14 March 2008


Early Tuesday morning I entered the truck and headed north on Rt. 146 then west on I-90.  (Since I left sometime around 4 in the morning I did not see my leather messenger bag, or murse, and took off without it.  All in all I was not missing much but my Ipod - without it I was forced to listen to Eliot Spitzer's press conferences over and over and over again, on the way home I had to listen to the post game whine from Syracuse fans.)  The ride was a smooth one; I arrived in Rochester around 10:30am.  I went to Brueggers then checked in.  

My reason for going was to attend the Bartlett Lectures.  The lectures are named for former CRDS president Gene Bartlett.  (I think I may ask an acquaintance who did a short biography on Rev. Bartlett if I can publish it on wikipedia) This year the Rev. Cynthia Jarvis was the lecturer.  Through her lectures she sought to emphasize the importance and centrality of theology and the pastor's role as pastoral-theologian.  In her first lecture on Tuesday I listened with amazement at how similarity of Peter Gomes' lecture at ANTS I went to last Fall.  Both advocated well written, clear, theologically astute and longer sermons.  Both advocated a preaching ministry (I first heard that phrase proclaimed by Gail O'Day in a continuing ed. event at Wake Forest University Divinity School a few years back) centered on catechesis and not entertainment. Finally both advocated for preachers to read and read and read and read and read.

I used to take notes on any and everything during lectures, recently I have developed a way of active listening and jotting down later the main points that stay with me.  I find this a more helpful way of keeping track of what points "stick to my ribs."  

One insight on my alma mater - the school sold the tables and chairs in the refectory, they were replaced with round tables and stackable chairs.  I understand the need for round tables and stackable chairs for events in the refectory but now the room looks like any other.  With the tables (which were either red oak or chestnut - I am leaning more toward chestnut from memory of the feel) and chairs, made by expert craftsmen during the depression (the best workers in the country came to build the school), the refectory was set apart as a grand room.   

Today I am boiling a pork shoulder given to me by a parishioner.  I hope to smoke it for at least two hours, starting at four.  The apple trees of my neighbor were damaged by the recent wind storm, leaving me with organic wood for smoking!  I am excited about this meal!

What about Joe Alexander and the run WVU is doing right now in the Big East tournament?  

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