Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

I get why some Christians are against Halloween. I get why some are against Harry Potter. I understand what they're thinking.  I may not agree with it, but I get it.

I, on the other hand, love Halloween. By middle school I was making my costumes. There was one year where I was a particularly charming Queen of Hearts. Of course when my Girl Scout troop when to the haunted house that was under the Milwaukee Zoo I lost half of my fabulous, bright red fake nails (sorry to my fellow scout who had me gripping her shoulders and arms!). Since I don't have any kids, I'm going to commandeer some of my friends kids next year and make costumes for them and take them trick or treating.

There is something about the creativity that can go into Halloween. My years in high school drama where I helped design and make costumes and sets come out to play again. Maybe next year I can be River Song (yes, I'm a Whovian). Or I'll take a page from the teens who say that I'm a cross between Professor McGonagall and Tonks. Given my age, I'd probably pick Tonks.

Creativity is something we should celebrate. I think that when we have our creative moments, we are truly acting in the image of God. Our ability to produce music, art, mechanical contraptions, and all those other things we dream up and then somehow make a reality mimic the creative action of God.

So use your creativity, celebrate the festivities, but just make sure your sugar high doesn't keep you from tomorrow's holy day - All Saints!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


While youth ministry makes the majority of these posts, today I want to look at another demographic in our churches, one that often is overlooked.

Today's readings really focus on marriage. As someone who is a professional bridesmaid, I've seen my fair share of Catholic and non-Catholic weddings. I have the dyed to match shoes to prove it. However, I am one of the vast population of Singleton. Between that fact and the two ministries I work with in addition to youth ministry, I am always aware of how our churches deal with those who are unmarried.

The young adult ministry is a mixture of singles and married. I also work with a group of adults in their 40s and 50s who are single (never married, divorced, widows, widowers). Often they feel isolated, excluded, or out-of-place at parishes. Even 'whole parish' events such as picnics or holiday celebrations give a de facto feel that they are for families with children. In our parish's efforts to assemble a pictorial directory, I hear from members of our young adult and middle singles groups that they either genuinely thought the directory was just for families or they are uncomfortable being pictured by themselves.

As we spend today's readings reflecting on marriage, don't forget those residing in Singleton. They feel awkward enough. Sometimes even I, as a staff member, will sit there during the homily or announcements and say, "Wow, this really doesn't relate to my lived experience. I don't have kids and all Father is using as stories are bits about having young children," or "That sounds like it might be a great event, but it seems to be geared toward kids and their parents. They talked about games and special food for the kids, but nothing about what was offered for the adults."

Some things to consider - how is your language for announcements, flyers, and other advertisements of general events? Do you recognize the full lives these individuals have or do you fall prey to the "of course you have tons of free time since you don't have kids" idea? Are homilies including references and stories that singles can relate to? Are you reaching out to singles to participate in parish life? How can you help those that might be intimidated or embarrassed to attend alone feel welcome and comfortable?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Quote of the Day

One may prefer spring and summer to autumn and winter, but preference is hardly to the point. The earth turns, and we live in the grain of nature, turning with it.
- Robert Hass

Friday, October 5, 2012

WYD & Cowboys

I was putting together the "highlights" version of the youth ministry calendar for the next year to distribute at family night this Sunday. As I worked through the summer months, I dropped in our service trips, but paused over July. A sigh escaped.

After going to the past five World Youth Days, this year will be the first one since 2000 that I have missed. As an event that changed my life (hello ministry, good-bye law school) it holds a special place for me.

Plus, I must admit, the kid in me still remembers the paper I wrote for a social studies class some time in elementary or middle school on the country of Brazil. I became utterly enamored with the country when I discovered that they had cowboys. (As has been previously discussed, I was not a normal little girl.) The idea that other countries had cowboys and a wild west type life was so appealing to me.

If you are going to WYD, I must admit, I wish I was going with you. I will be keeping all of the pilgrims in my prayers. Pack your Bibles, comfortable shoes, water bottles, and duct tape. The rest you can improvise.

If you happen to have room in your luggage, I wouldn't mind stowing away!