Saturday, February 26, 2005

Are there cloverleaves on the vocational interstate? An anti-ode to partisan hacks

Damn! There are no jobs available with the CBC in Flin Flon.

Ann Coulter said that what she wanted for Christmas was that libs would actually follow through on their threats to move to Canada. It would take a significant amount of diplomacy (on many levels--national, ecclesiastical, home) to move my family to Canada--which seems to go a long way to make any partisan hack bubbly with joy.

Someone I admire says that those of us discouraged by the 2004 elections should not move out of the country--that means that "they" win.

Actually, I don't really care about who gets victory. At this point I have decided that it is my job to ignore partisan hacks and do the best I can to find some quality news. Though the CBC may not have a job for me in the place I want to go, I can still buy their crap and plan a family getaway to the land of the Newfies (and Labrador (-ians?)).

Until next time--I've got a sermon to prepare. And if God and I can't seem to get that in order, the world needs ditch diggers, too.

The Rev. Elihu

Friday, February 25, 2005

My cousin, Don Cherry: My Development as a Canuckophile

Bingo and Beaker (my brothers) and I grew up watching the CBC. From our various homes in the Pacific Northwest (if we were lucky enough to watch cable television) we would have the opportunity to see a new culture without ever having to travel. Different commercials. Different spellings, accents and pronunciations. The coup de grace: Hockey Night In Canada. I have alway been drawn to the event--especially the sporting event. The sporting event is a cultural study in popular liturgy and what fuels a social gathering, especially around men. Strategy. Competition. Bragging rights. Diminished pressure to be on top of social conversation, but available if you need it in small doses. Cathartic enthusiasm stemming from the thrill of victory. What really lifted Hockey Night In Canada to event status for me, and to some degree for my brothers was the nationalistic/patriotic eboullience. Don Cherry is now driving that bus that is Hockey Night In Canada. The CBC would be moronic to lose him. Unless they wanted to break into the retro Don Cherry market...

While at Beaker's bachelor party in Calgary a few years ago, some of his new family members and I talked about Don Cherry for what seemed to be 30 minutes over a few "Canadians (that's a Molson for you underprivileged)" He is an icon and my soul cousin. I know little about Don Cherry other than his public personna. But he has instinct for the event and the boldness to say what is on his mind and what is important for him. I would also love to meet his haberdasher.

If I could somehow work Don Cherry into a sermon...

Rev. Elihu

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Dislodging spiritual wedgies

After reading the latest edition of The Onion today, I have realized that the Church has lost its ability to creatively laugh at itself. The Wittenberg Door used to be a publication that did this. I catch myself in this pattern of forgetting to laugh--and the result is I end up with a spiritual wedgie (insert your own mental imagery here) because I cannot stop brooding on a mindless comment that is not really about me. The Church is full of sacred cows--not to be made into gourmet burgers, but rather into running shoes that I can pound into the pavement. This running helps me breathe, get stronger and find joy in the goal of authentic service. Running also involves pain--there are hills--there is testing of endurance.

I see the Church after 7 years of service as this gathering of loosely connected factions who often see themselves being attacked. At least this is what it looks like from the outside. I make my living in the Church as an outsider looking in, although I enjoy the benefits of an insider. I see that anxiety abounds. Anxiety perpetuates the feeling of being attacked; Murray Bowen called this increasingly tangled web of anxious living societal regression. On occasion I see that people do connect with God and each other, and I do my best to name that uncontrollable connection that we so desparately try to control. The Danes call this concept of uncontrollable connection "hygge" (hoo guh). Hygge is a gift from God and evidence of redemption.

Anxiety is hard to manage. I have spent my vocational life trying to understand it, identify its effects on organizations, and free myself from anixety in its destructive forms.

Sometimes I just suck at it.

But the joy will not be sucked from me. At least I pray that joy will still be a gift to me. I am on the lookout for hygge.

Pastor Elihu

Finally back in business after 24 years

In 1979 at Kennydale Elementary School, I published the first edition of "The Mad House Gazette."

The Mad House Gazette was the name of my newspaper I produced for my 2nd grade class and continued to publish under various names through the 6th grade. I just decided that's what I would call it. With the help of my teacher, a Ditto Master and the school secretary--I could generate a forum for many kinds of ideas. That publication began my quest to become Editor In Chief of Time Magazine. This never came to fruition, but now I can once again work under the same principle--a forum for many kinds of ideas.

I get a lot of ideas. Occasionally good ones.

Maybe this blog would be indirectly helpful to my wife, 'cause then she wouldn't always have to deal with the deluge of ideas that come forth. She has always been great, but she needs a break at times.

Enjoy at your leisure.

Pastor Smails