Tuesday, April 12, 2011

amy sedaris, tokyo and mystery the seahorse

Ohhhh Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello together again! You'd never know it was a Chipotle ad, or at least I didn't really. If this is how they're going to have to sneak advertising into our technological food then I'm just fine with it.



David got back from Tokyo today, he was there for eight days and I was a single working mom for eight days. So glad he's home, and hopefully without any viable radiation side effects. Here's their trip tumblr and also a clip of what they were doing there.

I feel like I'm healing from the church stuff that I've been carrying for the past few months. Someone who had been in a similar situation told me to read How To Survive The Loss of a Love and so I got it from the library (and tried to hide the cover when I was checking it out). It really helped so I wanted to talk about it here as maybe a resource for help for any kind of emotional injury. I'm excited about being a part of a new faith community and I'm starting to see what happened recently was necessary for me to see some things that I otherwise may not have seen. It's so hard when something like this happens in any kind of family and this was our church family so it was huge. But they also gave me a huge gift by showing what they believed so that I could make an assessment about whether I could still be there or not. And I couldn't, I can't. It would be so much easier to stay because it was my community for twelve years and I love the people there so dearly, but a fundamental part of their philosophy didn't match up with what I believe to be true. So I had to say goodbye and mourn it. It's been absolutely huge and painfully heavy for me but now that a bit of time has passed I'm able to see good things coming from it, like moving towards a new community and being excited about that and learning things from new people and interacting with them and building a new family. It's been a big thing to explain to our children as well because it was the only church family they'd ever known and they of course want to know why we can't be there anymore. We tell them that we disagree about what we believe the Bible teaches but that God is bigger than all of this and he still loves us all the same and we are trusting him to bring good new things for us. Their sweet little hearts are so open and it makes me think about how Jesus said that unless we become like little children we can't see his mysteries. And then it goes back to the mystery of what we're doing when we seek out this metaphysical, inexplicable stuff. Growing up in church it gets mechanical and angsty and really easily becomes boring because we forget there's mystery under it all. It's like there are cracks in the walls of the boringness and pain that exists in church life but the mystery is still streaming in, dying to get in somehow so it leaks in through the cracks and if we are brave enough we'll kick open the door a little and be open to it.

Wow, that was kind of a tangent.

6 comments:

Still Breathing said...

Stephy, It lightened my heart to read this post. I am so glad that the healing has started and pray that it will continue. I'm sure that mystery is at the very core of the Christian faith and that no matter how hard we try to organise and package it the wonderful wild mystery will still break through. I've just started reading Mere Churchianity by Michael Spencer (the late Internet Monk) and lol'd on reading this on the second page "I think Jesus turns up in a lot of places where we might not expect to see him, even church."

God bless and prayers from across the pond.

reborn1995 said...

Steph,

Maybe you mean to keep this private, and if so i understand. But i'm curious what the disagreement was about. Not because i want to debate the issue at all. But even if my fellowship, doctrinal reasons for leaving are tricky--how far is too far? How much compromise is too much? Etc. etc. These kinds of decisions rarely happen over issues that seem like obvious "deal-breakers." Maybe in your case it was an obvious deal breaker sort of situation, but i was curious about your experience of that process is why i asked what it was about.

(Oh, and by the way, i really appreciate your advice the other day; i honestly am still mulling it over and thinking about it a lot.)

--guy

stephy said...

It's okay, I can still talk about it in general terms. The disagreement came about when the church fired a founding member in order to "reach a broader slice of the Seattle demographic." That's the reason they initially gave, which was disconcerting enough, because this guy was such a strong part of our church and didn't see the firing coming. Then it came about that the head pastor didn't like the way the guy was doing things, so he fired him. It was just so unloving how it all went down. We met with the leadership five times to talk with them about it and we told them we feel they did a violent thing to this man's family and also to the congregation, and they said "Yes, it was a violent thing." But they maintained they did nothing wrong and would do it all over again. In the meantime, the church leadereship has no contact with the guy they fired or his family. There's no softness or seeking to heal that the family feels. It's caused so much heartbreak in so many people I can't put it to words. But it let me know that I'm not safe as part of that church anymore, that they don't take relationships seriously enough for me to feel safe there. I feel that church's business sensibilities trump love and relationship, which is exactly what I believe Jesus said not to do.

reborn1995 said...

Steph,

Thanks very much for sharing.

So it wasn't quite what i thought. But still very interesting. What's scary is that the way you describe is basically my experience with any hired staff person on any church i've been apart of (as a minister or as a member). What you're saying sounds right; but i also find myself not in the least bit surprised that that's how it went down. i'd be far more shocked to see it done in a way that takes the relationship seriously.

(i have found it generally to be the case that ministers are not allowed to be terribly open about themselves or to share any of their personal struggles because it will very likely lead to gossip, then prompt firing, then being written off. i hate to admit it, but my tendency in ministry was to avoid developing very close relationships in the congregations i worked with for that very reason--they could be the very people who next week get me sacked and sent on my way.)

But i also commend you for the way you handled things. A lot of people see being a part of a church as little different from choosing a restaurant. Many would have simply left the next Sunday and gone elsewhere with ne'er a word said to anyone at the church they left.

--guy

stephy said...

Yeah, I've been part of many churches who handle stuff like that. It's fine to them. They say they can't see what's wrong with it. But it was a giant heads-up to me that they don't take relationship, and Jesus by proxy, very seriously. I want a church where the pastor will be open. We found a church where that seems to be the case. I'm gun-shy of course, but I've already seen rad transparency from the pastor and the congregants that would have spelled demotion at the very least in other churches. That's one of the things I have a giant problem with, the pastor as some sort of untouchable elevated icon in a church. He should be a friend and own his struggles along with the rest of the body.

Still Breathing said...

Stephy, I'm with you on your view of the pastor as just another church member; I have been lucky enough to be a friend of our last 3 ministers. However as someone called by God to lead a congregation they should, at the same time, be given (be worthy of?) special respect. I know this is a difficult balancing act (and I have recently seen it go horribly wrong) but I do believe that it is possible.