The Awakening
A Date Has Been Set

Breaking Pottery

This weekend I was in Wichita for the annual meeting of the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference of the UCC. This was my second annual meeting to attend. We passed resolutions calling for a change in immigration policy that is more welcoming of the stranger and raising the awareness of the importance of water as an environmental/moral/theological issue.

Michael went along and attended the Pastor's banquet with me. He said I was like a little kid, introducing him around. The gay men's chorus of Wichita sang at the banquet, which was fun. The banquet itself seemed like it could have been the exact same meal we would have been served in 1955. Which wasn't fun.

Saturday night I had to get home to celebrate the wedding of Jim and Mike in Norman, who had done tons of extra work in their backyard to get ready for the event.

Today was a full day. I first had to meet with a family to go over a funeral service I'm doing in Lawton in the morning. Then to church to set up for the evening. Meetings. Our Christian education time, called Formations. Then church. Followed by our annual Southern Style Potluck, featuring a fundraiser for our Christmas baskets project. The fundraiser was drag bingo. There was no jello salad at the potluck, which seemed shocking.

Tonight's sermon focused on the potter and the clay passage in Jeremiah. I talked about how God shapes our lives and sometimes we need to be broken in order to find wholeness. I had taken all of my pottery up to the church and used it to decorate the sanctuary.

When I got home and was taking it all out of the car, one piece rolled out of the bag it was in and I watched as it fell to the driveway and shattered into many, many pieces.

It was the pitcher that the Wardlow's had given me as a going away present when I left Rolling Hills. They gave it to me to go along with the goblet and patin that the church gave me. It was a special gift that I used regularly.

Here I had preached about how we had to admit our lack of power and be broken. Here I was trying to talk to Valerie on the phone while carrying everything in. Too confident in myself, and something was broken.

And to add to the richness of the evenings metaphors, my relationship with the Wardlows has been broken the last 2 years. The pitcher was always a wonderful symbol of what it had been.

I've spent the rest of the evening preparing tomorrow's funeral service and talking on the phone to church members about the issues of their lives.

A full weekend. Filled with what it means to be a pastor. Now I'm going to bed.


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