The Interview Meme

(from Michelle)

1. You met your husband, Jon, online. How do people react to this, or do you not normally mention it? What are some lessons you have learned from this?

People are usually pretty shocked because I guess neither of us seem like the kind of people who would date online. I don’t usually mention it unless people ask because it is so shocking and completely unbelievable — I mean, Jon and I apparently seem like high school sweethearts or something.

As far as lessons learned, there’s the thought that you shouldn’t judge by outward appearances and that people can be very different on the inside than they are on the outside. I think if I’d known Jon in real life, I might not have even considered dating him because we are so different externally. I am VERY introverted and he is the king of extroversion. We have different senses of humor and even though I frequently steal his clothes (I’m into baggy stuff), we have different sense of fashion. However, we got to know each others’ hearts before we met and that pretty much overruled everything else. You can learn to work with personality differences if both parties are willing to be flexible and clothes don’t make the man. Jon has learned to give me my space and I’ve learned to let him be who he is — though he restrains himself more than he did previously.

2. What attracts you to ordained ministry?

That’s a really good question because I wonder why I’m so attracted to it at times. I mean, you deal with grieving, neurotic, messy people on a daily basis who expect you to have the answers to all their problems and who think that you only have maybe a 6 hour work week (basically the time you spend in worship on Sunday), which means that you have it easier than the rest. (Reality: a 60-70 hour work week is normal.) In addition, you have to have as much (if not more) education than most medical professionals do just to field questions about the faith and to answer them in a somewhat orthodox fashion and the salary is maybe 1/5 of what most doctors make, meaning that those weddings and funerals are what pay for groceries.

The reason that I’m so undeniably attracted to it is that in the midst of all the sickness and the grieving and the insanity, God is there and I (as the ordained-person-to-be) am the one that gets to help people find Him. In doing that, I learn more and more about God and His will on earth, which simply amazes me at times. Our God is a really awesome, amazing, loving, merciful, and just God and my quest for ordained ministry is all about helping people to discover this.

Oh yeah… there’s also that heavenly 2×4 that keeps smacking me in the head every time I decide to get my Ph.D in Church History or to go to law school instead of returning to seminary.

3. What would you say is the purpose of your blog? What is one major thing you have learned from blogging?

The purpose of my blog is to work out the things in my life and to try to figure out where my faith intersects. My life is really strange these days as I’m looking at a very unknown situation in my future (moving to Jon’s first call) and as I’m trying to live here even though I know I could be gone in two months. It also is the place where I can vent my opinions on the state of the world and have the closest thing possible to free speech.

The most important thing I’ve learned is how blogging can really connect you with others. When I’ve been facing really hard things, I’ve always had people encouraging me and giving me mucho support. This has really meant the world to me because I have almost no peer group here in Newark. (Our church is wonderful, but there really aren’t people my age who really understand what kind of life Jon and I have there. My Bible Studies both are 99% people who are old enough to be my parents.) I like being able to say “I’m really having a hard time” and have people respond with prayer. (Granted, I’ve done a fair share of intercessing for others as well.) It’s amazing how community can develop on such a virtual medium.

4. Where did you get your cats from? Why did you chose to name them the names you have given them?

We adopted our boys from All Creatures Animal Hospital in Granville on August 14, 2002. There had been a “free kittens” ad in the paper and we called to see if they still had any. Their names (Finian and Cullen) are Irish because they are red tabbies (and I’m Irish — our next two will have Scandinavian names because Jon is part Swedish) and come from figures I worked with in the research process for my senior seminar paper/thesis.

5. If you could go anywhere in the world, money being no object, where would you go and why? And, what would you do there?

I can’t nail it down to just one place. I’d probably go back to Ireland and study at Trinity College in Dublin because that has always been a dream of mine (which will maybe be a sabbatical in later years) and then I’d head to Egypt and Syria and Turkey to study Islam and Arabic. (I have a very strange fascination with Islam.) From there, I’d go to Greece and Russia and study Eastern Orthodoxy. In between, I’d travel all over Europe and then head to Asia and visit India, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. I’d finish off by heading to Australia and New Zealand.

(if anyone else wants to interview me, I’m open to this)

The Interview Meme

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment saying “interview me.”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions ?? each person’s will be different.
3. You will update your journal or blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions

Washington vs. OSU Game

Yeah… I succumbed to peer pressure and made a Sports category. I am such a lemming…

The UWOSU game is tonight. This will probably be the 4th football game I’ve watched since I came to Ohio (the Michigan game last year, the Fiesta Bowl, and the 2003 Super Bowl being the other three) and the only reason I’m watching it is to see if I’ll be allowed to come to church on Sunday. You see, my parents are UW alums and Jon told this to some members of our church choir on Wednesday, one of them being the owner of the house where we were having the Choir/Bells BBQ. J happens to be a little bit of a Buckeye fan — I mean, most people have the guest bath of their house set up with a mini-fridge and a microwave (so that they can store the beer down there so that they don’t have to come upstairs for it in the middle of a game) and a picture of the 2002 squad, right? (He even has a block O shower mat and an OSU shower curtain.) Well… J and C (one of the evil basses) explained that they will *tolerate* me as a UW fan — they’d tar and feather me if I happened to be a Michigan fan. Anyway, I was commenting on the fact that Saturday was the game and they commented back that I might want to become Episcopalian again on Sunday if OSU were to say… LOSE!!!!!

Just for my future reference (as in, I might need to know this tomorrow morning), how does one get tar out of long hair?

**UPDATE #1** OSU: 14 UW: 0
**UPDATE #2** OSU: 21 UW: 0
**UPDATE #3** OSU: 28 UW: 3
**UPDATE #4** OSU: 28 UW: 9 (FINAL)

The Good, The Bad, and The Completely Uncalled For

Such was my day:

  • The Good: The Heisey Glass Museum hired me as a clerk today. I interviewed with them on Monday afternoon and I thought I might have a shot when the director asked if I wanted a tour of the museum so he could show me where things were. I start on Tuesday, September 9th. It’s only 20 hours a week and they were apologizing to me because the pay is only $6.25/hour; but duuuuuude… it’s a job! The other wonderful thing: the fact that I have web skills compensated for the fact that I don’t have tons of experience with Access.
  • The Bad: I have wicked PMS (bad abdominal pain, dizziness, and nausea) and a wicked migraine (light hurts, loud noises hurt, and smells make me doubly nauseous). I owe my migraine to the fact that we have some BIG storm systems rolling through, which have prevented me from seeing Mars most nights this week.
  • The Completely Uncalled For: The Pop Tarts Kissing on the VMA Last Night — it was distasteful and an affront to the confidence put in them by the teen girls who actually idolize Brit and X-tina. Enough said. (Note: I’m not protesting because I’m anti-lesbian. I’m anti-excessive PDA of all kinds.)
  • Friday Five

    1. Are you going to school this year?
    Nope… still on sabbatical.

    2. If yes, where are you going (high school, college, etc.)? If no, when did you graduate?
    High school: 1998
    College: 2001
    Seminary: 2008 maybe?

    3. What are/were your favorite school subjects?
    High school: History, government, economics, French, Biology, and AP English
    College: all my History classes and my Religion and Social Change class

    4. What are/were your least favorite school subjects?
    Calculus and my 10th grade Chemistry class — incompetent and racist teacher who let the Asian kids cheat

    5. Have you ever had a favorite teacher? Why was he/she a favorite?
    In high school, it was probably 3 of my 4 English teachers. In college, it was my choir director Margaret and my advisor Cindy. Cindy kicked my butt around until I got my major finished. We still keep in touch.

    Musings on Faith That Have Been Ruminating in My Mind

    I’ve had miscellaneous thoughts on faith that are kind of developing a little bit at a time. To maybe flesh them out and make space for things related to my job interview tomorrow (!!!), I’m blogging them.

  • In my devotional reading on Monday, the author commented on people who “try to live from one dramatic mountaintop experience to another”, whose relationship with Christ is “based on their feelings at the moment”, and who “go from Bible conferences to seminars to Bible studies trying to maintain an emotional high”. I tried to be one of those people and that really failed when my depression got horrendously awful during my second year of college. We in America tend to have a feelings-based faith and this is really not quite what is intended for us. Many of us don’t have to think about where our next piece of bread is coming from, so we sometimes fail to understand the whole joy concept that comes when you see God work powerfully in your life to provide that bread.

    I was talking with a friend of mine who had been to the candidacy retreat for our synod. She told me that our bishop had talked of his experiences at the Lutheran World Federation meeting in Canada and of being the room when the bishops were discussing the gay clergy issue. The bishops from Africa, Asia, and Latin America would all argue their position against gay clergy intellectually and theologically. The European and American bishops would use anecdotes and feelings in their arguments. Does anyone else see a problem here? We are having such a hard time with the issue because we aren’t speaking on the same terms. I think that we need to be more in touch with the Word in our Christian lives and not solely with our feelings. The most powerful “Jesus times” I’ve had have all been centered around Scripture either in spoken word or in music, and I think there is something to that.

  • This is probably the monthly “Jen loves liturgy and thinks it’s better than free-form worship” thought but… when I was pondering curriculum for someone I might be prepping for baptism, I was pondering how our church year is cyclical and goes through the life of Jesus and the church. It starts with Advent in late November/early December and culminates with Christ the King Sunday the next November. Advent is the Old Testament prophecies surrounding the promised sending of a Messiah; Christmas is the birth of Jesus; Epiphany is His life and ministry; Lent is his 40 days in the wilderness; Holy Week is the last week of His life; the Triduum is His death and burial; Easter is His glorious resurrection; Pentecost is the life of His Church; and Christ the King Sunday is kind of like the end of the Book of Revelation. As one of those freaks who loves Lent and Advent, this cyclical thing is cool — it serves to remind us of the story of the One who we serve and also includes us in the story.
  • We had the kick-off for choirs last night at the house of one of the couples who does both choir and bells and part of the night was going through music for the first couple weeks. We’re having to still worship in the fellowship hall because the sanctuary is still in pieces (we’re putting in a new heating/air-conditioning system and the completion date is now a month later than planned) and all our choir music has to be “piano-friendly” because of this. Much of the music we’re doing is “textually-based” as in it’s a text from Scripture put to music and as Judy (our choir director) commented, most of us can sing the lessons read in worship because we’ve sung so many texts.

    We are singing Fauré’s Requiem for All Saints’ Sunday and I’m thinking that I will so have to fly back to sing it with them if we’re at another call by that time. Judy picked it because we’ve had such a hard summer in terms of the 9 or 10 funerals that have happened since June 15th. (We had two funerals last week and we have yet another one this Sunday afternoon.) This brought back to mind the comment on how we can sing most of our lectionary and it morphed into the thankfulness that I sing in a choir whose director understands the importance of music being appropriate for worship. Granted, we do special music for that day anyway but the Requiem by Fauré is mellow compared to the Requiem by Verdi or the one by Mozart. The latter two are BIG production numbers, while Fauré’s is fit to be sung in worship.

    When in our music God is glorified…

  • Along the lines of the last musing is the thoughts relating to how essential music is to the Lutheran understanding of Christianity. I mean, we’re the church from whence greats like Bach came and most Lutherans grow up on Bach either through organ pieces in worship or through singing his arrangements of some of the hymns in the Lutheran Book of Worship (LBW). Every Lutheran church has a choir and while some may be absolutely horrid, the choir sings at EVERY service and helps to lead music in the service. At Jon’s internship parish, the choir has been known to out-number the parishoners during blizzards and we definitely can out-sing them even with a full church. 🙂 Almost every Lutheran has at least 1/5 of the text of the hymns in the LBW memorized (which I can say with fairly good certainty as I watch people sing as they process up for Communion) and probably 60% of the tunes as they tend to repeat from hymn to hymn. One of the things that attracted me to Lutheranism was the fact that they have such a rich musical tradition and that many grow up with at least some musical training even if it isn’t extensive. Music is such a big part of worship that it helps me to be in a church where music is paid attention and where people understand that the lyrics of the hymns frequently are for both aesthetic and edification purposes.
  • OK… I think I should probably let my mind rest and head to bed now.