Heat Wave

Today (July 22) supposedly ends the dire heat wave NYC has been in for the past week. Not without an extended farewell – several thousands are still without electricity in Brooklyn and severe thunderstorms are expected this afternoon – but at least it is on its way out!

My husband texted me a funny this morning – although the red arrow had moved 4 steps down…

NeW York ACTUALLY HAS 12 SEASONS Winter Fool’s Spring Second Winter Spring of Deception Third Winter The Pollening Actual Spring Summer Hell’s Front Porch False Fall Second Summer Actual Fall you are here

I started laughing at the “Spring of Deception” and didn’t stop! It is so true! The rest of the country may argue the benefits (or not) of four seasons but New York has twelve! And, no, it is not a case of “more is better”!

On the other hand, if we are in a Twilight Zone/ climate change nightmare, the laugh isn’t quite as funny, is it? Yesterday’s worship brought prayer requests for more care for creation, local and universal, and yet most of us go about our lives without making any changes that matter.

Several years ago, I tried an energy-fast for Lent. It irritated me from the start. The authors didn’t know enough about Lent to know Sundays aren’t included! But they also had aimed the fast firmly at suburban/rural folks because about every third “give up” involved a car. Which I don’t own. I had to focus a lot on how long I brush my teeth.

It did make me curious so I took one (or several…) of those global footprint quizzes. Turns out my low-income urban living gives me a pretty small footprint. But it still could be better – and my air conditioning use in the last week has certainly been excessive. Taking the quiz, perhaps, gave me a false sense of security.

So here I am, with no car and minimal toothbrushing time, at the end of this New York “front porch” season, with the AC still humming in the background, wondering how to alter/adjust/limit my participation in those larger creation-threatening activities which simply are not a laughing matter.

How are you handling the heat in your part of the world?

Blessings,

Beth

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Summer Newsletter: Opportunities

The summer edition of my newsletter is scheduled to enter the ether this morning. If you don’t receive it, check your spam folder or trash – and you can move it to your inbox or label it so the next one doesn’t disappear!

But if you don’t see it, here is a link and you can always sign up if you aren’t already on my list.

This edition is all about opportunities – the ones we are offered, the ones we take, and the ones we don’t. I hope your summer is filled with wonderful opportunities!

Blessings,

Beth

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Back from Vacation… sigh…

You’ve been there, too, I know it… The vacation glow was visible in all the pictures… and then two days later, you’re home and the grimace has returned! Lines in the forehead, pursed lips, all of it! The Back from Vacation face stares back at you in the mirror and you think, “What happened to beach hair?”

Oh, well…  Back I am and it was a great week and now I’m neck-deep in wonderful work again! No one could complain about that!

So here’s a few pictures from the vacation – maybe just looking at them will help us all destress for a minute or two? (Two weather pictures and one of my gluten free cupcake just for fun!)

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Princeton Theological Seminary reunion, Part II

I just want to update you on the results of my reunion “wish list”….

First, I wanted to sit on a bench in the quad and reconnect with the squirrels. Several days of rain made the quad a soggy mess so even Wednesday’s sunshine didn’t make me want to walk through the wet grass to sit on a wet bench!

However, I did go early to skip the travel in the rain, which meant I had time to walk to the Borough Park and remember how much I loved that place!

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Princeton borough park

 

I also wanted to sit in my favorite seat in the cafeteria, overlooking the parking lot… Did that the first day but felt none of the old longing to escape! Maybe it was the gluten free brownie!

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A view of a parking lot.

 

Similarly, the desire to sit in the library was met several times, along with an unnamed desire to sit in the chapel!

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The library atrium.

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Miller Chapel before opening worship.

And finally, sitting with friends, remembering the fun and fury – well, that happened over and over! Along with catching up on what has happened since! And even getting a hug from a favorite professor!

Fortunately, it wasn’t all just sitting! We were challenged throughout the reunion, too. Challenged about the past, the present, and the future. How do we make amends for the past, how do we live out the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves in the present, and how do we preserve a future for the next generation – in church and in creation?

Princeton Theological Seminary at its best.

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25th Reunion at PTS!

I don’t know how it happened but 25 years have gone by since I graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary! Next week, I’ll be attending our class reunion and I’m looking forward to doing the following, in random order:

  1. Sit on a park bench and see if the squirrels remember me! (I used to keep bags of peanuts to feed them…)
  2. Sit in the cafeteria and look out the window to the parking lot! (I used to look longingly at my parked car from Monday through Thursday till it was time to drive back home for the weekend…)
  3. Sit on a comfortable chair in the Library for an hour or so! (The chairs were so uncomfortable 25 years ago…)
  4. Sit with friends almost anywhere to remember the fun and the fury of seminary life…

If you were part of that experience – faculty, staff, students of any year – even squirrels – thank you for making it such a memorable time in my life! And I hope to see you Monday!

Blessings,

Beth

 

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Women Mystic Awesomeness!

“To be one with love is an awesome calling and those who long for it should spare no effort.”  Hadewijch, 13th century, p198, Medieval Women Writers

I’m so excited about a “new” workshop I’m leading!

Okay. It isn’t new at all – I’ve been doing this in one way or another for about 20 years! But it is newly refurbished for 21st century online training. And that’s the awesome part!

You see, when I went into the course to edit some of the materials, I realized how much was missing from it! There’s so much more we could see, hear – almost taste and smell – than I had previously included.

You may have seen a blurb about it in my last newsletter but my excitement is kicked up a notch now so I have to invite you again! Women Mystics in the Christian Tradition runs from May 20th to 24th on BeADisciple.com. It costs $50 and offers .5 ceus.

I hope this all sounds awesome to you, too!

 

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Random acts of kindness

Someone at church last week pointed out that it was Random Acts of Kindness Day and shared some of the ways she had been doing those random acts here in New York City. So I thought of that when someone in one of my online courses, did an act of kindness for me the other day.

He told me the name of a bush that had been in my grandmother’s yard when I was a child. She just called it “the shrub,” and when it was blooming, she would let me take a single blossom, crush it in my fist, and then breathe in the most intoxicating smell! I can remember the bush like it was yesterday but never had a name for it nor could I ever find the search phrase that brought up a picture of it.

But as soon as I described it, I got a response: “Was it a Carolina Spice?” And after a quick Google search, there were dozens of pictures of one of my childhood traditions!

carolina spice bush

I hope there are some random acts of kindness waiting for you these days – and maybe some from you to others!

Blessings,

Beth

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