still learning

Today is the start of Thursday in Seattle, although I have just spoken to Sarah and the children as they are coming home from a day at school and work and now looking forward to Friday! I dont think I will ever get used to the 8 hour thing, and it is frustrating as I’d like to talk to Sarah alone, but it’s just not possible.

Yesterday I joined Karen at the Olympia Diocese clergy day, which was a pretty long day. Bishop Greg Rickel calls these meetings 4/6 times a year and each meeting is repeated, one in the north and the other in the south of the diocese as the area is quite large. It was interesting to see how the diocese is working and what is on its agenda. The morning was taken up by looking at Clause IV, the clergy discipline measure which the CofE has had on its agenda recently. I can’t pretendit was exhilarating stuff, but it was interesting to be part of the day. There was also a great passion to get involved in Haiti and helping there when the time is right. The diocese has been sending teams to New Orleans to help with the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, which the press have allowed us to forget about! Sadly the same will happen wit Haiti, but it looks like this diocese will continue to support there long after the TV cameras and press photographers have gone.

After the 45 min drive back to Seattle I wandered around Fremont again looking for Far east Handicrafts in search of a singing bowl. I have been looking for one of these for a while with my thinking being to sue these as an aid to worship in a similar way to bells being used in high churches. I was intrigued to see that singing bowls are used in a similar way withing COTA and they have bought them from the same shop.

I got to the shop and met Kirk. After chatting a little about the bowls I found one with the note I liked, but Kirk did not think the bowl sang for long enough so we went to the back of the shop to find a bowl that had the note I was looking for and sang longer. I ended up paying a few dollars less. The amazing thing about this place, though, is how it supports people in the areas of Nepal in which they work. First they only import what the people naturally make (e.g. they don’t get Buddhist making nativity scenes) and they fund 2 schools and a mobile cataract surgery that ‘brings sight to the blind’ in remote ares of the country. This is paid fro from profits and donations. So … as well as finding my singing bowl (or, ;-), did it find me) I have become connected to these brilliant projects.

At the end of the day we ate at Ivar’s Salmon House which I was told was a must while in Seattle. We had the most amazing salmon meal and I wasn’t disappointed.

Today I will spend more time with the Lutheran seminarians learning about the COTA rule of life and tonight we are catching up with Jon Myers again in pub theology, which sounds great to me.I hope we can get some good conversations going.

I’m continuing to reflect on my time here and experiencing more and more what Christianity COTA tyle looks like. A 24/7 Christianity means that these people like to spend time together. It is not just a church meeting or Sunday mentality. Lines between spirituality and normal everyday life are hazy, which means it is hard to work out what is happening, but I believe that is how it should be. I am really looking forward today to hearing more about the rule of life that COTA endeavors to follow, as I think this will go a long way in helping me to understand how things look and why they look as they do.

As I look down the long tunnel of COTA the mist is starting to rise a little for me … but only a little. I discover more things and learn more things, which in its own way brings more questions as well.

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