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2006-10-05 9:58 PM
postcard from KC
Here's how the day began:
Woke up at 5:30. R got up soon afterward to get showered before the girls woke up. I fed M at 6:15 and put her back down. The cab picked me up at 6:30. I took the Metro to the airport and checked in with R around 8:00. He said, "You're not going to believe this."
They were both still asleep.
We could've had a morning to sleep in?!?!?
[shaking fist at the sleep gods]
And here's how the day ended:
With me pouring a bottle brimming with freshly-pumped breastmilk down the sink.
Moment of silence, please.
Pump-and-dump for the sole purpose of maintaining one's supply while traveling is a heartbreak of Sisyphean proportions.
Aside from that, things are going well in KC. The conference is at a Methodist church that has grown from 100 members to 14,000 in 16 years. I cannot imagine the leadership and logistical gymnastics required to make such a shift. The thing is, mega-church does not feel like home to me by any stretch--but what they're here doing has a real integrity. And the whole point of this conference is that there's life in the old mainline girl yet, which I think is a good message.
One quick idea from today: the church provides one week paid leave for every staff member to do some mission trip or project of their choice--that's not connected to their job. The point is to be renewed and restored while reaching out to others, separate from vacation and continuing education time. They will also provide stipends to help offset the cost of the trip, and the stipends increase based on seniority. The mission might also take place locally--it's up to the interests of the person.
Tomorrow I will be attending workshops on adult Sunday School, communicating with the larger community about the church, and strategies for welcoming newcomers to the church. I will also be hearing a keynote with Brian McLaren, which should be interesting.
Has anyone read the articles in the Christian Century yet about prison ministry? I was totally captivated. I could not believe how strongly those pieces nudged me, but yeesh, the thought of it scares me as much as it fascinates me to think about. As several articles put it, "Jesus was a death row convict."
I'm also reading Barbara Brown Taylor's "Leaving Church" which is just lovely.
Time to go to bed.
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