Thursday, November 06, 2014

Pop Theology

It would have been a great evening. The Full Moon Dinner mentioned in the last post. Dancing and dining under a huge Gulf moon is the kind of night of which legends are made. It didn't happen. Life carried on around the talk of that night and then one day it was August.

But let me tell you what did happen. I started a popsicle business. There has been talk of a food truck for years, and this summer the dream was realized. My business partner and I love the idea of making whole ingredient popsicles that are free from anything harmful. We add fresh fruit and sweet time to make what we feel are works of art. I say the same thing about my grandmother's buttermilk pie. Work of art I tell you.

Each pop is a representation of a careful day's work and in some cases . . . days' work. In today's fast paced world of automated creation, we take pride in knowing that our pops are like fingerprints, each one is different in some way because ours are individually made.

Making and selling pops is an education and the ministry opportunities continue. I find them around blueberry bushes and at gated community block parties. Everybody has a story to tell.

So there was no Gulf Moon Dinner, but there is always next summer and if it works out, there will be popsicles with that dinner. Worth the wait.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Gulf Moon Dinner

I'm a lover of stories, both tall and true tales that engage the spirit. Pair stories with food and there's magic. I'm expecting magic to show up July 12, 2014 at a full moon dinner in St. Joe Bay, FL . . . a hamlet south of Tallahassee and east of Panama City.
Come by kayak, paddleboard or shrimp boat . . . canoe, rowboat or skiff. Just come.  Low tide on July 12 is 8:27 pm. Bigger boats plan accordingly.

There will be pontoon boats for food and music. As you arrive, tie up to whoever was there first, or anchor close by.
Gathering begins at 7:30pm and concludes when the tide is high again.

Photos above found here and here.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Once upon a GA camp, two other staffers and I wrote letters to the Southern Baptist Convention. We declared our independence and discontent. We said farewell, quietly. The letters were buried at an undisclosed camp location. There was a plastic box, shovels and ceremonial fanfare. A heavy downpour might have unearthed those letters by now. I used to worry about it.

I had someone tell me, "You can go be a part of those 'Cooperative Baptists', but really they are just the SBC in nicer ties." Back then, I didn't believe it. Now, I think the person who told me was basically right.

Ram Dass said, "We're all just walking each other home."

photo by ellen frances sanders

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Seven years ago I worked really hard to prove my call was endorsed by every Biblical scene. I have books dedicated to feminist interpretations of the messy stories theologians and busybodies use to prove women can't be pastors. My books existed to demonstrate they could. The Syrophoenician Woman . . . no problem. Jesus was trying to teach his disciples a lesson. Hagar, Tamar and the Daughter of Jephthah, I had explanations that encouraged finding hope in those passages. Really, hope in the victimization of Hagar and the dismemberment of the nameless? 
That was then. About one year ago I realized I didn't have to make my story fit within the purview of   the Bible. I had labored to squeeze myself into passages where I simply did not fit. In my moment of realization I breathed deeply knowing there was room for me in the margins. I like the margins, I would rather be there anyway.

In seminary I learned to weigh biblical truths against the whole of the Bible. I was to read scripture in context and against a backdrop stretched from Genesis to Revelation. Even still, that canvas is sometimes bloody and exclusive to women. Regardless, my story, my call, my Imago Dei is not solely defined by archaic texts written by mere mortals. This makes me heretical. This makes me happy. This is now. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

. . . now

Seven years ago, Sparkfly was created. Lori and I sought to encourage conversation surrounding topics that were of great interest to us. International women's issues were at the top of that list for me. I wanted to talk about healthcare, education and economic development for women of all ages. I was living in Prague, Czech Republic at the time of the blog's launch. I was studying Body Theology and Maternal Health while pursuing a PhD in Missiology. If I had been asked to share what I would be doing in seven years, I would have never guessed my current reality.

In one word, the biggest difference between seven years ago and now is perspective. The issues about which I was concerned are the same. My desire to gather stories near and far is still a passion. The difference is . . . sponsorship.

I'm done trying to make my story fit into the confines of one denomination. It's funny, seven years ago I would have said the same thing. It takes a long time to wash off Baptist.

What does "That was then, this is now," mean for me? It means I don't believe I need to maintain a bridge to my conservative past anymore. Maintaining bridges is the work of the unsure and politicians. I am not a politician. I am not unsure.

Lack of sponsorship means I find a way to personally fund my mission and I get to say whatever the spirit leads. This is going to be fun. This is now.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

. . . then

Sparkfly Reunion. 1/13/14