Morning Exercise and “Hi, Dave”

My morning exercise workout (such as it is) passes more nearly tolerably by virtue of my iPod. Every morning I pedal for about four songs’ worth of mileage, then come upstairs, do some sit-ups, and shower — before morning Prayer (or, today, Sunday Mass). So, this morning’s workout DRMA included “Girl Blue,” by Stevie Wonder; “Tusk,” the cover version by Camper van Beethoven; “D’yer Mak’er” by Led Zeppelin; and “Pinetop’s Blues” by Memphis Slim.

All of the above serves partly as a rationale for my including here the news that the Dave Rogers of “the Dave Rogers Music Alert” has opened a new blog, UXCentric, which signifies (if I understand him correctly) not “I find your outlooks and behavior unaccountably odd,” but “User Experience – Centric.” He’s not closing down Connect & Empower, which means that now I’ll have yet another blog to fall behind in reading. . . .

Report From St. Luke’s

This morning’s interview and background shooting at St. Luke’s seems to have gone quite smoothly. I greatly enjoyed meeting and talking with Florent, Roger, and the other gentleman (whose name eluded me when first we were introduced) (later: I checked, and he’s Arnaud — Bonjour, Arnaud!); I experienced that very odd sort of double-language consciousness overhearing them converse in French, while I relied mainly on English. It’s been years since I used my French for anything other than reading, and I kept finding myself eager to jump in with an observation en français, but realizing that one of the ten words I needed had utterly fallen out of my vocabulary.

The congregation was fantastic. Jeanette, our priest-in-charge, was very generous in allowing the crew space to work, and the church was relatively full. The choirs sang wonderfully, and all worked together to show our parish at its ordinary-Sunday best.

I hope that our interview provides Florent with useful material for the special he’s working on. A number of people have asked to know when the special airs — they have relatives in France, or they know someone who can receive the French station in New York, or they just want to see a copy of the tape Florent sends me. When they finish production, I’ll be able to look foolish in front of audiences around the world. This constitutes one of the great accomplishments of blogging: universal embarrassment!

I don’t know what I said at all — I kept reaching desperately for the spirit of David Weinberger, for his wit and insight, and unfortunately I kept getting a busy signal. So France 2 will have to settle for a slow-talking, easily-distracted theologian.

Body Building

Jordon points to a post from Wayne Jacobson to the effect that too many leaders treat the church as a project with which to tinker, to provide the correct model. If a consultant, or a candidate for a pastoral or staff position, or whomever, doesn’t make clear from the start that “the right structure” grows from the congregation’s character and its circumstances, its flavor and texture, environment and gifts, then by no means should we be encouraging them (much less paying them). Such a person reflects an idolatry of her or his preferred model — not a deliberative awareness of how the Body of Christ flourishes.

I have seen the havoc that “correct model” leadership wreaks. At best, the correct model actually bears a vague resemblance to what befits the congregation, so congregational life doesn’t suffer much. The alternatives only go downhill from there, though.

If we believe that the whole body promotes the growth of each part, when the parts are ordered toward the One who defines our identity and our way (Ephesians :15f, roughly), then we should understand that these mutually-dependent, mutually-supportive parts differ in fundamental ways, and that the love with which we strengthen one another forbids our imposing one-size (or “one-method-” or “one-model-”)-fits all answers onto sisters and brothers whose role in the body diverges from ours.

“On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable. . . .”

Trackback Is Broken

Listen, children, I remember way back when your Uncle Joi pronounced email officially broken. We’re still using email two years later, but today I shut down Trackback on this blog; I like Trackback when it links two related blogs, but the unmoderated character of pings has made Trackback too attractive a target for parasites. I’ll code in a “Threadorati” link tomorrow, probably. tonight, I’m just turning off the valve.

[Later: Done. I should’ve noted that the first few words of Shelley’s post prompted me to take the plunge. Now, all I have to do is go back and turn off Trackbacks on every post so far. . . .]

By Popular Request

Well, at Mark’s request, anyway, I’m resuscitating the Seabury “wet hay theology” thread. It got lost in one of Seabury’s transitions from one server configuration to another..

The formatting will be a little wonky, I suppose, but I’ll add the first few entries here, drop the rest into the extended entry area, and the comments are open once again. So, here we go:

January 10, 2003

Scripture and Mission

This idea that Jesus changed his mind and saw the larger horizons of ministry is a difficult one for me. I can appreciate a mission only to the Jews or a mission that is Gentile-friendly and I certainly don’t have a problem with Jesus learning things or learning things from a woman, but I struggle with what it means about God’s mission that Jesus potential audience could change.
Posted by Trevor Bechtel at January 10, 2003 08:20 AM


I think this is right
Posted by: Trevor on January 10, 2003 09:39 AM

I think it’s full of wet hay!
Posted by: AKMA on January 14, 2003 01:54 PM

Since when was wet hay wrong?
Posted by: Trevor on January 14, 2003 10:17 PM

You’ve GOT to be kidding!
Posted by: Mary on January 15, 2003 06:45 PM
Continue reading “By Popular Request”

It’s Alive!!

Yesterday Bruce resolved the problems that our upgrade had caused Seabury’s Moveable Type infrastructure, so when you all fired up your browsers this morning and went to the Seabury website you saw our new design.

Oh, and I hereby tag this entry with the Techn.icio.ickr tag “SWTS”. I’m going to tag the Seabury flickr site’s photos with “SWTS” too. Seaburians — and I am given to understand that some of you read this page — tag Seabury-relevant images and posts with the “SWTS” tag, and the Web will find them and draw them together.

“Tagging — it makes David happy.” Isn’t that reason enough? (So now I have to tag this entry with “” and “,” too.)

Baffled Procrastination

I really must grade papers furiously today, because class meets tomorrow and I want to hand back the papers that have come in — and Margaret will be home for the weekend, huzzah!, so I won’t be spending a lot of time thinking about stacks of unmarked assignments. (It looks as though France 2 TV actually will come to St. Luke’s on Sunday to interview me — but that’s another strange story in the making.)

But before I resume my regularly-scheduled academic obligations, I was intrigued to notice that (a) Microsoft bandies around the word “trademarked” as casually as this — after all, isn’t restrictive intellectual property profiteering part of their business plan?* — and that on a Microsoft typography page, someone misspelled “ellipsis” five days ago, and it hasn’t been corrected since.

*I love the spin-control correction banner on that page, reminding readers not to call it Palladium any more, but NGSCB. OK, right.

On Waking Up To Find Rageboy In My Mirror


I realized that the next hefty post I write will turn out to be one of those frighteningly comprehensive tracts so typical of my neighbor to the west (only without X-rated illustrations), wherein it turns out that every topic that’s ever crossed his mind is related to every other topic, and they all converge on a vitally important, hard-to-articulate point.

But when you see a post entitled something like “Visual Hermeneutics, Podcasts, Ceremonies, the Semantic Web, Tags, and Truth,” get out your tinfoil headgear, your special X-ray shaded glasses, and either skip ahead without looking closely or fasten your seatbelts. Me, I plan to skip ahead. . . .

One More Thing About Tags

An idea had been lurking behind all the persiflage of the last couple of days, engendered by Dan’s post and gestating undeveloped in my own long-winded intrusions.

If I were engineering so that they’d really catch on, I’d want them to be reader-generated (as in and flickr), but also to involve some sort of affirmation-disapproval mechanism, so that if a couple dozen people think that David Weinberger should be tagged “genius,” but one Lenny Bruce impersonator thinks he should be tagged “schmuck,” the two tags don’t have equal weight. (I don’t know whether the heroes of the information revolution at Technorati (“Technorati: the tag-related site that actually begins with an upper-case letter!&#822!:), flickr, and are already on top of this — iot hasn’t looked that way, and the “MLK” brouhaha suggests that weighting tags hasn’t gotten that far).

The sense that my link-tag-vote counts in a cumulative way — “I should really tag David as a genius, lest the ‘schmuck’ votes defame him” as opposed to “now somebody’s tagged David as a genius, so I don’t have to” — that motivation might give this project legs.

I myself, of course, think that David Weinberger is a genius of unparalleled insight and profundity, as long as the monthly check clears.

Despite my positive remarks about tags in this and the previous post, I’m still reluctant about the whole enterprise. I suppose that thinking about the topic spurs me to pay closer attention to some of the positive prospects, while having actually to do something about it triggers my already-overloaded-ness. On the other hand, I’ve now begun going back through my bookmarks. . . and tagging them to make them more useful to me and others. It makes sense, durn it!