The "Ministry Question"

On February 14, 2011, I submitted my application for admission to the Master of Divinity program at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. This blog entry marks the beginning of a series of reflections on pursuing a seminary education. I hope you'll read along..... feel free to throw some questions at me, like, "WTF?" or "what motivates you to go back to school, particularly in a theological setting?" You know, stuff like that.


"What ministry do you feel called to?"

That's a question that I've heard from a few people since I announced my decision to apply to seminary. The question comes as a surprise to me; I'm almost startled by it. First of all, "ministry" is not a word that appears regularly in my vocabulary. It's worse than a dirty word; it's a church-y word, one of those words that is mired in negative connotations, or at least clouded by a vague sense of confusion and angst for me.

Ministry? Who, me? Let's get a few things out of the way up front: I've never been baptized, I don't aspire to go on a mission trip, and "ministry" is the kind of work that other people do. I don't mean to generalize about anyone. I just mean, anybody but me.

But after giving it some thought, I realize that I feel called to . . . uhhh . . . what was it . . . teach! Yeah, teach . . . college. Or, write. I'm called to teach and write theology. Or, work for a non-profit organization like the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Or, be a pastor? I don't know about that one. I know some pastors. They're cool and everything, but they work like, at a church. You know? Every day, that's what they do. I guess. Worse than that, they work for the church.

So, here's my answer to the ministry question. My "ministry" (passion) involves writing and maybe teaching and hopefully working to make the world a better place, especially for women and girls. Whew! I thought this discernment stuff was going to be hard! What's next?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

My (Reformed) Testimony

I admit it:
I was born again in high school.

But later, I renounced it!
I crawled back into the Womb
of the Divine Feminine
and She has reclaimed me.

Not aborted, no.

Embraced and eternally connected
to the One who has created
and recreated me.

(A mother's work is never done.)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Q (the world): So, what happened after you turned away from God all those years ago?

A (me): He came back to me as a woman.

Friday, January 02, 2009

An old friend....

I imagine that some people feel like poetry is out of reach for them, that it is either historically or intellectually distant from their own lives. The greatest thing that a person can discover, or rediscover, is that poetry is the thing that is right there next to her. It's never far away.

That empty space on the pillow next to me when I awaken from a dream.... that's where the poetry is, waiting to be noticed.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


I'm having trouble keeping up with the world.

Here's a list of things that I would like to do on a regular (weekly) basis:

* yoga
* meditation
* read The New York Times
* read the Powells.com newsletter
* read the Bible
* write a poem
* update my blog
* cook a nutritious meal using local ingredients
* go to church
* call a friend
* take a walk
* research! (I'm working on two major projects this semester)
* sleep in
* watch SNL

Impossible, right? I should just give up on my great big American dream and be satisfied with, at best, 2 or 3 out of . . . 14?

But I can do better! I can do more! Well, not tonight because I'm feeling ill but . . . maybe next week??

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


It's been almost a year since my last post (before the one about being smarter than Sarah Palin).

I am returning to the blogosphere, so to speak. I'm in grad school for Women's and Gender Studies so I'll probably write a lot about that.

I've grown in so many ways... I listen to NPR on the way to work, I cook my own meals, I'm paying to use the internet right now. Yes, I have grown a lot.

La tee da.

I'm smarter than Sarah Palin....

.... mostly because I read newspapers and stuff.

Friday, November 16, 2007

We have to ask our school's permission to produce The Vagina Monologues and this is what I would like to say to our school:

Next year, I'm going to UofL for grad school, but before I go from this campus to that campus, I'm going to sign up for the best self-defense class I can find so that when I am attacked on UofL's campus, I will be able to defend myself.

This makes me ANGRY.

I don't even feel comfortable going to the grocery store by myself.

THIS makes me angry.

One in six women in this world will be raped or physically assaulted in her lifetime.

This makes me angry.

So, how do the women of my generation--who are trying desperately to nurture ourselves and grow in the midst of this mad, mad world--how do WE deal with all of the shit that surrounds us every day?

Bellarmine University, as an educational institution and as a Catholic institution, hasn't given us any answers for this. You have failed us.

I'm going to the University of Louisville next year to pursue a Master's Degree in Women and Gender Studies. That is how I choose to deal with it. But before I go, I would like to direct The Vagina Monologues on our campus.

Now, who's with me?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

My last year as an undergrad:

This is it. My last year as an undergrad. Life is good and full. The leaves are falling and I watch them outside my window. Someday soon I will go outside to play in the leaves. Until then, I am content to sit inside and daydream about dressing up as Elizabeth I for Halloween and about how Jesus must feel when he sees puppies chasing each other through the yard.

I feel good. And tired. Good and tired. But this is good. It means that I am doing good things. Many goods things. Which makes me tired. And good.

Tomorrow, I will walk through the leaves to my class named after Shakespeare and discuss Richard II. Tomorrow will be good. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Breakup, Dec. '06

It turns out there had been a crack all along,
and then the crack grew
and split (us apart)
and as we choked on our tears, our mouths filled up with salt
and the crack filled up with God
and now it's a lot stronger than it ever was before.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My response to a bogus defense for chauvinism.

I've heard one particularly feeble-minded response to feminist arguments. Some people say that because men (not women) are drafted, men (not women) deserve special rights and privileges in our society--such as better pay for the same job.

My response is to say, yes, U.S. citizens who are drafted into wars and come back alive deserve special rights and privileges, also known as Veterans Rights. Namely, they deserve an education, health coverage and social security. Under the "current administration," as it has been oh-so-tenderly referred to by critics, many veterans are denied these rights and that is why the veterans in this country should be just as angry as the feminists.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

It's been too long....

Priorities. Such an ugly word, really.

I want to build a sand castle out of clay (so it will last). I want to write a poem every day. (Self-explanatory.) I want to talk on the phone and go to parties and cook Mediterranean meals for my lover while listening to Beethoven. I want to walk barefoot across acid-hot blacktop parking lots and eat ice cream out of my hands. I want to skip to the tune of punk-rock music. I want to part my hair down the middle and dye it magenta. I want to pierce my nose and wink at old ladies in grocery store aisles. I want to pray after midnight and hear God's response in my dreams.

I have a to-do list. It says:
- apply for grad school
- get a job
- move out

Yeah, yeah.... I'll get to that. Just as soon as I finish painting airplanes on my bedroom ceiling and dreaming that I wrote country music.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ok, here's the plan:

I will be....

a freelance-magazine-writing-book-editing-and-or-reviewing-college-professor-movie-star-

I like to see things from all perspectives. If given the choice, I'd rather not be limited to any one POV. I think this will work, but only if I can find a way to balance my ambitions.

P.S. If I were to describe how I feel today, I'd say my emotions are more orange than turquoise. Thank you.

Friday, May 25, 2007

In the Summertime....

I haven't decided yet if time moves slower or faster in the summer months, though it decidedly does move at a different pace.

Needless to say, I'm having trouble keeping up.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Going Wireless

My mom and I are going wireless--UNDERWIREless, that is. Yesterday, we cut the wires out of our bras. And guess what happened? Nothing happened, that's what. They didn't unravel or get literally bent out of shape. To the contrary, bras hold up quit nicely without metal wires sewn into them. Makes me wonder why the wire is there in the first place. What is its purpose? Wires have been linked with breast pain--if they can't be blamed for Cystic Fibrosis, then we can at least blame them for causing red marks and irritation.

I'm all for support of any kind (emotional, financial, physical....), but rigid support is not support at all. It's restrictive and harsh. It cuts deep. It doesn't feel good because it doesn't feel like support. It feels like pressure. I'm under enough pressure with school and clubs and life in general. I don't need anymore from my bra, thank you very much.

If you're a woman who's been dealing with a lot of pressure lately, you should consider going wireless. It could be the best thing you've done for yourself in a long time--emotionally, physically, or otherwise.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Acting 110

A pivotal moment of my life happened during that class. While practicing our final scene, my acting partner told me that she liked my voice. (Since then, I've received a few more compliments about it.)

I had always hated my voice. Sometimes I mumble, or I stumble over my words; and sometimes, I just can't think of what to say. I guess I've always been a kind of verbal clutz.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My First Vagina Monologue....

My vagina
is tight, yo.

My vagina
is secretive on the inside.

Did you know, that the clitoris is connected to the vagina?
Oh yes, OH yes!, the nerve endings
flow upward, like a prayer, and come together somewhere in the deep.

A touch on the arm can affect
what goes on down there. Apparently, all of the nerve endings--
from the brain to the toes-- form a giant matrix, sensations of vibrant reds and blues.

Alone, I can climax without being touched. (I can also climax while being touched.)

I consider myself to be a student of my vagina. My vagina is my teacher--the best I've ever had. One could argue that men are led by their dicks. How unfortunate for them. I much prefer to be led by my vagina; afterall, it always leads me to the same place--which is somewhere inside myself. Men probably get lost every day following their penises, but my vagina always leads me home.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Friday, December 08, 2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Christmastime is here.

My grandparents disowned me
for the holidays.
I wait, each day,
for something more.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Our Student Newspaper

Go to theconcordonline.com to see newspaper articles written by Bellarmine students, including yours truly.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006



depends on the time of day and
the direction I am facing.

. . . to pierce your heart
with a sense of sorrow thick enough
to choke on, like a cloud.

To move through you,
an autumn breeze;
a cold front moving in from the River.

To disregard you -(let's be honest here)-
and come back to myself.

To feel what it's like to
walk into a building
with a sense of purpose.

To know where I am going.

To expand around the edges
just a little further- (actually,
much, much further.)

To write a poem,
To sing a song,
To learn SOMETHING NEW every day.

My aim is to sit on park benches
like they do in better poems;
just myself, alone,
faced with the warm airiness of the unknown.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Cats snore.

It's true. (I would never lie to you . . .)

It is also true that the sun appears to be moving much faster through the sky these days--there's no time for lolling around anymore.

Also true: there are few things more disappointing than spending $20+ on a c.d. and then discovering that you can't relate to it at all. (What is this song? I've never heard it. Who is this artist? She sounds rediculous.) These things can't be forced.

Summer is closing in on me and I find hope in rediscovering old habits. (Have I given in?) I need something to hold onto only so that when the time comes, I will have something to push off of. Lap number 2 is mine, all mine.

Monday, July 03, 2006

I'm still here.

I've been daydreaming a lot lately. (Note that "daydreaming" and "doing" may look similar, but alas, they are not the same thing.) Today, I think I'll spend my time reading and writing. In the past, I've found that they work well together, or rather that I work well with both of them.

But first I need to
dry my hair
and make iced tea
and put away the dishes
and fold the laundry
and do so many other necessary things.

I don't think that I can go one more day without
and writing
and working on something.
It's hard to work on an empty stomach though,
so I think I'll go make lunch, then write something.

Monday, June 19, 2006

My Word-Processed Poem:

I read:


What do you mean to say? Are you questioning the exclusion of some idea from another? Or is your exclamation a rejection of 1 idea for another?

If this is the language we are speaking now, allow me to add a postscript:

1! should be ? for being /. Wouldn't you agree?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

School's Out for Summer . . . and I'm unemployed.

Today I vacuumed. I vacuumed my parents' house. I vacuumed a lot.

I am relentless in my efforts to rid this place of all imperfections, all inhibitions, all obstructions. Our plethora of animals (3 dogs, 4 cats) sabatoge my work quicker than I can reclaim its purity. Purity in apperance; purity that is inherent, yet often covered up by the thick veil of Daily Life.

As I push the vacuum cleaner, and pull the vacuum cleaner, backandforthandbackandforth, along every rug in the house, I feel a secret rage grow warm in my belly. I am angry, but determined. I drag the vacuum across the ground, trying to rake over my feelings, leaving a pattern of smooth lines where my tangled feelings of worthlessness had been lingering just a moment ago.

Tomorrow, I will wake up and do it all over again. God help the dog hair and cat puke that dare to cross me.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I've always been terrified of spiders. I hope to grow out of it soon. Ten seconds to rid the bathroom of one--that would be beautiful.

I've seen so many spiders in different bathrooms over the years--you'd think that I'd be used to them by now. Spot it, stomp it, drop it (in the trash). But no, it's an entirely different process for me.

I've never seen blood in the sink. At least, not that I can remember. I nick myself shaving all the time, but that's in the shower--not as scary there.

I hadn't seen IT for years--fifteen years, I think it's been. I had forgotten him. I had forgetten that he's only a spider down the drain (when you break it down).

There is no blood. There are no balloons. No clown. Just me, at two o'clock in the morning, reminiscing about a childhood mirage of a clown with a sinister smile.

I've seen so many spiders in so many bathrooms--but somehow, he's just not as scary there.