Monday, April 30, 2012

FOCA - COUP, SCHISM, OR SOMETHING ELSE?

FoCA Conference, London
Paul Bagshaw at Not the Same Stream explains for us what happened at the recent conference in London of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans.  Here's a snippet, but do read the entire post.
The epistemic divide is clear. FCA members have objective criteria (both biblical and from within traditional church teaching, though the former is definitive) by which to critique both secular society and Christian praxis.

In particular history in the sense of legitimating and identity-forming narratives is replaced by salvation history: judgement by objective biblical and theological criteria.
Our own (or is he?) +Mark Lawrence attended the London conference and, according to Simon Sarmiento at Thinking Anglicans, he was invited by The Guildford Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship to give a talk in Surrey, before he headed home to Charleston, South Carolina.  If you'd like, you can listen to +Mark's talk at Baby Blue Online

I wonder if +Mark will attend General Convention of TEC this year.  GC09 left him feeling quite dyspeptic.  Few would be greatly surprised if the bishop bolted from TEC.

Photo from Baby Blue.

FURTHER ON LIBERTY...



Ain't that the truth?

Thanks to Juan at Informed Comment.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

GOOD-BYE SWEET IZZIE

RIP My Sweet Izzie

 From Izzie's human friend, Amelia:
Izzie was put to sleep this afternoon.  My little sweetie has crossed the rainbow bridge.  She has been really failing over the last year or so.
....

I will miss my little sweetie.  I will miss her snoring next to me at night. Her snores were famous in Vestry meetings where they helped move the discussion forward, sounding out at just the right time.  I found her funny, loving, stubborn and always up for an adventure.  Now she will have a new adventure, joining her doggie friends, Sydney and Daisy and Luci as well as Bear and Oso and Eva who have already crossed the rainbow bridge. I'm sure she will be waiting for me, tail up and curled, when it's my time.
Read the rest of the story of Izzie's life with Amelia.

Grandpère and I had the privilege of hosting Izzie and Amelia for a couple of days.  Both Izzie and her human were great guests, the kind you'd like to have back.  Alas, Izzie you'll not come to stay again, but we won't forget you, and perhaps Amelia will return.

The photo above, taken by Amelia, is my favorite, because Izzie looks smashing resting on the quilt of many colors and wearing her pink bow.

O Lord our God, we come before You this day in sadness.  Izzie, who brought Amelia so much joy in life, has now died.   Her happy times in her embrace have come to an end.  She misses Izzie already.
Help her, O God, to remember the good times with Izzie.  Remind her to rejoice in the happy times she brought to her home.  Let her be thankful for the good life she was blessed to give to her.
We are grateful to You, God, for creating Izzie, for entrusting her to Amelia's care, and for sustaining Izzie in her love for a measure of time.   We understand that all that lives must die.   She knew that this day would come.  And yet, O God, she would have wanted one more day of play, one more evening of love with Izzie.
O God, as Amelia has taken care of Izzie in life, we ask that You watch over her in death. You entrusted Izzie to her care; now, she gives her back to You.  May Izzie find a happy new home in Your loving embrace.
 As we remember Izzie, may we love each other more dearly.   May we care for all Your creatures, for every living thing, as Amelia protected the blessed life of Izzie.  May her memory bless our lives with love and caring forever.  Amen. 
(Prayer from Rabbi Barry H. Block)

'THE HEART OF GOD'



By nakedpastor.

The cartoon is so sad.  It made me cry.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

AIRCRAFT HITS FOUR BUILDINGS

Even though this is tough to watch, please do watch it...it's important to those involved. It just shows the dangers of attending these events. 

Air Show Disaster - Amazing photo shows great detail. The pilot at low level had no control over his aircraft. It narrowly misses a crowd gathered for the air show and slams into four buildings. 

One can only imagine the horror of the occupants inside those buildings.




Probably scared the shit out of them.

Don't blame me.  Blame Doug.

FROG PSYCHIC HOTLINE

Recently, the Psychic Hotline and Psychic Friends Network have launched
telephone hotlines for frogs.

A frog telephones the Psychic Hotline to get his fortune told and the
psychic considers and says, "You are going to meet a beautiful young girl who will want to know everything about you."

The frog replies, "This is great news!  Will I meet her at my pond, at a
party, or what?"

"No," says the psychic.  "Next semester in her biology class."



Cheers,

Paul (A.)
Wicked cruel!

Picture from Wikipedia.

'THE CHURCH SHOULD BLAZE A TRAIL....'

From the Church Times in England:
AS A committed, Bible-believing Chris­tian, I am ashamed and ap­palled by the debate about gay marriage. My views are not those of my son, who is gay and who is now an atheist, but result from some ten years of reading, prayer, dis­cussion, and serious thought.

My son came out at the age of 20, having spent much of his previous ten years knowing that he was not growing up to feel attracted to girls, but to boys. I don’t think he even knew the word “gay” at the be­ginning of this process, but he knew that he was growing up differently.

 I am now convinced that homo­sexuality is a developmental condition that is not amenable to change at any psychological level; it is not a matter of choice; and is something that has caused many boys and girls to live in shame and fear from their early teens onwards. I know that my son had no access to other gay people through his adolescence, and that it was only at university that he was able to talk this through with hetero­sexual friends, finally coming to the conclusion that he was gay.

We, the Church, over centuries have perpetrated a great wickedness on these children and developing adults, forcing many to live by deceit, in failed heterosexual marriages, and even in an inability to form rela­tionships because of their own private hell.

At least the gay-rights cam­paigners have had the courage to stand up and work on some sort of social change. It is a pity that the Church did not do this in the first place.
A mother's cry from the heart, surely, and a cry that should touch other hearts and perhaps melt a few hearts of stone.  With great courage, Linda names wickedness for what it is.  With the mess that straight folks have made of marriage today, who are we to disrespect couples of the same sex who wish to love and cherish one another in faithful, committed relationships?  Who are we to decree that these couples may not call their relationships marriage?  And where is the church in all this?  Why are the civil authorities in England leading the way?  Linda speaks to her Church of England, but here in the Episcopal Church in the US, we still have a way to go, although we are headed in the right direction.   As Linda says, 'The Church should blaze a trail....'

H/T to Simon Sarmiento at Thinking Anglicans.

TWO STORIES OF THE DAY


LIFE PLAN

I asked her what she planned to do with 
her life & she said she was way beyond 
that point already. I'm just happy I 
remember to be there when it happens, 
she said.

FALLING INTO PLACE

deciding everything is falling into place 
perfectly as long as you don't get too 
picky about what you mean by place. Or 
perfectly. 
From StoryPeople here and here.

MODEL RESOLUTION FOR TEC GENERAL CONVENTION FROM NO ANGLICAN COVENANT COALTION


Below is the model resolution from NACC on the Anglican Covenant for General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the US, which meets in July 2012  The resolution is also available here as a Microsoft Word file and here as a PDF file.  An introduction and explanation may be found at Comprehensive Unity.

Title: Relation to the Anglican Communion

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 77th General Convention give thanks to all who have worked to increase understanding and strengthen relationships among the churches of the Anglican Communion, and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention reaffirm the commitment of this church to the fellowship of autonomous national and regional churches that is the Anglican Communion; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention believe that sister churches of the Anglican Communion are properly drawn together by bonds of affection, by participation in the common mission of the gospel, and by consultation without coercion or intimidation; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention, having prayerfully considered the merits of the Anglican Communion Covenant and believing said agreement to be contrary to Anglican ecclesiology and tradition and to the best interests of the Anglican Communion, respectfully decline to adopt the same; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention call upon the leaders of The Episcopal Church at every level to seek opportunities to reach out to strengthen and restore relationships between this church and sister churches of the Communion.
______

FINAL CHURCH OF ENGLAND DIOCESES VOTE ON ANGLICAN COVENANT

Today sees the last two dioceses to vote on the Covenant. As the proposal has already been defeated the issue cannot return to General Synod until the summer of 2015 at the earliest.

Newcastle Against
Bishops  For: 2,  Against: 0,  Abstained: 0
Clergy     For:  8,  Against:  18,  Abstained: -
Laity        For: 14,  Against: 15,  Abstained: 0
York  For 

Bishops  For: 4,  Against: 0,  Abstained: 0
Clergy     For: 26,  Against: 5,  Abstained: 0
Laity        For: 38,  Against: 5,  Abstained: 1


Summary


Dioceses for the Covenant to date: 16
Dioceses against the Covenant to date: 26

Thanks to Paul Bagshaw at Not the Same Stream.

Friday, April 27, 2012

MOTHER JESUS

Luke 13:34

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
 
Anselm of Canterbury
Jesus, as a mother you gather your people to you:
You are gentle with us as a mother with her children;
Often you weep over our sins and our pride:
tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgment.
You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds:
in sickness you nurse us,
and with pure milk you feed us.
Jesus, by your dying we are born to new life:
by your anguish and labor we come forth in joy.
Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness:
through your gentleness we find comfort in fear.
Your warmth gives life to the dead:
your touch makes sinners righteous.
Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us:
in your love and tenderness remake us.
In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness:
for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us.

Julian of Norwich   

God is our Mother
It is a characteristic of God to overcome evil with good.

Jesus Christ therefore, who himself overcame evil with good, is our true Mother. We received our ‘Being’ from Him ­ and this is where His Maternity starts ­ And with it comes the gentle Protection and Guard of Love which will never cease to surround us.

Just as God is our Father, so God is also our Mother. 

And He showed me this truth in all things, but especially in those sweet words when He says: “It is I”.

As if to say,  I am the power and the Goodness of the Father, I am the Wisdom of the Mother, I am the Light and the Grace which is blessed love, I am the Trinity, I am the Unity, I am the supreme Goodness of all kind of things, I am the One who makes you love, I am the One who makes you desire, I am the never-ending fulfilment of all true desires. (...)

Our highest Father, God Almighty, who is ‘Being’, has always known us and loved us: because of this knowledge, through his marvellous and deep charity and with the unanimous consent of the Blessed Trinity, He wanted the Second Person to become our Mother, our Brother, our Saviour.
It is thus logical that God, being our Father, be also our Mother. Our Father desires, our Mother operates and our good Lord the Holy Ghost confirms; we are thus well advised to love our God through whom we have our being, to thank him reverently and to praise him for having created us and to pray fervently to our Mother, so as to obtain mercy and compassion, and to pray to our Lord, the Holy Ghost, to obtain help and grace.

I then saw with complete certainty that God, before creating us, loved us, and His love never lessened and never will. In this love he accomplished all his works, and in this love he oriented all things to our good and in this love our life is eternal.

With creation we started but the love with which he created us was in Him from the very beginning and in this love is our beginning.

And all this we shall see it in God eternally.

(Revelations of Divine Love)

'SPEAK TO ME!'


Oh dear!

From nakedpastor.  David is running a special offer now.  If you order anything from his gallery, he will send you the cartoon above as a freebie.  Check it out.

REMEMBERING GAYLE - SIX YEARS


The picture of my sister Gayle was taken on the grounds of the Tower of London during our trip to England in the 1990s. We were headed to visit the Norman chapel inside the White Tower. I stopped to take a picture, and Gayle walked on. Today is the sixth anniversary of my sister's death. With courage, she fought off lymphoma 17 years before she died from pancreatic cancer. I still miss her. For me, the picture is a stunning metaphor for Gayle's walking away from all of us who love her.

Please pray for her husband, Frank and her three children, two grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Please pray for me and for her many friends who still miss her. She was a wonderful person. She loved to joke and laugh, and she loved a good party. She was a good wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was a good sister and a good friend to me.

For the past ten days or so, I've been unusually doleful, and I've wondered why. There's a good bit going on in my family that could make me sad, but I'm fairly resilient, with my melancholy times lasting only a day or so. Yesterday, it dawned on me that in the days before the anniversary of Gayle's death, I grieve each year, even though I'm not constantly thinking about the approaching anniversary. Still, the body clock says it's a time to grieve.

WHY COULDN'T YOU STAY?

You walked away; you left us
Bereft, bereaved.
How could you go?
It wasn't your doing,
I know, I know.
Yet, how could you go?

Two years passed and gone,
Slipped away.
After you left, I'd think
I'll call her; I'll email.
Oh no! None of that!
You won't answer.

Now I know you're gone.
No thoughts of visits to come,
Seeing your face, hearing your voice,
The sound of your laughter.
Sadness lingers, emptiness remains.
Why couldn't you stay?


June Butler - 04-27-08

SOPHIA 'CANOE' - BY NAKEDPASTOR

SOPHIA 'Canoe'







Yesterday my print of the lovely drawing, pictured above, by David Hayward (aka nakedpastor) arrived in the mail. I've admired David's cartoons and his serious drawings for a while and purchased a print of the stunning 'Canoe' from his Sophia drawings.  Here's the link to the gallery of nakedpastor's Sophia series.

David blogs at (Surprise!) nakedpastor

Thursday, April 26, 2012

STEPHEN COLBERT'S TIME 100 SPEECH

From Mark Helperin's 'The Page':
STEPHEN COLBERT:  Thank you, very much.  Lovely.
Good evening, and congratulations my fellow influencers.  How is everyone feeling this evening?

Oh, come on, you could do better than that?  Look at this room.  Look at this people.  Look at the view.  You are the TIME 100, and we are better than other people.  I'll say it, it's just us chickens.  No one is live blogging this, right?  You're on your honor.  And I don't know about you, but it is such a relief to be away from the kind of riffraff who aren't influential enough to make the list.  People like the Pope and Oprah.  The Poprah.

You know, it's actually a bit dangerous to have this many influential people in the room.  What if something should happen?  It would wipe out the world's supply of influence.  That's why some members of the TIME 100 are not here tonight, we have sequestered Warren Buffett and Viola Davis and in an undisclosed location in case we need to repopulate the world with influentialness.
Please read the entire speech, which is on a par with his address at the White House Correspondents Dinner during the George W Bush presidency, in which he skewered attendees left and right, including the president himself. If you recall, he lost the audience of media folk present during his talk but bravely carried on, while holding the viewers at home enthralled with laughter mixed with shock that he actually spoke the words we were hearing.

Stephen does it again with audacious, pointed comemntary on people right there in the room with him.
Also, Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke is here tonight.  Also an instant, instant feminist icon.  Famously tested, testified before Congress, that Georgetown, a Catholic institution,should be required to provide insurance coverage for her birth control.

Now, TIME 100 honoree, his eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan disagrees -- sir, lovely to see you again.

Of course, now some, some critics have said in response to this that if the Catholic church's insurance does not cover Sandra Fluke's birth control, it shouldn't cover Cardinal Dolan's Viagra.

Oh, no, no, no.  Oh, no, no, no, that's called celibacy plus.  That's how the pros do it.  Because chastity is one thing, but it shows true commitment to uphold your vows when you are sporting a crook you could hang a miter on.  Oh, wow, see you at mass on Sunday, sir?

I hope he doesn't become Pope.

I'm a Catholic, it's okay.  I go to confession, it will be fine.  Thank you.
Ouch!  That smarted.  I looked without success for a video of the speech, but I expect one will be available soon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DO YOU LIKE MINCEMEAT?

From The Huffington Post:
Joining a chorus of Catholic bishops, theologians, priests, and social justice leaders, nearly 90 Georgetown University faculty and administrators have called Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) to task for his misuse of Catholic social teaching in defending his budget, which hurts the poor. The group sent a letter to Rep. Ryan in advance of his appearance on the Catholic campus on Thursday morning to give the Whittington Lecture.

In their letter to Ryan, the scholars make clear they are not objecting to his speaking on campus, but rather his recent comments defending his budget on Christian grounds.


“Our problem with Representative Ryan is that he claims his budget is based on Catholic social teaching,” said Jesuit Father
Thomas J. Reese, one of the organizers of the letter. “This is nonsense. As scholars, we want to join the Catholic bishops in pointing out that his budget has a devastating impact on programs for the poor.” Reese is a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.
....

The scholars also gave the Representative a reading assignment: “The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,” which was commissioned by John Paul II and published by the Vatican.
Signing the letter were over a dozen Georgetown Jesuit priests, numerous members of the Theology and other departments including History, Government, Philosophy, School of Foreign Service and School of Nursing & Health Studies.
Rep. Paul Ryan's spokesman, Kevin Seifert, sent this email in response to an inquiry about the Georgetown Faculty Letter from The Huffingtonpost:
"Chairman Ryan remains grateful for Georgetown's invitation to advance a thoughtful dialogue this week on his efforts to avert a looming debt crisis that would hurt the poor the first and the worst. Ryan looks forward to affirming our shared commitment to a preferential option for the poor, which of course does not mean a preferential option for bigger government."


My guess as to what Paul Ryan will look like once the Jesuits and other scholars at Georgetown are finished with him. 

What I know about logic and reasoning, I learned mainly from the Jesuits many years ago, and they taught me well.  The gaps in my knowledge are due to my own lack of seriousness and inattention in the days of my youth.  Still, compared to the some logic and reasoning skills on display today, I see that I owe the Jesuits a great deal.     

Picture from Wikipedia.

H/T to Charles Pierce at The Politics Blog.

UPDATE: I am eating my words. No one made mincemeat of the Granny Starver.  Yes, there was a Q&A from written questions from the audience, which only served to give Ryan a longer forum to unload his bullshit. You can watch at C-SPAN, if you have the stomach for it.  Very disappointing. Give back the American dream?  The American dream is dead and gone. Bush put the nails in the coffin. Back to Charles Pierce's mantra: "Fck the deficit. People got no jobs. People got no money."

UPDATE 2:  Where was the Republican concern about the deficit when Bush launched not one, but two off-budget wars?  How crazy is that for a fiscal policy?

WAXING CRESCENT MOON AND PLANET VENUS



Last night the sky was a clear midnight blue, and the waxing crescent moon and the planet Venus put on a splendid display.  My photo, taken with my inexpensive camera, does not do the scene justice, nor does the picture give the true color of the sky.
Waxing crescent moon
With Sister Venus shines in 
Midnight blue splendor
(June Butler 4-25-2012)
Here's a link to a truer photo of the gorgeous scene.

CALLED BY GOD

Bro John9:48am Apr 24
Being called by God is no easy thing. But knowing that you have been called, and knowing what God is calling you to, is even more difficult.

-Br. James Koester
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - ABP NICHOLAS OKOH

Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, the leader of 23 million Anglicans in Nigeria, said that while the historic position of the Archbishop of Canterbury would always be respected he should be seen as “one of” many primates.
My goodness!  I agree with  Abp Okoh!

From the Telegraph.

BISHOP ANDREW DOYLE (DIOCESE OF TEXAS) PRESS RELEASE ON SAME-SEX BLESSINGS

Texas Bishop Announces Plan to Navigate Proposed Rite

 

The Bishop of Texas, C. Andrew Doyle, announced his response to the likely approval at this summer’s General Convention of the blessing of same-gender covenants today at a special meeting of diocesan clergy. Bishop Doyle outlined his plan to help unify the Diocese of Texas, addressing both liberal and traditional congregations’ positions at the gathering at Camp Allen April 24.

Bishop Doyle began working with former Secretary of State James Baker in 2010 to develop the outline of his plan. He has since received support for his leadership from people in the diocese who represent the broad diversity of opinion on the blessing of same-gender covenants.

“My plan does not ask for further debate or require approval,” Bishop Doyle told the clergy gathered at Camp Allen. “I have not asked people to change their positions or even to like the plan that I am setting before us,” he explained. “It is my deepest desire to offer a generous breadth of pastoral care for our members throughout the diocese. “

The plan contains several options:
  1. Congregations may choose to take no action, one way or the other.
  2. Traditional congregations/rectors may state that they will not conduct or participate in rites for blessing persons of the same gender, sponsor for ordination anyone or employ any clergy who are in a non-celebrate relationship out side holy matrimony.
  3. Following General Convention, one congregation in Houston and one congregation in Austin will be granted permission to bless same-gender covenants. Both the rector and the congregation must support such a liturgy and must complete the congregational education portion of the process. Additional congregations may request permission in the future. A provision for clergy who wish to do blessings of same-gender covenants outside the church is also included.
 Current Texas law does not recognize unions of same-gender couples therefore no representation may be made that the blessing liturgy either creates or solemnizes any marriage, civil union or other legal relationship.

Noting the predominant traditional stance in the Diocese of Texas, the Bishop said that he will vote against the resolution to approve rites for blessing a same-gender partnership and that he will abstain from voting on the election of bishops living in a same-gender partnership. Additionally he stated that he personally will not bless any same-gender covenant.

In a 120-page document, Unity in Mission, with a foreword by Secretary Baker, the Bishop provides his in-depth perspective on the unity of the church, his leadership, foundations in traditional marriage and a discussion of opposing views as well as what he believes is a proper response. A detailed description of his plan to provide different responses while maintaining the unity of the Church provides several options. Also included in the paper is a letter of support from a broad and diverse group of clergy and lay leaders. They note that the real cost of the conflict over the last several decades has been “the mission of the gospel” and state their support of the bishop and acknowledge his plan as a way forward. Supporters say the plan is “an earnest offering to live into our Lord’s Prayer that ‘we all may be one’” while they acknowledge that not everyone will be happy with it.

Bishop Doyle has made provision for clergy and congregations to change their position at any time. Guidelines will be available in the fall of 2012 to help clergy and congregations respond pastorally.

“I hold our work for the Lord Jesus Christ to be paramount in who we are and in everything we do. Our mission and ministry have been dogged by our disagreements and conflict over the blessing of same-gender couples for too long at the expense of the mission of the gospel. I pray that this plan will help to guide us beyond conflict and give us the ability to refocus our attention on the hurting world around us. I am hopeful that we will learn from one another and deepen our respect and love for one another throughout this process,” Bishop Doyle said.

A copy of the full plan may be found at: www.epicenter.org/unity

A GOOD VICAR IS GONE


From the BBC:
Some members of the Anglican communion, including elements of the Church in Wales, have become more homophobic, claims a vicar who has resigned over the issue of gay marriage.

The Reverend Andrew Morton, vicar of Llangybi, Monmouthshire, is the first in Wales to step down over the issue.

He says he would have been willing to carry out such ceremonies.

The Church in Wales said it a "matter of regret" for clergy to resign over an issue yet to be resolved by the church.
....

Mr Morton, who has been a vicar for 33 years, says many of his colleagues privately agree with his stance, and that homophobia is endemic in some respects.

"First of all I felt that the church's position on same sex relationships, never mind same sex marriages, was increasingly judgemental and not really inclusive in the way that I felt that it should be," he told BBC Wales.

"I feel a greater degree of homophobia in the church than I've felt for a long time. Maybe it's just my personal perception but it certainly seems to be more prevalent in some quarters of the church.

"I felt that in order to offer an authentic critique of the church as an institution, the most honourable thing was to do it from the outside rather than from the inside which was what prompted the resignation."

He said that he came across people who in the "guise of what they feel to be religious conviction, came up with some extraordinarily homophobic statements".

However, he said it was not true of the majority of the church, which was "very forgiving and very loving".
I sort of wish Mr Morton had stayed in his position in the church, because strong voices from within the church carry great weight.  In a sense, when one departs, one leaves the field to the homophobic and judgmental.  However, the vicar is obviously a man of conscience and principle, and he did what he thought was best.
"We are trying to  in a way that takes everyone along with us and that calls for time and patience."
The Church in Wales' expression of regret rings hollow as it speaks of its attempts to "move forward gently", even as the church continues to throw its LGTB members under the bus.  LGTB Anglicans have been patient for quite a long time.  How long will the homophobic elements in the church continue to prevail?  How long before same-sex marriage is resolved by the church on the side of justice and equality?  Doomsday will come before the church carries everyone along. 

The video of the interview is here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

BENEFIT CONCERT FOR ST MATTHEW'S CHURCH HOUMA, LA - SARAH AND FR RON


Fr Ron is our priest-in-charge.  He and his lovely daughter, Sarah, are both musicians.  On Sunday, if you're in the vicinity of St John's Episcopal Church in Thibodaux, Louisiana, come join us at the concert.  Some of you may recall my post about the fire which destroyed St Matthew's Episcopal Church in Houma, Louisiana.  The church was insured, but, as is often the case, the insurance money will not cover the cost of reconstruction.  All proceeds from the concert will go to the project to rebuild St Matthew's.

BEAR WITH ME....



For the past several weeks, I've done quite a lot of linking, outright lifting, and copying other people's work and little original writing.  At the very least, give me points for linking to those to whom credit is due.  I've been called to take on demanding family responsibilities which leave me less time online and somewhat drained of creativity.  I'd like to say this, too, shall pass, but I'm fairly certain that the situation will not change any time soon.  Sooo, bear with me, if you will....

HENRI THE FRENCH CAT - MORNING ENNUI



Délice!

From Jezebel via Lee and Kathryn on Facebook.

LIVING COMPASSIONATELY

Bro John
We can take the radical step of moving toward God and creating a better world by living compassionately. This is the good news.
-Br. Eldridge Pendleton   
Society of Saint John the Evangelist
From St Cuthbert's Cottage  on Facebook.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

RESULTS OF BISHOPS ELECTIONS IN TEC

Elections in the Episcopal Dioceses of Pittsburgh and Western Louisiana for bishops diocesan, bishop suffragan election in Virginia:
Virginia:
The Rev Canon Susan Goff was elected on the 4th ballot
ballot%20%234%20VA.jpg
Pittsburgh:
The Rev. Dorsey McConnell has been elected on the 6th Ballot.
Pbg%20%236.jpg
Western Louisiana:
The Very Rev. Dr. Jacob Owensby was elected on Ballot #6
WLa%20%236.jpg
Commentary on the Pittsburgh election by Lionel Deimel.

Lifted from Ann Fontaine's post at The Lead.

R.I.P. LEVON HELM - 'ACADIAN DRIFTWOOD' - THE BAND




Bob Dylan on Levon.
"In response to Levon's passing
"He was my bosom buddy friend to the end, one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation. This is just so sad to talk about. I still can remember the first day I met him and the last day I saw him. We go back pretty far and had been through some trials together. I'm going to miss him, as I'm sure a whole lot of others will too."

Levon Helm at Life is Good Festival in 2011


Photo from Wikipedia.

TWO DIOCESES IN CHURCH OF ENGLAND VOTE FOR ANGLICAN COVENANT

Chichester  For 
Bishops  For: 2,  Against: 0,  Abstained: -
Clergy     For: 29,  Against: 9,  Abstained: -
Laity        For: 39,  Against: 25,  Abstained: -
Southwell and Nottingham  For 
Bishops  For: 2,  Against: 0,  Abstained: 0
Clergy     For: 15,  Against: 5,  Abstained: 0
Laity        For: 31,  Against: 6,  Abstained: 1

Summary


Dioceses for the Covenant to date: 18
Dioceses against the Covenant to date: 25

There are 2 dioceses yet to vote: Newcastle and York next Saturday, 28 April.
From Paul Bagshaw at Not the Same Stream.

STORY OF THE DAY - SAVING UP

saving up a bag full of peak moments 
she's going to have someday if she can 
ever get away from all the same old stuff 
that's holding her back & you can pretty 
well guess how it's going
From StoryPeople.

DIOCESE OF CHRISTCHURCH NZ DEFEATS ANGLICAN COVENANT

From a correspondent in Christchurch, New Zealand:
Hi Mimi,

Have come home from Christchurch Synod meeting.  We had a vote on the Covenant.  Passed by laity, DEFEATED by clergy... therefore DEFEATED by Christchurch New Zealand.

Thought I'd share the good news!
This is good news, indeed.

Friday, April 20, 2012

CHURCH IN WALES GIVES 'AMBER LIGHT' TO COVENANT

A plan to protect the unity of the worldwide Anglican Communion was given an amber light, rather than a green light, by the Church in Wales today (April 18).

Members of its Governing Body voted to affirm their commitment to the Communion and the Covenant process, but asked questions of the Anglican Consultative Council which meets in October. They feared the recent rejection of the Covenant by the Church of England jeopardised its future and clarifications about that were now needed before a decision could be made.


The Bishop of St Asaph, Dr Gregory Cameron, who proposed a motion which was amended in the light of the Church of England decision, said, “We have given the Covenant an amber light rather than a green light but in doing so we are being honest about where the Church is today. However, I think we need to reaffirm our strong commitment to each other through the saving power of Christ revealed in the Gospels. That is what I believe the Covenant ultimately calls us to do and I hope one day the Church in Wales will be able to vote for it.”




Living in Glasgow says AMBER means STOP.  I'm not sure what AMBER means in Wales.












Despite advice from Secretary General of the Anglican Communion Office Kenneth Kearon to carry on with consideration of the Anglican Covenant, the member churches of the Anglican Communion are concerned and confused about the status of the document now that the 'mother' church, the Church of England, has voted it down.  I doubt proponents of the covenant envisioned defeat of the covenant in England, so there is no Plan B.

Kearon lists the churches that have adopted, acceded to, or subscribed to the covenant, but he neglects to mention that The Episcopal Church in the Philippines voted it down, along with the Church of England.

H/T to Peter Owen  at Thinking Anglicans.

Thanks to Simon Sarmiento in the comments for the link to Living in Glasgow.

EINSTEIN IN HEAVEN

Albert Einstein dies and goes to heaven, only to be informed that his room is not yet ready.  "I hope you will not mind waiting in a dormitory.  We are very sorry, but it's the best we can do, and you will have to share the room with others," he is told by the doorman.

Einstein says that this is no problem at all and that there is no need to make such a great fuss.  So the doorman leads him to the dorm.  They enter and Albert is introduced to all of the present inhabitants.


"See, here is your first roommate.  He has an IQ of 180!"


"Why that's wonderful!" says Albert.  "We can discuss mathematics!"


"And here is your second roommate.  His IQ is 150!"


"Why that's marvelous!" says Albert.  "We can discuss physics!"


"And here is your third roommate.  His IQ is 100!"


"That's great!  We can discuss the latest plays at the theater!"


Just then another man moves out to grasp Albert's hand and shake it.  "I'm your last roommate and I'm sorry, but my IQ is only 80."


Albert smiles back at him and says, "So, where do you think interest rates

are headed?"



Cheers,


Paul (A.)
The photo is from Wikipedia and shows Einstein with his halo slipped a little down and to the side.

GOOD NEWS FROM BISHOPS

From the presidential address of Archbishop Barry Morgan of the Church in Wales:
Lambeth 1998, as I said, accepted homosexual orientation – what some have regarded as "a natural attribute for some people," that is, a natural predisposition toward people of the same sex –which has only been fully understood fairly recently.  Even so, the Lambeth answer was to separate orientation from practice and commend celibacy.
 
But can celibacy be imposed?  Shouldn't it be freely undertaken as a personal vocation by heterosexuals and homosexuals alike?  As Rowan Williams once put it, "anyone who knows the complexities of the true celibate vocation, would be the last to have any sympathy with the extraordinary idea that sexual orientation is an automatic pointer to a celibate life: almost as if celibacy before God is less costly, even less risky to the homosexual than the heterosexual."  And is not separating mind and body or feelings or orientation from practice a kind of dualism which the church has condemned in the past since human beings are a unified whole and cannot be compartmentalised in such a way.  If that is true of humanity in general, why should we expect people of a homosexual disposition to be singled out in this way?
....

If the legislation to allow civil marriage is passed, I cannot see how we as a church, will be able to ignore the legality of the status of such partnerships and we ought not to want to do so.  There is a further complication and that is that just as the Government only initially allowed civil partnerships outside religious premises but has now extended that provision to include them, the same may happen as far as what they call civil marriage is concerned and indeed some argue that it is against European law to separate the two since there is no distinction in law in this country between marriage in church and marriage in a register office.

The question then as now is, will the church protect and support pastorally, faithful, stable, lifelong relationships of whatever kind in order to encourage human values such as love and fidelity and recognise the need in Christian people for some public religious support....  It is a discussion we need to have.
 Dr Morgan, in a brilliant stroke, quotes the wise words of the previous Archbishop of Wales, Rowan Williams, on the folly of the imposition of a mandate to the celibate life on anyone, including those with a same-sex orientation.

Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, in his post referring to Barry Morgan's address says:
Therefore the highest duty of the Church is not to preserve institutions, but to be, simply and completely, good news. The gospel isn't “good news/bad news” or “good news as long as you buy it properly.” It isn’t even “what would Jesus do?” It’s “What is Jesus actually doing through the whole creation, and trying to do through us if only we got real?” 

Jesus referred marriage back to the way God actually made us. Marriage is a gift of God in creation that strengthens community and expresses divine love — that’s what’s meant by calling it “sacramental.” 

In fact a very small but significant proportion of every human population is gay. If some of these people want to build stable faithful relationships based on love, that has to be a good thing. Love is love wherever it is found. We know it by its fruits, not its origins. But the fruits reveal the origin. God is love and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them. This is the good news.
Amen to the Good News from the bishops, arch- and plain.  Alan Wilson has long been a breath of fresh air and a voice of sanity within the circle of bishops in the Church of England, and, thankfully, his is no longer a lone voice. 

BISHOP KATHARINE ON THE BORDER


From Episcopal News Service:
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori recently spent three days on the U.S.-Mexico border between Arizona and Sonora engaged in educational and faith-based activities organized by the Diocese of Arizona and aimed at giving positive attention to the borderlands, upholding unity between the two countries, remembering the victims of the immigration crisis in the United States and Mexico, and raising consciousness and action toward immigration reform and economic development. Jefferts Schori offered the following words before a border crossing in Naco on April 14.  
Bishop Katharine speaks of humans as wanderers from the beginning.  The history of our faith life begins with the wanderings of Adam and Eve.  On throughout the Hebrew Testament the story of the Israelites is that of travelers from place to place.  Jesus was not born in the home town of Mary and Joseph, because they were traveling on account of a census ordered by Caesar Augustus, and then his parents were abruptly ordered to Egypt by an angel to escape the predations of King Herod.  Jesus himself was an itinerant, wandering from one town to another to preach the Good News.
God is not much interested in borders except as our flimsy excuses – to be crossed, bridged, and transcended. What is the greatest word in our story? The central word, according to Jesus, is “love God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Love is what gets past the fence. Love is what gets us past the fence.

The overwhelming witness of the scripture is about loving God and neighbor, particularly the neighbors who have no family member or tribal structure to look after them. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the god of aliens and migrants. We hear over and over that “the Lord your God is the one who executes justice for the orphan and widow, and who loves the stranger, providing them food and clothing.”  When the Israelites take up their harvest, they are charged to leave some “for the alien, the orphan and widow, so that the Lord shall bless your undertakings…. Remember that you were a slave [and an alien] in Egypt.” (6) It gets even more explicit, “‘Cursed be anyone who deprives the alien, the orphan, and the widow of justice.’ Let all the people say, ‘Amen!’”

The prophets continue the litany, ‘care for the widow and orphan, and the stranger or alien in your midst, for you were strangers in Egypt.’ Those who seek God’s blessing will not find it unless they remember the alien and the sojourner, the migrant who needs justice.
Right and true words, indeed.  Borders are artificial constructs by which the powers attempt to order the lives of people, often for the named purposes of safety and security.

H/T to Andrew Gerns at The Lead.

STORY OF THE DAY - SINGLE MIND

If I love you with all my heart, she said, 
what will you give me? & then she 
stopped & said I didn't have to answer 
that because she was going to do it 
anyway.
I love this story.

From StoryPeople.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

SPEAKS FOR ITSELF


YOM HASHOAH

Holocaust Memorial Museum - Replica of a boxcar used to transport prisoners

Yom Hashoah is Holocaust Remembrance Day.  Counterlight has a terrific post with pictures on the Shoah and its history on his blog, Counterlight's Peculiars.

Prayer by Elie Wiesel
I no longer ask you for either happiness or paradise; all I ask of You is to listen and let me be aware of Your listening.
I no longer ask You to resolve my questions, only to receive them and make them part of You.
I no longer ask You for either rest or wisdom, I only ask You not to close me to gratitude, be it of the most trivial kind, or to surprise and friendship. Love? Love is not Yours to give.
As for my enemies, I do not ask You to punish them or even to enlighten them; I only ask You not to lend them Your mask and Your powers. If You must relinquish one or the other, give them Your powers. But not Your countenance.
They are modest, my requests, and humble. I ask You what I might ask a stranger met by chance at twilight in a barren land.
I ask you, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to enable me to pronounce these words without betraying the child that transmitted them to me: God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, enable me to forgive You and enable the child I once was to forgive me too.
I no longer ask You for the life of that child, nor even for his faith. I only beg You to listen to him and act in such a way that You and I can listen to him together.
They are modest, my prayers, and humble. I ask You what I might ask a stranger met by chance at twilight in a barren land.
I ask You, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to enable me to pronounce these words without betraying the child that transmitted them to me. God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, enable me to forgive You and enable the child I once was to forgive me too.
I no longer ask You for the life of that child, nor even for his faith. I only implore You to listen to him and act in such a way that You and I can listen to him together.
From On Being Blog.

 Picture from Wikipedia.

MANNA FROM HEAVEN

Manna from Heaven; Maciejowski Bible, 13th century.

Exodus 16:10-22a
And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. The LORD spoke to Moses and said, “I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’”

In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat. This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Gather as much of it as each of you needs, an omer to a person according to the number of persons, all providing for those in their own tents.’” The Israelites did so, some gathering more, some less. But when they measured it with an omer, those who gathered much had nothing over, and those who gathered little had no shortage; they gathered as much as each of them needed. And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over until morning.” But they did not listen to Moses; some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul. And Moses was angry with them. Morning by morning they gathered it, as much as each needed; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.

On the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, two omers apiece.
From Bro Cuthbert at St Cuthbert's Cottage:
To each of us God gives riches that we may enhance by squandering on those who need us.

Br. Eldridge Pendleton 
Society of Saint John the Evangelist
Image from The Daily Office.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

THE ANGLICAN COVENANT - GET THE GAYS

Lisa Fox at My Manner of Life posted a splendid letter from the Diocese of Rupert's Land in the Anglican Church of Canada on the Anglican Covenant.  We all know that the roots of the covenant are in the Windsor Report.  The letter spells out plainly and clearly what many of us well know to be true but continue to tiptoe gingerly around.
Finally, of course we are aware of the reason that this document has been born, but on which the document is entirely silent, namely, the matter of gay and lesbian persons’ rights in regard to marriage, ordination and consecration.
Yes.  Further, Lisa says:
I appreciate the observation that the people who forced the Anglican Covenant are silent on the bigotry that spawned it -- namely, their hatred of gay/lesbian people and our relationships. Thank you, Rupert's Land, for pointing to that. Many of us point to the ugly heritage of racism in our history. Someday, I hope the proponents of the Anglican Covenant will be named as the bigots they are. Their supposedly Biblical hatred of gay men and lesbians is the veneer behind which they hide. One day, they will be remembered alongside the bigots who repressed the Africans in South Africa and the African-Americans in the U.S. South. 
The two statements point out that the original intent of the covenant was to 'get the gays',  and 'get' TEC for ordaining a gay bishop, and 'get' the Anglican Church of Canada for allowing same-sex blessings, though you won't ever hear the proponents of the covenant say such a thing in public.

Read the whole of Lisa's post, which includes the entire text of the letter from the diocese. 

DIS ONE'S GOT THE CUTES


STORY OF THE DAY

Using the drama of the moment because 
otherwise there's not enough 
entertainment value in just listening to 
him.
Tee-hee.
From StoryPeople.

BEHIND THE SMOKE AND MIRRORS

Bosco Peters at Liturgy:
Recently all clergy received instructions from our diocesan office to read a letter aloud in every church building. This is a very rare event in our diocesan life. In this case the letter was doubly unusual. It is a letter from The Revd Canon Dr Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, asking for input into the process of seeking the next Archbishop of Canterbury, a process led by the Crown Nominations Commission of the Church of England.

Now I’m all for consultation, and I think this is kind of sweet (but please pewsitter number 3 out of 5 at Waikikamukau, don’t be naive enough to spend energy on preparing a submission thinking that this will influence the decision-making processes in the rooms and lavatories where the Crown Nominations Commission meets). But the real reason I was surprised was best articulated by an insightful friend of mine.

The subliminal message of “international consultation” for the Archbishop of Canterbury is an attempt to shift ecclesiology towards Anglicanism being a worldwide church. This is the ecclesiology undergirding the “Anglican Covenant”.
The title of the post is "The Archbishop of Canterbury hath no jurisdiction in this realm"Bosco is spot on.  The archbishop hath no jurisdiction beyond his realm of the Church of England.  What the Secretary General of the ACO seems to be attempting is the putting-the-facts-on-the-ground strategy.  We are all one church, and all the provinces in the communion will have the opportunity to weigh in and offer opinions on who should be chosen as the next Archbishop of Canterbury.  Say it often enough, and it will be so.  Balderdash!

The post at Liturgy is well worth reading in it's entirety, as Bosco reveals the scene behind the smoke and mirrors.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

WILL IT PLAY IN PEORIA?

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky's sermon at St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral in Peoria, Illinois, preceding 'A Call to Catholic Men' march. 



For 2,000 years the enemies of Christ have certainly tried their best. But think about it. The Church survived and even flourished during centuries of terrible persecution, during the days of the Roman Empire.

The Church survived barbarian invasions. The Church survived wave after wave of Jihads. The Church survived the age of revolution. The Church survived Nazism and Communism. And in the power of the resurrection, the Church will survive the hatred of Hollywood, the malice of the media, and the mendacious wickedness of the abortion industry.


The Church will survive the entrenched corruption and sheer incompetence of our Illinois state government, and even the calculated disdain of the President of the United States, his appointed bureaucrats in HHS, and of the current majority of the federal Senate.


May God have mercy especially on the souls of those politicians who pretend to be Catholic in church, but in their public lives, rather like Judas Iscariot, betray Jesus Christ by how they vote and how they willingly cooperate with intrinsic evil.


As Christians we must love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, but as Christians we must also stand up for what we believe and be ready to fight to defend our faith. The days in which we live now require heroic Catholicism, not casual Catholicism. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead be Catholics by conviction.


In our own families, in our parishes, where we live and where we work – like that very first apostolic generation – we must be bold witnesses to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We must be a fearless army of Catholic men, ready to give everything we have for the Lord, who gave everything for our salvation.


Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like those first disciples before the Resurrection locked together in the Upper Room.


In the late 19th century, Bismark waged his “Kulturkamf,” a culture war against the Roman Catholic Church, closing down every Catholic school and hospital, convent and monastery in Imperial Germany. Clemenceau, nicknamed “the priest eater,” tried the same thing in France in the first decade of the 20th Century.


Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.


In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, President Obama – with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.


Now things have come to such a pass in our beloved country that this is a battle that we could lose, but before the awesome judgement seat of Almighty God this is not a war where any believing Catholic may remain neutral.
Note that the sermon is directed to men.

Note the battlefield rhetoric: fight to defend our faith, a fearless army of Catholic men, this is a battle that we could lose, this is not a war where any believing Catholic may remain neutral. 

Note the analogies to Hitler and Stalin.

Is this how Bishop Jenky loves his enemies?

The Catholic Post says that the men demonstrated their fearlessness by standing in the rain for a 30 minute program.  Clearly these men are ready for battle.

Thanks to Ann V for the link.

STEPPED IN IT


KASPERSKY HELP!

I renewed my Kaspersky Anti-Virus on my desktop last month, but the credit card charge did not go through, and they notified me a few days ago, one month later.  I've used the credit card successfully at other vendors several times with no problems, but yesterday I renewed the service once again with a different card.  I forgot to remove the old expired version of Kaspersky from my computer, so the download did not complete.  My fault.

I removed the old version and tried every way I knew to find the button to attempt the download again with no success.  I contacted customer service several times.  I received a response telling me they had my email and would be in touch, but I've heard nothing, nada, rien du tout since night before last.  So, I've paid for the virus protection, but it is not functioning.  Thank goodness I ordered the CD version, which should arrive in the mail shortly, because I don't know where I'd turn next. with such unresponsive and unhelpful customer service.

Hey, Kaspersky!  You can do better.  Next time I'll buy another anti-virus.