Friday, April 29, 2005

Two ear infections and a viral respiratory infection later, I am finally returning to my blog. Yes, blog I missed you. I cannot tell a lie. Not to mention, writhing in bed for five days with a 103.2 degree fever is never a positive experience.

Even the babies are sick. Over a week ago, the three of us developed a cough. My roommate's vet mom says it sounds like they have allergies. I of course got the viral infection. Oh well.

I am doing better. Fortunately, the illness fell over a weekend, so I only missed a day and a half of school. Beautiful Sarah Cooper took me to the doctor Saturday and stayed with me most of that day. She played my mom, insisting on drinking water, bathing in lukewarm water, and taking my medicine even if it gives me a tummy ache. She was a god-send, because it is HARD to be sick and live 2 days away from home. Otherwise you get really narcissistic about how no one loves you, no one visits, no one cares if you waste away to nothing . . . blah, blah, blah. I'm really good at it. So Sarah kept me sane, at least on Saturday.

And now I'm back at work, back at Mosaic events, and back at the job search. I finished my resume last night and need to write my cover letter this weekend. Fun times on the homefront.

Lots of love and phlegm,

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Ha ha, I gotcha. No more posting on 4-10-05. I figured out how to click "No Posts." Genius. I'm getting this blog thing down. 4-10-05 was getting out of hand, and though I love the encouragement, the rest of y'all were gettin' on my ever-lovin' last nerve. That's the nice way to put it.

I laid in bed this afternoon after an exhausting day of work, and contemplated my response to "the world" (must everything be so dramatic when we lie in bed brainstorming bright comebacks?). To be honest, it contained lots of words that my grandma wouldn't approve of, so instead of pouring out my heart about the absurdity of anyone not hiring because of gender; and the absurdity that we even allow our churches who bear Christ's name to even continue in their sexism; and the absurdity that we have to tolerate sexism and de-humanization, but people can't tolerate frusterated responses; and the absurdity that a friend compared me to a homosexual being hired at a church; add to that some angry words about Jesus in the Temple, and lots of son's-of and friggin's i got tired and fell asleep.

I'm better now, just worn out. My parents are disappointed I clicked "no reply," but they haven't been having this conversation for 8 years straight, in class and out of class. They (and neither have most of the men who blogged) haven't had people argue with them, throw scripture at them, write nasty bogs about them (remember that one lynnette?), or condemn them for being a woman trying to use her gift in the church.

It's fricking absurd. The irony is, the Westwinds thing didn't even upset me that much. I mean, it's not like I didn't expect rejection, I was just startled because it came from a church that I assumed (wrongly according to commentor #42 on my blog) would accept me. I'm smart enough to not apply at a church that says, "We are looking for a man with the following qualities . . ." or "We are a fundamental church looking for a shepherd . . ." Okay, come on. Obviously I won't get hired there. I was just surprised by Westwinds and felt like sharing with the rents and friends how difficult it is to find a job. Never did I know that it would have this response.

I feel like Brittany Spears.

I hate Brittany Spears.

I do wish I made as much money as Brittany Spears though. I cannot tell a lie.

Peace and goodbye. From here on out, it's dead fish and sermons.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

I've been silent for a week now. What to say?

Let me begin with a disclaimer. This blog was a communicator, a linker of life between Ann in Texas and my family in Missouri, Hawaii, and Pennsyvania; my friends in Tennessee, Canada, France, DC, etc., and even my friends here in Austin who wanted to see the manuscript of a sermon, or hear the story of the dead fish, or whatever. Honest to God, I thought the only people who read my blog were my grandma, Lynnette and sometimes my parents when I called and told them to read it. Heck! My two sisters didn't even read it.

However, after an inquiry with a church who billed themselves as "Emergent" and a door closed because of gender, I suddenly find myself being consoled and criticized by 37 strangers and then some.

Flattered by my sudden popularity, and confused by the reprimands of those who know nothing more about me than I'm a woman in ministry who shares her issues with her friends and family online, I am at a loss of how to respond to 4-10-05's blog.

And so, a little testimony time . . .

When I was growing up, I thought women jokes were on par with blond jokes - nobody really believed them, it was just fun for them to crack silly jokes at an easily identifiable group of people (Why did the blond get fired from the M&M factory? She threw away all the W's!). However, when I got to college, naive Ann suddenly realized that some people really did believe that women were inferior, couldn't do some things, and shouldn't be in leadership in a church. That discovery floored me, and I spent the remaining four years at William Jewell college diligently working to educate my Christian peers about what I had discerned God says about women.

After graduation, I moved to Waco to attend Seminary. Now in the South (yes Texans, you are very Southern), I faced even more discrimination. Sexism and racism was much more prominant, and it scared me. Why was I attending a school where the dean had actually said to my face "I don't have a problem with women in ministry, I just wouldn't attend a church where a woman was a pastor." And that wasn't all of it, but at the risk of ruining the academic integrity of the institution, I won't get into the rest of it. My professors encouraged me to stick to school here in the South, to walk the wilderness and be a shining light. So I did, right or wrong, I did.

And now I've graduated and am a young woman who will probably never (or at least, not for a long time) be employed by a church. My church here in Austin had a staff member leave in January, and I was hoping to apply for his position (I love Mosaic!), but it looks like they are not interested in filling that position, and are consequently, not currently hiring. Besides that, my mother worries about me paying the bills even if I were employed by a church like Mosaic where ministers raise their own support. But doesn't someone somewhere want to hire me? Well, let's take a look at the strikes against me: I'm female, I'm young, I look even younger, I'm progressive, I'm a democrat and I'm not interested in being the damn children's minister (no offense to children's ministers the world over, female or male). So why don't I choose a denomination other that Baptist or Nondenominational? Because it is very hard to get hired by another denomination. Presbyterians, Episcopalians want someone who knows intimately the beliefs and histroy of their denomination. They want people educated by their own seminaries, and though they may be open to someone with my qualifications and experiences, most would be hard pressed to hire me as their minister.

To be quite honest, Westwinds appealed to me much more after I read Vince's comment. And so, I am sorry if I have added to their pain. But perhaps it is time to suck it up buttercup and really take a look at the essentials in life and faith. And that's what gets me. Do we as churches hire ministers to minister to our already Christians and work carefully with their archaic faith, using gloves and padding to ensure we don't shatter their worldviews, or do we minister to the world? My non-Christian friends get the funniest and most embarrassing (for Christians) look on their faces when I try to explain why I haven't found a job yet and that I am most often rejected because of my gender. And we, as a Christian body, have managed to push more people away from Christ because we are caught up in gender instead of God.

It's a fine line. I remember ministering carefully and slowly to people and congregations who still embraced a 1950s folk religion faith. But I know too the excitement of living life with those who are ready to move from breastmilk to cheerios. How much more could we accomplish if we spent less time arguing over who gets to minister and actually started ministering.

I don't know. Just some thoughts. I'm ready to get on with life. I'm tired of my mother calling me at 7:30 in the morning to read me who's commented on the 4-10-05 blog now.

Peace to all, and to all a good afternoon. Sunday shall be a day of rest.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

I am looking for a new job. In searching the online for a pastor-like position at a culturally relevant church, I found the following job posting . . .


"You probably connect with today’s culture if your iPod is part of your wardrobe; if your play lists include U2, Black-Eyed Peas, Moby, and Coldplay; if your library shelf contains N.T. Wright, Leonard Sweet, Bill Easum, Jim Collins, John Grisham and John Steinbeck; if your DVD collection goes beyond Disney to Cohen brothers, Oliver Stone, and Mel Gibson; and if you can successfully order at Starbucks without tripping over your tongue or holding up the line. Westwinds Community Church is seeking a subversive teacher/communicator and team player who can connect with the inquirer as well as the seasoned Christ-follower and who accurately and passionately exegetes Scripture and culture. This catalytic leader must guide the ongoing theological and cultural dialogue while exploring different approaches to ministry. Five years experience in an emergent church would be ideal as well as a master’s degree and/or seminary training."


to which I responded with an email . . .


i saw your job opening online and am curious about your church. I currently volunteer (preach, teach, brainstorm and perform manual labor) at an emergent church in austin, tx: Mosaic ( I was involved at UBC in waco before that ( also preaching and teaching small group bible study. Having graduated from Truett Seminary last year, I currently work as a permanant sub at a high school here in austin, but am searching for a "real job" where I can use my gifts and pay the bills. any further info you can send me regarding your church and the specifics of the job you're looking to fill would be great.
ann pittman


after which I received the following message . . .


Hi Ann,
Shootin' straight from the hip to you Ann - I wish I could say we had arrived at accepting gals into a lead teaching position, but we aren't there yet! There has been progress, but because of a pretty major transition in losing our founding pastor about 9 months ago, we're taking any huge changes pretty slow right now.
It would have been interesting to see your resume etc., but at this time I'd be looking elsewhere. Sorry about that, but didn't want you to get your hopes up! I wish I could have been more positive!
Blessings on your search!
Norma Racey
Westwinds Community Church


So you can imagine how I feel now. Emergent is the moderate/progressive interdenominational church movement that has swept across the US, Britain, Australia and beyond. It is a response to fundamentalism, and an attempt to reclaim the beautiful traditions and truth of Christianity in an artistic, thoughtful, culturally relevant dialogue. For Westwinds Community Church to call themselves “culturally relevant” is a joke. Anyone or any church who wouldn’t hire a woman because she lacks the proper anatomy (i.e. is not a man) is not living in 2005. One of my friends wrote about how sad it is that Jesus could have been so progressive towards women 2000 years ago, but we insist on living minus that mission and truth. Christians should be the most progressive, truth embodying, gift embracing people on earth - why can we not step up to that challenge?

I remember now why I never wanted to be employed by a church.
golly, it's almost embarassing how dull my life has been lately. i am half inclined to delete the past few entries to get them off my blog. they're boring up my blog!!

unfortunatly, i've nothing more interesting to write. but i promise to you today that i will write no more nonsense - only good stories. blogs are for stories, journeys, adventures and contempletive conversation . . . not bitching about sickness.

sorry everyone. surely things will spice up sooner or later.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

still sick. i cannot tell a lie. i really thought i was getting better, but i woke up today at 2pm sick again. whatever was living in my throat is now in my head. when i speak, my voice booms and echoes inside my ears, blasting me out of whatever seat i've taken. but when others speak? when others speak, i can hardly hear them!

"what was that you said?" i whisper as i plug my ears to lower the volume of my resonating vocal chords.

what a sight.

oh well. at least my illness cleared up for a few days so i was able to go back to work on thursday. i did threaten it with the taunts and annoyances of ghettofied teenagers if it didn't go away. but now that the weekend has arrived, the illness has decided the weather is beautiful, i am no longer at the high school and this is the perfect time to return.

thank you so much illness. i had really missed you.


Friday, April 08, 2005

ooh, a secret crush. that's exciting. wee one, you usually leave your name - and i've only known you for like 9 months. who wrote the secret crush comment? or is someone just trying to keep my spirits up by lying to me? if so, it's not needed. the breakup was fine. it did NOT contribute to my current fear of men. numerous other factors took care of that.

actually i'm not that down and depressed - just living day to day.

loving teaching (tuesday nights!!),

loving preaching (anyone, anyone, time, place . . .?)

and loving the pretty weather in austin. break out the tank tops and flip flops. i love the sun.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Spark weekend at my hometown church is over. I am back in Austin, and I am sick. Some sort of throat/fever thing. Great. I'm sure I have some great stories to tell, but they are clouded by the multi-vitamins, advil, claritan and regular drugs i feed my body to keep it functioning.

pray for me. i can't afford to miss any more work.