Tag Archives: Pastor

Photo Challenge: Self-Portrait

Self-Portrait. Photo: TLClark, 12/14/19. Taken with a Samsung Galaxy J7 smart phone.

For Khürt’s Smart Phone Challenge : Use your smart phone to “take a picture that tells us who you are, without actually showing your face.”

Those who know me well don’t need much of an explanation. Books, a camera, some quilting, and a paten and chalice paint a pretty good picture of who I am.

I am the daughter and granddaughter of quilters, but it it has only been in the last ten years that that I have become a quilter. The wall-hanging of flowers reflects my love of nature. The table runner shows my interest in music and states my firm conviction that “All Are Welcome” (song by Marty Haugen, words stitched below the notes) in God’s realm.

The paten and chalice are symbols of my being an ordained pastor and teacher in the United Church of Christ. Although not currently serving a church, I do pulpit supply (preach and lead worship) when colleagues are away on a Sunday morning.

The camera was a Christmas gift from my husband a dozen years ago. My first SLR camera was a combined Christmas and 16th birthday present from my parents. I caught the photography bug from Dad. He took pictures and developed the B&W film; Mom printed pictures in our home darkroom.

Thanks to parents who read to me, I have been a reader for as long as I remember. When I was in trouble as a child it was likely because I had my nose in a book. A common refrain from my teen-age years: “turn off the light, you need to go to sleep.”

Notes about the books I chose for the photograph.

  • Mister God, This Is Anna by Fynn. Be aware of wonder. It’s a big, beautiful world and there is much to be amazed by and marvel at.
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Listen to your heart. Follow your dreams.
  • The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Be willing to take a risk. Know that things are not always what they seem.
  • Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris. A beautiful description of the land and the people not so far from where I grew up.
  • Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott. A wise and witty account of coming to faith in a “series of staggers from what seemed like one safe place to another.”
  • This Day: Sabbath Poems Collected and New by Wendell Berry. Who knew I’d like poetry!!

THIS DAY

After the long weeks
when the heat curled the leaves
and the air thirsted, comes
a morning after rain, cool
and bright. The leaves uncurl,
the pastures begin again
to grow, the animals and the birds
rejoice. If tonight the world
ends, we’ll have had this day.

“This Day” by Wendell Berry

Substitute Pastor

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“Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2 CEB

Pastor S called late Tuesday afternoon.  “My son’s been in a bad motorcycle accident.  Can you cover for me this Sunday?”

Yes.  Of course.  I’m available.  And that’s what I do: lead worship and preach when one of my colleagues will be away.  We call it pulpit supply in the United Church of Christ.

“Oh,” one of my husband’s relatives said once she understood what I do, “you’re a substitute pastor!”   I’ve been called worse.

Pastor J called Wednesday morning.  “Is there any chance you could do some pulpit supply?”  She was asking for a congregation down the road.  They and their (now former) pastor have had a parting of ways.

Yes.  Of course.  Just not this Sunday or the 21st because I’m already committed.  But that’s also what I do:  step in as a stable presence to lead worship and preach, to love the people through an unexpected difficult time, to remind them they are not forgotten by God.

When colleagues are headed for a conference or taking a vacation, they ask early.  When there’s a family emergency, they call as soon as they realize they may need to be gone on Sunday.   When a church and a pastor have parted ways, Pastor J or someone in her position will call.

So today I’m looking at a bulletin that was handed to me, writing prayers, thinking of a children’s message, and trying to figure out where Pastor S might have been going with the sermon.  I’ve pretty much decided to ignore her sermon title.  But we won’t know the details until Sunday morning.

If you’re looking for a substitute pastor, I may or may not be available the 14th and 28th.  But I should know by Monday.

Blessings,
Pastor Teressa