Wednesday, May 31, 2006

i didn't do it

the teachers from my grade had a meeting with the principal in the library today to plan which classes our students should go into next year. about halfway through, the fire alarm went off! we knew it couldn't be a drill, because the principal was sitting with us. she called the office and it was clear there was a lot of confusion going on. a secretary announced on the loudspeaker, "Custodians are trying to find out what the cause of the fire alarm is. Don't leave the buidling. Stay put!" which made us all laugh. the principal left our meeting and went to the office to find out what was happening. she came back later, laughing. she said it was a kindergartener who did it! at first, the girl tried to get out of trouble by blaming a boy from her class. the boy was wearing a t-shirt that said, "i didn't do it." the principal determined that the boy indeed hadn't pulled the alarm and she told this boy, "i'm glad mommy put that t-shirt on you today!" then, the girl finally admitted to having pulled the alarm by saying, "but i didn't mean it!" the principal asked her was it easy to pull the alarm or hard and the girl exclaimed, "oh, it was hard!"
kids are too hilarious.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

convent searching

Chita che Zvipo Zve Moto
(Community of the Gifts of the Holy Fire)
Founded 1977
The Community is a mixed community of nuns and friars, founded by the Revd Canon Lazarus Tashaya Muyambi in 1977. On a visit to St Augustine's Mission, Penhalonga, he was attracted by the life of the CR fathers and the CZR sisters. With the inspiration of the Spirit of the Lord, he saw the great value in staring a Religious community.

The first three sisters were attached to St Augustine's for three months, Sister Gladys being the first admission on 14 May 1978. The first convent was officially opened in 1979 and the initial work was caring for orphans at St Agnes Children's Home.

In January 2000, Canon Muyambi stepped down from leadership, believing the community was mature enough to elect its own leaders, which it did in March 2000. The Community have a Rule, Constitution and are governed by a Chapter. They take vows of Love, Compassion and Spiritual Poverty. The Community is progressing well with young people joining every year. Each member is qualified or skilled in one trade or another.

i found this on the anglican communion website . it sounds like just the place for a sister mary alternative! i wrote to them, it must be four months ago now. i took into effect that they probably don't have the pony express in zimbabwe, but i think by now that it's safe to say they didn't get my letter. of course there's no website. there's not even a tel. no. listed, but there is a fax no. so i guess i'll fax them.
i still have to pay off my student loans, that will take about 4 years or so. and i'd like to get more experience teaching.
this is one of the few times i'm willing to wait on god's time, as opposed to my own schedule! i do wish they had a website. it would take me a year to save up for a visit there as well.
meanwhile, i'll just keep on keepin' on. i finish grad school for good aug. 1 (!!!). i love teaching. i've got plenty at church to keep me busy. i have al-anon meetings, my boyfriend, my friends, my dog. i'm an associate of a convent here, community of the holy spirit so i've got a more than full life right now.
i'm happy to be nappy.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

holistic family center

i was having dinner with a couple of girlfriends the other night. one had recently had a miscarriage. the other is ambivalent about having children. we are all in our mid-30's. i will say in an aside that as i listen to my friends go through issues of marriage, family, trying to get pregnant, etc. i am more and more relieved that i will not be going through any of this. i'm happy to be a supportive listener and cheerleader. the whole night we talked about the miscarriage, friends who are trying to get pregnant, who are having babies and starting families. one friend mentioned a building in brooklyn where all the tenants are trying to get pregnant all at once and networking, sharing. it sounded fascinating!
i thought how all those people could use a community to help them work through all the stuff that comes with family.
in nyc, and my neighborhood especially, there is a baby boom. the population of infants increased in manhattan by 25% between 2000 and 2004! i had the idea of working with parishioners to create an holistic family center at my church. it could cover many areas of family - trying to get pregnant, single moms, new parents, parenting classes, playgroups for all ages, deciding not to get pregnant, activities for parents and teenagers ... it's not sunday school, it's for the whole family. it would be for the whole neighborhood, not just parishioners. i'm excited by the idea and interested to see where it goes.
i hope as a religious to work with children and families, specifically in africa with aids orphans. i definitely think this idea i had yesterday is divinely inspired and matches my vocation of working with kids. i hope to start this in the fall. should be exciting! i'd love to see your comments and ideas on this.

Monday, May 08, 2006

vow of obedience blues

i am becoming more impatient and irascible around church puffery these days. we had a service yesterday with a certain clergyman who is so full of himself i thought i would scream during his 40 MIUNTE SERMON in which he talked about nothing but himself and he was the hero of his own story. he threw in a few references to jesus for good measure. i kept thinking, how am i ever going to be a good nun and be obedient when all i want to do right now is freak out?
i am coming to realize there are two types of men in the world: mamma's boys and not mamma's boys. i have oh so little tolerance for mamma's boys. my background is english and irish and the irish in particular don't mollycoddle boys. no, everyone suffers together, boys and girls alike.
besides the excruciating sermon and the service that last TWO HOURS! i was really put off by the tone of the service which was patriarchal and patronizing. it was the church at its worst.
on another worrying note, the bishop was there to perform confirmation/reception. there were no children being confirmed. instead there were two older adults being recieved. eeeeeeek!!!!!!! they are lovely people and i'm very happy for them but what's happening at my church and many others like it? there were also very few people in the pews.
i love the episcopal church (when it's not like yesterday) and i think the church has a lot to offer people. but, people don't think so.
i'm the newcomer lady at my church and i read a statistical report put out by the diocese that breaks down the demographics of my neighb. and offers info. in several categories. the breakdown is in general that we have some of the wealthiest people in america in this zipcode, some of the highest educated, the neighb. is full to the brim with young people. there is a category in this report called faith and one section is receptivity to faith. for the people of my neighb. it's 6%! and for those who do go to church they like their service traditional. what do the other 94% of the people want from a spiritual community?
after yesterday i'm thinking of becoming a unitarian. ... just kidding.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

the wonder of god's creation ... in astoria, queens!

i am helping to cook for a fundraiser dinner and auction at my church. the event is may 5, so we decided to make it a cinquo de mayo theme. we're cooking mexican food. i teach in astoria, queens and there are many mexicans as well as other nationalities in the area so i went shopping for the hard to find ingredients (hard to find if you live in the upper east side that is). there's a store here called trade fair, it's like the queens' version of fairway (a specialty food store in manhattan). i was on the phone with our church secy as i shopped, checking on the required ingredients. this store was like a revelation to me! there were mexican fruit and vegetables, all sorts of cheeses, any food you wanted. but it didn't stop there. as i pushed my cart down the aisle, there was the halal butcher and sundried items. with, i swear i am not making this up, a woman in traditional muslim costume (the name of which escapes me just now, but they look not unlike nuns) buying a hookah and haggling over the price of meat with the butcher.
astoria is well known for a large greek population so there was plenty of food imported from greece. each country had it's own section of the store actually. i may never shop in manhattan for groceries again and i really need to learn mexican cuisine.
but, i had to stop and think about the wonder of god's people, all living and shopping cheek to jowl here in nyc. the u.s. gov't. wants to limit immigration and i am very much against their laws, especially as an English as a Second Language teacher. at this store alone, the stock people were mexican, the cashiers were arab, the butchers seemed irish american. it was fabulous!
i love ny.