Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Everything is new

As some have commented, I haven't posted in a while. Though I just erased the pictures of my son(b/c they were messing up my sidebar), I'll add some when I get back to my home comp. and you'll see why it is I haven't been writing--I've got a newborn son! Wesley Garrett is a beautiful spark of life. Sometimes he and I sit and stare at each other. Babies are great b/c they haven't been told by anyone that looking deeply into someone's eyes should make you uncomfortable, so they just sit there and pierce your soul with a gaze for how ever long their attention span can take. When I sit there and look into his eyes, I see a life that is frail and dependent, but also wise and God like. His life is so fresh in the world that he hasn't let go of God's hand quite yet...he hasn't been tantalized by the things in this world that we put in the place of God. What a wise and centered expression of humanity! True, he cries sometimes when he is confused and cranky when he is hungry, but cut him some slack--my wife likes to say that for 9 months or however long he has been aware of himself, he hasn't had to do anything to get food, because it just comes right into through his umbilical cord. Now he's got a new challenge in that he feels hungry, and he doesn't know how or why! And when he does eat--sometimes it makes him poop, and this is a new and somewhat unpleasant thing as well--especially because he has to sit in his poop after he gets done making it! I'd cry too if I were met with such a momentous shift of paradigm. Well, all this to say--being a father is such a tremendous adventure. When people ask, how do you like being a dad, and I answer "It's great!" this is one of the many things I mean.

Also, since I last checked in I have found out about my appointment in the Arkansas conference of the UMC. I'll be serving the Methodist church in Waldron, Arkansas. Waldron is a town of about 4,000 people and the church has 250 members and an average attendance of 60-70. I suppose a degree of culture shock is a possibility considering the fact that Los Angeles is home right now. One of my friends moved to Nashville from LA recently and talked about the need to slow the pace by about 70 times or so. If that's true, I suppose a slowing of the pace by about 7000 is in order. I do have some experience living in a small town, but this will be the smallest town I've ever lived in. Actually, I've never considered life to be extremely fast paced in LA--everyone is always late to everything, so how can it be that fast paced? Well, there certainly won't be as many Lamborginis and cosmetic surgery, but life is varied--so roll with it, that's what I always say.
Being an info hound, I looked up Waldron on wikipedia.com and www.epodunk.org and found out all the stats. It's the county seat of Scott county in the middle of the Ouchita mts. My dad pointed out that the 4 highest peaks are within 20 miles of Waldron, so its really up in the mountains (for AR standards anyway.) The community is mostly white, with some smatterings of Native Americans and an influx of Hispanics. There's a chicken processing plant, and what I've heard is the world's largest dehydrator where the dehydrate pig ears for dog treats! Lara and I called the local Wal-mart, and it seems to be open 24 hours. Our parsonage is in the middle of town close to the church and right down the street from the movie theater and post office. I've been thinking about it a lot, and am excited to be heading there. The church seems focused on Christian education and providing services to the community. I hope to be able to employ some of the ideas I've gained from "alternative worship" land into worship life of the congregation. I'm thinking of a movement based worship experience on some evening (like a stations of the cross type thing--reference www.alternativeworship.org). I'd call it "Movements of the Spirit" or perhaps "Pneumena." What do you think? Well.
I've spent enough time on this, I've got other things to do. And you do to, so peace out.

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