Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Appreciative Inquiry in the Interim Time

I've been neglectful of work I've been trying to do on a thesis for a D. Min.  It's on preaching in the interim time.  I started going over some of my resource material and I re-read this essay on compassion by Rob Voyle of Clergy Leadership. Rob has been a teacher and mentor to many of us who have taken his Appreciative Interim Ministry and Appreciative Leadership courses. He writes:
One of the dangers of simplistic, black and white thinking is to assume that some human behaviors are righteous while others are not. A more comprehensive view of humanity would suggest that all human behaviors, character, and personality needs to be redeemed or transformed. For example, even our capacity to love, needs to be redeemed from self interest and liberated from all the fear-based conditions we place on who and how we will love. Until we are as liberal with God's love as Jesus was then our ability to love needs ongoing transformation. As we explore the nature of compassion we will see that all the faces of compassion need to be transformed so that we don't offer a simplistic and inappropriate response to the multitude of human conditions we encounter.
It's been a long and hard winter and I needed to be reminded of that paragraph. I so often find myself guilty of limiting myself and falling back into the trap of finding solutions to problems rather than embracing the mystery and my supply of love gets depleted. But things are getting better.  My change of mood must mean that spring is just around the corner. It has taken three winters in Maine to remind myself why March is the cruelest month even though TS Eliot claims it is April.  Christina Rosetti has this poem about the months of the year:
January cold and desolate;
February dripping wet;
March wind ranges;
April changes;
Birds sing in tune
To flowers of May,
And sunny June
Brings longest day;
In scorched July
The storm-clouds fly,
August bears corn,
September fruit;
In rough October
Earth must disrobe her;
Stars fall and shoot
In keen November;
And night is long
And cold is strong
In bleak December.
- - - Christina Giorgina Rossetti "The Months"
March winds are appropriate since it is VERY windy here.  We're even thinking of putting in a windmill to generate most of the power for the church.  I keep reminding myself that it's just weather. I do miss the more even clime of California, though. I think a trip away is in the offing soon.

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