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Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

The 2011 NFL Season…Maybe

In Uncategorized on March 14, 2011 at 1:19 am

Submitted By: Kevin Smith Clark

Okay we have players, we have owners.  We have greedy people on both sides.  We have questions.  Should owners have to show their books?  Should multi-million dollar athletes be better financial stewards?  Or should they spend 20% of their annual salaries on diamond earrings, or gold plated stripper poles in their 30,000 square foot mansions?

Unfortunately, I have no good answer for you, friends.  I know this: I will have a four month depression if there’s no NFL, and I’ll tell you why…it’s not because…

 

  • I’m an NFL junkie (which I am)
  • I’m a Browns fan (which I am, insert joke here ________)
  • Tom Brady’s hair
  • Larry Fitzgerald’s hands
  • Bart Scott’s postgame comments (“Can’t wait!”)
  • Shannon Sharpe’s ridiculous tie knots
  • C’mon man!
  • the Steelers might lose another Super Bowl…wasn’t that fun?!

No.  It goes further than this.  Far beyond any collective bargaining table.  Beyond revenues and extra games.  Past salary caps and insurance.  This one cuts straight to my Thursday nights and poses the most overlooked and unanswered question to date: what will happen on Season Three of “The League”???!!! Think about it.  No terrible drafting by Andre…no collusion between Kevin and Jenny…no “child please”…no Ruxin shoving the Shiva in everyone’s faces…no Pete wasting time checking his lineup at work…NO SACKO??!!

So while Mike & Mike are trying to play arbiter for four hours every morning, I’m here thinking beneath the surface and how it affects important things, like funny, underappreciated television.  They talk DeMaurice Smith, I talk El Cunado.  They theorize, I NOTARIZE!

Now, the terribly witty staff at “The League” could come up with brilliant solutions to this potential non-season.  Maybe they take a stab at a Fantasy Hockey league and talk about how terrible it is because nobody gives a crap about the NHL.  Or they take up Canadian Football and wear Doug Flutie jerseys and start saying “aboot” and watch Degrassi reruns.  I don’t know, but unless we get this resolved, that apocalyptic eclipse that developed at the end of Season Two…you know the one…outside the police station…Ruxin holding the Shiva aloft…Andre’s stupid Will Smith hat…that one…that may become more than the moon blotting out the sun.  It’ll be a metaphor for the NFL ruining my TV schedule.  Thanks for nothing.

Nag, Nag, Nag!….Woman, if you don’t shut up…

In Uncategorized on March 12, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Submitted By: Slowfo

….and start actually doing what I tell you to do, then your role in this marriage is about to become superfluous. You’ve been running your yap for so long that your words are like a Charlie Sheen rant……making sense only in your world and completely laughable. You’re so hung up on the technical vows that were said on our marriage day that you have almost completely ignored the more legitimate needs around us, choosing instead to talk, talk, talk. Don’t you understand that when we first professed our love and made it public that it was so everyone would know that things had changed. No one knew our love at that time so it was obvious that we should tell everyone. In today’s information age, we can post our love on Facebook and the world knows; so now they know…. and it’s time to shut up and quit nagging everyone with how much better our love is and just show them. Our friends and family are on information overload, they don’t need to know more about us; they need to see more about us.

And look, you’re pretty, ok? The love we share is what is so attractive, not worrying so much about your image all the time. There’s no more reason to do all the lip plumping and boob jobs …trying to get everyone to notice you and how “sexy” and “hip” you are. Frankly, all of your attempts to be so young and “today” are just coming across as shallow. Just be you. That’s the bride I fell in love with.

I do get frustrated with how uppity and annoying you can sometimes be to everyone and how desperate you can come across as you’re trying so hard to be accepted. I understand where all of that’s coming from, but let’s start fresh, ok? How about this…maybe for Lent, and hopefully for an infinite time thereafter, stop sharing so much with your words and start sharing our love through unexpected actions of love and compassion. And please, just relax and rest in the fact that you and I share a love that cannot be compared….that’s why people are attracted to us, not because you try to fit in so much. It’s our active love for each other and our world that will truly make the difference. Hon, I will always love you as my Bride, just follow the example I’ve set for you.

Reward: $30,000

To all of you Christians out there, I’ve been informed by someone in the rug-importing business (I really hadn’t even thought about how there was such a thing), that recently a “church” spent $30,000.00 (yes, that’s right, THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!) on a rug for their church building. Be on the lookout for whichever congregation has done this. If you see a rug in your church, ask how much it cost….I’m sure the homeless would love to wrap themselves in it for warmth (thanks to jg for that line). For that matter, go look around your church and if you see something that probably isn’t needed but looks expensive, ask how much it cost. You’ll become quite popular with the church staff, I’m sure. Seriously, we need some checks and balances here folks.

Moving Beyond, Hopefully with the Blessing of, the CCOC

In Uncategorized on March 12, 2011 at 4:06 pm

the infatuation started at bishop kelley high school. before my first day at this fairly well-regarded – for academics and adolescent substance abuse – parochial school, my mother warned me, “just don’t become a Catholic.” sure enough, four years later i graduated with a decent academic record, an inexplicably clean criminal record, and without becoming a Catholic.

although i didn’t participate in rites of christian initiation for adults (RCIA) during high school, i didn’t escape without a fascination for the liturgical practice of the faith. father dan mueggenborg was a trusted guide who could handle the ambivalence of my life at a time when the youth ministers at christview christian church either didn’t know what to do with me or were tempted, by their own admission, to hit me in the face. moreover, in my christian church, churches of christ (ccoc) tradition we practice communion on a weekly basis. the moment when we sang the doxology, the men of the church filled the aisles with Christ chicklets and Welches, and we remembered the ultimate sacrifice of our Lord had always been the center of worship for me. this focus on the communion, which i later learned to call “the eucharist,” was only intensified when father dan raised the host during mass and broke it in full sight of the congregation. it broke my heart every time. it breaks my heart still.

the years that have followed have held many twists and turns. after trying my damnedest to become an alcoholic during my first year at oklahoma state, i made a rash, reactionary decision to attend lincoln christian college (even after slowfo tried to dissuade me by showing me pictures of the women in soybean bible’s settle for book). by God’s grace, that decision turned out to be a good one. although i was never entranced with the social life at lcc or its reflexive embrace of the eeevangelical subculture, i was became fascinated with theology and unexpectedly freighted with the call to preach the gospel.

in the decades since college graduation, i have made some horrible decisions like leaving l’arche for gordon-conwell, and many great decisions like serving at manchester christian church, marrying kellie, co-leading a home church in beverly, reconnecting with inclusive community by working at Triangle, and, for the last four years, serving as an assistant pastor at the gathering in salem. throughout that time, almost all of my pastoral leadership took place outside of the christian church, church of christ tradition. although i have found it almost impossible to stay connected to the tradition in new england on account of my evolving theology, suspicion of pragmatism as ecclesiology, geographic location, and adamant refusal to kiss the local ccoc kingmaker’s ring – i have struggled to maintain my connection with the ccoc due to my gratefulness for the graciousness of my home church, my appreciation of lcc, my ongoing connection to elders such as uncle neal, and my ordination within the tradition.

over the past two months kellie and i have transitioned out of the gathering. we loved our time serving that Christ loving, quirky community in salem and will always consider ourselves members of their larger tribe. however, we both felt called to a more liturgical tradition and had a strong sense that it was time for us to move on.

after a few weeks of exploring different communities we’ve decided to walk forward with our friends at christ church, an episcopal church in hamilton. i’ve attended services there on an occasional basis for more than a decade and together we have participated in lenten services for several years. christ church is a wonderful congregation that intertwines progressive evangelical theology, meaningful liturgical spirituality, and a commitment to social justice in a way that is deeply meaningful to kellie and i. i’ve long said that if God had asked me, i would have been born an episcopalian (or maybe a catholic, if they weren’t so obsessed with authority issues, pastoral celibacy, and outdated views on women in the ministry*). maybe moving towards membership in the episcopalian church is what God had in mind all along.

with little bitterness, okay, maybe with a little bitterness, i can say that the episcopal church in this area has long been more welcoming to me and affirming of my ministry than the ccoc has been. i hate to cut the mooring from the tradition of my youth, which in many ways has served me so well, but it appears that is what i am doing.

i’ve always had a contrarian bent. i’m pretty sure that’s the reason why the confused, 23-year-old youth ministers of my youth either wanted to hit me or avoid me as much as possible. if i was simply a contrarian, this decision would not be that difficult. however, married to the contrarian is a deep-seated loyalty streak that never want to betray a friend or becoming a foe.

for that reason, i’m pretty conflicted as we start this new journey. i’m thankful for the grace that the ccoc has poured into my life and it is painful for me to leave. but i think that’s what i’m doing. i think that’s what i need to do.

so our family is starting a new journey together. your prayers along the way are appreciated.

* the latter issue being the primary reason you would not find our family at an anglican mission in america congregation either.

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