Jenell has written my quote of the week (though she probalby wrote it last week, or the week before, I'm so far behind. . .):
"One reason why the church sees so many sex scandals is because no one was scandalized by the abuses of power that preceded the sex."
An anthropologist and an evangelical (whatever that means anymore), Dr. Paris' insights on the Ted Haggard scandal are about more than moral disdain or Schadenfreude, which is about all the secular press seems to be able to do with a story like this.
I know, I'm way behind in the news world. I haven't even gotten it together to mention the election yet. What can I say? My attention has been mainly with a little boy (just a few months older than my son) in the ICU this past 10 days. The news does not seem nearly so important.
I haven't been in a blogging state of mind for a while, partly because I've been working a couple writing projects -- one for Augsburg Fortress, one for Alban Institute, and another which is so far just for me, but better get into sharable shape soon. I was accepted into the Louisville Institute's "Writing as a Spiritual Practice" workshop, which means a week in Santa Barbara in January writing and working with other writers under the guidance of Barbara Brown Taylor and Nora Gallagher. I'm very excited and more than a little nervous.
I've discovered that writing for preaching has a certain discipline -- definite deadlines, a stable but not unchanging audience, the assurance that your words will be heard, not just read, by at least some people. But it has also allowed me to be lazy about writing in other ways. For example, I don't have to write out everything ahead of time (and I usually preach without notes), so I tend to not plan out the more narrative parts of my sermons in too much detail. I don't have to submit my work to anyone but me ahead of time, so I'm not accustomed to detailed critique (it drives my husband crazy that I rarely let him read my sermon before Sunday morning). And the set time frame of a sermon means I rarely have to sustain a theme, argument or narrative for more than four pages or so.
I'm working on a piece for the workshop that deals with the multiple calendars we live with, and the multiple pulls on our life that those calendars represent -- liturgical, financial, personal, physical, and so on. Books that are liturgically and/or seasonally themed seem to be everywhere these days, so perhaps I have nothing new to offer on the subject, but the challenge of a bigger project is good for me, I think.