Friday, August 31, 2007

Father Matthew Does L.A.

Just got word this week that our Fall Clergy Conference here in the Good Old Diocese of Los Angeles will feature none other than our favorite video blogging priest ...

(From the diocesan website:) Matthew Moretz is the creator of Fr. Matthew Presents, a video blog on where he dishes out religious and social commentary in humor-wrapped video shorts set to a backdrop of edgy rock music. While he goes about entertaining people, Moretz hopes to spread faith teachings and draw people back to the church.

“On a national level, we are seeing more priest who are in the millennial and Gen X age who are taking advantage of this mode of communication,” said Robert Williams, communications director for the Episcopal Church National Office and former director of communications for the diocese of Los Angeles.

But Moretz’s work is unique in its fusion of faith and humor. His video blog has drawn fan e-mails from throughout the United States and abroad, and at least two other churches have tried to duplicate his efforts.
VERY Cool!!!

Prayers for Diana, Princess of Wales

1961 - 1997

God our Father, we remember before you Diana, Princess of Wales, and offer you our gratitude for all the memories of her that we treasure still. Her vulnerability and her willingness to reach out to the excluded and forgotten touched us all; her generosity gave hope and joy to many. May she rest in peace where sorrow and pain are banished, and may the everlasting light of your merciful love shine upon her; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The prayer was penned by the Archbishop of Canterbury -- and prayed today by countless people around the world who today remembered the "the people's princess" on this the 10th (Oh my goodness, where did the years go?) anniversary of her untimely death.

I was one of those who set the alarm and got up in the middle of the night to watch the fairy tale "wedding of the century" when Diana Spencer married her Prince Charming. I was pregnant with Jamie when she was expecting Prince William and Brian was born just months from Prince Harry. I guess it's the nature of celebrity that we think we "know" people who are in the limelight but the deep chord her death struck in so many, many people around the world was a real examplar of how "those whose lives are closely linked to ours" has come to mean something very different in this world of instant communication and and 24/7 media.
Rest in peace, Diana -- and rise in glory.

Breaking Marriage Equality News From IOWA (That hotbed state of progressive liberalism)

DES MOINES (Reuters) - Gay couples lined up before dawn on Friday to apply for marriage licenses after an Iowa judge scuttled the state's law against same-sex marriage ... Judge Robert Hanson of the Polk County District triggered the license land rush when he ruled on Thursday that Iowa's law restricting marriage to a man and a woman was unconstitutional. His ruling faces appeals by state officials who want it reversed, but in the meantime the window was open. Read the rest here.

Des Moines. Iowa. The heartland of America. Imagine. And give thanks!


And yes, ... of course it was too good to last: County stops taking same-sex marriage applications

Time for Gomez to join Gonzales and GO!!!

Resignation is all the rage in Washington this week -- with Alberto Gonzalez FINALLY stepping down, Tony Snow leaving the White House press staff and don't even get me started on Larry Craig.

Now it's catching on in church circles as The Anglican Centrist and PRELUDIUM are both calling for Archbishop Drexel Gomez to do the right thing (I know, what are the odds???) and step down as head of the Anglican Covenant Design Group.

Why? Glad you asked ... Let's start the "centrist" position:
As much as I am a Windsor type of Anglican/Episcopalian -- and in fact because I am -- I don't want to be seeing the person in charge of the Covenant Design Group preaching at a schismatic event. This is the last nail in the coffin in which his credibility is buried -- as far as I or any other Windsor-minded true centrist is concerned. Yes, we recognize the need for a way forward, yes we recognize the Episcopal Church is a mess, yes, so is the wider Communion, and yes, we think the Windsor report and process were the best way forward. The constant work at undermining the process toward reconciliation, however, has been done unrelentingly by the far right -- unrelentingly -- and whatfew piddling objections have been offered by the far left -- do not compare to what works of schism and realignment the Separatist faction hath done in the past three years.
Well said!
But wait ... there's more! Here's Mark Harris on the same topic:

At the ordinations of Bishops Atwood and Murdoch in Kenya Thursday August 30 the Archbishop was preacher. One assumes he preached from a supportive position. I presume he took part in the laying on of hands. His participation in these ordinations makes it clear that he has moved on from any thought that the current Province called The Episcopal Church will continue as part of the Communion. These bishops will join with the Common Cause Partnership in September and will be working out plans for an emerging entity that will claim to be the “real” Anglican province in North America. Who knows if they can pull it off, but if they do they will be looking for a covenant that TEC could not possibly sign precisely so that they will be seen to replace the no longer orthodox province of The Episcopal Church.

That being the case, he should resign as chair of the Covenant Design Group (CDG) or should be asked to go. That group is responsible for the difficult but important work of developing a covenant or charter for life together in the Anglican Communion, one which would challenge the church to mission and define with greater clarity what is required of member churches concerning mutuality and interdependence.

How can the Archbishop, in good conscience, return to the tasks of the Covenant Design Group having made it increasingly impossible for that work to proceed, even for the next year?

The question for the Archbishop is this: Have you no sense of honor? If you do, it is time to keep it intact.


(My thoughts????)


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Komments on Kenya

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi consecrated two conservative American priests as bishops on Thursday to lead U.S. congregations who have split from the Episcopal Church over its stand on homosexuality. Read the Reuters report here.

The consecrations today are one more sad indication of just how far those committed to splitting the Episcopal Church are willing to go to acheive their goal of a church created in their own image.

Bill Murdoch is reported to have said, "This is a missionary action brought to this point by four years of frustration." The very idea that four years of "frustration" on the part of a small percentage of the American Conservative Fringe justifies the consecration of bishops across national church boundaries with the express intention of using them as intercontinental ballistic weapons of schism and division is a shocking abandonment of all that is genuinely Anglican Traditionalism.

In point of fact, this schism has much more than four years in the works -- I believe it is, in fact, the schism they couldn't pull off in 1976 over the ordination of women. The Episcopal Church survived the saber rattling of the seventies and it will survive the schism mongering of these times as well.

But on the second anniversary of Katrina, with a war still waging in Iraq, and new staggering numbers of children without health care in this nation, I believe the fact that Bill Murdoch's "frustration" at being on the losing side of the theological debate -- over whether or not all of the baptized are entitled to be fully included in the Body of Christ -- manifests itself in the episcopal power grab we saw today grieves the heart of God.
Jesus said, "Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these" you have done my will, not "Inasmuch as you have excluded the gay of these."

As the nominations for bishop in the Diocese of Chicago this week demonstrate, the Episcopal Church is not going to turn back on its commitment to serve the Gospel as it lives into its mission and ministry.

There is much on the list of things to rejoice and be glad in on this day that the Lord has made. The consecrations in Kenya are NOT on that list!
Press Reports:
Michael Paulson (Boston Globe), Consecration in Kenya widens rift

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Prayers Ascending for Katrina Victims Two Years Later

(NYT) New Orleans hardly needs an anniversary to help it recall a disaster that upended the life of virtually every resident. Read the rest here ... and keep all those who continue to be impacted by Katrina these two long years later -- in both Louisana AND Mississippi [update: AND Alabama ... in fact, the whole Gulf Coast!] -- in your prayers.

+ + +

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

Comments du jour

So it was 102 here in Pasadena today (ick!) and it was a hit-and-miss kind of day in blogdom. We were without internet, television OR telephone for most of the day (don't even get me started on the customer service department for our cable provider!) and so rather than blog surfing I did some closet cleaning and book reading. (Actually, time very well spent in both regards.) That said, here's what else I had to comment on now that cable is back up and running:


Here's what I had to say about the "Chicago Five" in response to Fr. Jake's question: "What do you know about any of these priests?"

I have to admit, I'm feeling about the Chicago election the way I am about the Democratic Primary field: it's thrilling to have more than one horse to root for in the race!

Tracey and I worked together on the "via media" video teaching series and she offers some extraordinary insight into her faith and journey and vision for the church in the "Bible" and "Holy Spirit" segments. If you've got access to "via media" check it out.

Margaret has done an extraordinary job at 815 at the "women's desk" and has been a strong, prophetic voice with the Urban Caucus for much longer than she looks old enough to have been at it.

Jane has been a strong, valiant ally at General Conventions past and my most recent experience of her was watching her both mentor and appreciate her son who was part of the youth delegation and who spoke eloquently at several of the open hearings. You gotta admire a woman who can raise a kid like that while leading a parish and doing her part to change the world!

Tim was Associate Rector at All Saints Church under George Regas ... although I did not work with him as an ASC colleague we were clergy colleagues here in L.A. before he left for Philadelphia in 1999 and he is a great preacher and prophetic leader who would be a strong addition to the House of Bishops and a great pastor for Chicago.

Jeffrey is the only one I don't know personally but I own his "Prayer Book Book" and appreciate his scholarship.

For what it's worth I think the job of the rest of us is now to get out of the way and let the good people of the Diocese of Chicago listen to the Holy Spirit as they discern which of these GREAT candidates will make the BEST bishop for their diocese.


I loved this comment from "Josh Indiana" also over on Fr. Jake:

Tracey Lind's consenting to pitch her tent next to Gene Robinson is a remarkable act of faith and courage. For the next two months at least, maybe for years, she will be subject to scrutiny and vilification. All over America are headlines, "Lesbian priest nominated..."

Her nomination sends a message to him, the people of New Hampshire and the worldwide Anglican Communion: he is not alone.

It says the same thing to persecuted Gays in Nigeria, Uganda and smalltown Illinois. God bless Tracey, the Diocese of Chicago and Bill Persell.


Then there's David Virtue -- who I rarely read and less often quote -- but this one was forwarded to me with a query whether or not his description of Integrity's "strategy" for the House of Bishops Meeting in New Orleans was accurate.


Now, anybody who would ask a question like that about what David Virtue writes would probably also ask "is the Pope Catholic?" and not really know the answer. "David" and "accurate" in the same sentence are what we call "oxymoron."

But, for the record, here's the quote: "Their strategy: Be respectful, do not make threats, share your personal story and be brief. Under no circumstances are you to cite Scripture and for goodness sake don't publicly whack Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola."

Respectful non-threatening story telling is a good start. And then, actually, we're big on citing Scripture, folks. Psalm 84:11 is a fav. So is Luke 18:1-8. And Luke 4:14-21. All good. Add your own. Cite away. And as for +Peter Akinola, he's got his hands full at the moment looking for his credibility. No whacking necessary.


Meanwhile, Mark Harris continues the conversation about Peter Ould's violent video over at PRELUDIUM. Interesting to see how much energy there is out there. I was particularly intrigued by Anne Kennedy's description of her understanding of her Holy Orders:

I have written extensively about this on my own blog and my husband has written about it on SF. In any case, my position is called Limited WO. Women can be ordained to the presbyterate so long as they serve under the authority of a male rector. They may not be bishops.

Mind officially boggled on this one, folks. Honest to Pete -- I'll get back to you.


The most interesting comment on the video per se was from an email correspondent who wrote:

I find it ironic that the video vividly depicts the martyrdom of Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer for refusing to accept the authority of the Pope while urging the HOB to acquiesce to yielding authority to a central governing body.

All of this brings me back to one of my favorite quotes from the former Bishop of Arizona, Robert Shahan:

Faith is what you're willing to die for.

Dogma is what you're willing to kill for.

I remember being taught as a WEE little Episcopalian that the reason we were so special (and of course we thought we were!) was that our forefathers (and they would have called the forefathers back when I was a wee Episcopalian!) put an end to burning each other at the stake over whether they'd be Protestant or Catholic and decided we could be both. That, I was told, was the Holy Spirit inspiring the Elizabethan Compromise and THAT, boys and girls, is what we mean when we talk about the "via media."

Who ever IMAGINED that we'd be seeing videos glorifying the martyrdom of Christians burning Christians at the stake as something our own bishops should "go and do likewise."

I think the time honored Episcopal term for that is "RUBBISH!"

And now for something completely different ...

Larry Craig on "nasty boy" Bill Clinton:

Bless his heart ...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Bishop for Chicago

As the news settles in that the Diocese of Chicago has actually gone ahead and fielded an exemplary slate of fabulous candidates to serve as their next bishop the "usual suspects" are rattling the "usual sabers."
The Chicago Tribune headline gets the award for most understated subtitle:

Lesbian priest makes list for Chicago bishop:
Episcopalians have mixed opinions
"Mixed opinions" about covers it, eh???
I am allowing myself to be amused that over at Stand Firm (the site a clever colleague calles "Bullies On Viagra") the anti-feminist venom being unleashed on Margaret Rose actually trumps the homophobic reaction to Tracey Lind. Commenters are wondering whether any of the candidates are "actually Christians" and titusonenine is all a twitter.
Elizabeth Kaeton offers her reflections -- "A Trinity of Women" -- with some great "get to know the candidates" stuff and now CNN has the story along with this Chicago Tribune article which I think deserves a nominiation for most understated headline subtitle:
Lesbian priest makes list for Chicago bishop:
Episcopalians have mixed opinions
"Mixed opinions" about covers it, eh???
In the "from the horses' mouths" department here's a letter from Tracey Lind to her cathedral congregation ...

... and here's a video of Tim Safford preaching at All Saints Church in Pasadena last Sunday. (I had trouble getting it to play through: maybe it will work for you!)

Meanwhile, here's the prayer we would ALL do well to pray along with the good people of Chicago as they seek a faithful bishop, pastor and leader for their diocese:

Almighty God, prosper with your blessing the mission and ministry of our diocese. You have blessed us with the ministry of the Rt. Rev. William Persell. We thank you for his ministry to us as chief pastor and leader in the Church. Stir up in us the grace and power of your Spirit, as we begin the search for our next Bishop. Give to our search committee inquiring and discerning hearts, that they may clearly see your will. Give us all the courage to dream and the will to persevere to make those dreams a reality. Fill us with your Holy Spirit and ground us in the knowledge and love of you. Empower us with the gifts of joy and wonder as we seek out the special ministry you have for us together in our diocese; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Diocese of Chicago announced this morning their slate of five candidates for the 12th Bishop of Chicago.

They are:
The Rev. Jane S. Gould, Priest-in-Charge / Rector, St. Stephen’s Memorial Episcopal Church, Lynn, Mass.
The Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee, Rector, St. Thomas Church, Medina, Wash.
The Very Rev. Tracey Lind, Dean, Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland, Ohio
The Rev. Margaret R. Rose, Director of Women's Ministries, The Episcopal Church
The Rev. Timothy B. Safford, Rector, Christ Church, Philadelphia


And here is the Integrity Press Release sent out regarding the Chicago announement:

August 28, 2007
Integrity Responds to List of Candidates for Bishop of Chicago

“The big news today is that discernment has trumped discrimination in the Diocese of Chicago,” said Integrity President Susan Russell. “The inclusion of the Very Rev. Tracey Lind on the list of five extraordinarily qualified candidates for Bishop of Chicago is a bold step forward and a sign of hope and encouragement not only to LGBT Episcopalians but to the whole church. Her experience and leadership make her an excellent candidate and Integrity applauds the Diocese of Chicago for not allowing the forces advocating bigotry over ability to dominate their nomination process.

It is long past time for the Episcopal Church to acknowledge that B033 -- the 2006 resolution designed to prevent the election of a gay or lesbian bishop – has failed in its attempt to balance the unity of the Anglican Communion on the backs of the LGBT faithful. There is no turning back on the full inclusion of the baptized into the Body of Christ – only moving forward into God’s future as an Episcopal Church committed to mission and ministry, to unity in diversity.

Integrity extends congratulations to all the candidates, any one of whom will make a fine bishop for the Episcopal Church. The Diocese of Chicago’s diverse list of qualified candidates is a sign of the end the ‘season of fasting’ at the expense of the vocations of gays and lesbians in the Episcopal Church and the whole church should rejoice and be glad in that!

(The Reverend) Susan Russell, President

Tuesday Morning Bits & Pieces

Mark Harris has an important reflection online this morning -- Never Again the burning stake and condemnation -- critiquing the violent glorification of martyrdom "now showing" over at Stand Firm. Mark's eloquent words stand for themselves but I also want to note the introduction penned by Stand Firmite Greg Griffith:

Peter Ould puts together a powerful montage ... seeing as how so many TEC bishops seem to have been chosen from the winners of sissy contests, I'm not sure how well they'll respond to it, but it can't hurt to try.

"Chosen from the winners of sissy contests?" I guess such blatant, sophomoric homophobia shouldn't surprise given the source but having just last night watched "For the Bible Tells Me So" which included the stories of young people driven to suicide by the messages of unworth and shame they heard from "the church" we are long past the point where perpetuating such destructive bigotry can be tolerated without challenge. Good for Mark for taking it on ... may others go and do likewise.


Speaking of "For the Bible Tells Me So" I just have this to say about that:

It opens in early October -- we got to see it as there was a limited Oscar qualification run here in Pasadena this week ... if you're "local" and can get there in the next couple of days it's at the Academy on Colorado Blvd. Anyway, it was great -- a wonderful combination of scholarship, witness and great story. Daniel Karlsake is to be congratulated -- as are the powerful voices represented in speaking their truth about God's presence and power and love in their lives.
That's it for now ... more to come later, perhaps!

Monday, August 27, 2007

And the award for best lead sentence in an editorial goes to ...

The House Lawyer Departs -- August 28 2007

"Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has finally done something important to advance the cause of justice. He has resigned." Read the rest here ...


For RonF ...

RonF ... a frequent commenter on this blog ... asked a question last week in reference to my "Man Behind the Curtain" analogy that didn't get answered. So here you go, Ron ... a little tutorial in Gay Culture-Speak:

Per your request for clarification "Friends of Dorothy" is code for ... to put it succinctly ... "gay."
It is reminiscent of when early Christians drew a fish in the dirt to "out" themselves and if another Christian recognized the symbol they knew it was a safe place. It's the kind of code that gets developed when people are forced to live in fear that if you REALLY knew who they were they would be in danger. It is not unlike the slaves who sang about the Promised Land and got away with it because their masters thought they were talking Bible when what they were really talking about was liberation. It's the kind of reference the oppressed recognize right away and the oppressors go "huh?"
Hope that helps.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Every once in awhile ...

... you actually find something useful on an "on the other side of the aisle" blog -- and today was my lucky day!

It's warm and muggy here today -- remnants of Hurricane Dean, I'm told, and some of us are napping ...

... and some of us are watching golf on TV and some of us are wandering around the internet just because we're not sleepy and we don't like golf and we're too lazy to go tackle the dozen or so things left of the "things to do when you have time on vacation" list.

So here's the piece of interest ... Greg Griffith's "Computer Security 101" which I found clear, lucid, helpful and clarifying.

So thanks, Greg. I can now say I know a lot more about the whys and wherefores of computer stuff than I did when I got up this morning.

Hope everybody else is having a relaxing weekend, too!
P.S. -- And no, I can't imagine what the annals of bonehead history bishop was thinking either ... my, my my!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sanity from across the pond

Keeping it in the family
The Anglican Communion is fractured beyond repair, but it could flourish as the ‘Anglican Family’, argues Robin Gill in the August 17th edition of THE CHURCH TIMES:

We need not strive for conformity. We can be free to explore shared convictions with like-minded family members around the world, without denigrating other members who do not share these convictions. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has wisely done this for years.

As a post-colonial Church, the Anglican Family would learn to move beyond power and authority — no more Lambeth Resolutions or Windsor Process. Instead, we might discover the joys of sharing and learning from different members of the same family. We might even rekindle some of the genuine family affection that I have seen so often in my travels. Be not afraid. We can indeed flourish as the Anglican Family.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Actually, we NEED to pay attention to the man behind the curtain!

It just gets curiouser and curiouser! The news -- noted on this blog yesterday, and all over the blogsphere today (titusonenine, Stand Firm, PRELUDIUM, The Episcopal Majority, and Ekklesia to name a few!) that the "Agonizing Journey Letter" sent out by Archbishop Akinola a while back tuns out to be what we might call "deutero-Akinola" (with Martyn Minns' cyber fingerprints all over it) has unleashed quite the flurry of commentary.

The most predictable, of course, were the immediate knee-jerk accusations of racist implications -- which are utter poppycock. NOBODY said Archbishop Akinola wasn't "smart enough" to have written the letter -- what they're saying is the evidence points to the fact that he didn't.

And why does that matter? The most clarifying comment I read this morning in that regard come from Fr. Jake's "Why the Fuss over a Ghostwriter?":

I really didn't think it would be necessary to explain to some folks why it is worth noting that a statement to the Church of Nigeria was authored by a bishop sitting in Virginia. Apparently, the implications are not as obvious as I assumed they would be. What this reveals is what many have suspected for some time; that it is Western conservatives who are behind the extreme positions that are being presented as the position of the Global South.

And there you have it. Have the last ten years been in many ways an "agonizing journey" for Anglicans? You bet they have! But let's give credit where credit is due and that credit goes not go to faithful gay and lesbian people trying to live out their lives and vocations in the context of Christian community. The credit goes to those insisting that "compliance" to their theological perspective is the sole criterion for communion -- that credit goes to the "men behind the curtain."

So forgive us "Dorothys" our moment of glee at the rest of the world glimpsing for a moment the truth we've known for years: this "schism" has been designed, initiated and implemented by those committed to splitting apart the church they have been unsuccessful in recreating in their own image and Martyn Minns is among them.

I'll see Akinola's (or Minns'!) "agony" at having their hermeneutic disagreed with and raise them sacramental apartheid being perpetuated against a percentage of the baptized by an institutional church supposedly committed to being the Body of Christ in the World.

The REAL agony is the scapegoating of the LGBT faithful for a schism manufactured by the "man behind the curtain" and the real tragedy is the work church is NOT doing because it continues to prioritize institutional unity over mission and ministry. It is well past time for us to journey past this impasse. Here's hoping getting one man out from behind the curtain will be a step in that direction.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

"Troops Out" on Warner's Christmas List

Washington Post reports:

Warner Calls for Pullouts By Winter

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sen. John W. Warner, one of the most influential Republican voices in Congress on national security, called on President Bush yesterday to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq in time for Christmas as a new intelligence report concluded that political leaders in Baghdad are "unable to govern effectively."

Good for him!


UPDATE FROM WASHINGTON - The Associate Press is reporting:

Sen. John Warner's suggestion that some troops leave Iraq by the end of the year has roiled the White House, with administration officials saying they've asked the influential Republican to clarify that he has not broken politically with President Bush.

But Warner said Friday he stands by his remarks and that he took no issue with how his views have been characterized.

"I'm not going to issue any clarification," Warner, R-Va., said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I don't think any clarification is needed."

DOUBLE Good for him!!

Wading back into the blogosphere ...

Having spent yesterday obsessing about downed helicopters and today recovering from the migraine that slammed me once I knew Jamie was OK I've ventured this afternoon back into blogland as Louise went off to see the Bourne Something-or-the-other movie which is a sequel to a bunch of other movies I didn't see either, the dogs are too lazy to even want to play or chase a ball and there isn't even a DODGER game on TV!

So ... over at THE CHURCH TIMES it seems that the recent "Agonizing Journey" missive ostensibly from Archbishop Akinola had somebody else's fingerprints all over it ... "Software suggests Minns rewrote Akinola’s letter" is the title of the article by Pat Ashworth leading to the conclusion: The Bishop of Botswana, the Rt Revd Trevor Musonda Mwamba, has expressed reservations about the tone and style of pronouncements in the past, which have purportedly come from African bishops.

"Purportedly" seems to be the operative word!

“Up till now the loud voices in Africa have threatened the Anglican Communion with schism, insisting that some provinces be expelled from our worldwide fellowship. Yet such voices, because of the very diversity and strength of the Anglican Church in Africa, could be playing a reconciling role.” The voice of the majority of Africa’s 37 million Anglicans had been “eclipsed by the intensity of sounds on opposing sides of the debate”.

Thanks to Thinking Anglicans for the link to this illustration du jour:

"Come thou long expected Schism" indeed!

And then there's this comment just in from Episcopal Cafe: The significance of this development lies less in the fact that Akinola has a ghostwriter--The leaders of many organizations, ecclesial and secular have staff members who handle writing assignments for them -- than that what has long been portrayed as the authentic voice of African Anglicanism is, manifestly, not African, and perhaps never has been.

This revelation is likely to damage Akinola's
already sagging prestige in Nigeria, where he may now be perceived as a mouthpiece for wealthy Westerners. And it is likely to damage his credibility with his fellow Primates, who were already weary of his practice of interupting their meetings to take counsel from Minns and Sugden.


Happily, "in other news" as they say, the clever, faithful, odds-are-never-used-ghostwriter-in-her-life Marilyn McCord Adams offers "A SHAMELESS DEFENSE OF A LIBERAL CHURCH" which is WELL worth reading ... here's a taste:

Liberals refuse to let Scripture and/or tradition decide the issue in the face of reasoned experience of abuse and degradation. And it is precisely this sort of argument that liberals find telling, where issues of gender and sexuality are concerned. Taboos against homosexuals do psycho-spiritual violence to gay and lesbian persons. ‘Don’t ask/don’t tell’ represses creativity and fosters psycho-spiritual fragmentation. Church policy that uses gay and lesbian clergy while forcing closeting and all the while threatening career-breaking ‘outing’ at any time, is abusive.

Treating women as second class citizens, frustrating the expression of their gifts within the Church is likewise abusive. Demanding that women appear smaller than they are--gays and lesbians, otherwise than they are--so that others can feel as big or secure or comfortable as they feel they need to be--this is paradigm-case abusive. Liberals conclude it therefore has to stop, no matter what Scripture and tradition or any other ideology appear to say. Biblical homophobia and sexism--like child sacrifice and slavery--are easily dismissed as cultural blind-spots, unless one shares them. For faithful liberals who wrestle with God all the way through Scripture and tradition, that is the bottom line!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Email from Iraq

From: Jim Russell
Subject: I'm fine
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 01:35:52 +0400

dear mom
i'm fine. i dont't know what stuff has hit the news, but it wasn't anyone in our unit, though it still really sucks. i'll talk to you soon.


Thanks so much to everyone for your prayers. Praying now for the families who won't be getting good news today and for ALL those in harm's way -- especially our armed forces:
Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be;through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

No, we haven't heard anything yet ...

... thanks to everyone for the prayers and emails.

NYTimes Reports:
14 U.S. Soldiers Dead in Copter Crash in Iraq

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

How low will the Schism Mongers sink?

It's a good question ... and the kind one asks with a certain measure of fear-and-trembling because one doesn't REALLY want to know the answer.

Recent case in point: David Anderson's rant on the Apostate American Episcopal Church which included this "accusation" in the laundry list of our crimes against the Anglican Orthodox State:

It is not just the top level of TEC's leadership that has theologically and spiritually gone astray. The Rev. James Knowles of Grace Church in Syracuse, New York, during a service in 2005 dipped an eagle feather into cedar ashes and brushed the smoke towards worshippers and asked the congregation to face the four cardinal points as he read a prayer praising the sun, the moon, the alligator and the turtle. I imagine they skipped the creed at that service.


Here's the "back story" from an email I received yesterday:
"I went back to Anderson's article and caught that the Native American smudging ceremony happened to occur in my diocese (CNY). I was curious about the context in which it occurred and started googling. No surprise but Mr. Anderson certainly distorted what reportedly occurred. While he left an unspoken implication that the ceremony occurred inside the church and perhaps even at the altar right before the Eucharist (note the crack about no creed likely was used), even the free excerpt from the archived newspaper reports something quite different:"


From: The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY)
Date: April 17, 2005
Byline: Renee K. Gadoua Staff writer

The Rev. James Knowles, of Oklahoma, dipped an eagle feather into a small pot of burning cedar Saturday and brushed the smoke toward worshippers gathered outside Syracuse's Grace Episcopal Church. "It's just a way to recognize cleansing," Knowles told about 80 people who stood in the garden of the church at 819 Madison St. After walking among the crowd for the traditional Native American smudging ceremony, Knowles asked the people to face east to begin a prayer to the four directions ...


My email correspondent went on to say: "Now I haven't checked with anyone involved, but there is also this pdf document on the event available online which shows that it was all about dedicating a stained glass window in the name of David Pendleton Oakerhater, a Native American who was an Episcopalian, who was baptized and ordained deacon in the Syracuse area, who returned West and, among other things, founded Christian missions. He was recognized as a saint by the church at GC 1985. (And pictured above in a stained glass window from St. George's, Dayton OH)

Anderson's statement "The Rev. James Knowles of Grace Church in Syracuse, New York, during a service in 2005...." erroneously suggests that a priest "of Grace Church" was officiating, when in fact he was visiting from a mission church in Oklahoma. Needless to say, whether it occurred outside or inside, to suggest that any of this reflects some kind of regular or irregular liturgical practice in the Episcopal Church is nonsense, and it is horrific (though not surprising) that Anderson would slander the commemoration of Oakerhater and the stained glass windows in Grace Church in order to advance his political agenda in England.

Don't know if any of this matters much now, but I thought I'd bring it to your attention in case you did not know it already."


Yes, yes I think it DOES matter. I think it matters because for too long well meaning folk in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion have allowed the architects of this looming Schism to represent fiction as fact, to slander, lie and misrepresent the truth of our corporate lives as members of this Episcopal Body of Christ and to bring into being the very rupture of the Communion they are now bewailing.

I think it matters because I believe the time has come to draw a stark, marked, clear distinction between faithful members of church-at-large with differences on matters theological trying to work to stay together in relationship in spite of those differences and the Schism Mongers who have been orchestrating this rupture of the Anglican Communion for the last decade and now want us to foot the bill for the sackcloth and ashes they wear in mourning for the rupture they have wrought.

It's like the old story of the man who killed both of his parents and then looked for sympathy because he was an orphan. The commentaries and comments on conservative blogs (and you know who you are) make it abundantly clear that there is NO room for reconciliation for those who profess the absolutist abberation of Anglicanism which David Anderson, sinking lower and lower all the time, defends as "Orthodoxy."

It is time for us to echo Mark Harris who is willing to call Rot when he sees Rot. It is time for us to speak out -- to step up -- to remind our bishops and our congregations and our clergy and and our colleagues that what unites us in Christ is far greater than that which divides us. Let those waiting for September 30th with the same sense of expectation the rest of us wait for Advent each year wait alone. Let the verses of their hymn -- "Come Thou Long Expected Schism" -- fall on deaf ears.

Come, Thou long expected Schism
Born to set Thy people free
From our fears of queers release us
As we quest for Purity.

CANA’s strength and consolation
Hope of homophobes thou art
Dear Desire of “Network” nations
Joy of every “Windsor” heart.

Reasserters you’ll deliver
As you split the church apart.
Come thou long expected schism
Let the glorious rupture start!

May our absolutist spirits
Rule not just our hearts alone
But exclude all who resist us
‘Til we capture Cantaur’s throne!

Make no mistake about it ... what they are after is not just the cleansing of the church of LGBT folk or women clergy or Native American smudging ceremonies. These are the people who believe the Archbishop of Canterbury is no long "necessary" for Anglicanism ... and it is truly hard to imagine how much lower they can sink than that.

Stay tuned!

Those whose lives are closely linked with ours

I've often thought when we pray that particular form of the Prayers of the People ... "for those whose lives are closely linked with ours" ... that for all its downsides the internet has certainly made it easier to STAY linked with those whose lives take them out of our incarnational social orbit.

For example, this week I got this picture -- taken of my son Jamie when he was about 13 or 14 on our family sail boat -- emailed from Stephen -- a former parishioner from St. Clare's, Rancho Cucamonga -- who had caught back up with us via this blog.

Small world, eh? And great picture, Stephen. THANKS!

So take a minute today, won't you, to give thanks for those whose lives are closedly linked with yours even if they're far away? Give thanks for the internet that gives us the chance to catch up, check in, follow up. But most of all give thanks for the love of the One who created us in love and then called us to walk in love ... for, ultimately, that's what links us ALL as part of this Big Fat Human Family!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

All Politics All the Time

I started to write about Archbishop Akinola's latest "reflections" but decided to leave that for another day. Instead, between the Iowa Debates, the ongoing mess in Iraq and Karl Rove's resignation there's plenty to chew on on the political front so I'm declaring today's blog:


  • The War As We See It
  • The Iowa Debates
  • Why Hillary Clinton Is Electable


The War As We See It

First up is The War As We See It -- sobering commentary about the realities of the war in Iraq by those who actually know what they're talking about: the troops on the ground. Bravo for these brave soldiers who are so articulately able to speak truth to the powers that keep them in harm's way for political rather than military reasons. From their New York Times op-ed:

... In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are — an army of occupation — and force our withdrawal.

Until that happens, it would be prudent for us to increasingly let Iraqis take center stage in all matters, to come up with a nuanced policy in which we assist them from the margins but let them resolve their differences as they see fit. This suggestion is not meant to be defeatist, but rather to highlight our pursuit of incompatible policies to absurd ends without recognizing the incongruities.
We need not talk about our morale. As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through.

God bless 'em!

The Iowa Debate

We watched the debate this morning. I was glad to see Bill Richardson recovered from the bout with foot-in-mouth that plagued him when they were here in L.A. ten days ago. Mostly I was encouraged that in spite of the efforts of the moderator to "get them going" at each other there was a united effort to stick to the issues and make their points -- sometimes agreeing with opponents and sometimes disagreeing. (What a concept, eh?)
One of my favorite moments was John Edwards naming the fact that every single one of the Democratic candidates would work to bring an end to the war in Iraq if elected. The question on the table isn't "if" the question is "how." And that ALONE is a source for encouragement and optimism. Another good bit was when Clinton addressed her "negatives" in the polls.
“I have been fighting against these people for longer than anybody else up here. I’ve taken them on and we’ve beaten them,” she said. “The idea that you’re going to escape the Republican attack machine and not have high negatives by the time they’re through with you, I think, is just missing what’s been going on in American politics for the last 20 years.”
Well done and Amen!
Which brings me to ...


Why Hillary Clinton IS Electable

I figured it out yesterday while we were watching a CNN report on Hurricane Dean looming off the Jamaican Coast. The reporter was talking wind gusts and the video showed a massive storm graphic but the "crawl" ... the "other news" that runs along the bottom of the screen ... kept repeating "Karl Rove says Hillary Clinton is unelectable."

Karl Rove -- arguably one of the most brilliant Republican strategists in the history of politics -- is using "unelectable" as his weapon du jour against the president-elect of his nightmares: Hillary Rodham Clinton. Why "unelectable" when there are SO many other places he could hit? Let's see:

"Karl Rove says Hillary Clinton is a big old liberal who will tax and spend America into the poor house."

"Karl Rove says Hillary Clinton is a femi-nazi manhater who shamelessly attacked America's cookie bakers and advocates socialized medicine."

"Karl Rove says Hillary Clinton is out of step with America's values and besides who wants to give Slick Willy another crack at the Oval Office?"

And we get none of the above. We get "Karl Rove says Hillary Clinton is unelectable."

And that's when I got it. Yesterday. Watching the crawl go past one more time on the CNN report on Hurricane Dean. All those other arguments are aimed at Rove's base -- at conservative Republicans who are never going to give Clinton a chance no matter what.

"Unelectable" is aimed at Democrats & Independents. At the people I have drinks and dinner and discussions with. At the ones who are terrified of another 2000 or 2004 election debacle and for whom another Bush-clone in the White House seems a Fate Worse Than Death. The ones who end every dinner table debate with "Yeah, well, whatever -- she isn't electable."

What I "got" was that the "Hillary Clinton is unelectable" argument has nothing to do with whether she's electable or not
-- it has to do with keeping her from getting nominated because it speaks to the deepest fears of those with the power to nominate her. And because Karl Rove may just be the most brilliant Republican strategist in the history of politics my gut tells me if he REALLY thought she was "unelectable" he'd be doing whatever he could to see that she WAS the Democratic nominee ... because who wouldn't want to run THEIR candidate against someone who was "unelectable?"

If Karl Rove ends up being a felon for his actions in the White House it won't surprise me. That Karl Rove would choose his words lightly or unadvisedly at this crucial point in an primary election campaign would surprise me.

Give the devil his due: he's smarter than that. And thanks to him I feel smarter already.

Thanks to Karl Rove I'm no longer worried that Hillary Clinton is "not electable." And what that does is free me to up to really LISTEN to her positions and her proposals and weigh them along with the other candidates. It gives me the freedom to look for the BEST from among a field of great candidates as I make up my own mind about who to vote for here in Calfornia on February 5th. And it gives me a whole new set of questions -- and answers! -- for those dinner table discussions.

So if you want to talk politics over dinner give me a call -- I'm your girl!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Report from Vacationland

It's been a quiet day in vacationland.

The dogs are enjoying having us home ...

... the cats don't seem to care. Much. And here are the ready to pick apples on our apple tree in the backyard -- which may be in a pie by this time tomorrow!

I did bestir myself enough to comment on the latest from David (still calling himself Canon for reasons known only to himself) Anderson over on Walking With Integrity ... he's appalled by our lack of orthodoxy. Whatever.
Meanwhile, last night we enjoyed our second-in-two-weeks film set in Paris: 2 Days in Paris. Definitely a winner.


More as it occurs to me. Happy Weekend, Everybody!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thirty Years Ago Today

So it's about 103 in Pasadena again today -- good weather for lolling around, reading, resting and basically waiting for it to cool off. Channel surfing I came across one-after-the-other "Tributes to the King" on this the 30th Anniversary of His Going to Glory. That of course would be ...

King Elvis
1935 - 1977
30 years later they're still lining up at Graceland on the anniversary of his death. Who knew? How about you? Anybody still remember where they were when they heard that Elvis had gone to glory? Was it a big deal or a footnote? And anybody else sitting there wondering where on EARTH those 30 years have gone?

Why Gay Marriage is Un-American!

Finally, some explanations that make sense!

1. Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

2. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4. Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6. Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

7. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

9. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


From 8/16/07 The Falls Church News Press article on the ongoing legal wranglings over church property in the Diocese of Virginia:

"It occurs to me that trying to take Episcopal Church property after you’ve left the Episcopal Church is like trying to take your office after you quit your job.”


From a recent sermon by the Most Reverend Alan Harper, the Archbishop of Armagh, Church of Ireland:

"Bibliolatry is a boulder threatening to obscure the dynamic and contemporary truth of the resurrection. It is also the mother of dogmatic fundamentalism. Love for the scriptures is tainted when scripture and not God becomes the object of worship."
From the Archbishop of York's response to reporter Stephen Crittenden's question, "If you're going to have an alternative Lambeth Conference, you can't pretend at the same time that you're not pushing the whole communion towards schism, can you?"
"You can't. You just can't."

Speaking of SIN ...

If you don't know about "Father Matthew Presents" you should -- and here's your introduction:

"Father Matthew Presents" is the You Tube series produced by the Reverend Matthew Moretz -- Curate of St. Paul's, Yonkers, NY -- exploring an ecclectic variety of theological issues through the accessible, amusing and engaging medium of short video presentations. Here's his latest -- posted August 12th -- on the ever popoular topic of SIN.

Take it away, Fr. Matthew:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The War Doesn't Go on Vacation

Welcome to my world!

So I step away from the computer and go to make room in the kitchen for picnic preparations for our evening foray to the Hollywood Bowl and CNN mentions ... in passing ... "five more American soldiers were killed today in a helicopter crash west of Baghdad ..."

So much for the picnic.

Get the laptop cranked back up. Go to Google News and key in "helicopter." Find Reuters report ... which includes the details " ... CH-47 Chinook helicopter." Jamie's in a Blackhawk. Breathe a sigh of relief that it isn't your kid. Deal with the pang of guilt that it's somebody else's. Pull out the prayerbook.


O God, whose days are without end, and whose mercies cannot be numbered: Make us, we pray, deeply aware of the shortness and uncertainty of human life; and let your Holy Spirit lead us in holiness and righteousness all our days; that, when we shall have served you in our generation, we may be gathered to our ancestors ... and into the arms of your loving embrace. Amen.

BITS & PIECES of the Vacation Variety

Settling in to the vacation routine ... which is to organize ourselves not to HAVE a routine! So while blogging on this site will therefore be sporadic between now and Labor Day I don't plan to get organized enough to disappear altogether.

We're off to the Hollywood Bowl tonight ... one of my FAVORITE summer things to do ... and tonight is "The Grand Tour: Paris"... our next-best-thing as an actual trip to Paris wasn't in the budget this year. So in a minute my attention will turn to putting together a picnic supper in sync with the music du jour (already picked out the wine -- a Chardonnay we like called "French Cat") but first here are a few "bits & pieces" that caught my attention whien I was getting caught up in blogland:


Thanks to Elizabeth Kaeton for her wonderful tribute to Rob DeWolfe over at Telling Secrets. What a true joy true friends are and what a blessing to be invited in to share that joy!


Douglas Hunter blogged in on our recent foray into "Lights, Camera, Action" and the documentary he's shooting over at The Hunter's Hodgepodge. "Film at Eleven" as they say ... and in this case, they really mean it!


Looks like I took a few hits in the comments over at The Huffington Post for my remarks about Kucinich's chances for the White House. Sure I'd like to see a president in favor of marriage equality, getting out of Iraq NOW and universal non-profit health care. But political realities -- whether we like them or not -- are political realities (in presidential AND ecclesial politics!) And Dennis Kucinich DOES have as much chance calling Bekins in January to move into 1600 Pennsylvania as I do calling a cab to take me over there for tea -- EVEN now that Rove is heading out to pasture.


Over at "Walking With Integrity" Louie Crew stepped up to respond to the Bay Windows op-ed a week-or-so ago which questioned (in light of the announcement that Lambda Legal was giving one of its "Liberty Awards" to an Episcopal priest ... me ...) why anybody would work within an oppressive system as messed up as the church is. Good question, actually. And Louie had some VERY good answers. Thank, Dr. Crew!


I loved the piece on marriage in the Victorian era ... posted over at Anglicans Online and then shared on Walking With Integrity. Here's the take-away-quote: If the Victorians — bless them — could carry on together, worshipping at one another's churches when travelling, sharing pulpits, maintaining collegial relationships and even attending Lambeth Conferences despite a clear and pronounced difference in theological understanding about sexual relationships, it's a strange curiosity that in our time we have grown more rigid and uncompromising.

Amen, Anglicans Online ... AMEN!

Finally, over at Titusonenine (I know, I know ... "moth to the flame" alert!) are all over the Presiding Bishop for this interview which includes her SHOCKINGLY un-Christian call to reconciliation and leads the commenters into slamming her CONTINUED insistance that supporting the MDGs is a means to live out Our Lord's proclamation of "The Year of the Lord's Favor." What on earth is this church coming to under the leadership of a seemingly unflappable proponent of the core Christian values of our baptismal covenant! Titusoneniners name it "to hell in a handbasket" but I'm sticking with the PB on this one: (to quote from her interview)

“We’ve learned to live with differences before and so I’m hopeful,” Jefferts Schori said.

So on that hopeful note, I'm off to play some Eidth Piaf as we pack a Paris-esque Picnic. Happy Tuesday, everybody!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Let the Vacation Begin!

Saturday was DAY ONE of Vacation 2007 ... will be back at All Saints after Labor Day. We've started off with a visit to the Santa Ynez Wine Country ... here's a little foretaste of the wine coutry banquet to come!

More later! (Meanwhile, Harvey & Luna are blogging on wine bottling in the wine country if anybody's interested.)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hits & Misses at the LGBT Candidate Forum

"Post-game" reports on the Visible Vote '08 Candidate Forum
You can watch the Headline News Segment here.

ABC News report called the forum
"a strikingly candid and revealing discussion."

“I screwed up,” Bill Richardson concluded
in a post-forum interview.

Finally, here are MY reflections -- "Hits & Misses" -- also available on The Huffington Post.

Stumbling to make separate sound like anything other than unequal the Democratic front-runners swore allegiance to civil unions for LGBT Americans in Thursday night’s HRC/Logo sponsored candidate forum. I was privileged to be in the studio audience for the historic gathering of presidential candidates addressing LGBT issues to an LGBT audience – an event hardly even imaginable an election or two ago. It was an honor to be there and one of the questions a reporter asked me afterwards was “did you hear anything new?”

What was new and important and worth celebrating, I believe, was the willingness of six leading Democratic candidates for President of the United States to address rather than dodge questions of concern to the LGBT community. Marriage Equality. Work place discrimination. “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” Hate Crimes. Yet I yearned to hear about the OTHER issues that impact LGBT Americans – the war in Iraq, global climate change, poverty and a sustainable economy to name a few.

For example, as the mother of a son on active duty in Iraq I would have loved to hear more of their plans for getting us out of Iraq! And so I left the forum thinking that the narrowness of the questions did not adequately represent the broadness of the concerns of LGBT Americans for the health, welfare and future of their country. I left simultaneously rejoicing in the “one giant step forward for ‘LGBTkind’” and sobered at how many steps forward we still need to go.

That said, what was also new was the clarity of the commitment to including LGBT Americans in the “liberty and justice for all” equation. Again and again ALL the candidates came back to fairness and equality for all Americans as a core value for them and for their campaign. And that is something to rejoice and be glad in.

What wasn’t new – or sadly, even surprising – was the bobbing and weaving around “The M Word”: Marriage. Gravel and Kucinich -- who have roughly the same chance of being elected as I have being invited for tea at the Bush White House – stepped up and called it like it is: equal rights for all Americans doesn’t mean marriage for some and unions for others. The others all had their hedges trimmed and ready to go: Richardson wants something “achievable,” Obama “isn’t there yet,” Edwards is “on a journey” and Clinton’s reasons were “personal.”

Truth be told, I couldn’t help but wonder if Senator Clinton’s “personal” reason for supporting civil unions over civil marriage is that personally she’d really like to be elected President of the United States. Politically I totally “get it” – marriage is just not the ditch the Democratic front- runners are going to die in. At least not this year.

Another notable moment was the sadly stunning crash-and-burn of Governor Richardson in response to Melissa Etheridge’s “is homosexuality a choice” question. A valiant defender and advocate for LGBT issues in New Mexico his stumbling, halting response was a very “real” moment in what was arguably the least scripted of the presidential candidate forums so far in this election cycle. He didn’t do himself any good with the target audience last night but he certainly illustrated how some deeply held convictions elude sound biting and deserve just a yes or no answer.

Finally, as a person of faith I was deeply gratified to hear across-the-board commitment from the candidates to return the White House to support of the separation of church and state: to end the infusion of public policy with religious ideology -- a sad hallmark of this current administration.

Moving on, I’m encouraged to have more than one horse in this race. And I’m tired of hearing who isn’t electable because of what. The American people – L or G or B or T or anywhere in between -- deserve better than an election decided on race or gender or hairstyle. They deserve the kind of frank exchanges we heard last night – the hits and the misses – and HRC and Logo deserve thanks for helping make it happen. It was an historic opportunity for all Americans as the once invisible LGBT citizens of this great country took their place alongside all the rest calling this nation to be the best that it can be.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Visible Vote '08

The Human Rights Campaign and Logo television channel are combining resources to present VISIBLE VOTE '08 ... yet-another forum with presidential candidates ... this one for Democratic candidates and centered around LGBT issues. Candidates scheduled to participate are Clinton, Dodd, Edwards, Gravel, Kucinich, Obama & Richardson.
I have been privileged to be invited to be part of the studio audience for the live forum airing tonight and I am thrilled to be able to be part of this opportunity to give visible witness to the often ignored voices of LGBT people of faith. (Yes, I'm wearing my collar and no, I don't expect to get to do anything other than sit there and behave myself!)
Here are the details from the HRC website: The one-hour event will be held on Aug. 9 at 6 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. ET in Los Angeles before a studio audience and broadcast live, without commercial interruption, exclusively on Logo’s 24/7 cable television channel as well as through live streaming video at This event marks the first time in history the major presidential candidates will address a live GLBT television audience.
The Visible Vote website is still offering an opportunity to submit questions for the candidates online -- I just sent one in ... give it a try!
"Film at Eleven" as they say!
PS -- Oh yes, the panel asking questions will be HRC President Joe Salmonese, journalist Jonathan Capehart and someone named Melissa Etheridge. Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Michael Battle -- newly arrived in the Diocese of Los Angeles and settling in as the new Provost of our Cathedral Center -- offers a truly wonderful reflection on "Ubuntu" entitled "It Takes A Village" provided by Trinity Television and New Media and conveniently posted over at Episcopal Cafe.
Watch it HERE ...
... and give thanks for ALL those working with the One who loved us enough to become one of us to show us how to walk in love with God and with each other to bring that kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

Monday, August 06, 2007

From "The Angelus" -- our Diocesan Clergy Newsletter

A View From Spain By J. Jon Bruno

The current climate in the Anglican Episcopal family of churches is described by the internet blogs and some organizations' websites as anxious, tense and desperate. A 'reality check' opportunity in the last days of July found a considerably different encounter taking place, one drenched in the graceful spirit of mutual responsibility, happening in a monastery guest house in El Escorial Spain. Those present were from, of all places, the U.S.A. and Africa. Could it be happening? Yes, it happened, and thanks be to God, mission to a weary world was its focus.

A group of bishops---or, better said pilgrims---from more than 50 dioceses in the Anglican Communion were invited to walk the Way to Emmaus, during a week-long consultation enabled by Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City, and its rector, the Rev. Jim Cooper.

I was privileged to be one of the pilgrims. Aided by the hospitality of the small but lively Spanish Episcopal Church, and the generosity of the convenors, the pilgrim bishops found their walk to Emmaus, as one said, "renewing, refreshing and hope-filled". This is quite the opposite of the anxious portrayal so often filling cyberspace about Anglicans today.

As a pilgrim I come away from my encounter with Christ, by the very engaging with new partners in mission, with a sense that the road to Canterbury 2008 will be far less daunting than is portrayed by some and maybe even exciting. I hope that I may find a way to express that sense of this Emmaus walk to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

My hope is that the model of consultation employed at this gathering could be the new mode of operation for Anglicans, a trademark minus pronouncements and press conferences; not worrying about the perfectly crafted communiqué but liberating us all, big time. People spoke the truth in love. That's not just a phrase, but an attitude that was displayed in session after session.

The sacrament of unity, the Eucharist, in the final offering of the gathering, confirmed for me the essence of what it means to be a pilgrim, seeking the kingdom of God and its values of justice, peace and salvation for all. To me, unity at the altar is not an option; it is the outward sign, symbol and reality of encounter. As Cardinal Newman said, "essence all divine." The real presence indeed.

I felt so aware of those around me each day. Our small groups became more like prayer cells, not stranger, but pilgrims. They also became a safe place for honesty and clarity. This is so refreshing in this time in our history, when people who are being open are demonized. As Anglicans we claim John 8:32 as our motto, emblazoned on the Compass Rose, albeit in Greek; "The Truth Shall Make You Free!" Maybe we should have multi-language versions to help us own the message.

As the consultation began closing down, greetings like "See you at Lambeth" from a brother bishop from Tanzania became a sign of expectation for me and, I trust, a statement of support for what makes us a Communion and not simply a federation.

The pure joy of telling of my walk to Emmaus with this mixed bag of pilgrims is not thwarted by my return to "Jerusalem"---or, more accurately, Los Angeles. The biblical story presents the disciples' return home as a major challenge. For me, as chief pastor of a widely diverse family of believers, speaking many languages, I am proud to have been encouraged by people to take this walk with our African partners to show our diocesan commitment to the Anglican way. The beauty of Spain, its people, its food (a challenge for many), its architecture, our churches, was like being at home for me due to the privilege I have of being bishop of L.A. where the Latino way is part and parcel of who we are in the community.

I am also proud that our diocese looks beyond its borders to places like Palestine where suffering is a daily encounter and where walking to the actual historical Emmaus could be a way of danger and fear.

Our partner African bishops, and indeed the Archbishop, Justice Acrofi, bid me leave my sense of victimization behind, nail it to the cross, and renew my personal pledge to the truth of what being human, much less being an Anglican, can mean. One American bishop spoke of being a "punching bag," while Africans pleaded for clarity from leaders in their statement. The whole communications dilemma was very evident.

All in all, and simply said, in this Spanish monastery, in the heat of summer, I came face to face with Jesus. He was in plain view, as the chorus says.

The Emmaus journey in Scripture is a story of despair turned to joy. Being fearful for someone or a situation is much different than being afraid of the same. I often ask; why are people afraid of others, people seemingly different from themselves? I challenge the notion that we all are so different in the end.

For all of us our hope and life, our strength and futures, began in a humble cave in what is now beleaguered Bethlehem, where a holy young woman and a brave husband gave their all to see that for us a child is born, a son is given, his name shall be called, prince of peace. My Jesus, bring peace to our world, our lives, our homes, and yes our beloved church, your church, where we meet you in word and sacrament and in each other.

Vive Espana - Vive Anglicanismo

+Jon, Los Angeles