--trying to write her reflection paper for the Pacific NW Quaker Women's Theology Conference on the theme "Walk with me, Elder, Mentor Friend." This is a tougher exercise than its length might suggest: RantWoman has several tales of mismatches between what would-be elders can deliver and what is needed, several tales of missed connections when she really needs mentoring, correction, steadying, several tales of mentoring coming not in pleasant well-intentioned forms but rather in awkward stumbles and breakdowns of various sorts.
RantWoman is seasoning a list of her preferred qualities in elders / mentors though RantWoman also freely admits sometimes she is so in need... that she gets to take what she gets and just run with that. And this does not even begin to speak to the "just walk with me" task. RantWoman also has assorted flip and sarcastic observations that she needs to distill into one exercise for the conference and perhaps more than one contribution to the blogosphere.
RantWoman is also thinking of quoting Bob Dylan, "Ah, but i was so much older then, I'm so much younger than that now." Either that or an airplane-like announcement, bear in mind the best elder for your situation maybe younger, less experienced, less completely crystalized, ...
--Meditating about themes in a separate post about how people with differeht theological / spiritual orientations frame the experience of silent worship. RantWoman is having such fun collecting different references to such in her blog.
--thinking with great affection of a Friend on the planning committee for a previous Women's theology conference. This Friend has a wonderful ministry of quilting which she has carried to many places and circumstances. At that conference, women spent considerable time reflecting on a labyrinth that another group at the retreat center was using as part of their meditation process and whether walking a labyrinth is a form of idolatry.
RantWoman has surprisingly to her strong reactions sometimes regardin idolatry, but the question would never have occurred to her about a labyrinth. One of the miracles of the Women's theology conferences for RantWoman is sharing the evolution of women's thinking as they grapple with different questions. RantWoman is also feeling grateful on total tactile grounds that after the conference, the Friend with the quilting ministry sewed RantWoman a wonderful hand-sized labyrinth that RantWoman sometimes runs her fingers around as a way of calming at least some of her many twitches, a way of centering, breathing, rooting in gratitude.
--checking up on another blog she reads with some followup comments about Biblical grounding for "an Anabaptist rosary."
One of the things RantWoman enjoys about blogging is the sense of extended conversation, extended worship as different themes. RantWoman was the first but not the only one to point out that the original poster had completely deleted Mary from the new themes; other comments included a great deal of non-gender-specific praise language. This seems to RantWoman to be an interesting and not necessarily undesirable approach, but RantWoman's fast read is making her want to read and think more about carrying spiritual disciplines in tactile forms.
--Digesting some young people's efforts to grapple with privilege
and wishing her schedule permitted her to attend exercises on similar themes in person at the second Creative Resisitance Conference