Thursday, November 18, 2004

Good Thursday moanin'

Nothing deep here today - no great "ah-ha" moments...just a case of (happily) untreated life.

Stuff I didn't know - Starting last Monday, I am spending time at the Garfield Park Conservatory - a beautiful place with some wonderful folks working to keep it beautiful. The Chicago Park District owns and maintains the building, all the plantings and the grounds, and the GPC Alliance is the organization which puts on the programs - tours, education events, you name it.

Well, in talking with one of the staff yesterday, I heard her get all excited about something. It seems she was arranging for give-aways for a volunteer appreciation event, and she was quite delighted to find that they were going to be able to "give everyone who attended their very own bag of worm castings!" And she looked at me expectantly, waiting for me to share in her joy.

"OK, I give up," I said, giving her my best "Yeah, I am a doofus" look. "What are worm castings, and why should anyone be excited about getting some?"

I had to ask, eh? Turns out worm castings are, in essence, worm poop -" that which is cast-off" from happy, well-fed worms. (Perhaps baby castings or dog castings would be better language for those by-products, as well.) At any rate, I found this web-page which describes just what a gift this, er, casting is. Turns out the Conservatory has several huge worm beds just exactly for this purpose. Wow.

Stuff I'm glad I experienced - On a much more pleasantly-fragrant note, the folks are setting up for their Holiday Flower Show, which opens the day after Thanksgiving. The GPC folks have moved half-a-dozen miniature orange trees into Horticulture Hall, and each one of them is in bloom. The beauty and delicacy of orange blossoms is a rare thing - incredibly aromatic, and proof once again that, no matter how much some folks might want it otherwise, Nature is still the best advertisement for the handiwork of God in creation. And my encounter is just a small taste of what's in store for encountering God's handiwork at Garfield Park. If you're in the Chicago area, admission is free - and worth it.

Stuff that makes me wonder "where is God in all this?" - while celebrating the endorsement of several very wonderful people I went to school with (the next step on the approval process for ordination), I heard of several folks who I would have said should have gotten endorsed, as well...who weren't. Several of them were postponed (rather than rejected, which would have been the end of the road for them) - and while it's just "not yet," instead of "go away," I certainly can sympathize with them. Because I also learned of several folks who (if I were king of the forest) would never, ever get into ministry...who just sailed through the process. It really makes one wonder.

Stuff I need to write about later on - I've been following a number of bloggers who have been questing deeper into their faith, and finding new and different answers. Some of them have changed the labels and denominations that they feel called toward - and have tickled my own thoughts about faith-formation. Three different bloggers I "know" have talked about suicide - past attempts, current thoughts, and the way that this ultimate escape tempts us (even in, and sometimes especially in - the church. And I've been thinking and reading about what "the ragamuffin church" might look like - and where it's actually happening (as well as my own experiences where it is not).

That's it for now, kids. Gotta go!


Peter said...

Steve, I think we're all of us in the Ragamuffin Church.

Pat said...

Yep,that's my church - RCA (Ragamuffin Church in America).
Sitting in a pew in the back, pressing my ear on the rabbi's chest to hear his heartbeat.