Sorry. . . . Stromateis

See, I’ve almost got that down. A good half of my interactions with strangers now begin with one of us saying ‘Sorry’ to the other, and I’m not unlikely to be the initial Sorry-er.
I’m fighting back backed-up responsibilities: some course prep, admin meetings, an article for church news, scheduling various other appointments. I need to buy a new black felt hat, since I left my previous one in the Glasgow Airport (I’m tempted to use this as the rationale to get a top hat or a bowler, but I think relative sanity will prevail), and maybe some trousers.
•  I have a tender lump on one of my feet. I suspect that the culprit is poor circulation to my feet causing something like a chilblain, but less dramatic. I’ve had the same sort of thing happen to my other foot in winter, in other places. It does hurt, though, and I’ll look forward to summer’s coming to warm me up.
•  Dylan’s blogging a series of things that the Episcopal Church could do to support the ministries of theologians. I greatly appreciate her doing this; it runs contrary to the prevailing culture of the church, which tends to downplay the importance of theological thinking altogether. My only reservation with Dylans’s third point concerns the extent to which it presupposes a prior rich preparation for critical theological reasoning. If her first two proposals were taken seriously and allowed time to bear fruit, the third would be a fine next step.
•  Well, that’s only one, and one scrap does not a stromateis make, so I’ll point to the Mountain Goats’ performance in Pitchfork’s series of four-song sets recorded in the Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. I may have neglected to link to John Darnielle’s appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series.
•  And that bit about learning to say ‘sorry’ should count as a scrap, too.
•  Whoops, I forgot about my para-chilblain. That would have been two, but now I’m up to five. I’m really racking up stromateis now!
•  Margaret’s back in the States; I miss her, even though the flat feels tremendously more spacious (that is, ‘emptier’).

6 thoughts on “Sorry. . . . Stromateis

  1. There is nothing dramatic about chilblains – in the 50s we expected to have them in winter, and, because I lead quite an outdoorsy life, I still do – don’t suppose I’ve ever had a winter without them.

    Um, you do know this is Scotland? So what’s with expecting better weather in summer???

  2. Many thanks for the encouraging word on the series of low-cost tips!

    Given the dearth of opportunities and encouragement to grow in critical thinking that too many seminarians and seminary graduates face, I actually envision that tip #3 — stretch congregants’ critical thinking skills at all ages — would be led not primarily by the clergy (clergy do so little Sunday School teaching, for example, anyway), but by layfolk in the congregation who have ‘mad skillz,’ as the kids say, in this area. I’m talking about the journalists, the high-school English teachers, the editors, the social scientists, the homemakers, and all sorts of people who LIKE reading and thinking, who do it frequently and of their own accord, and whose love of those practices is contagious.

    Admittedly, American culture has been so deeply anti-intellectual in so many ways for so long that there aren’t as many layfolk as we might like who fit this description, but I think enough congregations have at least a few of them that a lot could be done to propagate these skills — if, that is, we decided as a church that we value them. Big ‘if,’ I know.

    Does that make the tip seem more broadly workable to you?

  3. Dylan, I was still talking about the congregation itself being better acquainted with the Bible, the saints, history, creeds, and so on — which I took to be part of your earlier suggestions. I worry about encouraging people to think critically about subjects on which they’re ignorant. So although too few clergy lead educational activities for congregations (and it’s not as though all those who do are reliable guides anyway), my hope would be that the congregation i general acquire a fuller sense of the topics they’re considering before they start.

    This may be the bitter fruit of too many discussions of The da Vinci Code (“But what if Jesus were married?”) and too much exposure to church people for whom “Well, I like to think…” trumps “I can show you good reasons why….”

    Rosemary — but above (say) 10°, anyway? Please?

  4. I worry about encouraging people to think critically about subjects on which they’re ignorant.

    This may have to go into the masthead of a syllabus.

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