Monthly Archives: June 2012

What I learned from reality TV

Brown husband and wives

The Browns, of TLC’s Sister Wives

It’s embarrassing, yes, but I’ll admit it:  I really like reality TV.  Almost two years ago, my husband and I started watching Sister Wives on TLC.  The show follows the Brown family:  Kody, the patriarch, his four wives, and their seventeen children.  When the first episode aired, the family was still living in Utah, where they had a church and where the kids went to a private school run by their co-religionists.  They have since moved to Las Vegas, after a bigamy investigation threatened their ability to remain together as a family. Read the rest of this entry »


Jeff’s sermon, 6/24/12

Here it is!

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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in sermons


Last Sunday’s after-service meal: tortilla soup

Thanks, Eglins, for this yummy recipe:

Note: *I DOUBLE the following recipe to fill the crockpot and that’s good for about 10 people…*

–3 cups of chicken broth (homemade or packaged)
–1 1/2 cups cooked chicken – we lightly cook it in chunks in 2 Tblspn olive oil, then dump the whole thing in the pot, olive oil and all
–1/4 red onion
–we use a container of Trader Joe’s Mirepoix – 1/2 cup each of chopped celery, carrot, onion
–1 cup frozen roasted corn
–2 green onions
–28oz can of diced tomatoes in juice
–1 1/2 – 2 cups chopped up vegetables that you have on hand (we use different colored bell peppers, zucchini)
–4 cloves of garlic (plus Mike puts in 2 heaping Tblspns of crushed garlic from Trader Joes)
–1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes (teaspoon – NOT Tablespoon!)
–1/2 t cayenne pepper (teaspoon – NOT Tablespoon!) Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 25, 2012 in food


Did you know . . . ? Introducing Sean Miller

Did you know . . . ? posts are biographical snapshots of members of El Montecito Presbyterian Church.  To participate, email Anna at

flipping photo

Sean and friends after flipping his sailboat to paint the top

He’s a mechanical engineer by day, and a boat-builder by night (and weekends, and any other time he can steal).  Sean Miller is putting the finishing touches on a 15-foot wooden sailboat he’s been working on since September of 2010; he plans for its maiden voyage

before the end of this summer.Sean built his first model boat at the age of nine:  he and his dad put together a plastic replica of a World War II Japanese battleship.  A year later, Sean–by himself–assembled a model of the U.S.S. Constitution, also of plastic.  He remembers working on the two-foot-long model each summer morning, quitting only to watch TV coverage of the 1984 summer Olympics. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 14, 2012 in Did you know . . . ?


On the “Contemporvant” service

For a few years now, I’ve harbored a prejudice against “Contemporary” worship services that’s hard to articulate.  I knew I didn’t like visiting a new church’s “Traditional” worship service, only to be told–before I’d even opened my mouth–that I’d feel more comfortable at their “Casual” service.  I knew I didn’t like the Easter message I heard at another church, which stressed the extent to which their jeans-wearing, PowerPoint-reading congregants weren’t like us stuffy mainline Protestants.  “This is church for the rest of us,” the pastor announced, and it was hard for me not to get up and leave.

Then I saw this YouTube clip, and I was finally able to put a finger on what had me so annoyed.  The satirical short video makes fun of every aspect of the “Contemporary” formula, from its name–“It used to be called Contemporary.  Some call it Relevant.  We’re so cool, we call it Contemporvant”–to the way worship leaders advertise their just-like-you-ness–“I welcome everyone with arms wide open, revealing my tattoo so you know I have a past.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in musings


Jeff’s sermon, 6/10/2012

You can find Jeff’s sermon from the service on June 10 here:

Sermon 6/10

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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in sermons


Jeff’s sermon, 6/3/2012

Listen to Jeff’s sermon from last Sunday here:

sermon 6/3/12

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Posted by on June 7, 2012 in sermons