Saturday, January 03, 2009

A Year in Review: Susan's Top Ten List for "Oh Eight"

An unobjectively personal non-scientifically selected top ten list of events in the just completed Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Eight.

10. All Saints Church 125th Anniversary
It was great fun to spend 2008 celebrating 125 years of work and witness by All Saints Church in Pasadena. From speaking out against the deportation of Japanese-Americans to detainment camps during World War II to standing with Martin Luther King during the 1960's to being a Peace Parish during the Viet Nam war it's a deep delight to be part of a parish with the struggle for peace and justice as part of its DNA!

9. Gene & Mark's wedding
On June 7th I had the extraordinary privilege of being the preacher at the blessing of the union of Gene Robinson. Not just a privilege, it was a delight and a joy -- and Louise and I were so very blessed to enjoy a wonderful weekend in New Hampshire and some time in Boston. "Mazel tov," guys!

8. Rachel Maddow
I've been a huge Rachel Maddow fan ever since she got her Air America radio show and so was thrilled to see her getting such well deserved national attention as a smart, savvy, able political commentator. (And yes, I'm TOTALLY open to any time she needs a little faith-based-commentary on life-in-general ... or Rick Warren in particular! Call me, Rachel!)

7. Lambeth Conference
There are a dozen things I could write about Lambeth but the photo blog from Canterbury covers all of them. In retrospect, the moment I'm choosing is this one -- the arrival of "our" bishops at the Integrity/Changing Attitudes Eucharist. (God bless them, every one!)

6. Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton's strong, determined campaign for President of these United States was an inspiration, a source of hope and empowerment and a class act from start to finish. We love you, Hillary!

5. Losing Harvey & Birdie/Getting Juno
Having animal members of your family brings us not only the deep joy of their unconditional love but the deep sadness of vulnerability to grief at their loss. This year we lost Harvey and Birdie ... the two senior members of the Brooks-Russell family ... and welcomed Juno: still a bundle of puppy energy at now-6 months old.

1994 - 2008

1993 - 2008

Juno (with Luna)
Born June 2008
Arrived @ Our House August 2008

4. Marriage Equality in California
The May 15th Supreme Court decision ushering in marriage equality in California changed the entire landscape of 2008. Pastorally, it gave us the opportunity to celebrate with GREAT joy the marriages of dozens of fabulous couples at All Saints Church between June 17th and November 4th. It also provided the impetus for our bishop, +Jon Bruno, to form a Task Force on Marriage Equality which led to sweeping changes in our diocesan policies on marriage and blessings here in the Diocese of Los Angeles. Happily Ever After All Over the Place!

3. Proposition 8
The "Bad News" part of the "Good News/Bad News" on marriage in 2008 was the narrow victory of the discriminatory ballot measure stripping a percentage of California citizens of equal protection under the constitution. Out of that election battle came new alliances, hard lessons and a deepened commitment to build the grassroots movement necessary to overcome the bigotry motivated campaign of dis-information waged by the determined opponents of marriage equality. We'll be back!

2. Mother
The sudden and most unexpected passing of my 82 year old mother -- Betty Lou Brown -- on July 24th was a deep grief and leaves a still gaping hole in our lives and in our family. I remain deeply grateful for the parenting of one who didn't just talk about "family values" but lived them. We miss you, Mom!

August 1925 - July 2008

1. "Yes, We Can!"
The election of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th President of the United States is still a goose-bump inspiring landmark for this nation committed to liberty and justice for all. The challenges are great, the hurdles are huge and -- like every political leader in the history of politics -- he will both disappoint and inspire. But at this very moment ... 16 days from his historic inauguration ... it is SUCH a joy to wake up every morning knowing that we are on the cusp of putting the Imperial Presidency of these last eight disastrous years behind us as we move forward with more hope than many of us have had for a VERY long time!
Here endeth Susan's "Top 10 List"
[Cue music:]

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who hast by Thy might,
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.

1 comment:

b boy said...

wow, your year has been one filled with hills and valleys: both of which I truly believe are essential for living daily. I hope all is well and to hear from you soon...

Scott Boardman