Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


i'll start posting pictures taken while in the islands and some artwork as well...first up? Charlotte Amalie..

Team Building

I have been asked for my process to building teams, and here is the agenda for an initial team building consultation. Games in bold can be googled for their rules. This process was used with outstanding results at St. Mary's school faculty professional development day Oct 21 on Virgin Gorda, BVI

Speed Rabbit: silly game to laugh at each other. Person in the middle tells us about themselves.
Mirroring: a good and safe game to foster connection and pay attention to each other
Stop me: line up shoulder to shoulder in two lines, facing each other and about 15 ft apart. One side closes their eyes, the other silently sneaks towards them until the closed eyes hold up hands and say "stop." Discuss the observations.

Discussion: (questions tailored to situation and environment, use the respect communication guidelines)
Why do you do what you do? (teach, preach, minister, play, etc.)
How did you get here to this program, job, position, etc.?
When the career is over and you are on your deathbed looking back over your life, what do you hope to have accomplished in this work?

Changing direction: write on index cards three assets or skill sets you have that could be utilized for the better by one of your co-workers or peers. Then we trade these off, making deals and agreeing to offer ourselves to the other in some way, thus making a covenant of support to each other over the coming months.

Putting it together: (or google "team building games, initiatives" to find new ones)
Human Knot
Alphabet soup
Four Quad

Closing questions:
What did we learn from today?
What are the strengths of our team?
What are three ways our team can improve how we work with each other?

Love is the Answer

The only way to bring healing to a situation is reconciliation and renewal
The only way to move forward is to step back and see the big picture
The only way to conquer an enemy is to befriend them
The only way to gain power is to give it away
The only way to create a new consciousness is to acknowledge that we are imperfect and must deal with our past decisions, make amends, and talk things through.

I am beginning to understand my role as a negotiator.
I am beginning to understand my role as a healer.
God help me to keep my head above the waters of pain and frustration, so i may be a positive change agent.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Blessed Complicated beauty

one day i think i'm exactly where i need to be, another day, i'm completely clueless.
Being completely accepted balances utter isolation.
Feeling love balances the acceptance of the slap in my face by old flames.
Being in the presence of God almighty is no comparison to fighting the demons that follow life in the ghetto.
I hate cockroaches.
No one should be left alone in a hurricane...ever!
How much love to i honestly have to offer?
Am i supposed to be here? Do i have something to offer? How can i possibly understand the implications of a life spent in service?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

trial by fire

I have had two jobs my adult life. In both of which, i have been described as "hitting the ground running." Well, now it's a bit much...

Hurricane Omar is heading our way. Straight up my road, practically. It is deathly quiet here, no birds, no insects, just the rain, and dark ominous clouds on the horizon. I'm a little scared, but mostly excited. Tonight will a test of just how much i "love" thunderstorms...

Pray for us, I hope we stay dry...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

finding God in the islands

It’s only when you look for God
He pops behind a tree
Look away and he’ll be there

The mound of work is piling up. Projects lay half finished everywhere, and more on the way. My motto in this ministry is "consistent and steady pressure." If i keep working, if i keep focused, then amazing things are bound to happen. And they do! An entire deanery committed to this new communication scheme, my personal life falling together in rhythm.

are you wishing for God to speak to you? Are you hoping for the answers to form in front of you? Do you wish that the end would be in sight?

Then stop looking so hard.
He'll be there when you stop demanding him to be there...

Monday, October 13, 2008

One Week! Losing my touch...

I can't believe i let this slip for an entire week! So sorry. Here's a bullet point of what has been up, because it's been eventful, for sure:
1. I researched and outlined a program for teaching people to teach. Essentially, it is a summation of the major points of my own education training, plus some pieces i worked along the way. I'm turning it into a presentation and activity-based program, to be delivered in two 2 hour sessions. Phew! Talk about a big deal...
2. but that wasn't enough! I also researched the outline for a mentor-based program to help with adults who are willing to work with teenagers. Yep, i am always the overachiever...
3. We had a GREAT time at AYO! I think we're looking at a fellowship and outreach group, but it's just "work" getting those kids to talk...
4. I found my way through to Magen's bay beach with a friend and her two kids. It was a couple of hours of bliss...and now i know how to get there, so it's completely golden.
5. Spent a 12 hour day yesterday, and a total of 4 church services! Well, three and half, i guess. Three at St. Andrew's, and an AMAZING healing service at the cathedral.
6. Finally finished painting my room her at Domini House, it looks stunning. I can't wait til it's settled enough to move in.
More wisdom this week, i believe, and a full day at the office tomorrow. Also, St. Andrew's vestry meets tomorrow where we're presenting our proposed changes to Youth Committee, and input from the teens.

PHEW! and most people come to the islands to relax! HA!
Love you all

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

im a moment, your perception can change

I received this letter from Bishop Tom Breidenthal in Southern Ohio. Every time I read it, I am shown how much a simple word of kindness and support can literally change a person's life:

It’s great to hear from you. Sounds like you’re doing everything right. Please know you are constantly in our thoughts and prayers here [in Southern Ohio]. I want you to know that, because I can well imagine how lonely and out of the way you may feel. You are doing important work (systemic, not just reactive), and I’m proud of you.


Wow. Try to write a letter like this to someone today, and see what happens to your Karma...

Monday, October 6, 2008

turning a corner...again

When you're in church work, EVERY plan is the same plan...listen. Listen to the people, listen to the spirit, listen to your heart. And although i'm still in the midst of that process with multiple projects here in the Islands, i am moving forward with two very big and most recent ones:
1. St. Mary's, Virign Gorda. It looks like i'll be heading back ot the UK at the end of October (I had originally hoped to do this at the beginning of october, but we plan, and God laughs) . I'll spend the weekend there, and will run 4 workshops on Saturday, Nov 1. They are: 1)Acolyte training all morning 2) Technology and ministry 3) Adults who work with youth training and 4) worship design. Then i'll stayu over and come back to st thomas sunday. Tentative, of course, pending blessing by Canons and Bishops.
2. St. Andrew's with a program sized church list of things to do, St. Andrew's has possibly been one of the biggest challenegs i've faced in a long time. BUT we've come one step closer ot a plan of action, and i have now put together the backbone of what's happening the next couple weeks: 1) Meet with Youth Committee tomorrow night, find out "what's up" and figure out a way to streamline communication amongst 5 million youth programs at St. Andrew's. 2) meet with AYO (anglican Youth organization) friday night and run the meeting myself as a design team leader figuring out what our purpose and goals are...i have a feeling it might JUST become a new outreach ministry, based on conversatios so far, but who knows? 3) hang out with the AYO long enough so that they can live into this new way of being by themselves, and empower as many people as possible to take EQUAL responsibility. 4) Get the St. Andrew's adults and teacher together for a dinner or social time to try and get them becoming friends. 5) develop a training program to help sunday school teachers develop some teaching skills and techniques. and finally 6) hang around in the background long enough to make sure it's all working, then disappear into the wind mysteriously to begin work at the next congregatio Bishop Gumbs has for me.
Easy, right?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Been too long!

Busy week...busy. Freakin. Week. Lots of good stuff though, here's are some lessons for you (and me):
1. Who knows how you will be respected by the clergy of an Episcopal School's chapel when you sympathize with the 100+ teenagers "who don't want to be in church!" Who knows? We'll see, i just hope the gentlemen take it easy on me. BUT...if worship doesn't appeal to you, doesn't drive you deeper into the spiritual world, or doesn't challenge your perception of the world, then why go? These poor kids are bored stiff...everywhere i go....i think I'M bored stiff...huh...
2. When will someone come along to save us from ourselves? We are so polite and so hidden away that it is somewhat impossible to talk truly and honestly. If we're lucky, someone will come along who challenges our belief system and we will do one of two things: 1) react defensively at this idiot who is taking away our safety. 2) open up a wellspring of unspoken words that need to be dealt with, regardless of whether they're ugly or beautiful, and lay our lives at the foot of that cross for god to save us because we're so messed up. Surrender to your vulnerability... there is no need to be so tough that it drives others away.
3. Respect is easiest earned by busting your hiney. If you work hard and honestly and don't care who the hell sees you, then respect will come with time. 'nuff said on that.

I'm off to become a parish youth worker again (giddy smiles) and see what i can do with a youth program in a couple months...pray for me to know when to balance and when to say no to people.