"Joy" Luke 1:46-55

Last week we were away at a Ministry Authorization Conference in Texas. The translation for “ministry authorization” is; what is ordination, what is it good for and who ought to be ordained – or not? The conversation has been a long time coming and it will continue, as we church nerds try to figure out what the heck is going on with God inside the Church. Trust me when I tell you, nobody knows for sure. I think that’s just fine because it has always looked like God built more than a little mystery into Creation which we are never going to figure out and that goes for God’s organization run by people which we call church. We will keep trying to figure it all out however, that’s the human nature. It’s like, you wake up in the morning and say two basic things to yourself or maybe to God; what do I have to get done today and what in the heck am I doing this for? Then you get up, have coffee or whatever and you go at it because God has gifted you with the energy and the curiosity to go at it!

Anyway, the Conference we went to in San Antonio was awesome and not just because John got to strut around in his Cowboy boots! We learned more about the workings of our denomination, The United Church of Christ. I feel so blessed to be in such a good, future focused Denomination, which consciously tries to look out for the welfare of all. I believe that is what Jesus would have us do and that is why I am part of the UCC. I’m not trying to sell you on it because I respect the Non Denominationalism of GPC, I’m just sharing the love I have for my tribe.

My husband John came to Texas with me to do some photography and other work and so we had to put our dog Bella into the kennel for four days. To call Bella a dog is scientifically true but it certainly does not define the way we feel about her, nor how she feels about us! To us she is more like a four-pawed child and it is clear she thinks of us as her parents. Bella is a terrific dog, though she had a rocky start in life and it shows. She came to us off a puppy distribution RV which drove up from Arkansas delivering adopted puppies to people in Virginia, Washington D.C., New Jersey and Connecticut. Bella was about five months old the day they dropped her into my arms and we were told by her Foster Parents that she, her Dog Mom and 4-5 other pups had been abandoned and were rescued on the street and spirited away from someone who was shooting at them! Now, I don’t know if this “Rescue Dog Story” is true but it’s clear that Bella went through some kind of traumatic event because she does not want people to put their hands to her face if she doesn’t know them. Also, she squeezes herself behind the toilet, cowering, when she hears a loud noise like gunshot or thunder or even if a door is slammed.

If you have met Bella the church dog in my office or at John’s 1st Baptist Church office you know it takes a little time for her to feel safe with you, but that in a while of watching you in action she will simmer down