In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Sunday, April 26, 2009

When We Have Money

At home, we often make lists of the things we would do "if we had money". Sometimes, we upgrade the statement to say, "when we have money". For the most part, our list is pretty reasonable. We don't put things like "buy a small island nation" or anything like that. I wouldn't even know what to do with a small island nation anyway.

So, what follows is the list of things that we would think about doing, if money were not an issue:

  1. Travel - It doesn't matter where. We just want to go around the world. Even when we don't have money, travel tends to be a pretty high priority. Hopefully, this travel would be meaningful travel. Not just sitting on a tour bus. We still want to volunteer, learn, explore.
  2. Buy new luggage (you know, for all that travel we are going to be doing)
  3. Buy a new leather jacket to replace the one that got stolen in San Antonio (while I was traveling - but for work).
  4. Philanthropy - This is another major theme. There are a number of things that we would like to support in a substantial way. Augsburg College. The Naming Project. Lutherans Concerned/North America. Minnesota Public Radio. Lutheran Social Services. Southside Family Nurturing Center. Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry. The Aliveness Project.
  5. Travel in order to do philanthropy would be nice.
  6. Repaint our house
  7. Landscape the backyard.
  8. Sell our current house and live in one of those very cool condo/apartments in downtown Minneapolis.
  9. Eat out and go out!
Since I like philanthropy and eating out, I should point out to you in the Twin Cities area that this Thursday, April 30 is Dining Out for Life. I encourage you to go out to eat for lunch and/or dinner at the restaurants listed on the link. They will donate a portion of their proceeds to the Aliveness Project. The mission of The Aliveness Project is to encourage self-empowerment and provide direct services for persons living with HIV/AIDS. They are a good organization that does great work.

See, philanthropy can be fun. Now I just have to figure out how to work travel into it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fashion Forward

Before all the hubbub of the birth of my niece (did I mention that I have a NIECE!?!?!?), I was planning to write about our visit to the Envision Spring 2009 Fashion Show.

A few weeks ago, Richard sent our friend, Mike, and I a link to this fashion show and asked if we wanted to go. None of us have been to a real fashion show, you know, with a runway and all. We decided that it would be a fun adventure. So we went for it!

So, first of all, we didn't notice a few details. This fashion show was on Holy Saturday. Actually, only part of it was during Holy Saturday. It actually began at 9:00 PM and went until 2:00 AM. Apparently, our Easter vigil would involve high fashion. We had planned that we would NOT be going to a sunrise service either. It looked like 11:00 was our time. Alas, it was not to be. My new niece eclipsed everything.

But back to fashion!

We decided to go to dinner before the show. When we arrived, they were doing an "interactive hair show". That means that we were watching models get their hair done out on the runway. Of course, every hairstyle was this outrageous design that either went straight up or created these HUGE curls.

We had paid a little extra to be considered VIPs. Apparently, VIP means that you get a chair. I was glad that we sprung for the extra cash. My legs would have killed me if I had to stand for the entire show.

When the show started, I noticed that female models walk really strangely. Richard though they looked like horses walking. I thought some looked like chickens. Also, I think that most models have too much eye makeup. They all look like they are goth to me.

There were several different designers featured. Some were pretty simple (t-shirt and jeans). Some were strange and outlandish. One designer had a line of dresses based on a clown theme. They even had the pointy hat. Who would ever wear that?

All in all, we thought that the night was really fun. We decided that we could do it again. I don't think that we consider ourselves fashionistas, but we know how to have a good time!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

It's a girl! (Part 2)

Naomi Marie Ronning
7 lbs 4 oz - 21 inches long
Born 3:40 pm April 11, 2009
Lots of fiery red hair!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

It's a girl!

Name is still TBD.

Richard wins the baby pool. (he has this down to a science).


My sister is great with child. She sent an email this morning to let us know that her water broke and that she is in the hospital now. She seems to think that this is going to take a while longer, so I don't know much else about her pregnancy.

My sister's child is the first grandchild of my parents. This means that it's a pretty big deal in our family. I'm also pretty excited. This is my first opportunity to be a "guncle"

A classmate of mine use the word "guncle" when referring to her uncle and his partner. They have always been a part of her life, so she decided that they would be her gay uncles - guncles.

Richard has nieces and nephews, but they don't call me "uncle". I've been a part of their lives, but I'm still an "outsider". So this time, I will have a niece/nephew of my own.

I don't know the sex of the baby. I don't know the planned names. I won't know much at all.

But I will be a GUNCLE!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

I am Tweeting

Yup, I did it.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Sweden & Love

The Twitter decision it not yet made. More news to come...

I'm reading in the news that Sweden has become the 5th country to allow gay marriage. It makes me stop a little short, because those of us in the ELCA are having a lot of debate and discussion on sexuality and people in same gender relationships. We are not talking about "marriage" in the fullest (legal) definition. But there will be come conversation about blessings.

I'm hearing a lot of arguments being thrown out against the ELCA doing anything to recognize faithful, committed, same-gender relationships. But as I listen, I'm hearing more incongruity between these arguments, and other arguments that I often hear.

First, I believe that the ELCA is still way too dependent on our Scandinavian heritage. We continue to talk as though we are all Norwegian or Swedish...or maybe German. When the ELCA introduced its new book of worship, there was considerable outrage that the book was not more European in nature. According to some, there was too much emphasis on music from the Southern Hemisphere, and too little inclusion of the "hymn explosion" that is going on in countries like Sweden.

Now, at the same time, I will assume that these same folks will argue that we cannot follow the lead of the Swedes in matters of sexuality and marriage. It's OK to use their hymnody, but not their culture. If we are going to continue to model our denomination after a country (or region), which I don't think we should, then we need to fully model ourselves after that country (or region).

Along with that argument will be the idea that the ELCA's relationship with mission developments in places like the Southern Hemisphere will be hindered by letting individual congregations bless a couple. Again, we do not want to have any influence from these places. We don't want their music and worship infiltrating our Scandinavian spaces. However, we seem to believe that the global mission holds a power over us to dictate what will happen within a particular congregation.

Maybe I'm just joining together two things that are not really together. But can anyone explain this contradiction to me?