Monday, March 7, 2011


I'm a key leader in a local church. I wrote this to our congregation this morning . . . I did not attach the article which can be found at The Alban Institute

To the congregation that gathers at Island Covenant, mercy, shalom, and love be yours in abundance.

If you read the February Lamplighter by now you may have noticed there was no elder buzz section. I apologize for not writing an article. Time slipped away from me as leaders in the church worked to understand the Pulse survey results. Yesterday one hundred eight people attended the Town Hall meeting where initial results were reported. The meeting ended with small group discussions and I've included the group reports in the attached document. The three questions to which people responded were:

1.Begin with gratitude . . . Think about why you are grateful to God, today. Then think about why you are grateful for MICC.
2.How does this report resonate with you? Where do you agree; where do you disagree?
3.What is your greatest hope going forward?

Please be assured that this is just the beginning for our church in looking into the roots of issues that have come up in this survey. You'll notice a couple of comments that yawn at yet another survey that no one will "apply". Our intent is to reflect and to act.

Those in attendance were introduced to an emphasis of prayer during this lenten season. Kathy R. explained several ways to be praying for MICC. You may signup to pray specifically for one of the forty church leaders including staff, deacons, Veritas team and elders. For Holy Week, the week just prior to Easter, we will have 168 consecutive hours of prayer. Kathy will let you know more about that later as well as provide opportunity to sign up. We intend to include a section on the prayer update in the bulletin specifically for issues within the church. A grass roots effort has already begun for 777 - 7 minutes of prayer at 7 am and 7 pm. Please join church leaders as we pray and listen to the Holy Spirit's guidance, as we seek to discern God's will for Mercer Island Covenant, and as we embrace the change that is upon us.

We plan two more Town Hall meetings in April and May in preparation for our annual meeting in June. As soon as they are scheduled, we'll publish the dates and times.

Finally, Lent is a time of discipline and self-sacrifice. I've included a second attachment, an article I just received from the Alban Institute on "Waiting and Yearning in Lent". It has helped me to reflect on Lent which begins this Ash Wednesday. I encourage you to join me and others in the church who plan to engage in some sort of self-sacrifice for the forty days leading up to Easter as a sign that we will wait for the Lord Jesus and listen to Him.

Mercy, shalom, and love be yours in abundance,
2 Chronicles 7:14

Saturday, March 5, 2011


For me writing on the weekends is more difficult. I just returned home after being out since 7:30 am. Weekend routines break the mold. We tend to eat out more, go to more concerts and movies and generally stay up later. Finding time to write only a few sentences takes even more discipline. So here's to the weekend.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hitting my stride . . .

Not! There are days when I simply don't hit my stride. Today was one. I'm training for a half marathon on March 20. We had a day off of school so I used it to go for a ten mile run. I felt terrible the entire time. I never hit my stride the entire one and a half hours of running. I've noticed other days are similar. I wake up sluggishly. Coffee is no help whatsoever and I can't shake the sleep from the night before. I feel grouchy,unapproachable and irritable all day. I never hit my stride on a day like that. The only remedy is another night's sleep and a new day. Every day is a chance to hit my stride.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

WooHoo - Field Trip

So I teach Marine Biology. Today we went on a field trip to the Seattle Aquarium. The exhibits were great, the students were great, lunch at the Aquarium Cafe was great and well, the entire day was great. Students ought to get out more - really! They are more engaged, better behaved, more interested and a joy to be around when they are not in the classroom. I wonder what this says about how their typical school day is structured?


Wednesday, March 2, 2011


This is my bus. It is the penance I must partake for the folly of a botched oil change in my 1979 Mercedes in January of 2010. At dusk on a dreary January Sunday, I frantically changed the oil in my newly purchased "classic" Mercedes. The small rubber gasket that squeezes between the lid and metal canister holding the filter was not seated properly. Because I was in a hurry and did not bother with proper lighting, I did not realize my error until three weeks later when the engine simply stopped working. My sickening stomach could not overrule the law of friction. No amount of regret could fix frozen pistons or bent tie rod. So penance draws near to my carelessness. Now I am in debt to a friend who is rebuilding my engine, to an Orca card for bus fair, and to One-Bus-Away for keeping me on schedule. One thing for sure, I have slowed down. One does not hurry while riding a bus.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Challenge

A good day begins with hot, black coffee and a whole grain scone. When there is time to reflect and write, that is a bonus. I've accepted a friend's challenge to write a "slice of life" story every day this month. I've tried this writing-every-day-thing before but failed after about a week. Maybe I'll last two this time. A couple half time jobs and church work have kept me from my morning routine of reading, reflecting and 'riting. As a result, my current journal is over a year old. So here we go . . . until tomorrow, grace and peace.