Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Networking Love

Network, connect, share, learn, educate, give, receive, laugh, cry, listen, voice . . .
Please fill out this survey. It doesn't take long and the more the merrier. Share with friends. Contact me with questions or if you need to talk. ;)

Networking Love
a survey by Suzanah Raffield
for women of faith

Monday, April 20, 2009

Are you a Baptist Spy?

"I thought you were a spy," said a colleague recently when speaking about the first time she met me. Apparently my denominational background colors me, conservative. On paper my work experience is almost completely Baptist. "GA Camp Director, Georgia Baptist Convention. Graduate of Samford University, Student, International Baptist Theological Seminary." I am a Baptist and however varied and rich I believe my experience to be, outsiders see me as one dimensional, and apparently, suspect.

A few weeks ago, this became painfully clear while sitting through a one-hour interview with a Catholic Nun who wasn't sure I would be able to minister to people who weren't like me. How did she know what I was like? It's never good to be on the defensive in an interview and in spite of my consistent answer of, "Yes, I understand what it means to minister cross-culturally," my interviewer didn't believe me. It was frustrating. It was pointless. She was wrong. She hadn't done her homework. Baptists are historically progressive and what is the word, oh yes, autonomous. It's true, there happens to be a large and loud contingent that make it clear just how one tracked they are, but I'm not that kind of Baptist.

Should we have a secret handshake or just a louder pulpit? Should I shake up my resume with varied experience? I'm ready. What I fear is that I've landed in that lovely space of in between where, "[I] can't go forward and [I] can't go backward. . . " According to Sue Monk Kidd in The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, that means I am on the edge of creation. May it be so.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

meet up

I'm looking for that magical place where grassroots passion and political will meet up. Trudging through these DC streets has me less supportive of anything political even though I know it matters. I came here expecting to find Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. I'm sure "they" are here somewhere, but I haven't found them yet.

What I have found is a more intense focus and the realization that if I want to be part of a movement to increase maternal health, holistic sex education in public schools, or the number of women pastors in the pulpit, it starts with me. I am Alice Paul. I am Lucy Burns.

Even still, I'm looking for a community with whom to share the journey and some contract work along the way.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sue Monk Kidd is My Beth Moore

Sue Monk Kidd is my Beth Moore. I realized this while watching the "The Secret Life of Bees" movie special features the other day. Ms. Kidd was walking viewers through the Boatwright home and I was reminded just how much I appreciate her. And if August Boatwright were a real person I would definitely pay a visit to Tiburon, SC to convince her that I am an excellent bee keeping friend. I think a one month stay in her pink house would make all the difference.

Today I feel a bit like Lilly, showing up on a stranger's doorstep with a dream. But, thank God for dreams and Sue Monk Kidd.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Teeth

new teeth on 12seconds.tv

Introducing Aaron William Burgess!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Birth Control and the Church

I spent the weekend with Christian women leaders from denominations across the US, Canada, and Guyana. There were several opportunities for me to share my passion for maternal health and the research on which I'm working. I did my best to explain body theology and how it contributes to maternal health and maternal mortality locally and globally.

Every time I share my thoughts on maternal health, I am reminded of how important it is for the church to embrace birth control. Birth control, yes birth control. Maybe it's semantics that limits the needed message. What if we called birth control, "How to save the lives of women," pills, or, "Wear this and she will live," condoms?

As I see it, Christians are encouraged to reflect and share abundant life in this world. Somewhere along the way it is as if the church has mistaken abundance as a literal number and not the spirited life of which Christ spoke.

(This post was inspired by a weekend of not saying everything I wanted to say, and Nicholas Kristof's sunday column. Read it here.)

Thursday, April 02, 2009


I miss old school Sparkfly. The Sparkfly when Lori and I were writing every day and I wrote what was true and real in that moment.

I miss Laura Savage's old couch. The one at her condo in Birmingham. The one where I sat for hours as we talked about all things life and call and dreams.

I miss the Acteens at MBBC and milkshakes and dancing in the kitchen.

*photo by SDR, taken this week in Washington, DC during the celebration of the cherry blossoms.