Rose Madrid-Swetman

— Random Thoughts, Stories of Life, and Questions about the Journey —

December 23, 2011

Reflection on this day before Christmas Eve

Category: All Posts,women – Rose – 2:35 pm

This morning I read a reflection from a book my good friend, Ellie gave me for Christmas. “Sacred Journeys” by Jan L Richardson is a wonderful book for daily prayer. Today’s reading describes Joseph, how he (like Mary) goes against his custom and tradition when he takes a pregnant woman for his wife. He stood in solidarity with a woman he loved and trusted. The reflection then asks this question, “What men stand in solidarity with you, going against custom and tradition to be with you or work with you?”

I immediately thought of the men that have worked with me, encouraged me, pushed me forward into places I never dreamed I would be. Today I am grateful for:

Jim Henderson was the first man that had the influence and power to see things in me that I did not and push me toward my future

My husband, Rich continually cheers me on, helps me think and grounds me in fun!

Dave Pardee was the first man in my denomination that took a stand for women in ministry when he named me the movement’s first APCL – the first time a woman held a leadership role beyond the local church within the Vineyard.

Winn Griffin has taught me to think theologically and without him I would have never made it through a doctoral program.

The men of VCC who teach me so much about what it means to lead a congregation with respect for both men and women who are created as equals.

The male area pastors that I bring pastoral care to, they too stand with me as we try our best to be/bring “good news” to the northwest.

Today on this day before we celebrate what the great prophets of old foretold, Emmanuel, I am grateful for all the men that stand in solidarity with women to bring justice to a worn torn, broken world.

July 29, 2011

Here’s What I am Reading

Category: Books & Mentors – Rose – 10:58 am

It has been just over a year since I finished my degree and went on sabbatical. The challenges of the last ten months have been legion but that is for another day:-) All that to say other than what I have had to read for classes and study I haven’t felt the creative energy to read or write. Well something shifted this past two weeks and I have read several books that I am quite enjoying. Books that challenge, stretch my thinking and help me to look at things through the eyes of the other. So, here is my list from the last couple of weeks reading:

God at War by Gregory Boyd (I am rereading this, so much to catch)

Speaking of Jesus by Carl Medearis (Love this book!)

A Time to Embrace by William Stacy Johnson (super challenging and interesting)

The Book of Common Prayer for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne (only 2.99 on Kindle)

Here is an example of today’s reading from The Book of Common Prayer: “How long? Not long! Because the arc of the mortal universe is long but it bends toward justice.” Claiborne, Shane (2010). Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals (p. 376). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

The Art of the Commonplace by Wendell Berry (Love this man’s writings).
That’s it!

July 26, 2011

Divisiveness vs Love

Category: All Posts,Love,Muslims – Rose – 1:51 pm

I am amazed at how many conservative Christians promote divisiveness agains Muslims. I just finished reading Carl Medearis‘ excellent book, “Speaking of Jesus” and what I can’t understand about conservatives is how they skip the “love your enemy” command of Jesus. The more we demonize and dehumanize people of other faith traditions, sexual orientation, ethnicity or gender the more we lack the very essence of what it means to follow Jesus. A good review of history proves this out to be true.
My hope is that the conservative branch of Christianity would take a long, cleansing breath and really buy the fact that God does not need defending. He is quite big enough to run the entire cosmos without another round of crusades.

June 26, 2010

Italy Day 4 – Moneglia

Category: All Posts – Rose – 10:02 am

I wanted to do a quick update. Rome was wonderful but I was ready to leave the crowded city and get to a place where it is complete rest. Beach time and reading, eating and drinking wine, that’s what I have been looking forward to.

We left Rome at 9:45 this morning, heading up the west coast of Italy for a little village just north of the Cinque Terrra. When we bought our tickets at the station the machine would not give us seat assignments. Once on the train we found out why, the train was oversold so we did not have seats! An over-crowded train where we had to stand for 4 hours proved to be quite the adventure. It was so worth it once we arrived Castello Monleone in Monglia. I feel like we are in paradise! We are planted here for 7 nights. Paolo, the man who owns Castello Monleone barely speaks English. He is so kind and funny!

Right in front of Castello is a church, the bells ring on the hour. I feel like we are living in a fairy tale right now. So beautiful, the sights, the sounds, the people.

Heading out to dinner in the village, going to watch the USA/Ghana game. This isn’t so much a tourist town as it is a town where the Italians go on holiday. Hardly anyone speaks English which will be great, it will force us to learn some of the language.

Time for me to go wake up Rich and Nicole to get ready for dinner:)

June 24, 2010

Italy Day 1

Category: Stories of Life – Rose – 2:15 pm

Our flight over was a bit uneventful. Poor Alex (Alassandro) did not sleep at all so having some serious jet lag. When I travel, I always wonder what it’s like behind those huge doors (in Italy and the UK) of the residences. We are staying in an apartment right in Campo Di Fiori, which is cool because we have a key to see what’s behind those magnificent doors. Our apartment is great. Very clean, two bedrooms with air conditioning. The weather if perfect! mid 80’s with a nice breeze so very nice for walking. We had a good sleep, well Nic woke up at 5:00 a.m. We had breakfast and then walked to the Vatican. The Vatican is incredible. So much history and art in one place. We had a guided tour of the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. So much to take in but I think the highlights have to be the Sistine Chapel, how did Michelangelo paint that ceiling? Amazing! And Michelangelo’s Pieta! So amazingly beautiful, brought me to tears.

We went back to the piazza in Campo Di Fiori and watched as the Italians were eliminated from the World Cup, well we sort of watched. After a bottle of wine and some delicious food we all were falling asleep at the table so went home for a little siesta. We woke up at 9:00 p.m. and forced ourselves to walk, stopped for some more incredibly delicious food and wine. It’s about 11:00 p.m. and we are in the hotel lobby checking email, facebook and uploading pictures.

Tomorrow we are going to shop at the market in the Piazza for fresh eggs, fruit and vegetables for breakfast then we will visit the Pantheon, the Coliseum, the Forum and the Palatine. We only have one more day in Rome then we are off to Moneglia by train…Ciao

June 22, 2010


Category: All Posts,Stories of Life – Rose – 8:59 am

Unbelievable is how I would describe my life these days. I don’t know how long this run is going to last but I am trying to enjoy every minute. I have a friend who wrote a little book called “Simple Spirituality, Maintain your personal peace and lovingly serve others.” One of the practices of SS is “celebrating moments.” The idea is that we have moments in our lives when we really do sense that “all is well” and in our fast-paced, full lives we should stop and savor these moments. I have had more of those moments in the last month than I can count. I don’t remember many times in my life when moment after moment to celebrate just kept coming.

Winning a 12-week pastor’s sabbatical grant…
Finishing my dissertation…
Passing with distinction…
Alex’s baseball team winning their division championship…
Graduation party…
Celebrating with family and friends…
Regional conference….healing and restored friendships…

and today…


I don’t want to wake up from this dream…

June 15, 2010

Here we go…

Category: All Posts – Rose – 7:56 am

I’m leaving for Boise this morning for our Vineyard Regional Conference. I am looking forward to our time but have a wee bit of anxiety too. It will be good to see everyone. I haven’t been to Tri’s church in so long, 13 years I think. I can’t remember the first time I met Tri but it was sometime in the early 90’s when he was our then regional overseer. Most of my early interactions with him was about Women in Ministry. We had some good debates, friendly debates. About the time Jim Henderson and VCC wanted to ordain me in 1995 I was in Boise for some training and talked with Tri. I wanted to get his approval as our RO. He was most respectful, he said he blessed whatever we chose to do in our church even though he wouldn’t ordain a woman in his church. To this day I am very thankful for the way he respectfully disagreed yet could bless us.

Alex is getting ready for school, he only has 2 days left. He’s going to stay with Nathan until Saturday when Rich and I get back from Boise. What an amazing time he has had this year. He told us that 6th grade was his best year ever. He really liked his teacher, Wayne Clousing, and who could ever forget winning your baseball division championships when you were down by 2 in the last inning with 2 outs and 2 strikes and your teammate knocks one out of the park to tie the game. Alex is up next and hits a single, makes it to 2nd base and then the next batter up hits the winning RBI. I don’t think any of us will ever forget that moment!

Rich, Alex, Nicole and I leave for Italy on Tuesday. I am so grateful for the opportunity (to the Louisville Institute and VCC) to go on such an amazing trip with Rich and the kids. It’s the perfect way to start a sabbatical, one I could never have imagined.

I can’t wait to get on the plane, but first a plane to Boise:)

June 8, 2010

2 Weeks to Go

Category: All Posts – Rose – 8:22 pm

Two weeks from today we will be in the air on our way to Italy. First stop London/Heathrow then on to Roma! We will be 3 nights in Rome then we take the train to Monleone on the Italian Riviera. Here is a picture (the castle) of where we will be for 7 nights. Here is the view from the castle deck. We will be 15-minute train ride from the Cinque Terra and a short boat ride to Portofino.

From Monleone we go to Lake Como for 3 nights. Then 1 night in Milan and then Nicole and Alex will fly home. Rich and I will go on to Venice where we will meet up with our friends Nick and Cathy Gretton for 3 nights! Then we drive to Tuscany where we will spend the next 9 nights. Lots of places to see in Tuscany, Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Assisi, then 1 final night in Rome before returning home.

Lots still to do before we go. Graduation parties, an anniversary party, our Vineyard Regional Conference.

Speaking of graduation parties, my husband and friends threw me an amazing party on Saturday after my graduation. What a celebration. I had a hard time taking it all in. I still have not quite come down from the weekend beginning with Alex’s baseball team winning their division championship the night before I graduated.

Rich and I were reflecting on the weekend. It could not have been more perfect. I am so, so, so grateful for my life!

May 28, 2010

Getting Ready to Go

Category: All Posts – Rose – 5:38 pm

We take Friday’s off. Rich and I have been pretty good about completely taking Friday’s off since February. Something we didn’t do for a couple of years. When we realized we were not that indispensable and that we were on the verge of burnout, we did an immediate course correction. I am loving our days off. Time to just hang out, chill, and do whatever.

It has poured rain all day. We left for a couple of hours to get something to eat. I swear when we got home the front lawn had grown 3 inches!

I quit blogging the past year or so because I was working on my dissertation. I finished, I passed and next Saturday I graduate from Bakke Graduate University with my Doctorate. It has been a 4.5 year journey. I am so happy to be finished. A lot has happened in the past few years. Alex was 8 years old when I began this program, now he’s 12 finishing 6th grade. I’m grateful I finished this program as he is approaching adolescence.

Last fall I applied for a pastor’s sabbatical grant. I totally did not expect to win. Over 500 grant applications were submitted, only 40 were selected. I won the grant and will take a 12-week sabbatical beginning June 22nd. The grant provides me a great opportunity to do some things I don’t think I could have ever done. I am going to Italy for 4 weeks! The first two weeks Alex and Nicole are with us, we will fly into Rome, spend a few days and then head to the Northern Italian Rivera, (Cinque Terra) and then on to Lake Como. Nicole and Alex fly home and then for 2 weeks Rich and I will travel mainly through Venice and Tuscany with a 2-day stop in Assisi.

Life is pretty full until June 22nd! Alex’s baseball team won their division and go on to the Tournament of Champions. They start tomorrow night and then from day to day we don’t know when the next game will be. It’s a double elimination tournament. It’s really a blast to watch them. One way or another the tournament will end by next Saturday. Until then, games or practices everyday!

On Saturday I graduate! On Sunday we have a fundraising event for Turning Point. Then it’s time to get everything ready so we can be gone a month. I’m teaching a session at Bakke’s Overture I for incoming DMin students on the 10th, flying to Boise on the 14th – 18th for our Regional Conference then it’s home to say goodbye to VCC (we just about have our new website ready to launch) on the 19th. As excited as I am to have 12 weeks off, I am a little anxious about missing everyone from VCC. This will be interesting. We will see?

I wanted to re-start my blog so I can document my time. Again, I have no idea how things will go. I might decide to turn off all technology for a time, I starting to shake just thinking about that!

May 26, 2010

Hoping to begin blogging again

Category: All Posts – Rose – 1:53 pm

As the time comes closer for me to go on a 12-week sabbatical I want to re-start my blog so that people can follow me. I will be posting through the summer and wanted to test how my blog interfaces with facebook. Okay, this is a test.