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Beth Pyles
Country pastor, curmudgeon (without the talent of Mencken or Bierce), listener of different drums, a girl boys used to write poetry to, an angry woman, a craver of peace. Check out Beth's blog at http://ifbethhadablog.blogspot.com/
Interests: Beth Pyles is a solo pastor for a small country church and chapel in the western mountains of Virginia. In addition, Beth has been a reservist with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in Iraq, serving short stints there every year from 2005-2010. Beth was a trial lawyer in West Virginia for 22 years before retiring to attend Princeton Theological Seminary, graduating in 2005. A mother and a grandmother, Beth is passionate about and blessed by God's Gospel of peace and justice, beautiful days in the country and her family and friends.
Recent Activity
A Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles Inauguration Day is the day of beginnings, wherein one is officially installed into office. I wonder which was Jesus’ inauguration day? Was it the wedding at Cana as told in John’s gospel, when Jesus performs his first public miracle, turning water into wine?... Continue reading
It’s hard to pray ‘right’. Avoiding giving God direction or instruction, my prayers turn into something quite wishy-washy – not what I intend at all, with all the caveats, disclaimers, and bet-hedging: Heal ‘x’, if it be thy will. . . save us how you would save us . .... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices Post by Beth Pyles I listen to ministers speak about various reasons for leaving a church they serve. Some have left simply because it’s time for a fresh start. Some leave as they climb a sort of ladder or better, trajectory of a career or calling path... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles 1. Fish bowl – that what I do and what you think, suspect, or dread that I do is of such focus. Really, my life just isn’t all that interesting. 2. Fireman – the idea that I am on call, 24/7, but when... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles We all live some of our lives in dryness, physical or spiritual . . . spending many of our days surrounded by some form of hardship . . . maybe it’s sickness . . . a difficult marriage . . . a broken... Continue reading
Let’s walk away from pitting oldsters against youngsters, from the suggestion that Social Security and Medicare financial challenges be ‘solved’ by keeping my benefits intact while cutting the benefits of my children and grandchildren. Let’s begin not with our young. Let’s begin with ourselves. Why don’t we Boomers think about... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles I confess . . . I am a bad Christian . . . if . . . If being a Christian means that I must ask you at your death bed if you’re sure you know Jesus, then I am a bad Christian.... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices Post by Beth Pyles R. Cort Kirkwood, of the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record editorializes that “Christendom” is on the path to sanctioning (presumably) Muslim behaviors such as honor killing, bride burning, genital mutilation (presumably he means female, as we do that to our boys with nary a thought... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles My friend Liz Crumlish, a minister in the Church of Scotland, posted these words from her sermon clippings blog Something to Stand On the other day as she ruminated about communion: What matters is that everyone feels welcome here at this table, that... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles It is from tragedies that our national dialogue on issues like gun control take their shape, more’s the pity. In the law, there is an axiom: bad facts make bad law. The events in Aurora, Colorado, are very bad facts indeed. I’m pretty... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles au·ro·ra – Noun: The dawn I offer up the only and the best language I have . . . the language of prayer . . . God large enough to encompass a universe and small enough to fit in a baby’s tiny grasp... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles As you lay dying, of what shall we speak? As pastor, I am charged with the challenge of comfort and the duty of soul-care. I am a guest and thus, even dying, you remember the obligations of hospitality – “Would you like something... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles Listening to Terry Gross’ interview of Jeff Daniels about the new television series The Newsroom, I was struck by Daniels’ observation that television newsrooms have a calculus that tells them before they speak the words what the impact on the audience will be... Continue reading
The cold war is over but the bomb shelter market is heating up, offering accommodations that will help you survive Armageddon in style. -- Smithsonian magazine, 6/12, p. 12 Citing the reality show Doomsday Bunkers on Discovery Channel, among other things, Smithsonian asserts that there is a boom in the... Continue reading
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A Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles Some months ago, as a fan of Grey’s Anatomy, I actually spent about half of a day trying without success to communicate a programming idea to the producers. The idea? Simply to include a hospital chaplain as a recurring character. Most, if not... Continue reading
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A Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles Some months back on my own blog, I posted a piece entitled Nowhere for a fish to live, which observed that fish bowls really are not suited for the life of a gold fish; indeed, the fish bowl life stunts the growth and... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices blog post by Beth Pyles To borrow from the musical Chicago, whenever I admit to those around me that I’ve done wrong, they (my friends and loved ones) let me off the proverbial hook pretty quickly – too quickly, I think, usually with some variation on the... Continue reading
Well said, Liz Crumlish :-) Thanks for your comment (and the free bed).
A Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles I listen to a sermon in which the minister propounds the question: can you be a Christian without going to church? While stressing the importance of church, his sermon at the least implies a yes, because of the truth claim that it is... Continue reading
Sara Miles writes of the busyness of Holy Week, the chaos, the time demands larger than time, as presently constituted, can allow. She speaks of the feeling of being overwhelmed, describing the feeling as being in the "Holy Week weeds". To whelm is to flow or heap up abundantly. Google... Continue reading
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. I’m no expert on economics; but I am my own mini-economy. And from the lived economy that is me, here’s what I know: 1. Capitalism presumes that I act out of reasonable self-interest. That is often not... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices Post by Beth Pyles In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus says, “Take up your cross and follow me.” He doesn’t say, “Take up my cross”; rather he says, “take up your cross.” The fact is we all have crosses to bear – hard things about our lives,... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles Some time ago during one of the many presidential debates, candidate Ron Paul suggested that the foreign policy of the United States would do well to follow the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The response... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles If I were to offer my own ‘Top Ten’ on good leadership, coming more from my own failures than successes, they would probably be: 1. Do no harm. It’s axiomatic, but leaving folks worse off than better for the encounter is abuse, not... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles To lead people, walk beside them ... As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate ... When the best leader's... Continue reading