Thursday, July 28, 2005

Another interesting quiz: What's your spiritual type?

According to this beliefnet quiz, I am an Old-Fashioned Seeker:
Happy with my religion but searching for the right expression of it.

Seems reasonably accurate. Certainly something to think about.

Thanks to Sister Mary Alternative for the link.

Let the chaos begin!

Today is my last day of work until August 8. Between then and now, we'll be travelling all over southern Ontario as we attend two weddings and one wedding rehearsal and try to find a place to live in between.

Posting will likely be a little thin for the next while. :)

Already today has been up and down. I'm excited because my beloved will be here this evening - I've been missing him, and am really looking forward to spending this time with him. I'm a bit anxious because of the impending chaos and all the things we have to do over the next month, at home and at work. I'm also concerned for my beloved and his family, as they got word last night that his uncle was seriously injured in a diving accident in Florida yesterday. He's undergoing treatment for the bends, and his wife and children will be heading down today or tomorrow. Everyone is anxiously waiting for news.

Today my prayers are for my beloved as he makes the drive north to fetch me, and for his family as they worry about his uncle: Be with us, God. Amen.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

It's official!

jo(e) warned me this would happen...

Today I tried to sign into a work account as "jeninprogress."

Guess I'm hooked, eh? ;)

Mystical Communion

You scored as Mystical Communion Model. Your model of the church is Mystical Communion, which includes both People of God and Body of Christ. The church is essentially people in union with Christ and the Father through the Holy Spirit. Both lay people and clergy are drawn together in a family of faith. This model can exalt the church beyond what is appropriate, but can be supplemented with other models.

Mystical Communion Model


Servant Model


Sacrament model


Herald Model


Institutional Model


What is your model of the church? [Dulles]
created with

Link via Hazelnut Reflections.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Throughout the official discernment process, and as I prepare to start my theological education, I've been struggling with a major insecurity: "How am I ever going to do this?" (I posted about these feelings for the first time here, and I have a funny feeling that this won't be the last post on the topic. Facing one's insecurities can sure feel like a rollercoaster...)

How will I be able to handle graduate school?
How will I be able to get up in front of a congregation and preach?
How will I be able to deal with life in a fishbowl?
How will I be able to... you get the idea.

Yesterday I came across this post from a new life emerging.

I keep coming back to this phrase:

I feel called to ordered ministry. (I have felt called for a long time and am finally doing something about it, but that's a whole other post.) I don't have all the answers to those questions I have about my insecurities and abilities and qualifications. Even after I complete my program of study and jump through all the UCCan hoops and am officially "qualified" (God willing), I'm not going to have all the answers.

What I do have (and must hold onto) is a trust in God that I am on the right path, and that I am not alone on my journey.
It is not about being adequate, it is about being faithful and trusting God. I need to remind myself when I want to attempt to do God's work in my own power. God will do for and in me what I am incapable of doing for myself or another.


Monday, July 25, 2005

Marriage is love

Thanks to Gord of Following Frodo for pointing me in the direction of the new banner in my sidebar.

The Rainbow banner is a sign of inclusion. It reminds me that "white" light is only complete when all of the colours are there -- which matches my view of society. This banner is in direct support for marriage being available to people of mixed-gender or same-gender orientations.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Tick, tock...

My time in this apartment/city/job is fast drawing to a close, and the amount of time I'll be able to spend preparing for the move to eastern Ontario is limited.

Next weekend the chaos begins - my beloved and I have three weekend weddings in a row to attend, all in different cities, then we have a two-week break, then my baby sister is getting married, and then it'll be September already and I'll be starting classes. Somewhere in there we have to find a place to live, and get packed, and move, and get unpacked, and... Okay. I'm going to stop now before I start hyperventilating.

I'm very excited about September and all the changes it will bring. I'm anxious to get started on this new journey, to be going back to school and exploring my call. I'm thrilled that my beloved and I will be starting this new journey together. It's the "getting ready for the journey" that's freaking me out.

I passed on travelling this weekend to attend a pre-wedding event so that I could try to make a dent in the vast quantities of stuff I have in this tiny apartment. It's now the middle of Sunday. I have to go back to work tomorrow. And what have I accomplished on the Purging Project? Precious little, I'm afraid. What did I spend my time doing when I was supposed to be purging? I have no idea...

I often find myself shutting down when faced with a task that must be done but seems too overwhelming to start. I'm sure this pattern will continue when I get to school -I can't expect that since I'm starting a new chapter in my life that all of my old habits will immediately disappear. I'm just going to have to work on it. Starting today, with the bedroom closet...

UPDATE: I feel so liberated! I got everything in the bedroom dealt with, with the exception of one suitcase. I purged, I sorted, I rearranged - once I got started, I couldn't stop! It was wonderful!

Saturday, July 23, 2005


...for Egypt, and for all of us.

I echo Sue's feelings from her post about the second round of bombings in London:

Please God, help. Amen.


These are some courageous women.

Michele Birch-Conery is one of eight women from North America heading to Ontario this weekend to prepare for a special ordination ceremony on the waters of the St. Lawrence River -- one that will consequently draw attention to the Catholic church's policy against women priests.

Birch-Conery says she expects to be threatened with excommunication and that she doesn't expect to be invited to preach sermons at any local churches. But she's vowing to press on with the service in the name of human rights.
"It's time for this to happen. The time is now. We can't wait on it any longer," she says.

Father Glenn Dion of Vancouver's Holy Rosary Cathedral says the church has nothing against women. But he supports the Catholic tradition of reserving the holy pulpit for males only, and refuses to recognize the upcoming service.

I'm part of a church that supports women in ordered ministry, and I'm not well-versed in Roman Catholic polity. I don't feel qualified to offer commentary on this issue without giving it more research and thought. However, I want to honour these women and offer them my support and my prayers.

The idea of being unrecognized by and kicked out of my faith community because I feel a sense of call makes me very sad. I admire these women for the risks they are taking to follow their hearts and serve God.

Friday, July 22, 2005

New blogs to check out, Part 2

Too many to list in a single post, but I've updated my sidebar to show off the new blogs I discovered (so far!), thanks to the RevGalBlogPals Web ring.

Very cool!

It would seem that I've made a decision

About 10 days ago I was struggling with the idea of blogging.

Since then, I've posted 10 entries, started commenting on some other blogs, and joined the RevGalBlogPals Web ring.

Looks like I'll be keeping at this blog thing, at least for the time being. :) Thank you to everyone, on and offline, for being so supportive and encouraging.

Well said, Richard

If only I'd had words like this the other night during my discussion with a family friend...

Thursday, July 21, 2005


...for London.

Ecological footprint

My ecological footprint is 6.6, compared to the Canadian national average of 8.8. However, I'm not feeling too smug:

Link via Jordon Cooper.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

New blogs to check out

You know, some days I really love the Internet! :)

A few blogs I've discovered recently that I'm enjoying, and adding to my list of regular reads:

reverend mommy
Bridget Jones Goes to Seminary
Remembering the Alabaster Jar
Bring All the Walls Down

Keep it clickin'! ;)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

One more quiz today - why not?

You Are Strawberry Ice Cream
A bit shy and sensitive, you are sweet to the core.
You often find yourself on the outside looking in.
Insightful and pensive, you really understand how the world works.
You are most compatible with chocolate chip ice cream.

Link via Following Frodo.

I've been sorted

Want to Get Sorted?

a Hufflepuff!

Can't wait to crack open Book 6! (Thanks to my sister for the belated birthday gift!)

This one from InnerDorothy, too.

But I've never even had a soy latte!

You Are a Soy Latte

At your best, you are: free spirited, down to earth, and relaxed

At your worst, you are: dogmatic and picky

You drink coffee when: you need a pick me up, and green tea isn't cutting it

Your caffeine addiction level: medium

Link via InnerDorothy.

Jen Lemen

A blogger whose work I've been enjoying for quite some time, Jen Lemen, is taking a break from the blogosphere. She is an amazing writer, and one of those Internet people I wish I knew personally.

I will miss her wisdom, her insight, and her generosity in sharing so much of herself. I, along with her many readers, wish her well.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

World's Shortest Personality Test

Found via Wanderings of a Postmodern Pilgrim.

You are dependable, popular, and observant.
Deep and thoughtful, you are prone to moodiness.
In fact, your emotions tend to influence everything you do.

You are unique, creative, and expressive.
You don't mind waving your freak flag every once and a while.
And lucky for you, most people find your weird ways charming!

Getting fitted for a new yoke

JenBen sent me this link to a sermon by Rev. Lillian Roberts at Rideau Park United Church in Ottawa. It's a very interesting read, and must have been interesting to listen to. A couple of favourite quotes:
The invitation to come to Jesus is offered to all – for all of us at one time or another find ourselves as those who are tired and weary, in misery, physical or emotional pain, financial or spiritual poverty. We all come to those days when we feel overextended and think that we carry the world on our shoulders – and we carry it alone. We want someone to show us a different way of walking through life, but we are not always prepared to drop the load we carry.

The invitation to find in Christ our rest and our life, is an invitation to leave behind the ill-fitting yokes we already bear, so that we may put on the yoke of discipleship and service. It is about letting go of our grief, our ambition, our attachment to things and to worry about the future, our sense of responsibility or obligation that eats away at the joy of life, whatever places that tight weight on our shoulders and makes us hard and tense.

I am not suggesting that we can simply walk away from all these things. They too are a part of the rhythm of life. But we need to set them down long enough to be fitted with a different kind of yoke that will make them easier to bear, and we will learn a different way of carrying the load so that it will not weigh us down.

Christ invites us to take upon ourselves the yoke of discipleship and love which is placed upon our shoulders not as a tool of slavery and toil, but as an implement of service and joy, for the yoke of Christ is the yoke of love. This is what Jesus will teach us and show us as we learn to walk with him. In his friendship and love, we will find that yoke is easier to wear and the load is lighter to carry. In his love, we begin to move from the anxiety and fear that we will collapse under the weight we carry, to a place of trust and rest where we find moments of peace, because the love of Christ makes a difference.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I'm not sure I want to do this anymore...

Blogging, that is. I was never really sure I wanted to do it in the first place...

I like reading other people's blogs. I really do. Sometimes I comment, if I feel I have something to add to the conversation. Usually I just read - and then I agree, disagree, laugh, feel, and think.

I've been blogging here (irregularly, to be sure) since May. I have some friends who blog, and they've encouraged me to join the blogosphere. I like the idea, but I've always been a little hesitant about having my own blog (Jen In China was different - I used that for the express purpose of keeping in touch with friends and family back home). Today I'm really wondering about why I'm drawn to blogging and yet so nervous about actually putting what I want to say "out there."

The catalyst in all this was this post by ireneQ, a woman whose blog I enjoy reading. She's a bit concerned about her parents finding her blog. I understand her concerns, and people had some interesting comments to make - and that got me thinking about my own parents, my family, my friends, and my beloved, and what they would think about me blogging. I haven't kept this blog a secret intentionally, but I'm not sure how many people I've explicitly mentioned it to. I don't know what they'd think if they somehow stumbled across A Faith in Progress - or if they'd even care.

I don't want to upset the people I love, either by compromising their anonymity or making them feel like I'm talking about them behind their backs. That is not my intention. Most of the content here relates to other blogs and stuff on the Internet, but now and then I delve into stuff that's a little more personal. I'm careful not to share too much information about the people I love (though I occasionally break that personal policy - by posting a photo of my niece, for example).

Some of the bloggers I read are very protective of their anonymity, and others aren't shy about sharing who they are. That's a matter of choice. I'm walking a fine line - I share my first name, where I live, and enough information about me that would make it reasonably easy if people really wanted to know figure out who I am. Is that fair to the people I write about?

All questions of anonymity, identity, and privacy aside, I often wonder about why I have a blog. Why do I feel the need to share my "journal" online? If I want to ponder things theological (which is what I say I want to do in my profile), why do I need to do it in a public forum? Why not keep a private file, or a regular old pen-and-paper journal? And if it's a journal about theological stuff, why mention the personal?

Of course, I'm going on a huge assumption here: that people actually read this blog. Do I want them to? And if I don't want them to, why keep doing it?

As per usual, I have more questions than answers. I need to think about this, long and hard, and figure out where I want to go with this.

Sunday proverb

From onehouse:

The church is near,
but the way is icy.
The tavern is far,
but I will walk carefully.

Ukranian Proverb

Friday, July 08, 2005

My lovely niece

This is Emmerson Grace, a few hours after she entered the world.

She's 10 days old now, but I only recently got some of my photos downloaded. There are plenty more, but I will limit most of my photo-sharing to Flickr.

Spell with flickr!

jack of spadesEN TrainNo parkingpRoeGOne Letter / ReS@5TLYSsss

Spell with flickr! Very cool!

Thanks to reverend mommy for this link, too!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Candles and lava lamps

JenBen turned me on to this a while back. Every now and then I pop on in and light a candle.

I found this via reverend mommy.

I love it when I'm introduced to new ways to use the Internet - and new ways to pray.

Prayers today...

...for the people of London, and for the world.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

In lieu of a "real" post...

the United Nations!

Most people think you're ineffective, but you are trying to completely save the world from itself, so there's always going to be a long way to go. You're always the one trying to get friends to talk to each other, enemies to talk to each other, anyone who can to just talk instead of beating each other about the head and torso. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, and you get very schizophrenic as a result. But your heart is in the right place, and sometimes also in New York.
Take the Country Quiz at the Blue Pyramid