Friday, September 23, 2011

top 10 hymns

My friend, Diane (who I've mentioned in an earlier post), just created another brilliant blog experience. She challenged bloggers and friends to list their favorite hymns. Her challenge comes with a few rules:

1 - Hymns must be included in the 1989 United Methodist Hymnal, so no The Faith We Sing hymns may be included (excluding, to my dismay, We Are Called).

2 - It must make your heart thrill to hear/sing it.

3 - You must be able to sing at least one verse by heart.

So, in no particular order, my top 10 favorite hymns:

159 - Lift High the Cross (Newbolt) - Nothing beats the descant from Ada First UMC on this one, but it holds a place on the list for many reasons.

555 - Forward Through the Ages (Hosmer) - This will be sung at my funeral. Take note.

707 - Hymn of Promise (Sleeth)

302 - Christ the Lord is Risen Today (C. Wesley) - There is just something about the Hallelujah's after you haven't sung them for 40+ days.

203 - Hail to the Lord's Annointed (Montgomery)

400 - Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (Robinson) - I must say that I hear Sufjan Stevens and/or David Crowder usually when I think of this.

147 - All Things Bright and Beautiful (Alexander)

369 - Blessed Assurance (Crosby) - I don't always love the blood language, but I love Fanny Crosby and I love the tune and I love the song. I stand by my choice.

92 - For the Beauty of the Earth (Pierpoint)

211 - O Come, O Come Emmanuel (15th Century French) - I am an Easter woman, but is it really possible to list ten hymns from the UMH and not include an Advent hymn?

So what are yours? If you are non-United Methodist, your own denominational hymnal will work... even though it won't be nearly as much fun...

Monday, September 19, 2011


Recently I watched the movie "The Help" (after reading the book, of course). In a scene the main character, Skeeter, is walking through a newspaper office full of cigarette smoke to the enclosed office of the manager. When she opens the door and walks in she does not shut the door behind her. The manager yells at her (and the quote is not exact here), "Shut the door! Eventually they're going to figure out that those things'll kill ya!"

I have just returned home from Crucible, a leadership development program for ordained and provisional members in the West Ohio Annual Conference. The first retreat was a personal development retreat that focused on wholeness, wellness, prayer, and solitude. Among the many topics we addressed, we talked about workaholism.

Our presenter, Ruth Haley Barton, stated that workaholism is the -ism of our generation. It is important for leaders, both secular and religious, need to understand that workaholism is an addiction. It will not only destroy career, but self, family and many other vital aspects of our lives. I was so surprised to hear how many pastors in the room don't take even one day off per week. Many confessed to feeling a drive within them that would lead them into self-destructive behaviors. Perfectionism, overdrive, and technology mix to form a fatal cocktail that will seem successful until the great crash and burn that will cause many to leave vocations, families, and even life behind.

Why don't we understand that workaholism will kill us?

I tweeted last night about being frustrated that I would likely have to do work on my day off as a result of being at the Crucible retreat. One pastor working in a non-parish setting replied, "Day off?" I know that she was joking, but why do we expect pastors and people in so many other vocations to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

I think the attitudes are beginning to shift, but but how can we honestly examine our own work patterns and realize that when our work cannot be accomplished in 50-60 hours it does *not* mean that we should simply work longer and harder! Our spirits, our minds, and our bodies are not made to function as a workaholic.

I have made a few goals to start examining my workaholic ways. Here is one:

I will buy an alarm clock so that I can turn my cell phone off each night. Not just on silent and ignoring it, but turning it off and not attending to twitter, facebook, and email in the middle of the night.

What will you do so that you do not succumb to the addiction of workaholism?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Passion and Possibility in St. Louis

A lot of things have changed since November of 2006...

My name is different. Then? Anna Barrett. Now? Anna Guillozet.
My home is different. Then? Ada, Ohio. Now? Columbus, Ohio.
My status within the United Methodist Church is different. Then? Laity. Now? Clergy.

Of all of the things have brought me to the place I find myself now, Exploration was a stand out experience in getting me to where I am now.

A junior at Ohio Northern University, I journeyed to Tampa in 2006 to hang out with my friends and hopefully try to piece together an identity which would carry me after college. What I got was so much more...

There I met a (now dear) friend who shared with me what it was like to enroll in seminary, have a partner who stood by her but understood that her calling was her own, and what calling looked like in her life.

Three years later, I went to Dallas as a second year seminarian, clear of my calling to the order of elder in the United Methodist Church. I served as a small group leader to eight smart, gifted, and called young adults (with whom I still talk today). I kept in my head the experience I had in Tampa, hoping to be the person who shaped the life of a young person in a way that was meaningful. All eight young adults in my small group are living God's call in their lives in ways that a powerful. Few are pursuing ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church.

I know that as I attend Exploration 2011 I will be the one being blessed. There are few things more sacred than to live among the questions. Young adults from across the country will come together to explore, question, form, talk, laugh, sing, worship and pray together. Of all the ways in which God is calling me to ministry, I am blessed to witness Passion and Possibility.

I ask that you pray with me. Pray for the young adults attending. Pray for those who will travel to support them in understanding calling. Pray that God will open their hearts to a great calling, unique to each young person. Pray that the young adults leave the event not with answers, but equipped to ask the challenging questions.

What are the meaningful experiences of call in your life? What questions are you still in the midst of asking?