Friday, May 25, 2012

Inspirations Friday Five

Today's RevGals' Friday Five invites us to relate (and I am taking these questions with respect to this past week alone) the following:

1. What has encouraged you?

I am working with the members our church council/session (we are both Methodist and Presbyterian) to grow in understanding of themselves as the spiritual leaders of the congregation ~  a brand-new concept for them.  I was encouraged this week by their willingness to make a stab at discussing the questions posed to them this month; it's unfamiliar  territory for them, but they take it seriously and with an appropriate dose of humor.

2. What has inspired you?

The young man chosen by his classmates to speak at my daughter's graduation from her master's program in social work.  He's from East Cleveland, which lies down the hill from our little city and which I believe was recently ranked as the second-most impoverished city in the United States.  His speech was a buoyant proclamation of "what one of us has accomplished, all of us ~ friends, parents, spouses ~ have accomplished," but the most moving note for me was his ringing claim that, "By graduating from the Mandel School, I am moving East Cleveland from the margin to the center!"

3. What has challenged you?

The same young man.  The Lovely Daughter wondered at his speaking ability.  "I'm guessing he's Baptist," I said, "and he's absorbed hours of fine preaching."

4. What has made you smile?

A brief email from Gregarious Son, telling me that he was enjoying his day of sightseeing in London.

5. What has brought a lump to your throat or a tear to you eye in a good way?

I did a little bit of advocacy work over the past few days, encouraging Ohio friends to contact their representatives in support of state legislation to mandate suicide prevention education for teachers and counselors.  Every time I received an email or FB message stating, "Done," I felt tears welling up.  And the same when my brother, who is active in politics in southern Ohio, said that he had texted all the House Republicans.  (Yesterday afternoon, he sent me a message to say that the bill had passed the House unanimously, adding gleefully that there are some things we can all agree upon!)

That was my week.  How about yours?


  1. Education for suicide prevention is so needed as well as education on what to say and what not to say to families who have found themselves dealing with suicide(s).

    Curious, what sort of questions did you pose to the session/council for them to ponder?

    1. The questions (two months worth):
      1. What are the qualities of a spiritual leader?
      2. How are spiritual leaders called?
      3. What are the ways in which a leader might hone his or her own spiritual life?
      4. What are the ways in which a leader might develop as a spiritual leader?
      5. Do you think of yourself as a spiritual leader?
      6. How do you tend to your own spiritual life?
      7. What would you like to do (study, read, think about, pray about, attend) in order to develop further as a spiritual leader?

    2. Great questions Robin. Thanks for sharing them.

  2. "I'm guessing he's Baptist" made me smile! I'm a former Baptist myself and heard some great preaching along the way, mostly by others who are themselves now former Baptists.

    I love reading your blog.

  3. wonderful week!
    ty for sharing the joys :)

  4. Love that a young man has made such an impact- sounds an inspiring speech

  5. Thank you for your comment on my blog. Also, for your advocacy for training on Suicide prevention - important work!

  6. Oh, Robin, you are such a joyous person or at least one who evokes joy in your readers. I loved that your son sent you the message from London! Thank you for continuing your hard work towards suicide prevention/advocacy.

    1. Did you mean to leave that comment (the joy part) on someone else's blog?