Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Scuba Diving day 2

First day of scuba diving went great. We did the Blue Holes and Great Drop Off Wall. We saw some sharks, a beautiful sea turtle, lots of school of fish, a cute clown fish in an anemone--the visibility was amazing.
Here's a picture of the Rock Islands. Today we head to Jellyfish Lake and then do three dives.
Jellyfish Lake is one of nature's mysteries. There are a number of these lakes in Micronesia, but only one is open and accessible to the public. And "accessible" is something of an overstatement. It is accessible if you're in pretty danged good physical shape. You basically have to haul in your mask, fins, and snorkle in a bag on your back and climb up a steep hill (there is a rope provided) and then go down this steep pathway to a small wooden dock. Once you get there, you're confronted by a huge lake of emerald green water. In the water you can see these flesh-colored orbs. Once you start swimming in the lake, the orbs become more plentiful until you are surrounded by millions, literally MILLIONS of them--they are jellyfish that have lost their stingers. It is both freaky and beautiful. I'll post a picture later.
Gotta go get some breakfast and then head out to the dive boat.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Safely in Palau

My wonderful hubby and I arrived safely on the other side of the world. We'll be scuba diving in a few hours. The pictures (if they ever attach--there is no high speed internet connection here. Actually, there's very little "high speed" anything--it's all pretty laid back and relaxed which is gonna take some adjusting for me!) were taken by my husband last year. I got him a new camera for Christmas which he'll be using for the first time tomorrow. We'll see how the pics turn out.
Easter services were beautiful and amazingly well attended--lots of young people and children in addition to the faithful remnant...Isn't it so much easier to preach to a packed house? Filled my heart right up to the brim!
Christ IS Risen Indeed, Alleluia!
It is truly beautiful here. Very easy to see the hand at God at work in Creation. Of course we can all see that all over the place--we just sometimes have to adjust our eyes.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bless the children

I started a new ministry a few years ago at my little parish. After the final procession, I stay at the back of the church to greet parishioners as they exit. My daughters love to walk down the aisle with me as we are processing and, being a smart mommy, I decided to put them to work. I would take off my vestments, give them to my daughters, and they would process back up the aisle, reverence the altar, and take them into the sacristy. Now all the little girls in the church race to the back so that they can "help." I end up giving someone my chasuble, someone my stole, someone my cincture, someone my alb, someone my microphone--sometimes I have to say "Sorry y'all, I just can't take off anything else!" But the folks at church love watching the little ones march up the aisle with the vestments. They have been nicknamed "the handmaidens of the Lord." (Which I'm not sure I'm comfortable with but I didn't give 'em that name.)
Last night, after 40 minutes of washing lots of feet, it was time to have my feet washed. The little girls must have worked it out with the head of the head of the altar guild (who is also the senior warden) ahead of time--they all came forward to help wash my feet.
It made me pretty emotional, I gotta tell ya.
Bless the children.

Is it just me?

Is it just me or does anyone else feel like this?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Nothing is written in stone

This is outside the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont.
As I approach the triduum and am listening to altar guild members and parishioners and other clergy pontificate on how things "should" be done, I remind myself that life and liturgy are dynamic.
I also remind myself to be gracious and tread lightly around traditions. Many are beautiful and meaningful and sacred to my little parish.
Others, not so much.
Like the Easter Egg Hunt.
But I digress.
My favorite part of the Maundy Thursday service is the very end when I pour holy oil on our large wooden altar and rub and polish this beautiful, sacred fixture while my fabulous tenor music director sings "Were You There?" The church is dark, all the ornaments have been removed, and I feel like I am participating in a very ancient, very Awesome activity.
It's a tradition we began two years ago.
Now folks talk about it like we've done it forever.
I love that.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I made it!

Thanks to St. Cathy, awesome RevGalPal list administrator, I've been able to add the Rev Gal Pals link to my blog.
It's a big day.
And, after surviving Palm Sunday, with snow fall that made an outdoor procession impossible, I'm ready to complete my lenten journey. I can honestly say that learning to knit socks has been tons of fun. I've now also made 3 hats and am working on my first basic sweater shell. I'm knitting it in a beautiful turquoise bamboo yarn.
Holy Mary, Mother of God.
Casting on 192 stitches onto round circular size 6 needles made knitting socks seem like a walk in the park! I've finished the bottom of the shell and am now starting to work on the back around the armholes.
Pray for me, Sistahs and Brothas!
For those of you going on the Rev Gal Pal Cruise, have a wonderful time! Hopefully I'll be able to join you next year.
I'll keep y'all in my prayers, and ask you to do the same as I prepare to leave for Palau.
Get ready for lots of pictures of the Rock Islands.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Knitting Nut!

So, I've been a knitting nut. As y'all can see, I finished the first pair of socks. A friend of mine asked if I had worked on the costumes for "Flashdance." He said that seeing those socks made him want to run in place in a puddle of water and then go weld something.
I've actually already finished the blue-green-yellow-white stripey pair also. And I've made 2 hats! This "rasta" hat pictured is a gift for a dear friend who is a dive master in Palau, Micronesia. I'm heading to Palau with my wonderful husband on Easter night for a 10 day dive trip.
One of my parishioners recommended the "Yarn Harlot" series of books. She also gave me a button that says "Knitting takes lots of balls." I love her.
I'll definitely be knitting on the 18 hours of plane rides to Palau!